Category: Plumbing Tips

Floor Drain Maintenance Tips

While most drainage issues are preventable, many homeowners forget about the drains in their house until there’s a problem. Floor drains are perhaps the most commonly ignored among them but can cause flooding and lead to costly water damage repairs if they back up. Use these floor drain maintenance tips to stay ahead of issues in your home.

Understanding Floor Drains: Locations and Function

Unlike showers and sinks, floor drains aren’t typically used on a daily basis, which makes them easy to forget. They can be found indoors and outdoors in places where drainage needs to be fast and efficient, such as:

  • Basements
  • Laundry rooms
  • Older bathrooms
  • Garages
  • Some patios and driveways

Indoor floor drains remove overflow water from fixtures and appliances like vanity sinks, washing machines, and water heaters; outdoor floor drains capture and move rainwater and snow melt safely away from the home. Inside or out, these drains play a vital role in your home’s drainage system. You must keep them clear to protect against severe water damage and flooding.

Floor Drain Maintenance Tips

Proper floor drain maintenance helps prevent disaster, and it doesn’t require extensive work. Just follow these simple tasks throughout the year.

Fill Drain Traps Monthly

Your home’s drainage system directs water to a sewer or municipal storm drain. Drain traps serve as a barrier to prevent sewer odors and gasses from reaching your home. However, they need to be filled with water to do so. Simply pour a gallon of water down your floor drains each month to keep the traps full and functioning.

Clean Drains Regularly

Floor drains should be inspected and cleaned roughly every four months to prevent build-ups and clogs. Remove the cover to check for and clear any debris with a brush or a hose, or by hand. If it’s been over two years since your drains have been professionally cleaned or you need assistance, contact your local plumber to schedule service or learn more.

Clear Clogs Immediately

Slow draining water is the first sign of a clog and should be addressed immediately to reduce the risk of flooding. Minor clogs can typically be cleared by a few strong pumps with a plunger. If that doesn’t work, you can try a drain auger or snake; you can also create a homemade drain cleaner by pouring 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1/2 cup of vinegar, letting it rest for about 30 minutes, and then rinsing with boiling water. Remember, chemical drain cleaners aren’t always the best option as they may not work and can eat away at your plumbing.

It’s easy to take your drainage system for granted when it works properly, but it can be painful (and expensive) to deal with when it fails. Make a point to use these floor drain maintenance tips regularly to keep your home dry and safe from disaster.

Rely on Robillard

From professional drain cleaning to emergency repairs, the master plumbers at Robillard Plumbing are here for all your plumbing service and product needs.

Contact us to learn more.

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Water flowing from a sump pump discharge hose.

The Importance of a Backup Battery for Your Sump Pump

Sump pumps are an important part of your home’s overall structure. They play a crucial role in diverting ground and flood water away from the house and can protect the foundation from water or structural damage. But what happens if the power goes out in your home? Are you still protected from potential flooding? You are if you’ve installed a battery backup. Read on as we discuss the importance of a backup battery for your sump pump.


How a sump pump battery backup works

A battery backup works by using a secondary pump which kicks in if the primary pump loses power or is inoperable. Powered by a strong battery, it has enough power to remove excess water due to severe storms, flooding, or elevated water table.


The benefits of a battery backup system

Summer is officially here and with it, severe weather and possibly power outages. If the power goes out in your home, so does the sump pump. When the sump pump stops working, there’s a good chance the basin will overflow and possibly flood your basement. Fortunately, a battery backup system can keep your sump pump running even with a power outage. In addition to power outages, here are a few other benefits to having a backup for your system:

  • Tripped circuit – a backup system protects against flooding in case of a tripped circuit cutting power to the primary pump, especially if no one’s home.
  • Equipment failure – you’re protected if the primary pump fails from a clogged intake screen, jammed float switch, or other malfunction.
  • Assistance during extreme weather – Added protection during severe, heavy rainfall, and significant snow melt.


What to consider when installing a battery backup

Picking the right battery backup is important to ensure your system is fully operational and able to handle any situation. Consider the following when installing your backup:

  • Alarm system – a reliable backup should include an alarm which will go off once it’s activated, as well as monitor the battery life or alert you when there’s a problem.
  • Pump capacity – if your primary pump has difficulty removing excess water to keep your basement dry then you want to make sure the backup can pump out enough water if necessary. We advise installing a backup that can handle the same amount of water as the original.
  • Self-test feature – a sump pump that rarely runs is actually bad for the pump. A pump that sits in water is prone to corrosion or mineral buildup. Consider installing a backup with the ability to test itself routinely.
  • Battery capacity – some battery units can run out of power before the electricity comes back on. Be sure to select a system that can meet the demands of your home.

A flooded basement can be disastrous for your home and your pocketbook. An efficient, reliable sump pump system with a battery backup will ensure you stay protected from the unexpected. Ask your Robillard professional for recommendations on which system is right for your home.

Robillard Plumbing has proudly provided expert drain cleaning and plumbing services with professionalism and reliability since 1986. From new appliances and fixtures to emergency service, our knowledgeable team is here for all your plumbing needs.

Contact us today to learn more.

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