Installing a utility sink in basement

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by tobiasly, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. tobiasly

    tobiasly New Member

    Messages:
    4
    My house was built in the late 90's and has a rough-in in the basement for what looks like a sink and toilet. I'm not interested in putting in a toilet but I would like a utility sink.

    My question is, how do I know whether the sewer line is below basement level and whether I would need to pump drainage? Does the fact that there is a rough-in mean I don't need to pump? Can I just run a whole bunch of water through it and see if it backs up?

    This entire neighborhood is less than 10 years old, if that information is relevant.

    tia,
    toby
  2. Deb

    Deb Plumber

    Messages:
    200
    Location:
    Idaho
    Deb

    If you needed an ejector, you should already have a basin and pump installed or a pit that receives the drainage, but still needs a pump. Basically, if the drainage lines for the upper floors goes through the floor of the basement (and you see no evidence of any kind of barrel or pit in the floor of the basement), the drainage lines are most likely gravity drain. Do you have a line coming out of the ceiling somewhere for the vent?
    Deb
    The Pipewench
  3. tobiasly

    tobiasly New Member

    Messages:
    4
    The above-floor drainage lines go through the basement wall, not the floor.

    I'm not sure if it's a drainage pit but there is about a foot-square hole in the basement floor that is currently filled with gravel. There is no pump anywhere near it though.

    I'm not sure what to look for with "a line coming out of the ceiling for the vent".

    Sounds like I need a pump I guess? Are these very expensive and/or difficult to install for the DIYer? I'm a pretty handy person but have never done plumbing before. Thanks for your help.
  4. Bob's HandyGuy

    Bob's HandyGuy Senior Member

    Messages:
    131
    If you have a 4" pipe stubbed off at the floor with a similar smaller one near it, you must have paid for a bathroom rough-in. All you should have to do is buy a utility sink and attach it to the smaller drain with a p-trap. You also need to tap the hot and cold lines and make the proper connections. The pros on site should let you know exactly what you need. I think the hole with gravel is for a shower. It's a good idea to test a new drain. It might be clogged with construction debris.
  5. tobiasly

    tobiasly New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Sounds logical, thanks to both of you!
  6. Deb

    Deb Plumber

    Messages:
    200
    Location:
    Idaho
    Deb

    If the drainage lines from upstairs go out the wall and not the floor, I would be inclined to believe that the main sewer lines are at that level and you need a pump. The pump/pit can be located quite a ways from the plumbing--even outside. Your local sewer district may be able to tell you how deep the lines are in your area. Or since the home is so new, you may be able to locate the plumbing company that did the original work.
    All fixtures must be vented. If you do not have a vent pipe somewhere (a pipe that is not connected to the main drainage line coming down) and goes out through the ceiling of the basement, you are going to need one.
    Take nothing for granted.

    Deb
    The Pipewench
  7. tobiasly

    tobiasly New Member

    Messages:
    4
    You're right Deb, I did a "bucket test" and found that these roughed-in pipes drain into a pit nearby that I didn't realize was there! (There was a circular cut-out in the floor underneath some junk we keep back there).

    The cover on this pit has two openings -- I'm assuming these are one for sewage and other for vent? Is the pit the "fixture" that must be vented? If so, where do I vent it to? I'll look around some more for an existing vent pipe but I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking for. I don't suppose I can vent into the vent line from my natural gas furnace?

    As far as the drain, my sewage pipe has about a 10" extension pointing up at an angle before it goes into the wall. This is not the cleanout -- it's simply a Y extension that points up and doesn't even have a cap on it. Can I pump the pit into this extension, or do I need to make a new junction in the sewer pipe?

    I can post pictures if that will help. I truly appreciate the advice. I can't seem to find any specific information or books on basement plumbing at the hardware store but maybe I'm not looking hard enough.
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