A basement floor drain is a very crucial component of the building as it prevents water accumulation in the foundation of the building. There are various types of drains and drain systems that are popular these days. They are used in multiple situations and have their perks. In this blog, we will discuss each of them separately and in a detailed manner.
So before we start anything, first of all, we need to know what are the basement floor drains and why they are essential for the complete architectural structure of the building.
What are basement floor drains, and why are they used for?
The basement floor drains are something that is the least noticeable plumbing item in the house but hold a place of great importance. These are the drains that move the flowing water through the pipes of the building from one part of the building to the outside.
So, through these drains, you can save and secure the basement of the house and maintain the structural integrity of the building.
Let us see why these drains are essential.
Importance of drain in the basement floor
1.Management of water flow – For the management of water flow and preventing the condition of flood and water lodging in and around the house, which can weaken the overall infrastructure of the building.
2.Public health – They are also crucial for the concern of public health, as the stagnant water can become a place for the breeding of many insects and flies, and they can later transmit waterborne diseases.
3.Urban planning – The drains are an essential part of the urban planning in the society. They are designed to accommodate the increasing water runoff in the urban areas.
4.Sewer gas prevention – the p trap component used in the basement floor drains is vital for the prevention of sewer gas from entering the basement as it creates a barrier that blocks these gases.
5.Protecting valuables – many buildings have basements that are used for storage purposes. These flood drains have an essential feature to protect these valuable items from damage.
Diagram of basement floor drain
We can describe the diagram of the basement floor drain in words. A typical basement floor drain consists of several components.
Drain cover or drain – they are the visible part of the drain that is situated on the basement floor. They have openings or slots that allow water to flow through them.
Trap – trap is situated just below the drain cover. It is a curved section of the pipe that is made to hold water to prevent sewer gases from entering the basement. Basically, it acts as a barrier.
Drain pipe – drain pipes are connected to the trap, and these pipes are extended downwards. They are used to carry the flow of water away from the foundation of the house.
Cleanout plug – there might be a cleanout plug somewhere along with the drain pipe. These are the removal caps that provide access for clearing the clogs or the blockage from the pipeline.
Remember that the specific designs of the drains may vary as there are various types of basement drains available in the market, and they are popular these days. They may contain other components, too, depending on the drainage system.
We know the various perks and essential components of basement floor drains, so let us see the different types of basement floor drains.
Types of basement floor drains
1. Traditional floor drains
These are some of the most common types of drains. They have a wide opening on the floor, and when moving forward, they are connected to an underground pipe, which carries the water to the main sewer line. These drains have an essential feature that they collect large amounts of water and keep the basement dry.
2. Trench drains
They are long and narrow in shape and are installed along the sides of the basement floor. Along with the water from the middle of the basement, they also collect the water from the surrounding areas and let it fall into the designated area. They are usually used for larger areas and are dug. They are also called channel drains.
3. French drains
They are perfectly designed to collect and redirect the water away from the foundation of the building. They contain a long pipe that is surrounded by gravel and a drain tile. They are developed to prevent not only the water but also the moisture from building up into the basement of your house, which may climb to the walls and damage the overall architecture of the building. They are typically installed 10 to 24 inches deep into the ground. They are also called drain tiles.
4. Curtain drains
They are more or less similar to the French drains but with minor differences. They contain perforated pipes that are embedded into the gravel. This shallow pipe collects and redirects the flowing water. You do not need to dig deeply into the ground; hence, they are easy to install as compared to the French drains.
5. Standard floor drains
It is also one of the most common types of basement drain these days as it comes with the feature of a round or rectangular grid that covers all over the hole. It is installed at the lowermost part of the floor to provide access to all the lodged water.
It sends all the water outside the house with the help of underground pipes installed in the basement. This type of drain is the best to install during the initial construction time to avoid unnecessary construction.
6. Sump pumps
They are often used in combination with other drainage systems, but even without the different drainage systems, they can work but not with the full efficiency for which they were made. The groundwater flows into the sump pits that are drugged below the floor. As the level of this groundwater rises above the danger level.
The pump automatically switches on and emptys all the holes. Sump pumps are installed in the basement in the low-lying area, which is prone to flooding.
7. Exterior perimeter drains
The exterior perimeter drains are installed around the perimeter of the building and collect the water from the sides of the foundation. They are commonly found in areas with a high level of groundwater that receives heavy rainfall throughout the year.
Common issues with drains
Here, we have listed some common issues that may arise with the installation of the basement floor drain. So let us discuss them one by one, along with the possible solutions.
Backing up of the drain
Sometimes, the drain water may back up from the pipe. It can be due to some clogs in the pipeline, heavy rainfall, or some sewer line issues.
To resolve this issue, you can inspect the pipeline and make the way of drain cleaner. You can use a plunger or the plumber’s snake to unclog it. You can also consult a professional if necessary.
Sump pump failure
The sump pump that you have installed in your basement may fail to work. It can be due to overuse or an old pump being used for a long time.
You can check the pump to see if it is repairable, then seek professional help, or you can get a new sump pump from the market and get it installed.
In case the drain is not installed properly, it might not function well.
So, to ensure the proper installation, running a test cycle after the installation is always necessary.
Care and maintenance of basement floor drains.
Here are some tips that you can follow to keep your basement drains maintained.
- Inspect your drains regularly and clean them on a regular basis. Remove the excess debris that may clog the gutters.
- Run a test cycle of your pump sump regularly to keep it functional. It will ensure that your pump is working usually or not.
- Check the signs of moisture or growth of moulds in the basement to get an indication of the drainage clogs.
Basement drains are used to prevent the accumulation of water in the foundation of the building, especially during the rainy season. They consist of a few essential components such as a drain cover or grate, trap, drain pipe, and cleanout plug. Various types of basement drain designs are popular. They are installed according to the possible conditions. To keep these drain systems maintained, we need to keep regular inspections and cleaning of the pipes and pumps.
Frequently asked questions
How often should you clean your basement floor drain?
It will be sufficient to clean out your basement floor drain at least once a year, especially when the rainy season is about to knock on the door.
What can be the main reasons for the stinking smell in the basement floor drain?
This smell may be due to the growth of fungus, mould or stagnant water. They grow in moist and dark areas, and what can be more perfect than the basement drain? So, to get rid of this stinky smell, you need to clean and inspect your drain regularly.