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Old 12-01-2015, 11:04 AM   #1
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Older home with floor drain - how to keep water out?


I recently moved to an older home with a floor drain. Currently the washbasin drains into the hole in the floor. The hole is a carved out section of concrete, with a 1-1/2" pipe sticking up at floor level. The pipe sticks out about 2 inches. I do not have a sump pit or pump. There is some sewer gas present as well.

I've had a plumber relocate my washbasin so that it drains into the main stack. I still need to move the washer and dryer, but I'll have that done soon.

I had about 2" of water enter my basement several months ago during a very heavy rainstorm. It entered through the floor drain. It caused a lot of damage because part of the basement is finished.

I'd like to get rid of the floor drain, or at least add a check valve, so that water doesn't flow into my basement through the drain. I'm having a hard time finding any check valves that can handle 1-1/2" pipes.

Obviously, I don't want to block the drain because I have no other way of getting water out of the basement.

Any ideas? Anyone have a similar setup?
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:26 AM   #2
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What kind of pipe? Cast iron, pvc, etc. You said older home - I'm assuming cast iron.

Please post a picture of it. Thanks.
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:49 AM   #3
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It's cast iron.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:08 PM   #4
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You need to:
1. (if applicable) Keep rain water from accumulating around the house foundation.
1a. Not have shallow trenches around the foundation to hold gravel or mulch for shrubs and flowers.
2. Put in a sump pump and perimeter perforated pipe drainage system.

If ground water is coming up around the floor drain and all you do is seal that, then the ground water will come up elsewhere like around the edges of the basement.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-01-2015 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:58 PM   #5
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In general, the basement is very dry. I'm located on a hill. My downspouts empty out about 6' from my porch on a steep hill. That's about 10'-15' away from my foundation.

I've only had one incident so far. That was during an extremely heavy storm. We got about 6" of rain over a few hours. Most homes in the area had 2'-3' of water in their basements. I was lucky. I think most of that was because of my location at the top of a hill.

The issue is not so much water coming up around the drain, but backing up from the sewer system into my basement through the pipe. Again, it's only happened once, but I'd like to do whatever I can to prevent it. My first thought was a drain with a check valve in it. I'm having a hard time finding one that will work.
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:06 PM   #6
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Picture is attached.
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Older home with floor drain - how to keep water out?-ncm_0238.jpg  
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:01 PM   #7
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If the current floor drain is emptying into a sewer system, that needs to be changed and another location created for the floor drain to drain to. Others can quote codes, I can't, but a sewer gas smell and potential sewer backing up into your basement is not good.

Bud
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:28 PM   #8
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I assume the storm water system backed up and flooded your basement. You can install a back flow valve, but for extra protection, we installed a pit, with a pump when installing the backflow valve. Just gives you extra protection if the valve ever fails.
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:28 PM   #9
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I'm leaning toward the pit and pump. I don't think it will get used very often, but it's nice to know it's there when it does.

I looked at the whole house backflow valve, but the plumbers I spoke too didn't think that was a great idea.
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
If the current floor drain is emptying into a sewer system, that needs to be changed and another location created for the floor drain to drain to. Others can quote codes, I can't, but a sewer gas smell and potential sewer backing up into your basement is not good.

Bud
The house is ~120-130 yrs old. This looks like it's been around a long time. The prior owner put a small cap on the pipe to prevent gas from getting into the house. They'd take it off when they were doing laundry.

I came from a house that had flooding problems due to a very high water table. I'm paranoid about basement flooding because of it. I'm looking to keep that from happening.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:18 PM   #11
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Break up the floor and cut the pipe install a backwater valve and a new floor drain.
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:58 AM   #12
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I talked to 2 plumbers about that.

No one seems very open to installing a backwater valve. In general, they indicated that backwater valves are not effective.

Any idea why that might be?
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Old 12-03-2015, 12:04 PM   #13
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The reason why backwater valves are sometimes regarded as ineffective in a home basement setting is because occaisionally they are held ajar by a bit of debris.

In an outdoor situation such as in a sewage treatment plant, a small amount of back flow from time to time is not that crittical.
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Old 12-03-2015, 03:04 PM   #14
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So, in general, what are people's opinion on them? Are they worth the expense? Are they reliable enough?

I'm a belt and suspenders type of person, so I like having redundant backup systems in case one fails. In my old house I had a sump pump, a water-powered backup pump, and a generator. I also had an old sump pump lying around just in case. I had some water problems at that house. I never slept during really heavy rain storms.

I'm willing to spend some money if I can make this bulletproof.

Last edited by b-boy; 12-03-2015 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:10 PM   #15
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Get one of these they are high quality

http://backwatervalve.com/products/f...ter-valve.html

Its cover is clear and it is easy to keep maintained.

Last edited by Ghostmaker; 12-03-2015 at 06:13 PM.
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