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Old 09-09-2009, 08:11 PM   #1
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Open Plumbing in Basement


I am looking to purchase a house and have my eye on one in particular. In this house, the washing maching is located in the basement and empties into a concrete-lined hole in the corner of the basement. There is a sump pump in the corner that then pumps the waste water into the main waste water line for the house.

I don't like the idea of having an open plumbing system (and I doubt it would be permitted in the city). I would appreciate advice on how situations like this are typically addressed and what it would cost to make this a closed system. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:19 PM   #2
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Open Plumbing in Basement


Does the sump pump have a cover on the pit to seal the top?
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:47 PM   #3
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Open Plumbing in Basement


Is there any other water that enters the sump pump pit?
Drainage from a French drain etc?
Pumping groundwater run-off into the City sewer is a big No No
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:29 PM   #4
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Open Plumbing in Basement


The pit in the basement was probably intended to catch ground water in conjunction with a perimeter drain (French drain), have it pumped out, and in turn avoid ground water rising and coming up onto the basement floor. So far so good.

The previous owner of the house probably did the cheap stopgap idea of letting the washing machine dump there. Thus turning that facility from a plain water collection and pump-out area into a gray water (open) plumbing system.

Do not splice an extension onto a washing machine drain hose. This could overload the internal pump of the machine and result in damage.

Depending on the location of the regular drain, you can tap into that and hook the washing machine drain hose over (must fit loosely) a new drain pipe which in most cities must be something like 18 inches high and two inches in diameter with a trap at the bottom (don't have the exact dimensions). This eliminates the "open plumbing".
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Last edited by AllanJ; 09-09-2009 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:31 PM   #5
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Open Plumbing in Basement


You could install a laundry sink and have that drain into a small tank with a sump pump in it designed for this then have that discharge into the build drain. you will need a vent on that tank though and it CAN'T be an aav it must be a real vent.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:08 AM   #6
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Open Plumbing in Basement


Thanks all for the feedback. AllanJ, you hit the nail on the head with your description of the pit in the basement and its original intended purpose.

I'm not sure that there is a regular drain in the basement to tap into. There is a sink in the basement, but I think that empties into the sump, too. Out of curiosity, how does a drainage system in a basement normally make it up to the rest of plumbing in a house?
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:17 PM   #7
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Open Plumbing in Basement


the drainage pipes in most homes are in the floor below the concrete i am guessing in your case the sewer pipe leaves at chest height. The best way to setup that laundry drain would be to use one of these.

http://www.plumbingsupply.com/drainsystem.html

you just drain the laundry sink into the side inlet then it has 2 connections on the top, One for the drain which you run to the sewer pipe and one to run a vent from. works great. remember you CAN'T use an air admittance valve for a vent on one of these.
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Old 09-12-2009, 07:10 AM   #8
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Open Plumbing in Basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by WannabHomeOwner View Post
Out of curiosity, how does a drainage system in a basement normally make it up to the rest of plumbing in a house?
The ground water drainage system is supposed to be emptied (using a sump pump if necessary) to the ground outside where it does not puddle against the house, or to a dry well separate from a septic system. A basement pit with a non-hermetically-sealed cover is generally permitted for a ground water (only) drainage system.

Should you have a laundry tub or toilet or other plumbing fixture in the basement and it is lower than the main drain pipe exiting the house, the proper solution is a holding tank described above.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 09-12-2009 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:08 AM   #9
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Open Plumbing in Basement


I have seen the set-up where the washer drains into a laundry sink and is then pumped into the sewer pipe. When we were house hunting, I was checking on the location of the sewer pipe in the basement. Most of them were located chest high leaving the foundation.
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