Flood Information

The following information is being provided to alleviate potential problems.  Addition information can be found at www.ag.ndsu.edu.

To reduce flooding from drains and if a grid over a basement floor drain can be removed use a rubber ball to plug the drain.  A flexible ball about 1 1/4 times the inside diameter of the pipe can be wedged into the drain to create a tight seal.  The pressure might be quite high if water or sewage tries to come up, so brace the ball securely with a 2 x 4 against the ceiling.  Hold a board or piece of plywood on the ceiling and slide the 2 x 4 against the bottom of the board to avoid damage to plaster ceilings.  For suspended tile ceiling, remove a ceiling tile or two to get access to the ceiling joists.  Span a piece of 2 x 4 across the two joists and wedge the vertical 2 x 4 between it and the ball. 

Use commercially available drain plugs if possible - some hardware stores sell plugs that have a rubber center that expands to fill the pipe when the top and bottom metal plates are squeezed.  Other options to plug drains are listed below.  

If the grid over the floor drain is permanent, a partially inflated inner tube can be placed around the drain.  Place a square or two of plywood (not particle board) on top of the inner tube.  The plywood must be larger across than the inner tube to cover it.  Brace this in place just as with the ball on the drain.  Be prepared for some seepage.

To reduce flooding from other drains unbolt toilets from the floor and plug the outlet pipe using the same procedure as for floor drains.  Shower drains can be plugged this way too.  Most washing machines and basement sinks have their drain connections about three feet above the floor, so may not overflow if the water doesn't get that high.  If necessary, these drains can be disconnected and capped or plugged with braced rubber balls.