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Old 10-31-2010, 04:54 PM   #1
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waterproof around floor drain


We live in a 1960’s ranch house on a concrete slab and decided to renovate the laundry room. The laundry tub (thus washer) was draining into a floor drain through a flex-hose stuck through the grate. Pulled out the vinyl tile, found major mold underneath around the drain. Pulled out the rotten drywall next to it (exterior wall), sill-plate was rotten completely. Although I am pretty handy, I had to get fixed by someone since it is a load bearing wall (costly!). We want to prevent any such damage in the future. Both floor and wall will be tiled. I put on Hardie cement-wall around to prepare for tiling, now tackling the drain issue.

The picture shows what is there. The valves are for washer and for an outside faucet, the culprit for all the damage was a bad stem on the valve (somehow it was bent?) which dripped for years. The drain does have a vapor trap (about 1.5 feet down) since I can see standing water in it. The drain works fine. The room has a very slight slope (towards that corner) but I do not think it was meant to be for drainage. At most it is like 1/8” per foot, and even that is quite irregular. But around that area (about 3x3 feet), there is some slope which I can use. So I am thinking of giving more slope away from wall towards the drain (as much I can afford under the tile) with some thinset and use a paint on water proof membrane (such as Redgard from HD, or Watertight from Lowes).

Is this a good idea? Incidentally, I see some kind of plastic membrane (polyethylene sheet?) embedded under the concrete slab (may be at ½” depth) as the red arrow in the picture shows, but it does not look like waterproofing. If I try to waterproof now, how do I tap into existing drain hole, clamping drains are just to large to fit in there. We really do not need to water-proof the entire floor, only enough to alert us if there is a similar leak in the future (even that is questionable since I probably can not slope more than the tile thickness which means I will not see surface water for small drips.) Will waterproof membrane make things worse?
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Old 10-31-2010, 07:43 PM   #2
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waterproof around floor drain


Check out Hydroban by Latacrete----That is a waterproof paint on membrane use to paterproof showers swimming pools and fountains. I have used it for more difficult situations than this one---

They have a good video on their web site.

Depot also has a paint on membrane called Red Guard---I've never used that one.It's half the price of hydroban---I know Hydroban works.---Mike---


P.S. You should add ball valves and get rid of those old leaky gate valves.

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Old 11-01-2010, 09:27 AM   #3
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waterproof around floor drain


Thanks O'Mike,

I will look into Hydroban. In either case, my problem is connecting to the existing drain. How would you do that? Just turn into it, make a kind of lip around the drain going into it?
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:30 PM   #4
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waterproof around floor drain


The right way to fix the problem ,obviously,is to get the drain into the wall--That means breaking the concrete------Lots of work.

Adding a collar --like a 4 inch coupling--glued to the floor around the drain would contain the splashing-

Big problem with that---is there another floor drain? What happens if there is an overflow?

I wish I had a better answer---Dumping a sink into a floor drain is wrong--you will always have to worry about a setup like that.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:16 AM   #5
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waterproof around floor drain


Thanks O'Mike. I guess the better choice is to convert to a "stand pipe" (is that what it is called).

If I can make a water tight seal between the stand pipe and the existing floor drain. Would epoxy work? Or some other material, like some kind of cement?

What is the trick with a stand-pipe? Isn't it a simple Tee with side connecting to the tub drain, the straight up is left open and bottom connecting to the floor drain. I guess the trick would be to have the open end higher than the top of laundry tub so that it can not overflow there. Am I right with these?

Luckily, we are at the "top" of sewer system on our street being the first house. We never have back-ups because of other houses, but back ups because of our connection to the sewer is almost a yearly event because of the huge maple tree in our yard planted right above the main sewer connection of our house. When we notice something, we get the line snaked and everything is Ok. Of course the trick is noticing something in time.

In fact, that is why I want to waterproof around that drain. It is hidden from sight behind the washer. And the slope is towards the wall, so we do not immediately notice any overflow there. Back-up usually shows up in our shower which I think is too late.

Hope these make sense, being an engineer sometimes I tend to over analyze the situation and over design solutions
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:21 PM   #6
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waterproof around floor drain


You need to tell us---do you have another floor drain? If you add a stand pipe and it over flows ,Where will the water go?
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:06 PM   #7
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waterproof around floor drain


There is no other floor drain in that room. Somehow I need to use this drain both for the floor and for the laundry tub, and also waterproof the floor in case there is an overflow.
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:13 PM   #8
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waterproof around floor drain


I have been doing a lot of reading on the web. Now I am realizing that even just the grate is going to be a problem with the raised floor (about 1/2") because of tile.

May be something like this will work.

http://www.plumbest.com/webadmin/pro...ts/d52-003.pdf

That would convert to 3 1/2" pipe thread, and may be I can find a clamping 3 1/2" drain, may be.

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