Explaining the plumbing under your basement floor


The world of plumbing involves much more than just a dripping faucet or a running toilet. Anyone who tells you that all plumbing tasks are DIY jobs might want to see what’s lurking under the basement floors in a home!

Basement plumbing contains crucial parts that impact your entire home’s plumbing system. Therefore, any project involving plumbing in the basement should be handled by pros, especially when you want it done right the first time. 

This article explains some facts about the plumbing components under your basement floor. Here’s what you need to know: 

Drain in Your Basement Floor

Plumbing professionals refer to the drain in a basement floor as your foundation drain. It’s important because it removes excess moisture on basement floors by connecting to the sewer line or a sump pump.

Knowing whether it’s a sewer or sump pump connection can help prevent expensive repair issues. For example, a basement drain connecting to the main sewer line risks a sewage backup unless a plumber installs a backflow valve to prevent it. 

A drain connection to a sump pump shouldn’t experience sewage backups, but a sump pump connection is more limited because most of these systems run on electricity. 

During a heavy story, the potential increases for your home to experience a power outage. That’s why a small marine battery, a backup generator, or an electric charger is a great purchase to complement your sump pump.

When installing backup power for your electric sump pump, utilize a waterproof storage case, or even better, mount the backup unit high up your basement wall. An overflow of water can fry a backup power source if it gets too wet during a power outage.

Your Basement Sump Pump

The “sump” is the pit underneath the basement floor, and this pit should minimize damage when floodwater enters the basement because gravity makes the water drain into the pit, where a pump removes it.

You can test your sump pump by gradually pouring a 5-gallon water bucket into the drum. If the pump doesn’t turn on immediately, it’s not functioning correctly. Shut off the pump, discharge the water, and call in a pro to service it asap.

Both parts of your sump pump require regular maintenance, and the pit should be cleaned out annually. You should also have a pro plumber do a service check on your sump pump every year.

A Basement Water Supply Line

In most homes, there’s a water supply line underneath the basement floor connecting to water lines inside the walls. This way, basement appliances like water softeners or heaters can do their jobs before the water reaches any taps.

A basement water line becomes an issue because most basements have concrete slab foundations. If the foundation shifts too much, a water leak (or slab leak) can occur, and in the worst-case scenario, you’ll hear water rushing.

Less obvious signs of a slab leak include::

  • The water pressure in your house changes
  • Your water bills are higher, indicating more usage on the line
  • Higher humidity levels produce a musty smell or damp basement floors.

Slab leaks are also possible due to bad weather events producing floods or earthquakes. A professional plumber is always your best bet in fixing basement plumbing problems!

Finally, the Main Basement Sewer Line

The main water line in your basement is the inflow, and the basement sewer line is the outflow.

When functioning right, your basement sewer line carries wastewater from your home to the municipality’s treatment system. This sewer line runs right under the basement floor at its lowest level, and the basement drain is closely connected.

Unfortunately, a main basement sewer line can leak or clog up like the main water line, and a backed-up sewer line can be expensive to fix. A leaky or clogged sewer line can also be unhealthy for everyone in your home, so call in a plumbing pro immediately!

Other articles from totimes.caotttimes.camtltimes.ca


The latest on what’s going on in your city – delivered straight to your inbox