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Old 07-17-2010, 02:57 PM   #1
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Basement floor drains


Hi, I have a question about how basement floor drains are setup. I have 3 in my basement and I'm not sure if there are traps for them. Should there be and if so, would it be obvious if they did? I don't see any water in them. I'm concerned that there might be sewer gasses coming into my house if there is nothing stopping it. Would the whole house have some sort of trap where everything leaves the house? House is 100 years old, but looks like the drains are relatively new, because the soil stack and a basement sink have ABS coming out of newish concrete floor. If they should have traps, and if they don't have them, I'd like to add them myself and would like any advice about proceeding with this project. Or new ideas/ devices for dealing with gross basement floor drains. I tend to have lots of spiders and centipedes and I'm wondering if that has any connection to the drains too. I'm in Toronto if that matters.

Thanks!

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Old 07-17-2010, 03:54 PM   #2
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Basement floor drains


[quote=zantar;470943]Hi, I have a question about how basement floor drains are setup. I have 3 in my basement and I'm not sure if there are traps for them. Should there be and if so, would it be obvious if they did? I don't see any water in them. I'm concerned that there might be sewer gasses coming into my house if there is nothing stopping it. Would the whole house have some sort of trap where everything leaves the house? House is 100 years old, but looks like the drains are relatively new, because the soil stack and a basement sink have ABS coming out of newish concrete floor. If they should have traps, and if they don't have them, I'd like to add them myself and would like any advice about proceeding with this project. Or new ideas/ devices for dealing with gross basement floor drains. I tend to have lots of spiders and centipedes and I'm wondering if that has any connection to the drains too. I'm in Toronto if that matters.

Hi,
Yes, the floor drain should be trapped. Pour a bucket of water in them. You should see water in the trap quickly. I would hire a licensed plumber to install the traps if you don't have them already.

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Old 07-17-2010, 04:23 PM   #3
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Yes, the floor drain should be trapped. Pour a bucket of water in them. You should see water in the trap quickly. I would hire a licensed plumber to install the traps if you don't have them already.
Thanks for the response. Water definitely does not fill it up. There just remains a hollow drain sound and no water. So I guess that definitely means no traps?

This isn't something I could do? I'm not scared to break a little concrete and I've done plenty of above ground plumbing.. It's just a mystery to me what is buried underground, which is why I asked here.

Thanks.
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:48 PM   #4
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Basement floor drains


if your house is 100 years old you probably have a 6 in. house trap out in your yard. do you have an outside cleanout in your yard?
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Old 07-18-2010, 02:21 AM   #5
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if your house is 100 years old you probably have a 6 in. house trap out in your yard. do you have an outside cleanout in your yard?
HI, Yes we do have a cleanout- in fact it was replaced a few years back because some roots had broken through the old clay. But I don't know if there was a trap removed and or put back into the ground. All I remember at this point was them tying in PVC wye cleanout. Thanks.
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Old 07-18-2010, 04:00 PM   #6
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Basement floor drains


Before you start busting up your floor you might consider hiring a service plumber with a camera to make a video of your drain system. hire an experienced service plumber not a salesman. What state are you in?
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:09 PM   #7
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Before you start busting up your floor you might consider hiring a service plumber with a camera to make a video of your drain system. hire an experienced service plumber not a salesman. What state are you in?
That's probably a good idea. I'm in the state of Ontario Thanks!
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Old 07-19-2010, 02:15 AM   #8
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Is your best option. I had 2 jobs in our area that I did Cameras for the Home owner and had different results for each
1- Pipes had no trap and we broke up the ground and installed them
2- Pipes had no traps but were pumping into the sump pumps... Illegal here, but no need for a trap
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:42 AM   #9
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That's probably a good idea. I'm in the state of Ontario Thanks!
Hey Im in the state of Ontario too

Just finished demolishing my basement and now I (like yourself) am a bit unsure as to what sort of drains I have running under the basement floor. I cannot even distinguish where my sanitary exits the house. Im guessing towards the side as it might "T" in with my neighbours and then run straight ahead towards the city sanitary drain at the front of the house.......
(I was told this by a fellow neighbour & I think he might be correct)

Regardless I want to go ahead and change EVERYTHING (drain wise) b/c my home was built in the mid 1940s and i want nothing but ABS or PVC running underneath my concrete floor. So before I start busting up the concrete floor I think calling in a plumber with a scope could save me alot of time and money in extra concrete for areas I wont have to demolish...lol

I wouldn't be able to stomach the fact of spending $15-$20,000+ on my basement only to have to bust up the floor a year or 2 later b/c of an old rotted clay or cast drain....might as well spend a few bucks now and feel comfortable knowing all underground "poo pipes" were changed.....lol

I wonder if Stephensons or Home Depot rent out drain scope cameras ???
(I'll have to look into that)

Good Luck to us
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:06 AM   #10
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Basement floor drains


We rent cameras all the time. I recommend spanding a couple more dollars and getting the locator with it.Have a second person go by with the locator and paint and mark where your pipe is located.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:53 PM   #11
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We rent cameras all the time. I recommend spanding a couple more dollars and getting the locator with it.Have a second person go by with the locator and paint and mark where your pipe is located.
YES! the locator would be a big help. Any clue what it would cost to rent a drain scope & locator ?

Im in Toronto Canada btw...... I know I'll look into it soon enough but if anyone would have a rough idea what it would cost I guess it might help lessen the blow....lol

I know it cant be much when you compare the spending on a scale of finishing a basement......but evvery penny counts these days. (at least for me it does )

TIA
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Old 07-29-2010, 03:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 57_Hemi View Post
Hey Im in the state of Ontario too

Just finished demolishing my basement and now I (like yourself) am a bit unsure as to what sort of drains I have running under the basement floor. I cannot even distinguish where my sanitary exits the house. Im guessing towards the side as it might "T" in with my neighbours and then run straight ahead towards the city sanitary drain at the front of the house.......
(I was told this by a fellow neighbour & I think he might be correct)

Regardless I want to go ahead and change EVERYTHING (drain wise) b/c my home was built in the mid 1940s and i want nothing but ABS or PVC running underneath my concrete floor. So before I start busting up the concrete floor I think calling in a plumber with a scope could save me alot of time and money in extra concrete for areas I wont have to demolish...lol

I wouldn't be able to stomach the fact of spending $15-$20,000+ on my basement only to have to bust up the floor a year or 2 later b/c of an old rotted clay or cast drain....might as well spend a few bucks now and feel comfortable knowing all underground "poo pipes" were changed.....lol

I wonder if Stephensons or Home Depot rent out drain scope cameras ???
(I'll have to look into that)

Good Luck to us
57 Hemi -

As long as you're going through that much trouble to replace all the plumbing in the house, I would suggest eliminating the common line with your neighbor. That's not allowed anymore, nor did it ever make sense. If there's a blockage that occurs downstream of the WYE not "T" then both houses can be effected. If you sit lower than the neighbor and a blockage occurs while you happen to be on vacation, then you come home to a weeks worth of your neighbors meals in your basement. Your neighbor may never know there was such a problem or vice versa.

As far as renting a camera; you can probably do that but locating takes some practice. If you hire a service plumbing technician to do it, you'd probably save some money but be prepared for a sales pitch. Also may not have the most accurate marks if they're not doing the excavation. If you hire a company the specializes in just locating or video inspection, you may pay about the same as the plumber but without the sales pitch.

Around here only ABS is allowed inside the house and/or under a slab. Outside the foundation the lateral transitions to 30/34 grade PVC after the WYE for the cleanout. Also if the home sits lower than the nearest upstream manhole a backflow valve is required. Which I would install regardless, if you don't plan to eliminate the shared line with your neighbor.
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Old 07-30-2010, 11:26 PM   #13
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57 Hemi -

As long as you're going through that much trouble to replace all the plumbing in the house, I would suggest eliminating the common line with your neighbor. That's not allowed anymore, nor did it ever make sense. If there's a blockage that occurs downstream of the WYE not "T" then both houses can be effected. If you sit lower than the neighbor and a blockage occurs while you happen to be on vacation, then you come home to a weeks worth of your neighbors meals in your basement. Your neighbor may never know there was such a problem or vice versa.

As far as renting a camera; you can probably do that but locating takes some practice. If you hire a service plumbing technician to do it, you'd probably save some money but be prepared for a sales pitch. Also may not have the most accurate marks if they're not doing the excavation. If you hire a company the specializes in just locating or video inspection, you may pay about the same as the plumber but without the sales pitch.

Around here only ABS is allowed inside the house and/or under a slab. Outside the foundation the lateral transitions to 30/34 grade PVC after the WYE for the cleanout. Also if the home sits lower than the nearest upstream manhole a backflow valve is required. Which I would install regardless, if you don't plan to eliminate the shared line with your neighbor.
Great !!! thanks for the advice..... oh and yes a backflow valve was something I have thought of already and was definetly going to look into. For a few extra $$ well worth it.

However, I heard somewhere that back flow valves were not allowed in certain cities, areas etc etc........ if that is true, I CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHY ??...... maybe I just mis heard it or something. I'll have to look into my local area plumbing code and see what the scoop is regarding BF valves. topic.

I guess main thing for me right now is trying to figure out if my line ties into my neighbours.......sure hope not.

wish me luck...

Cheers !
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Old 07-31-2010, 09:15 AM   #14
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I guess main thing for me right now is trying to figure out if my line ties into my neighbours.......sure hope not.
The city may have a schematic or as built from the original sewer install. Sometimes they're pretty detailed. Other times don't tell you much of anything. It's worth a phone call though. Otherwise, only a camera will tell.

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