Your basement drains are probably the last thing you think of when you are doing your regular cleaning routine, but they shouldn't be excluded completely. While you don't need to clean out these drains every week, you should go through these steps every month or two. They won't take long, and they will ensure that you don't end up with a major problem on your hands.
Make Sure the Traps Stay Full
A drain trap serves an important function. It is the only thing that stands between the air inside your home and the sewage in the drain line. It holds a little water that creates a physical barrier so that sewage and gases don't leak up from below. If you've ever gotten a whiff of raw sewage when a line backed up, you know why this is not a smell you want to have in your home.
For most of your home, this is an invisible process. The trapped water gets refreshed every time you run the water. The problem with basement drains that don't get much use, the water can evaporate in between uses. There is a very simple solution to this problem, use the drain. Run the sink, flush the toilet, or pour a pitcher of water down your floor drain every so often. Your nose will thank you.
Inspect Your Sewer Pump to Make Sure It Is Operating Efficiently
Many basements are below the level of the sewage lines. Since these lines rely on gravity to pull waste away from your home, trying to put a drain in your basement presents a problem. However, most basements have at least a floor drain—an important part of making sure that your basement doesn't flood every time it gets a little wet outside.
Sewer pumps are the answer to this problem. They are able to deal with solid waste (if they need to) and pump the liquid from the drain up into the sewer system so that gravity can take over from there. Fortunately, these pumps can last for years without any maintenance. Once or twice a year, take a few minutes and inspect the outside of the pump. Look for any signs of leaking or physical damage. Run some water through the system and listen to the pump operation. Any leaks or uncharacteristic grinding sounds mean that it is time to start shopping for a replacement pump.
Clear These Drains Along With the Rest of Your Regular Maintenance
All drains build up with gunk over time, whether it is food from your kitchen, soap in your bathroom, or dirt in your basement. While drains are meant to handle as much of this gunk as they can, it still builds up and causes clogs. Just because you may not use the drains in your basement very often, doesn't mean that they won't suffer from clogs. In fact, they may be more likely to get clogged as you aren't using them on a regular basis, so you may not see the signs of an impending problem.
Natural drain cleaners are a great way to prevent clogs as they can be used regularly without damaging plumbing. While you don't need to clear these drains every time, you should clear them occasionally. Baking soda and vinegar are inexpensive tools, and you can easily spend a few extra cents once a month to clear these drains as well.
Taking care of your drains should be a part of your regular routine. This is the only way that you can make sure you don't wake up to a nasty suprise one morning. These simple tasks take just a few minutes to complete compared to the hours of hassle that goes along with having to hire a plumber from a site like http://calldoctorfixit.com to repair a clogged drain.