repairing a clogged floor drain
Photo: Merle Henkenius
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Clear a Floor Drain: Loosen Brass Plugs

In many basements, garages and laundry rooms there are floor drains that carry away wastewater from central air conditioners, washing machines, water heaters and snow-covered cars.

Over time, these drains collect large quantities of soap scum, laundry lint, sand and slimy bacteria that crystallize inside the long drainpipe. To break through these tough blockages, you'll need the extra clog-clearing muscle of an electric power auger.

Rent a power auger with at least 50 feet of cable. Start by removing the strainer that covers the drain hole. Then, look for a clean-out plug on the side of the drain basin. Remove the plug with a wrench. That allows you to bypass the trap and feed the cable directly down the pipe. If the drain doesn't have a clean-out plug, you'll have to snake the cable through the trap; this is a somewhat more difficult approach.
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