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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    2

    Default Appropriate use of basement floor drain

    I am renovating a basement laundry room and I'm wondering what the intended uses for a floor drain are...

    For example, previously the washing machine drained into a laundry tub, which drains via 1.5" ABS into the basement floor drain. I've moved the washing machine and now it drains into a proper 2" drain connected to the main sewer line on the other side of the room.

    Basically, I'm wondering if the laundry tub draining into the plumbing for the floor drain (under the concrete) is a hack job, or if that's considered "OK". The house was built in 1974 and the drain seems to work fine.

    If that's considered OK, then for curiosity's sake, what about a shower, or even a toilet? (Not that I'm planning either, but I'm curious as to the capacity of what I've always considered an "emergency" drain.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
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    1,168

    Default Re: Appropriate use of basement floor drain

    You cannot drain waste water into a floor drain. It is as you stated a hack job. Where is the floor drain draining to? (sewer line or dry well) Most floor drains are used for the purpose they are named for. (draining floors,not fixtures)

    John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Appropriate use of basement floor drain

    It depends. If it is tied to a storm drain no appliances should discharge into it, if it is tied the the sewer then it is OK.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Appropriate use of basement floor drain

    Thanks for the quick replies!

    Any ideas about how I figure out if it's tied to the sewer or not?

    The laundry room had been in the old configuration for at least 20 years, and I see no signs of the slab being cut for the "hack job", so it appears to be original to the house...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    florida
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    598

    Default Re: Appropriate use of basement floor drain

    Did someone mention Hack Job ?


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpbQqrUyLuo

    Spruceee this ones for you Bud.
    Gizmo

    Cut it 3 times & it's still to short.
    Inventor of the Miter Master Plus.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1

    Smile Re: Appropriate use of basement floor drain

    I don't know if this will help but you can probably check out basementdrain dot net

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Appropriate use of basement floor drain

    Camera the floor drain line to see if its connected to the sewer line, (black water system. If so you can tie to this line for a shower or laundry drain as long as it is 2"s or larger, as for a toilet, it needs to be 3"s or larger. It is probably a 2' or 3" trapped drain, no larger.
    If it is dry welled or gray water system, meaning it drains to street through grade or pump, it can not be used for anything but rain water or emergency flooding issues.
    If this drain is appropriate for sewage system configuration and you eliminate it, (the floor drain) make sure to install some sort of emergency drainage system in case of flooding, sump and pump system etc...
    Hope this helps, Chris

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    208

    Smile Re: Appropriate use of basement floor drain

    One Man Wrecking Crew:

    No, you really should leave your washing machine where it was draining into the laundry tub, which drains into the laundry area floor drain. That way, every time you do your laundry, you empty the washer grey water into the p-trap at the bottom of your basement floor drain p-trap, and that prevents sewer gas from wafting into your house through the floor drain. That is, the way things were before your changed them were correct. Move your washer back into the laundry room area so that it drains into your laundry room sink.

    The reason for the SEPARATE drainage of the washing machine into your basement's floor drain (while all the other drains from your house drain into the main drain line) is so that the p-trap at the bottom of your your basement floor drain is refilled every time you do laundry.

    Here's how your drainage plumbing works:

    Within 10 feet of the main toilet in your house will be a big 3 inch diameter pipe called the "stack" that runs vertically from just below your basement floor to just above your roof shingles. Your toilet empties into that stack. That stack goes through your house's roof and is open to the atmosphere. It also goes straight down through your basement floor.

    Once under your basement floor, that stack turns so that it's ALMOST horizontal and runs at a shallow downward angle to the city sewer pipe buried 16 feet under the MIDDLE of the city street you live on.

    The part of that "stack" pipe that's inside your house is commonly called the "vent stack". Once it turns almost horizontally and flows at a shallow downward angle to the city sewer under the middle of your street, it's called the "main drain line" from your house.

    Your laundry room floor drain has a p-trap at the bottom of it. The pipe that comes off that p-trap connects directly to the main drain line from your house.

    In houses that don't have sump pits, the weeping tiles around the base of a house's perimeter drain into the "catch basin" (also called "laundry room floor drain").

    So, when you get a really heavy rain, and the rain water in the soil around your house percolates down to the bottom of your basement floor, it drains into the weeping tiles just outside the perimeter of your basement floor. That prevents the hydrostatic pressure from building up so that water in the ground around your house wants the seep through your concrete basement walls and into your basement. That ground water drains into the weeping tiles around the base of your basement walls, and those weeping tiles drain into the floor drain in your basement laundry room area.

    The principle reason why your washing machine WAS connected to your basement laundry room sink that drained into your laundry room floor drain is so that the p-trap at the bottom of that laundry area basement floor drain was refilled with water every time you did laundry.

    Now, in the event of a drought, where the ground around your house is dry as a bone and no rain water is coming in through the weeping tiles to refill that p-trap at the bottom of your laundry room floor drain, then all the water in it evaporates, and smelly sewer gas comes up through the main drain line of your house, and then up through the pipe between that main drain line and your laundry room floor drain. And then, if the p-trap at the bottom of that laundry room floor drain is empty, the sewer gas comes wafting into your house through that floor drain and smells up your house.


    By keeping the washing machine in the laundry room area, and emptying into the laundry room sink, which empties into the laundry room floor drain, you keep the p-trap at the bottom of that floor drain full of water. That way, in the event of a drought, your basement (and whole house) won't end up smelling just like a sewer.

    I have to be painfully honest here. To have presumed that the plumbers that did your plumbing, and the inspectors that inspected it, allowed that "hack job" to persist until you "corrected" the problem, was "dumb" on your part. The plumbers did the job properly. The inspectors confirmed it was done right. It was only when you moved the washing machine so that it didn't drain (via the laundry room sink) into the basement floor drain did things go wrong.

    Now, in the event of a drought, what's to prevent sewer gas from the city sewer system from wafting into your house via the pipe that connects your basement floor drain to the main drain line from your house? NOTHING!

    Once the water at the bottom of the p-trap of your basement floor drain evaporates, then there's no reason why sewer gas in the city sewer system can't travel up your house's main drain line, then up the pipe from your basement floor drain into the p-trap at the bottom of that floor drain, into your basement.

    The whole reason for arranging things so that your washing machine ultimately pumped water into that basement floor drain was so that in the event of a drought, your house wouldn't get filled up with sewer gas from that basement floor drain.

    You're next move should be to move your washing machine back where it was.

    And, if you don't understand any part of this post, post again and I'll re-explain it. I'm good that way, and patient too. Your washing machine SHOULD have emptied, ultimately, into your basement floor drain. Without it doing that, you leave yourself exposed to the possibility that, in the event that no water come in through your basement weeping tiles, sewer gas from the sewer under the middle of the street you live on can waft into your house through an empty p-trap at the bottom of that basement floor drain is a reality.

    Please excuse me for being blunt. I'm new on this board. But, you shouldna presumed you were right in presuming that both the plumbers that plumbed your house and the inspectors that inspected that plumbing were both wrong. They were right, you wuz wrong. Move the washing machine back to where it wuz.

    Post again with any questions. I'm good that way.
    Last edited by Nestor; 06-21-2011 at 06:43 AM.

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