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Old 01-31-2009, 09:42 AM   #1
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Plastic Water Dam???

In our basement, all of the main water-related items (heater, water main, softener, sump pump, etc.) is located in a rectangular-shaped bump out with dimensions of about 3' x 12'. There is a floor drain in this area also. I was thinking of building a "water dam" perhaps about 6" high and the 12' in length. I would use silicone to seal the dam to the floor and foundation. I envision that if ever there was a water leak in this area, the 6" high dam would keep the water from moving into our finished basement area until it all went down the floor drain. Has anyone ever heard of this type of idea? If so, what would be the best product to use to build the dam? I was think perhaps a couple pieces of PVC decking screwed together?????


Last edited by jweiner; 01-31-2009 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:24 AM   #2
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What currently separates this area from your finished area? Will there be any foot traffic across it apart from maintainance? Does this area include the washer and dryer?

I don't have any practical suggestions, and I realize this isn't an answer to your question, but I'm throwing it out there anyway. We have a somewhat similar situation. A huge laundry room with floor drain that includes the water heater and water softener. This room also doubles as my fabric studio.
If there was a "damn" across the room separating the two sides I would kill myself. Not intentionally, but I know I would end up hurting myself eventually and badly on the thing.


Last edited by Blondesense; 01-31-2009 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:16 PM   #3
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Essentially there is just a partition wall with a 36" doorway separating this area from our finished space in the basement. There would be no traffic across it. I thought about using rectangular PVC fencing or decking material to make the "dam" and was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts.
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:17 PM   #4
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I don't see anything problem. As long as you properly seal where your "dam" will meet the floor it seems fine to me. Also, with no foot traffic I would not worry about it being a 6'' wall to step over when you walk through the door.
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:43 PM   #5
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A full blown water heater failure or a broken pipe will not stop the flood. You want a solution that will address a worse case scenario, not the best case.
They have these devices you incorporate into the water main along with devices that detect the leaks and shut off the water main. I put one called the Water Cop into one of my customers upstate, weekend homes. It's a motorized switch that will shut off the water main if one of the remote devices gets wet. I put the remote units in each bath, the kitchen and in the basement by the well, water conditioning unit and the boiler/water heater(all one area).
Doing this, along with your barrier will stop most water from getting where it will do damage. Water heaters can fail two ways. One is that they just drain out their contents. The other is when they fail like an open faucet. The drain will never keep up.
The unit I put in ran about $600. That included the water main unit, four remote devices and a switch you could push if you needed to shut off the water in an emergency.
The unit was put in so she doesn't have another $57,000 loss due to a frozen burst pipe.
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