Avoiding a dry drain trap

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by afree, May 9, 2008.

  1. afree

    afree New Member

    Messages:
    10
    I have a floor drain in the area below my washer on the second floor. Since the drain is never used - I'm concerned the trap will dry up. How do I avoid this, or are there special types of traps for this type of application? Of course, I can just dump a little water down it once in a while. Thanks.
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    You can dump water in from time to time, they do have trap primers, or the best thing in my NSHO, for your situation, is to use RV antifreeze.
  3. Mikebarone

    Mikebarone DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    206
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have seen a drain, that is equipped with a small, (I think it was a ¼â€) water supply line that kept the drain primed. I don’t know how you install one of these drains, (with out taking out a lot of drywall on the first floor ceiling) and then you would have to tap into a water supply line.
    I don’t know if they make a retro fit device but, here’s a hair brain idea. You could remove the existing cold water faucet and install one that has that side port, (the type that you can branch off for a swamp cooler) and run a ¼†copper tubing to the drain, and then at the end of the tubing install a pressure compensation, (very low flow) irrigation type drip head. Along with this installation, you could even install a in-line ¼†valve, (up by the faucet just after where you installed the copper tubing) where you could regulate the flow to the drip head.
    A simpler fix would be to poke a small hole in the bottom of the drain line to the washer, and every time the washer drains, a small amount of water would hit the floor. A draw back would be is that you would probably have some soap scum build up on the floor, by doing it this way.
    Like I said, these are just a few hair brained ideas.

    Good luck,

    Mike
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,607
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    trap

    I am glad you prefaced those suggestion with the word "harebrained" because that is exactly what they are. A constant drip, regardless how small would be an expensive remedy. Installing a complete timer controlled system would be complex and expensive, and a hole in the drain line, well we won't even comment on that, especially if you mean the drain line in the wall. There are trap primers that attach to the water line, but they are often ineffective. Those that fit into the water line are the most reliable as far as maintaining a trap seal. But none of them are good prostpects for a retrofit. Anti freeze in the trap is the best solution and only has to be replenished after water has flowed through the floor drain.
  5. Mikebarone

    Mikebarone DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    206
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    just a thought...

    After thought…instead of remove your existing faucet, you could get a brass adapter that would take it from hose bib to pipe thread, and then you can get a brass adapter that would have the ¼†side tap, and then get another adapter that would take you back to hose bib threads.

    Mike
  6. Mikebarone

    Mikebarone DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    206
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    More after thoughts....instead of the irrigation drip head, you could go out and get a drain primer, and pull out the primer part of it, and install it at the end of the ¼†copper line.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,990
    Location:
    New England
    If you wanted to risk warranty issues on the WM, you could tap into the fill line after the solonoid valve with a check valve and appropriate backflow and run that to the drain as your trap primer. Then, each time you ran the WM, some water would go down the drain. Hiding that so you didn't trip over, kink, or damage the line would likely be tought...pour some in when you think of it or fill with the RV antifreeze.
  8. afree

    afree New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Guys, thanks for all the suggestions, think I'll just go and get some RV anti-freeze and try that.
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