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Thread: Avoiding a dry drain trap

  1. #1

    Default Avoiding a dry drain trap

    I have a floor drain in the area below my washer on the second floor. Since the drain is never used - I'm concerned the trap will dry up. How do I avoid this, or are there special types of traps for this type of application? Of course, I can just dump a little water down it once in a while. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Default

    You can dump water in from time to time, they do have trap primers, or the best thing in my NSHO, for your situation, is to use RV antifreeze.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Mikebarone's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by afree View Post
    I have a floor drain in the area below my washer on the second floor. Since the drain is never used - I'm concerned the trap will dry up. How do I avoid this, or are there special types of traps for this type of application? Of course, I can just dump a little water down it once in a while. Thanks.
    I have seen a drain, that is equipped with a small, (I think it was a ¼”) water supply line that kept the drain primed. I don’t know how you install one of these drains, (with out taking out a lot of drywall on the first floor ceiling) and then you would have to tap into a water supply line.
    I don’t know if they make a retro fit device but, here’s a hair brain idea. You could remove the existing cold water faucet and install one that has that side port, (the type that you can branch off for a swamp cooler) and run a ¼” copper tubing to the drain, and then at the end of the tubing install a pressure compensation, (very low flow) irrigation type drip head. Along with this installation, you could even install a in-line ¼” valve, (up by the faucet just after where you installed the copper tubing) where you could regulate the flow to the drip head.
    A simpler fix would be to poke a small hole in the bottom of the drain line to the washer, and every time the washer drains, a small amount of water would hit the floor. A draw back would be is that you would probably have some soap scum build up on the floor, by doing it this way.
    Like I said, these are just a few hair brained ideas.

    Good luck,

    Mike

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default trap

    I am glad you prefaced those suggestion with the word "harebrained" because that is exactly what they are. A constant drip, regardless how small would be an expensive remedy. Installing a complete timer controlled system would be complex and expensive, and a hole in the drain line, well we won't even comment on that, especially if you mean the drain line in the wall. There are trap primers that attach to the water line, but they are often ineffective. Those that fit into the water line are the most reliable as far as maintaining a trap seal. But none of them are good prostpects for a retrofit. Anti freeze in the trap is the best solution and only has to be replenished after water has flowed through the floor drain.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member Mikebarone's Avatar
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    Default just a thought...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikebarone View Post
    I have seen a drain, that is equipped with a small, (I think it was a ¼”) water supply line that kept the drain primed. I don’t know how you install one of these drains, (with out taking out a lot of drywall on the first floor ceiling) and then you would have to tap into a water supply line.
    I don’t know if they make a retro fit device but, here’s a hair brain idea. You could remove the existing cold water faucet and install one that has that side port, (the type that you can branch off for a swamp cooler) and run a ¼” copper tubing to the drain, and then at the end of the tubing install a pressure compensation, (very low flow) irrigation type drip head. Along with this installation, you could even install a in-line ¼” valve, (up by the faucet just after where you installed the copper tubing) where you could regulate the flow to the drip head.
    A simpler fix would be to poke a small hole in the bottom of the drain line to the washer, and every time the washer drains, a small amount of water would hit the floor. A draw back would be is that you would probably have some soap scum build up on the floor, by doing it this way.
    Like I said, these are just a few hair brained ideas.

    Good luck,

    Mike
    After thought…instead of remove your existing faucet, you could get a brass adapter that would take it from hose bib to pipe thread, and then you can get a brass adapter that would have the ¼” side tap, and then get another adapter that would take you back to hose bib threads.

    Mike

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member Mikebarone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikebarone View Post
    After thought…instead of remove your existing faucet, you could get a brass adapter that would take it from hose bib to pipe thread, and then you can get a brass adapter that would have the ¼” side tap, and then get another adapter that would take you back to hose bib threads.

    Mike
    More after thoughts....instead of the irrigation drip head, you could go out and get a drain primer, and pull out the primer part of it, and install it at the end of the ¼” copper line.

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you wanted to risk warranty issues on the WM, you could tap into the fill line after the solonoid valve with a check valve and appropriate backflow and run that to the drain as your trap primer. Then, each time you ran the WM, some water would go down the drain. Hiding that so you didn't trip over, kink, or damage the line would likely be tought...pour some in when you think of it or fill with the RV antifreeze.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8

    Default

    Guys, thanks for all the suggestions, think I'll just go and get some RV anti-freeze and try that.

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