All About Garage Floor Drain and Dealing With Issues

A garage floor drain is just what space needs especially if you use it to park your cars. It’s the system that allows easy floor cleaning. The multipurpose room like a garage needs a good drain feature so you have to keep reading this article to get more information about it.

In the garage, there’s a high chance of getting rainwater or snows inside the room. Moreover, wet bikes, cars, boots, and raincoats can also carry water into space. You don’t want water winding up on the floor, right?

That’s why the garage floor drain is essential. It offers a great function to the entire space. In some garages, this system is already built. However, it’s possible to install it retroactively.

Types of Floor Drain for Garage

there are 2 types of drain for garage floor

There are 2 types of drains used for the garage flooring. The first one is the round hole system. It’s similar to the one in the shower but larger.

The large hole is covered by a round or square metal grate for security. The sloped surface needed to be applied to let the water flows toward the drain. So, it’s important to construct the space properly.

Another type of garage floor drain is the trench system. It’s composed of a shallow trench that has a long metal grate to cover. It goes along the width of the garage which is installed just outside the door.

Whether you choose the hole or trench style, it must have an outlet. So, the water can smoothly flow to a suitable discharge point far from the house. Many garages have the drain connects to the sewer. There’s also possible to lead the water flows into the drain system of a storm.

Installing a Garage Floor Drain

installing a floor drain with lab preparation and retrofitting

The very first thing you should do is slab preparation and retrofitting. This process is best done when pouring the slab. You should make the slab sloped toward the drain. It will drive water to flow directly to the drain system. It will avoid the water being puddle on where it falls.

You can also use a retrofitted drain in this situation. However, it can also work effectively if the slab was not designed to support it. If you want to do the retrofitting, you will need to cut into the slab to get it runs the drain piping.

Do the refinishing after the installation. The best thing to do about this garage floor drain system to have a proper concrete contractor to finish the slab properly before building the floor. So, you don’t have t use the effortful retrofit.

A well-designed drain system for the garage can be achieved by adding more garage floor drain grate. The amount should effectively move the water to the appropriate location far from the house.

You can choose to have the drain grates according to the size and how much water you want to get rid of. There are a variety of sizes available to pick.

Installing a garage floor drain should follow the local regulations and building codes. Before installing anything, it’s recommended to consult the authority of the region. Some locations have strict rules about this, so put it in the main considerations.

Installing Garage Floor Drain Retroactively

installing drain retroactively should check the floor slopes

If your garage doesn’t have a floor drain, you should install it retroactively. First of all, you should check the floor slopes, make sure to install it at the lowest point of the surface.

The ideal type for this situation is the trench system just outside the garage door. The installation will be a fairly involved job. You need to be ready for the efforts and risks.

Bear in mind that the process will involve cutting out a swath of concrete. It’s done to accommodate the drain outside. If necessary, it will need further digging to provide a good draining system to a suitable outlet point.

It’s important to have sloped flooring. However, if your old garage has a flat floor, there’s one solution to do. Cut simple open channels into the floor to let the water flows to the drain. It’s an effective way to collect and more water and debris out of the garage.

On the other hand, you might an issue with rolling things and tripping on the element. Those problems seem better than having a wet garage.

Is It Possible to Install Garage Floor Drain Yourself?

is it possible to install garage floor drain yoursel

It’s possible if you know the steps, have all the tools, and the materials ready. As said before, it’s a fairly big project. The process may take more than a day. First of all, you have to get approval from the local authority. After that, you can begin the installation process.

Begin with digging the trenches for the garage floor drain plumbing. Make sure you don’t hit the other line and pipes. Tieing them into the existing septic system is an easier option you can do. This way is like a shortcut to the installation process. Using a backhoe will make it even easier.

After that, dig up the concrete floor of the garage using a jackhammer. Wear some protective kits for safety. This process is to make way for the new floor drain to connect with the previous pipes.

When the connection is made, pour the new part of concrete over the floor to fill up the dug-out area. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the concrete mixing and pouring. Finally, cover and trap it off for a finishing touch.

Having the Floor Drain System Maintenance

having the floor drain system maintenance

If your garage already has the proper floor drain, you have to give good maintenance. Make sure to clean it out regularly to function properly. Just lift the grate from the trench or hole drain. Then, you can begin to remove all the debris and dirt.

Try using a vacuum machine to do the cleaning. It will effectively remove all the debris. Having a garage floor drain is very helpful to prevent the water from to wet all the flooring space.

Also, you can use these drains to dispose of all hazardous waste like oil, paint, or dirty gasoline. It will damage them eventually. For the disposal, you can just take those materials to the approved place instead.

Dealing with Clogged Floor Drain Hole

dealing with clogged floor drain hole

One of the main issues with the floor drain is clogging. When it’s got clogged, you will deal with new problems. All the belongings and tools will probably get destroyed by the water. So, you need to know how to unclog a garage floor drain. Here is the step-by-step guide.

The first thing to do is to gather all the necessary tools. You need to prepare the cold chisel, pipe wrench, hammer, screwdriver, Teflon tape, wet/dry shop vacuum, penetrating oil, plumber’s drum auger or snake, bucket, towels, hand shovel, and de-icing solution.

After that, you can begin to remove the garage floor drain cover using a screwdriver. It might need a little bit of chiseling to get the screws when there’s some concrete covering.

Then, clean out the drain and check for the obvious cause of the clog. Take a look at the U-shaped trap because it’s the most potential place to get a clog.

Use a wet-dry shop vacuum to suck out the gunk from the trap. Put the hose down into the garage floor drain trap location. Then, it will begin to pull any pieces of items that are trapped in there. You may find things like plastic wrappers, screws, bolts, leaves, bolts, and all the possible detritus.

Lastly, pour a bucket of water into the drain you’ve already cleanout. Check if the water flows quickly or not. If the water smoothly flows into the drain, that means you have successfully unclogged it. Put the covering back on its place.

The Next Steps of Unclogging

the next steps of unclogging

If the water still moves slowly after following all the previous carefully, repeat the vacuuming process. There’s probably more clogs that miss out. Repeat the step of pouring a bucket of water. Make sure it flows down the drain quicker than before.

This the part where something doesn’t go as expected. If the water still moves slowly. Do step number 5. In a typical garage floor drain, you will find a clean-out plug that covers an auxiliary pipe that is joined with the drain line.

After removing this plug, you will let the water pass the trap and go directly to the line. So, it won’t go through the U-shaped trap.

You can continue to the next step is the previous one won’t work. Use the plumber’s auger or snake. Put in the cable and feeding it down the pipe. Do it until you reach the clog. After that, you should give it a few light tugs. It’s the way to attach the clog to pull it out.

This process needs extra effort and patient. Do it slowly and carefully until you feel something at the tip of the cable.

After the clog is pulled out, repeat the first process of this part. Get a bucket of water and start pouring it all to the drain and watch the water quickly flows to the ground. Then, replace the clean-out plug.

There you have it, the garage floor drain is unclogged. It will be ready to function well again.

Unclogging the Trench Floor Drain

unclogging the trench in anticipation of winter

Besides the hole drain, sometimes you get the same problem with the trench one. Because of the outdoor garage floor drain placement, it will get freezing up in the winter.

The one and the only solution is to use a de-icing solution. It will melt ice clog and solve the problem. If it’s not the issue, you may need to follow these simple steps.

Firstly, lift out the grate. You may need to use tools like hook, claw, or screwdrivers. The method of removing it depends on the design that it has. After that, you can begin scooping all the debris and dirt from the drain with a shovel.

Then, you should check the drain collecter. Clean the debris out of there. Usually, it’s the first thing that gets clogged often in the trench.

If the clog seems to be far inside the drainpipe, you may wanna remove the grate over the main hole to check what’s inside. The clog may lead down to the U-trap.

The next step is to such out the gunk from the pipe using a vacuum, the same one with the hole drain. Turn it on full power to maximize the effect.

After sucking all of it, pour water down the drain. Make sure it flows quickly. If the problem remains, repeat the “The Next Steps of Unclogging” to deal with it.

The Prevention of Garage Floor Drain Clogged

the prevention of floor drain clogged

If you hate dealing with that issue, you have to do some preventing ways to keep the garage floor drain from clogging up.

Having a slanted floor that goes toward the drain is the essential way to prevent clogging. It will make sure the water flows in the right way. The measurement of the slope should be in a minimum of 1/8 inch per foot. It will help to collect the dirty water and debris nearby the drain.

The standard location for garage floor drains is in the middle of the garage. If you have this system in your house, make sure you sweep the area regularly and always clean the grate from debris.

For the trench floor drain, make sure the channels are properly set into the floor. Keep the grates clean of any items that may cause clogging, cardboard, old tape, rags, wrappers, paper, and any flat items.


There are a few methods you can choose to apply according to the condition of your garage. Some steps of dealing with a clogged garage floor drain will guide you to handle the problem properly.

Moreover, there also many good reasons why you should have a garage floor drain installed. It’s the system that can save space. It will also secure all the furniture, tools, and other things inside.

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