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Old 07-09-2020, 12:23 PM   #1
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Anything to prevent water from leaking into a floor vent?


I have looked around online, but haven't seen such a thing.

We recently just a bad leak in our laundry room. Fortunately, we caught it quick and were able to get the water cleaned up pretty fast. Unfortunately, a good bit of water poured into the air vent in the floor. That, of course, then flowed down into the air duct and then leaked from there onto the drywall ceiling in the finished basement.

Which leads me to wonder if any such thing exists that would prevent or minimize a reasonable amount of water from flowing into an air vent on the floor? Only thing I can see are deflectors, but that wouldn't really do the trick.
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Old 07-09-2020, 12:41 PM   #2
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Re: Anything to prevent water from leaking into a floor vent?


Difficult with a drywalled ceiling but a floor drain to somewhere could buy you some time.
Short story, multi-million dollar home (friends) and they were giving me a walk through before their house is finished. One detail was the w/d installed upstairs. I mentioned they needed provisions for a broken hose or other major leak, but they just said insurance would take care of it. The hardwood floor upstairs cost more than my house. For the rest of us, drain provisions should be part of the building plans.

If you block the water from going into the vent, where will it go?

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Old 07-09-2020, 12:46 PM   #3
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Re: Anything to prevent water from leaking into a floor vent?


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Difficult with a drywalled ceiling but a floor drain to somewhere could buy you some time.
Short story, multi-million dollar home (friends) and they were giving me a walk through before their house is finished. One detail was the w/d installed upstairs. I mentioned they needed provisions for a broken hose or other major leak, but they just said insurance would take care of it. The hardwood floor upstairs cost more than my house. For the rest of us, drain provisions should be part of the building plans.

If you block the water from going into the vent, where will it go?

Bud
Yeah, don't know the answer to that last question. Based on this experience, what doesn't go down the air vent leaks through the floor into the storage area below.

We were able to stop the water and get it all cleaned up fast enough to prevent any other damage. Just have some big air driers and dehumidifiers going to dry things out. Only significant damage was the water that leaked into the air vent and then out of the air duct onto the drywall ceiling.

Since the laundry room sits over the unfinished storage area, I guess a drain could be fairly easily installed and tied into the washing machine drain pipe? (wrong forum for this question, I know)
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Old 07-11-2020, 01:47 PM   #4
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Re: Anything to prevent water from leaking into a floor vent?


If you don't want to pay a bunch of money to have the vent moved, I would recommend using some threshold or shoe molding to build a bumper/border around the vent, and caulk it where it touches the floor. That way, the water would have to get real deep (3/4" high) to spill over into the vent.
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:27 AM   #5
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Re: Anything to prevent water from leaking into a floor vent?


That may prevent it from going into the vent, but it'll still spread over the floor, and I bet the rest of the floor isn't watertight.

OP, what was the nature of the leak—where'd the water come from (where it shouldn't have)?
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Old 07-13-2020, 10:04 AM   #6
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Re: Anything to prevent water from leaking into a floor vent?


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That may prevent it from going into the vent, but it'll still spread over the floor, and I bet the rest of the floor isn't watertight.

OP, what was the nature of the leak—where'd the water come from (where it shouldn't have)?
The washing machine drain hose popped out of the drain pipe. No idea how. I quadruple checked it after we moved in last year and it sure seemed secure. It's secure now. I drilled a couple small holes in the frame of the box and threaded a zip tie through it to wrap around the house. There was nothing else to secure it to.

If I did PVC shoe molding around the vent, replaced the baseboard with PVC baseboard, that would be pretty inexpensive. It's a tile floor. Sits above an unfinished storage area, so I wonder about having a floor drain put in. I would think it that would be pretty easy to do (not for me, but for a plumber I guess) and maybe tie it into the washing machine drain pipe? The floor isn't sloped in there, but a drain in the middle of the floor should do enough to prevent anything catastrophic.
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Old 07-14-2020, 09:06 AM   #7
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Re: Anything to prevent water from leaking into a floor vent?


I mean, even if it's a tile floor, the edges of the floor are probably not sealed. Unless you have some kind of cove base tile around the walls that you could seal with silicone.
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Old 07-14-2020, 09:08 AM   #8
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Re: Anything to prevent water from leaking into a floor vent?


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I mean, even if it's a tile floor, the edges of the floor are probably not sealed. Unless you have some kind of cove base tile around the walls that you could seal with silicone.
Would a pvc baseboard sealed along the base with silicone do the trick there?
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Old 07-14-2020, 09:12 AM   #9
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Re: Anything to prevent water from leaking into a floor vent?


Most likely, assuming you siliconed any of the baseboard miter corners too.

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