Drain Cleaning Tips

Everything You Should Know About Garage Floor Drains

garage floor drains

A garage floor drain is meant to serve as the outlet of all the water that used to enter the garage with your vehicles in a rainy or snowy day or other tools you used to store in your garage. You can’t even ignore its necessity while washing cars or cleaning the garage floor.

Garage Floor Drains

Turns out, a garage without floor drain is unimaginable. Its absence can make the water puddling and sitting on the surface anticipating accidental fall due to slippery floor. So, if you don’t want to wait for the dirty water getting evaporated itself or not willing to wipe them every now and then, a garage floor drain can the ideal option for you.

And since it’s puzzling to decide which type of floor drain will suit your purpose and how to install them, and most importantly, what you need to do to unclog if the drains get blocked, in this article, we’ve done your work and covered every bit of info you should know about garage floor drains.

Types of Garage Floor Drains

There are 2 types of garage floor drains.

1. Square or round floor drain

  • This type of drains can be of minimum 6 inches to maximum about 1 foot in size. A metal grate is set over their entry and the garage floor around these drains is kept somewhat sloped. The reason behind such engineering is the idea of boosting the liquids on the floor to reach the drain opening from all areas.
  • You’ll see different in their materials used in the square drains through. For example, when someone plan it to use for residential purpose, PVC pipe is the suitable one. On the other hand, for commercial usage, make sure you get the steel one.
  • Square or round drains come for a comparatively low price tag. They are straightforward to install and you can complete it within the shortest possible time. Best of all, they work flawlessly making the water flow interrupted if you manage to couple it up with the accurate pitch.
  • The best place to locate a square or round floor drain is the center of your garage floor so that it get access to maximum amount of water.

2. Trench floor drain

  • The trench drain, alternatively known as, channel drain, is another type of garage floor drains. It looks like a shallow trench which you need to conceal with a long metal grate, so that nothing but water passes through the grate. This treatment saves not only from garage flooding but reduces the chance of getting the garage floor drain backing up.
  • It works best in snowy weather when you enter and then park your car covered with snow. Because once the snow begins to melt, they will gradually drip on your garage floor leading to a flood inside the garage. At the time, the trench floor drain comes handy by letting go the water outside.
  • Trench floor drains are costlier. But once installed, you’ll thank yourself for investing on them as they control the water flow without frequent clogging. And unlike the square or round garage floor drains, you’ll need to locate them outside the garage.

Garage Floor Drain Installation


Garage floor drain installation is a step you need to take care during the making of the garage. That is, the floor of your garage, including the driveway must keep in a slanted position toward the drain, so to ensure easy water flow exactly on the drain hole.

Facts About Installing Square/Round Garage Floor Drain

  • Most of the garages possess this type of drain due to its simple installation process. You can effortlessly put it in place.
  • Plan to install it exactly in the center of your garage floor.
  • Give extra focus on Pre Planning. Decide the place and process of the setup of the drain pipe.
  • You must keep some space amidst the concrete for placing the pipe in-between.
  • And you have to decide where you want the end of the drain pipe, that is, the destination of all water’s meeting the sewerage line beforehand. Since some areas follow certain rules when it comes to restricting the free flow of chemicals or oily substances that may drip from the car.
  • So, use a special filtration or opt for a catch basin system to avoid mixing them with the main water stream.
  • If you’re a DIY enthusiast and planning to install the drain pipe in your garage floor by yourself, it’s completely possible. By carefully setting the pitches in their accurate place, more precisely, by levelling the concrete floor minimum ⅛ in. per ft. towards the drain from the farthest corner, you can have your garage floor drain perfectly set.

Facts About Installing Trench Garage Floor Drain

  • Trench drains arrives as some sections which you can attach one by one. A lot of brands of such sections are available out there and they vary length. You can mostly expect to have them with the length of 18-inch or 10 ft. long.
  • Start with the smaller section, fit it in the center of your garage and gradually join the other sections to cover the entire garage.
  • Give extra attention while you are installing the trench drain, because if somehow any of them is misplaced, the outcome can be disastrous. A little more concern can save you from experiencing some mishap like their going out of place while pouring the concrete floor.
  • Though trench drains are comparatively pricer and installing them takes longer than usual, it’s outstanding active performance for years will make you proud of yourself for acting upon this decision.
  • For better outcome, you can choose to have polymer concrete with a galvanized grate on top. And to make the effort less struggling, purchase the model that comes with the in-built pitch. But if you don’t find working much with the shallow to deep ones, that’s wholly up to you.
  • Once the trench drain is mounted precisely, you are good to have uninterrupted flow of water through the sewer system linked to your garage.

Installing a Trench Drain Retroactively

In case, the plan of your garage floor construction goes wrong and you pour the concrete without installing the garage floor drain beforehand, a trench drain would be the lifesaver then. Because you can’t expect to see a square or round drain working without proper slope or pitch that is liable to moisture the path to the drain.

Unlike the square or round drain, that require enough room for accessing the pipes underneath the concrete, you yourself or your hired concrete contractor can install the trench drain without tearing a wide area of concrete.

Here’s a step by step guide to install a trench drain into an existing garage floor

  • Step 1: Measure the size of your purchased trench drain.
  • Step 2: Cut the concrete keeping 8 inches space for the piece of trench drain both vertically and horizontally.
  • Step 3: To direct the water towards drainage pipe, make a hole through the foundation wall
  • Step 4: Place the drain pipe outside of the foundation by digging a trench. Make sure it’s significantly far from your garage.
  • Step 5: Once you lay your trench drain in some lower point, it’s time to spill concrete mix over your concrete floor. The real trick lies in keeping the trench drain’s height moderately lower than  than the overall surface of your garage.
  • Step 6: The placement of trench drain completes here. Now, you need to dig a little more so to join the trench drain with the appropriate release line leading to the main sewerage.

That’s it!

Unclogging Your Garage Floor Drain

Now, as you know about different types of garage floor drain along with the process of garage floor drain installation, you are all set to have a smoothly running floor drain. But still there’s a problem awaiting for you. The incident of getting the garage floor drain clogged.

As precaution, we have already placed a grate over the drain to stop the non-disposable materials from dropping on the drain as they may cause the drain backing up hindering free flow of water through the system. However, if you fail to keep it clean all the time, chances are the water starts logging on your garage floor, resulting slippery surface and impairment to your tools and electronics lying on your garage surface.

So, in your journey to unclog garage floor drain, the following the few steps will definitely come handy.

Basic method

  • Remove the grate.
  • Bring out the dirt and debris from the drain channel with a shovel.
  • After the opening of the drainpipe is cleaned, gush out a huge amount of hot water.
  • Once the drain starts running smoothly, you can bring the grate back to the mouth of the drain.

Intermediate method

  • If primary method fails to make the drain work properly, mix regular salt and de-icing chemical with water. How much to add? Stop amalgamating the ingredients into water only when they don’t dissolve anymore.
  • Spill the solution inside the garage drain and wait until it liquify the lumps of garbage blocking the interior section.
  • When all of them winds up, the flow inside the system will again be normal.

Advanced 3 methods

  1. Apply some non-toxic liquid chemical to break the frozen blockage.
  2. Arm yourself with necessary equipment (Chisel, hammer, screwdriver, pipe wrench, plumber’s auger or electrical snake etc.) to unclog garage floor drain.
  3. Hire a professional plumber to sort out the headache of unclogging the drain

To wrap up

You can easily install a garage floor drain in your new garage following the guidelines we shared here. You can also manage to have them if no built-in floor is present in your existing garage. Decide the type of floor drain, install them and keep on doing regular maintenance to avoid the frequent drain backing up. If somehow, the water starts logging, feel no stress. Proceed step by step (basic, intermediate and finally, advanced methods) on your way to unclog garage floor drain.

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