Basement Drain Backing Up? (What to Do Next)

Dealing with a backed-up basement drain can turn your home into a watery nightmare. But don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through this soggy situation with our handy homeowners guide. From identifying the problem to taking proactive steps, we’ve got you covered. Remember, addressing a basement drain backup promptly can prevent further damage to your home’s foundation and belongings, so let’s get started and nip this issue in the bud.

Inside this blog:

Keep reading to discover all you need to know about what to do in the event that your basement drain backs up.

Identifying the Problem


So, you’ve noticed water pooling around your basement floor drain or perhaps even worse, water backing up into your basement. Before you panic, let’s try to pinpoint the cause of the backup:

Check for Clogs

Sometimes, a simple clog in the drainpipe or trap can cause water to back up. Look for any visible debris or buildup around the drain opening. Use a flashlight to inspect the drain more closely and consider using a hair removal tool or drain cleaning solution to clear minor clogs. Additionally, check other drains in your home to see if they are also affected, which can help determine the extent of the issue.

Assess the Sewer Line

If multiple drains in your home are backing up or you notice foul odors coming from your drains, the issue may lie in the main sewer line. Contacting a plumber for a sewer line inspection can help identify any blockages, tree root intrusions, or damage to the sewer line that may be causing the backup.

Understanding the condition of your sewer line is essential for determining the appropriate course of action to resolve the issue and prevent future backups.

Consider Recent Activities

Have you been doing any landscaping work or flushing non-flushable items down the toilet? These activities can contribute to drain backups. Reflect on any recent changes or actions that may have impacted your plumbing system, such as planting trees near sewer lines or disposing of grease or hygiene products improperly.

When you understand the potential causes of drain backups, it can help you make informed decisions and avoid similar issues in the future.

Immediate Actions to Take

When you’re faced with a basement drain backup, it’s essential to take immediate action to prevent further damage:

  • Turn off water sources: Stop using any water-using appliances or fixtures in your home to prevent additional water from flowing into the basement.
  • Avoid using the affected drains: Continuing to use the affected drains can worsen the backup and potentially cause water damage to your property.
  • Safely remove standing water: If you can do so safely, use a wet-dry vacuum or mop to remove standing water from the affected area. Be cautious of electrical hazards if water has reached outlets or appliances.

🛠️ What to Do Next

Once you’ve taken immediate action to address the basement drain backup, it’s time to consider your next steps:

Attempt to Clear the Clog


If you suspect a minor clog is causing the backup, you can try using a plunger or plumbing snake to dislodge the obstruction. Start with the affected drain and work your way up to the main sewer line if necessary.

Remember to use proper safety precautions and techniques when using plumbing tools to avoid causing further damage or injury. Also, consider using environmentally-friendly drain cleaning products to break down organic matter and grease buildup that may contribute to clogs.

Call a Plumber

If your attempts to clear the clog are unsuccessful or if you suspect a more significant issue with your plumbing system, it’s time to call in the professionals. A licensed plumber can assess the situation and recommend the best course of action to resolve the backup. They have the expertise and specialized equipment to diagnose and repair plumbing issues efficiently.

Don’t delay in calling a plumber, as ignoring a drain backup can lead to more extensive damage and costly repairs down the line.

Schedule a Sewer Line Inspection

If the backup persists or if you’ve experienced multiple drain backups in a short period, it may be time to schedule a sewer line inspection. A video inspection can identify any obstructions, damage, or deterioration in your sewer line that may be causing the backup. This proactive measure allows you to pinpoint the root cause of the issue and address it effectively, preventing future backups and potential sewer line failures.

Additionally, regular sewer line inspections are recommended as part of routine home maintenance to catch problems early and avoid costly repairs.

Consider Preventative Measures

Once the backup has been resolved, consider taking preventative measures to avoid future incidents. Regularly clean your drains, avoid flushing non-flushable items down the toilet, and be mindful of what you pour down your sinks.

Don’t Let a Basement Drain Backup Dampen Your Spirits

Dealing with a basement drain backup can be a frustrating experience, but with the right knowledge and actions, you can get through it unscathed. Remember to stay calm, assess the situation, and take prompt action to address the backup. If you’re unsure or unable to resolve the issue on your own, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

By understanding the common causes of basement drain backups and implementing preventive measures, you can minimize the risk of future incidents. With a little proactive maintenance and quick thinking, you’ll be able to keep your basement dry and your spirits high. Here’s to a hassle-free home and a worry-free basement! 

Reach out to our expert team at Allphase Restoration today for top-notch workmanship and dedicated customer service. We’ll ensure your home stays dry and in prime condition for years to come.

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