Basement drain clogged with sand and leaves

I noticed that when I do laundry in the basement, (machine drains to basement sink), the sink backs up and drains veeeery slowly. There's no lint in the sink pipe. So I looked around, and found that both of my basement floor drains (the large holes in the floor) are full of SOIL and some LEAVES (mostly soil), nearly to the floor level. The soil seems densely packed (I spooned some out), which means I can't DIY the problem by a hand snake.
I wonder: is it something doable by drain specialists with a motorized snake? Or too serious and requires heavy machinery (knock on wood)? What might have caused the drains to fill with all this debris?
Thanks for all your tips!
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Just a quick add: we do not have the outside overfloow (it was removed by previous home owner at least 20 yrs ago), if that matters.
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Broken pipe?
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On 12/26/2010 15:26, allthings5 wrote:

Do you have an outside stairwell with a floor drain?
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Sounds about like my place. Idiot previous owner, when he added the addition with the 2-car garage, blocked off the old basement 1-car garage, and filled in the cut in the front yard. Trouble is, I'm pretty sure that is where the floor drains and footer drains 'drained to daylight'. Either that or to a drywell under where the addition now sits. Basement drains were full of dirt when I moved in (which I burned out a garage sale shop vac removing), but the pipes were rusted shut so bad that a pro auger company gave up after an hour. One of these days I'll mud them over with sak-crete, and use an angle grinder to cut off the old washer standpipe, which apparently drained to the same place, and mud it shut too. Leastways, it came up through the nearest floor drain when I tested it after I moved in.
In OP's case, they probably tied to the footer drains, which probably have failed. If no basement stairwell, maybe their idiot previous owner directed the downspouts into the footer drains. (Mine simply shoved pipes straight down at the corners of the house, and he was puzzled why basement was damp all the time.)
-- aem sends...
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Thanks aemeijers, I thought it might be the downspouts, but then I remembered that I disconnected them (city regulation for the past five years or so), and they just water the lawn away from the foundations.
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On Mon, 27 Dec 2010 04:28:40 -0800 (PST), allthings5

Don't know how you would get leaves and soil in a basement floor drain. Can leaves blow in when an outside door is open?
Anyway, the floor drains I'm familiar with tie into the sanitary sewer. There's a p-trap to keep gas from coming out. I had a clogged one in my old house the plumber couldn't snake. Was plugged up when I bought the house. He had to jackhammer the floor around it out to get the trap out, then he got it clear, refitted, and poured new concrete. Cost me almost nothing because he my neighbor's son and wanted me to work for him - so I'm not recommending that. I think somebody had dumped concrete or plaster in that drain which is why it couldn't be snaked. I wanted it working. In your case it might not be worth a lot of expense clearing it unless you have a reason.
If you don't have a collapsed tile, you might try to snake it until you get it clear, pouring water in while you do it. It could be that common basement dirt/dust has built up in there over the years because it hasn't had any water run through it. That could be cleared with some snake work. Just guessing, since you didn't provide any real history or how the drains are designed.
--Vic
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No outside stairwell, and no outside drain. Also my basement window wells are well covered. Thanks Bob!
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Basement-drain-clogged-with-sand-and-leaves-611451-.htm Francisquito wrote:
Bob wrote:

Hello, you seem to know what my problem is. I have a similar problem and there is an outside 3-step stairwell with a floor drain from where the water, sand and leaves come out filling the small area where the stairwell ends. During a recent heavy rain the water tried to get in the house and we spent all night buckling it out; I have contacted several people, they've given me different views, I have installed a pump for protection but I don't know what to do. Please help! -------------------------------------
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