Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How to clear this drain?

Our driveway slopes down towards the front of the garage, and at the lowest point, their is a drain. This is a good thing. Unless the water is coming down faster that it goes away at which point it likes to visit the interior of the garage. Well, after 20-plus years of stuff washing down the drain, it's full. What's the best way to get this thing cleaned out? I have no idea where the drain goes, or what the water does when it gets there.

The drain is in the circle on the upper right. The drain cover (lower left) has been removed for the picture.


  1. You're probably going to have to call Roto Rooter... especially if you have no idea where it dumps out.

  2. If you can get a high pressure water pump , try squirting water down the drain.
    This should force water and gunk back up and onto the garage floor and out the door.
    Do this until the water starts going down.
    Keep in mind that the floor drain might not go to a sewer or to the air, it might go to the buildings drain tile.
    You can try renting a electric snake, but unless you have used one before the power snake can cause many more problems for you.
    About the easiest is to call a person that cleans plugged drains.
    They usually have all the equipment, tools and the knowledge.
    These can be plumbers but some just specialize in drain cleaning.
    I have cleaned and cleared lots of sewage pipe at work.
    I paid to have it done at my house, I do not own the equipment needed and the rental would have cost as much as the guy charged me to clear the roots out of my sewer line.
    It took him less than half a hour from parking the van until he pulled away.
    Now a buddy had his sewer line getting slow and thought it was just roots or a hair plug.
    He had the same guy that I hired to try to clean his line.
    But his sewer pipe had started to collapse and the snaking would not do anything.
    It had to be dug up and replaced.

    As always, "your mileage may vary".

  3. Hire out. This kind of work can only lead to heartache.

  4. 1) get a stick
    2) push crap out of hole
    3) if that doesn't work, see above.

  5. Just call roto-rooter. $90/20 minutes and you're DONE.

  6. Yeah, I'd have to agree with the above comments. IF you knew where it led and IF you had the equipment, go for it. Otherwise, hire a pro.

  7. Yep. Rotorooter.

    We had floor drains at my last fire station that would get clogged every winter with road crud (sand/cinders) that washed off the trucks and cleaning the drains was a monthly chore for two or three people using a pressure washer with sewer nozzle. It's nasty work.

  8. I am going through the exact same problem as you are. The drain in the Driveway is called a "Crock" (not joking, that's its name). It is basically a small well that, about 18 inches down, has some Storm Drain Pipe that runs either into your Homes Storm Drain, or it can run out into the Streets Storm Drain. It depends on the Zoning and Building Codes that were in place when your home was built. The problem is, after so many years, it can clog up, or, the pipe that runs underneath your driveway has been crushed. But you won't find out until you get a Pro. But let's start out with the Simplest/Cheapest way. First, grab a Husband. Then put down some padding for his knees. Give him some Garden Tools, maybe a Hammer, and a Bucket. Tell him to dig it out. That'll knock a Hundred bucks off the Plumbing Bill. If he can dig down far enough, he should find the opening to the Storm Drain, usually about 18 inches down. Then grab the hose, and SLOWLY add Water. If it drains out, you're good. If it stays there after an hour, then you have to call in a Pro to run his Snake up the pipe to clear out any other clogs. But if he tells you that the pipe is crushed, have him get a TV camera to verify it. If it is Crushed, then you need a Driveway guy to rip everything up and replace it.

    Trust me, I'm not messing with you. My Driveway/Crock/ Permits, etc is costing me $7,000, and for my neck of the woods, that's cheap. Good luck!

  9. Claymores. It's the only way to be sure...

  10. No, Jay, taking off and nuking the site from orbit is the only way to be sure I know of...

  11. Nuking it from orbit would solve a few other issues as well (kitchen floor, leaking bathroom), but I don't think "nuclear attack" is covered under my homeowner's insurance.