Why is my floor drain overflowing

The 3 reasons your floor drains back up are:

  1. Damage to the main drain lines for your house.
  2. Accumulation of slime over time.
  3. Foreign objects getting lodged in the pipes under your house.


All piping ages and decays: the pipes within your home let you know when you have a problem by leaking. The floor drain backs up and makes us homeowners aware there is a problem. It is often unclear what has caused the problem while we watch debris floating about. Your basement drain backing up and leaving you with standing water,  a headache, and a foul odour if not handled properly.

A drain will always be blocked or obstructed in some way for wastewater to back up onto the floor. These floor drain backups can be from your home’s plumbing system or the sewer main drain line. Basement floor drain backups are not always because of the floor drain itself, it is possible that it is the lowest of all your plumbing fixtures and sewer line clogs are backing it up.  If your lowest drain line is something else, like any basement drains in a bathtub or shower- that drain will see back ups instead.

When you’re dealing with a floor drain overflow, it’s always easiest to call Ottawa’s friendly team of professional plumbers to fix the problem. We are able to diagnose and repair issues with sewer line damage, drain line clogs and drain cleaning, and all other plumbing problems

Book Online- We’ll fix it!

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So what can cause a block in the pipes?


Sewage lines under or leaving your home could be rotting, incorrectly installed, or have become disjointed due to ground heave. Any break or misalignment of the piping can allow dirt, tree roots or any other external item to enter and block the pipe. There are many different fixtures in your home plumbing system, but the main drain line is where all your dirty water gets carried away into the city’s main sewer drain.


The gels, soaps, creams and lotions that we use nowadays along with the frequency they get used have caused more and more slime to accumulate inside the piping. As all the soaps toothpaste etc. will stick on the walls of the drain piping, the area for the waste to flow decreases which in turn allows more slime to build and clog. This slime accumulation is inevitable but the condition, type and installation of the drain pipe will affect how long it takes to become a problem and be seen as a puddle around the floor drain.

There’s a whole science between maintaining the right flow to prevent as much debris as possible from being left behind. The water and anything in the water has to go at a similar speed. If the water is draining too slow or too fast, it will leave hair, dirt or toilet paper behind. The angle of the wastewater pipe plays a key role


We’re not looking for the little green men here but objects that can and do produce flow restrictions and blockages. A foreign object is anything that gets into the drain that should not be in it! Other than toilet paper, this limits the waste to only what we eat! Even the “Flushable” wet wipes should not go in as we have seen plenty caught up on sharp edges or joints in the piping. Any parent or plumber will tell you, plenty of toys and other objects end up in drain lines and are sure to cause more than one problem in your plumbing system.

Repair and Prevention

The remedy for damaged pipes is to first clear the blockage using a plumbing snake to restore flow and then investigate the cause with a sewer camera. A professional plumber will have this tool and be able to look into your sewer lines and drain lines. The images from a drain camera can tell you a lot about your sewage drain line; where the issue is, what caused it to happen and therefore help you choose a course of action to prevent it from happening again.

Slime accumulation

For the slime accumulation, Biosmart or similar types of drain cleaning preventative ‘maintenance products’ are all that is needed. Biosmart used on a regular basis removes any slimy organic build-up from the walls inside the drain pipe and keeps flow at a maximum. These products can never repair or correct for any poor plumbing already in place, but this will help if your drain backup is due to grease, grime, and hair.


If a drain UFO was the cause, determining where and how the object found its way into the line is a good start. Most UFOs can be traced back to toilets from items falling or being thrown in them and ‘Flushed Away’ or during renovation type work. A simple but very effective prevention method is to put the lid down after each use.


Collapsed, cracked or misaligned piping will need to be either replaced or patched. A severely broken or collapsed pipe will need to be dug out and replaced. For a lot of disjointed or cracked piping, pipe patching may be a solution. Pipe Patching or trenchless is a relatively new way to repair the underground or mainlines without digging. This system involves inserting a fibre-glass pipe patch into the main sewer, thereby covering the damaged part and preventing future backups.

Get Your Drains Unclogged With Out of This World

Your plumbing system is truly a modern miracle, developed over the centuries as advances were made. Though widely unappreciated by the average household, your modern plumbing system doesn’t always stay flawless.

If you run a sewer line, we encourage you to contact the professionals at Out of This World Plumbing. We will get your basement floor drain unclogged, inspect your sewer line, and recommend ways to avoid drain backups in the future.

Call us at 613-519-1342, or  Book Online


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