Does your basement drain back up while doing laundry? - Causes and solutions (2023)

It's always a problem in the laundry room when the drain starts to back up. It is especially risky forlaundry rooms in the basementhave this problem because spills like this increase moisture in the basement.

You don't want this to happen when you have a wood frame, and of course having your basement drain while washing is a bit of a hassle.

The good news is that this is a normal scenario in drains. But when that happens, it pays to know what steps you can take. This post completes that for you, so read on.

In this article:

(Video) Basement Drain Backing Up & How to Fix it!

  • Why is my laundry room overflowing?

    Does your basement drain back up while doing laundry? - Causes and solutions (2)

    There are two main reasons why dry cleaners are overflowing. The first is when your washing machine drain hose is leaking or completely damaged, and the second is when there is a clogged or damaged drain on the laundry room floor.

    Why does my basement drain clog when doing laundry?

    There are many things that can cause your basement drain to clog while doing laundry. It pays to know where your backup source is coming from so you can take the necessary steps before they can cause more problems.


    The most common cause of a clogged basement drain while doing laundry is a clog. In particular, it can be caused by a clogged drain pipe. In some cases, the clog can also be caused by a drain pipe that is too small and will soon need to be replaced.

    Another reason for the clog would be the pressure of the washer. The strong pressure and resistance of the basement drain, which sucks up the water, supposedly causes a backwater. If you suspect that one of them may be the cause of the obstruction, you can easily use a drill, a drainage bladder, the famous Drano or a hose.

    Excess of water

    This isn't widely known, but too much water can also cause basement drains to build up while you're doing laundry. A washing machine uses 30 to 40 gallons of water each time it is washed.

    If the pipes are bad or old, the high volume of water will cause the basement drain to back up. When this happens, coiling the pipes may be the best intervention.

    (Video) Understanding Basement Backups

    plumbing vent pipe

    The vent pipe is attached to the ceiling, so most homeowners wouldn't believe that laundry could be the cause of a basement drain. Since it is connected to the house drain line, any blockage or clog will cause the drain to overflow. Therefore, make sure that dirt, leaves, and other sources of obstruction reach the vent tube.

    Why does it smell when the basement drain is clogged?

    There's no one way to answer this, so we'll provide you with some answers here. Not only the overflow can cause big problems for the resident, as the bad smell coming from the drain means more work.

    As soon as you feel that bad smell, it already means that your drain has dried up. By drying we mean that the siphons installed to filter and drain the water are already out of service.

    If there are no drains in the drain, when the water comes back out the basement drain, the sewer smell will come out and leave that icky smell in the basement laundry room.

    How to immediately deal with a clogged basement drain?

    Does your basement drain back up while doing laundry? - Causes and solutions (3)

    There are some safety precautions to keep in mind when your basement drain starts to leak. The basement laundry room is still connected to an electrical circuit and there is also softwood construction and furniture in need of maintenance or other location.

    If you are experiencing a backwater in your basement drain, here are some tips to keep in mind:

    (Video) Water coming up from the whenever I run the laundry

    • Turn off the equipment and the main circuit breaker to avoid electric shock in the flooded area.
    • You can also turn off the main water line if you're still not sure, which is causing your basement drain to back up.
    • If your basement houses a laundry room and bathroom, it's best not to use the sink or toilet while the water is running back, as water use can increase sewage contamination.
    • If the sewer smell comes out while the basement drain is coming back, wear gloves and face masks before clearing out any clogs.

    Related:How to clean a flooded basement

    How do I prevent floor drain in the basement from coming back?

    If you're looking for a more permanent solution to keep your basement drains from overflowing while you're doing laundry, here are some little gadgets you can literally install in your drain.

    • Check valve:They are also known as plate valves and are usually installed at the exit of the basement. When it is closed, the water does not flow to the toilet and sink. At the same time, it also inhibits the backflow of sewage.
    • backwater closures:These types of devices are not only easy to install, but simply prevent backflow. They are equipped with plastic balls at their ends that float and act as drainage barriers, preventing backflow.

    There are different types of backflow stoppers, and different homes may require a specific type. As a warning, here are the types of reflux stoppers:

    • Swivel connectors (which may be available in plastic or metal form)
    • Ball plugs (the most conventional and common)
    • Pressure plugs (usually wooden or plastic)
    • Screw caps (used to cover pipe ends)

    Aside from those small appliance dues, it's also a good idea to have a plumber check it out once in a while to prevent your basement drain from coming back. Valve replacement may also be considered after three years.

    Related:How to Unclog a Toilet When Nothing Works (9 Methods)

    Can I trust homemade/DIY solutions to clean my basement drain?

    They say it doesn't have to be expensive to unclog your basement drain to prevent a backflow. If you're thinking of going this route, you should know that they also have some downsides. The most commonly used home remedies to remove clogs are vinegar, baking soda, glue, and drano (or similar products).

    (Video) Does Your Basement Drain Overflow Every time You Wash Clothes? Here’s A Solution

    The main ingredient of these clog cleaners would be their acidity. While it is true that they are fast suppressants, it is also true that they leave residue. Most of the time, this debris becomes the main reason for long-term clogs as it collects at the bottom of the sewer line.

    How much does it cost to unclog a basement drain?

    Unclogging pipes can be expensive, especially if you call the plumbers. The rate is per hour and depends on the amount of debris present or the extent of damage to the sewer line.Labor costs range from $70 to $120.

    If you want to do it yourself, you can buy it.Plumbing snakes for $25-$50. But if the jam is deep, you should think about it.Buy a drain auger at an average price of $250-700.

    Since the price of a one-time plumbing project can be a deterrent, consider cleaning and inspecting it every three months. This would only cost you $80-150.


    A clogged basement drain while doing laundry may seem harmless at first, disguised as a small leak or just an accidental overflow. As soon as you notice water flowing back down the drain, start checking your basement drain for clogs.

    It can be anything from fabric buildup to dirt, but if you're not careful it can be expensive to repair.

    (Video) Basement Drain Back Up: 1 Minute of Cause & Cures

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