View Full Version : Special Basement Drain
10-20-2004, 12:57 PM
The current scenario (http://www.uncoolcentral.com/images/dump/stupid_pipe.gif) is ugly, rusty, and requires occasional maintenance to be effective.
The goal is a simple, pretty, rust-proof, maintenance-free solution.
The prize? A laminated certificate of engineering achievement placard placed by the drain in your honor, and my eternal gratitude. (I'll even email you a pic of the placard in place!)
When it rains a lot, (and it's rained more here in the past few months than any other few-month period I can recall,) the small hole in the foundation from the old oil tank (used to be used for heating,) sends a little rivulet into my basement.
I came home from work during the first hurricane to find several of inches of water near the basement drain. Damn. Then I pulled the pipe (diagram) out, and the water drained. Easy.
I knew the second hurricane was coming, so I removed the pipe. Rivulet of water came and went with little incident.
A few days ago, it rained all day and saturated the ground. Then, though there was only a "20% chance of showers" it rained cats and dogs last night. Rivulet returned, pipe was in the drain. Standing water ensued this morning.
So I plan to address the oil-tank hole as best I can in the spring. I need a solution until then, and in case I can't totally fix the problem in the spring.
1.-prevent gases (and water) from coming up through the drain
2.-allow for a similar pipe to accept a few drain-pipes (might add a sink in the basement)
3.-allow for "regular" non-pipe drainage w/out removal of said pipe
4.-not entail excessive digging or removal of the concrete floor
I can't leave the drain open, because a nasty ass smell can pervade the house – and the GF sometimes forgets to put the pipe in when she does laundry (yes I’m lucky) and the whole-house humidifier drains into the pipe too.
I have a couple of ideas, but if you can think of anything, or need more fun diagrams, let me know.
If winning solution is a collaborative effort, individuals split prizes, except for my gratitude, as there'll be enough of that to go around.
I'm going back to my stinky, wet basement.
Looks like you have a couple of issues. The pipe you show has no trap, or at least as shown. Without it, you should be exposed to the same gases as when you remove it to drain the floor.
My suggestion, aside from fixing the trap situation, would be to fill the hole in the foundation from the inside with hydrolic concrete. This should at least stop the inflow of ground water. Depending on the foundation construction when weather improves, you may need and or want to do additional work from the outside.
Of your five requirements, I think #5 is the only one you have a chance of satisfying. All the others are either mutually exclusive, or require someong, preferably a plumber, to check that drain to see if it is really a drain or a cleanout being used for a drain. Ane there is more to connecting a sink than just hooking it to that drain pipe.
10-20-2004, 11:07 PM
The no-trap isn't a problem when the pipe is in, as the two hoses feeding it seal the top of the pipe.
I'll surely fix the hole in the foundation when the weather clears (i.e. May 2005) but there are other, smaller h2o seepings too. *sigh*
I'm certain that I'll have to dig and install a trap below the concrete - or invent one doozy of a thing. It's shaping up in my mind right now...
Except I can't get past the odor/gas problem. A float system would prevent water from coming up, but not gas.
I guess I'll just have to be all conventional and do some digging.
Your drawing does not clear up any of the previous questions. I am curious how two hoses into a pipe seal it, unless they are permanently glued/caulked/epoxied into it. If this is a cleanout, then installing a "P" trap will not be a simple "take this out and put that in its place" job. There is a new trap primerless fitting for some floor drains that is currently being evaluated, which has rubber piece that opens to let water out and closes to keep gas and backflow in. I am not sure if it is production yet, or if it would be adaptable to your drain, since you do not show any threads for the rusty thing in the floor to unscrew from.
10-21-2004, 07:49 AM
Interesting, I have the same set up over at my sisters house. In the furnace room the drain is as pictured but there is a cover for it that has a built in cap underneath it that fits over the pipe sticking up, like a cap which is underneath the cover and is part of it and the cover which has holes around the outer rim. The a/c condensate line runs over to this drain and dumps out on the floor right next to this drain thing. Recently it started stinking at that location so I assumed the trap had dried up and I removed the cover, and dumped in a couple buckets of water, the existing level of water didn't change and it still stinks, someone suggested this cover w/cap is some kind of backflow device. Anyway the floor with pipe attachment in picture looks just like what I have...any suggestions...as to what this thing is? ...Still stinking like sewer gas..Also we had to go to the laundry room to get the buckets of water, that room is about 35 feet away and when I went for the second bucket the floor in that room (Laundry) was all wet?, presumably from the floor drain in that room???We then ran all kinds of water all over the house but couldn't get it to come out that drain again???Someone suggested it was because the cover/cap gizmo was removed?? We decided to give up....any ideas?
10-21-2004, 02:49 PM
The two hoses into the current pipe do a DECENT job of sealing it. That's not to say perfect, but they're damn snug in there. With the pipe in place, you might be able to smell a little something nasty if you put your nose in places it shouldn't really be.
Where can find more info about this "new trap primerless fitting" it sounds like I'd be a good evaluation case. Hell, I'd pay to evaluate ;) It sounds like the best idea yet. I'd love to look into it.
Casman, I'd love to see a ghetto drawing of your sister's setup that's similar to mine. I don't know if that'd help me comment on your problem, but it couldn't hurt.
Maybe your furnace room is on one end of the line, and ties into the laundry room b4 it exits. There could be a nasty smelling dead thing blocking the line b/w the laundry room and the outside world. Your basement drains might be on a different (storm drain) system than the rest of your house (sanitary) so that other drains wouldn't cause the same mess.
It is being evaluated by the plumbing code governing bodies to see if it will do an adequate job so it can be incorporated into the plumbing codes.
10-21-2004, 11:20 PM
(the beauty of rural areas... no plumbing code, except when you sell your house, and only then, if you know about it... god knows WTF is jimmy-rigged in my house...)
Regardless, I think I've got a solution. I sent the challenge out to a list-serve I'm on. The following diagram outlines it.
Looking for feedback.
10-21-2004, 11:53 PM
If you look down the pipe and there is water standing, then you may have a p-trap there. If so, it should also have a vent pipe nearby to break the siphon on the trap when it drains.
If there is no standing water, (no water seal) you will need to add a p-trap and a vent.
While you are at it, you may as well break out the concrete, and add the other plumbing you need.
From your count, you are looking at a:
and sink drain
All of these will need to be trapped and vented.
The picture above is not a solution.
10-22-2004, 08:12 AM
Hey uncoolcentral, Although I can't figure out how to do the ghetto drawing, your picture is perfect, ie., I have the rusty ass flange thing with the pipe sticking up just like yours, but instead of a pipe going into it I have a drain cover. Looking in it appears to be a 4 inch pipe reduced to like yours on top with an opening about 1 1/2 or so. The drain cover is flat on top solid on top, with holes around the outside, then when flipped over you can see what I can only describe as a cap integral to the cover underneath sized to fit over the pipe? fitting sticking up from the drain flange thing...I'm ging to take this drain cover to the plumbing joint and ask what it is....
10-22-2004, 09:41 AM
The drawing which your buddies provided is an S-trap, which is illegal under every plumbing code, because they tend to suck themselves dry.
10-22-2004, 01:11 PM
Ok then, how about I add a 1/2" vent tube to the works and kill the S-trap, making it a straight pipe?
amazing new diagram
The gasses would go through the vent, which would equalize any pressure to prevent siphoning too.
10-22-2004, 01:14 PM
S-traps aren't up to code? I don't doubt that they aren't, you guys certainly would know that better than I would -- I just hadn't heard that before. I think every sink in every house i've ever lived in has had them -- I know the two sinks in my current house do. What's the correct replacement?
I am surprised that no one has asked you about your sewer system? Since you are in a rural area, do you have a septic tank? If the hole in the floor (which could well be a cleanout) runs to a septic tank, and if you are running rain water into and through your septic tank to your drainage field, you could be saturating your drainage field---a serious problem. Rain water (all storm water) is required (by every code I know) to be separate from the sanitary drainage system. Rainwater generally goes to rivers, streams, aquifers, etc, etc. But, once it is mixed with drainage water, it is contaminated and destined for your drainage field or the sewage treatment plant. Rainwater can increase the amount of water that needs to be treated by incalcuable (is that a real word) amounts.
Remember that we are here to help you. And the right fix is usually not the easiest one.
10-22-2004, 02:11 PM
They're saying that a vented P-trap is the way to go... or something. Seems weird to me too. I see S-traps everywhere. I want to know if my latest diagram is a decent solution though.
Look reasonable to everyone?
If not, why?
10-22-2004, 02:24 PM
The only thing (to my knowledge) leading to the septic system is the lone toilet. AFAIK everything else dumps into the creek about 30' from the house. I'm almost positive that this basement drain does not go into the septic, because if it did, the system would've surely backed up when those annoying hurricane remnants dropped a shit-ton of water. Also, the smell didn't start until several weeks after the hurricanes.
The septic is a new system, installed just b4 I bought the house in June 2004, but has a very small bed, and also dumps directly into the creek.
Re: my lates diagram, I know that this won't prevent water from flowing back up, but that has not been a problem, and I guess that if water has to back up somewhere, this drain is where I'd want to find out about it. ;)