Q:

How do you unclog a basement floor drain?

A:

To clean your basement floor drain, begin with chemical drain-cleaning agents, but prepare to rent a power auger with a cable that you can feed down the drain to agitate the clog for cleaning. Be ready for considerable amounts of sand, soap scum, bacteria and laundry lint to emerge.

  1. Start with chemical cleaners

    Fight the clog in your basement floor drain with chemical drain cleaners. Follow the directions for pouring the chemical down the drain, and send hot water down the drain as soon as you can after completing the chemical cleanse.

  2. Put an auger on the job

    Rent a power auger that has no fewer than 50 feet of cable. Take the strainer off the top of the drain hole, and find the clean-out plug that sits on the side of the basin. Take the clean-out plug out of the drain basin, using a wrench if necessary.

  3. Send the cable down the drain

    Slide the cable into the hole where the plug was, and send several feet into the pipe. Put the auger motor on clockwise rotation, and activate the switch to make the cable turn. Slide the cable in until you feel the motor struggle or the cable meets resistance. Turn the motor off, reverse the direction of the rotation and pull several feet of cable back out. Then put the motor back to clockwise rotation, and send the cable down again. Keep going back and forth until the clog is gone. Pull out the cable, and pour two or three buckets of hot water down the drain to chase the clog. Wrap Teflon tape around the clean-out plug to make removing it simpler the next time. Make sure you attach this plug securely, though, as it protects your house from harmful sewer gases.

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