Recently one of our clients was experiencing water on the basement floor that was backing up through the floor drain.The issue was limited to the Kitchen and Laundry rooms backing up onto the floor only when the dishwasher or clothes washer was run. The water would drain slowly back through the floor drain indicating a partial blockage.
It had been a problem over the years requiring professional services to drill out the drain pipes with a power drain auger every couple of years. Over time the issue became more serious, until this year clay came out with the auger indicating the drain line had collapsed.
Locating the Break is Critical
Simply identifying the fact that the line is broken is only the first step in repairing the issue.The floor must be hammered up and the break repaired, but where do you start? Measuring the length of the line as it is pulled out of the drain tells you approximately how far into the drain the break is located, but that is all. Pipes laid under your floor can run every which way making it impossible to locate the break without specialized equipment.
The Drain Camera
A visual inspection from the inside of the pipe is needed. To accomplish this a specialized camera is snaked into the drain until the damaged pipe is located. Watching on a monitor as the snake progresses through the pipe, the break can be located and visually inspected. Once the camera is at the point of the break, the exact location is determined using an electronic device that registers where the camera is located by reading a signal through the concrete floor. The floor is marked indicating where the concrete needs to be removed.
Now that you know exactly where the break is, our crew can hammer up the floor around the mark and replace the broken segment of pipe. With the repair completed, water is run through the pipe to check for leaks at the site of the repair and to verify there are no other breaks further down the line causing the drain to continue backing up.
The floor is patched with concrete and the job is complete.
In this particular case it was determined that the "Y" connector joining two separate drain pipes together had collapsed forming the blockage. The damaged drain pipe was a two inch drain that serviced the Kitchen and Laundry rooms. The drain pipes for the two bathrooms in the home were not affected.
For help fixing slow or plugged drain lines, call AEM Mechanical Services, Inc. at 320-587-0991.