Second foor Laundry, water heater, AC room and floor drain questions

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by G60, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. G60

    G60 New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    DC
    I have a second floor utility room containing a washer dryer, heat pump/AC air handler and water heater (electric).

    This room has a floor drain in one corner.

    When I bought the place two piples were running losesly into the floor drain:
    1) main condensate for a/c
    2) water heater expansion valve

    In cleaning up the room about ten years ago I added:
    1) 1" pvc running from a knock out I opened on the side of the water heater drip pan
    2) 1" pcv running from secondary drip pan under ac
    3) 1" pvc running from a knockout I opened on the side of washing machine drip pan.

    Here are my questions:

    1) the drain from the water heater emergency expansion vale looks like a strange thing to me. Despite this I replaced it as it was when I replaced my water heater couple of years ago. I also blow it out every couple of years and it seems to go down the drain. What is the proper thing to do with expansion valve on upper floor water heater?: a) leave it as is from factory, b) copper pipe straight down nearer to drip pan or c) as it is to the floor drain?

    2) The floor drain seems operational with no problems and it seems this utility room was done in the early 1970's. I know it drains ok with constant trickle as it handled the condensate for the ac fine in summer and I also never get strange smells.

    a) Is there anything I should look for to make sure it is fully working or to clean it? I am going to put down new flooring barely graded to the drain since there are so many things there that can leak.

    Thanks!
  2. nukeman

    nukeman Nuclear Engineer

    Messages:
    711
    Location:
    VA
    I'm not a pro, but you do want to pipe that T&P over the drain (leave a couple inch gap between the pipe and the drain). Few things to remember:

    - pipe must stay full diameter (3/4") and not be reduced
    - no valves/tees placed on the line
    - no threads on the end of the pipe
    - must run level or down, but never up

    Most places will not let you run it to the drip pan as teh drip pans is not made to handle the flow of the T&P. It would quickly overflow if the vavle ever lifted.

    If the floor drain seems to work okay with no smells, then I would say it is probably in good shape. If you do get smells (maybe in the winter since the A/C is off and the trap may start to dry out), just poor some water down the drain and the smell should go away.

    What are your plans for flooring? Probably vinyl of maybe tile would be good since it is a potentially wet area.
  3. it is legal to run the pressure release into the washer standpipe. Wye it. In case that helps you sleep better.
  4. G60

    G60 New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    DC
    it isn't into the washer standpipe, it goes to a floor drain (about 3/4" above it). I never heard of anyone running one into a washer standpipe.

    Does someone have the actual code or safety recommendation for a second floor electric water heater release valve drain options? I plan to replace the pvc some one used with cpvc or copper and less twists and turns, but keep it going to floor drain.

    Thanks for all your info.

    I am going to go with vinyl with a very well fitted molding. the floor drain is in a corner.

    If I had infinite money and time I would tile the whole floor and one foot up the wall. But I think vinyl, as long as I have a tiny grade toward the floor drain, or at lest no negative grade, would help reduce damage of any catastrophic event short of a water heater explosion. All the drip pans have side outlets and 1" (maybe 3/4 inner diameter) pvc. I also have burst proof hoses. I marked the side of the 12 year 2004 hot water heater with a big note to replace in 2014 so I or any successor owners has a strong hint to replace it before risk gets too great. And I remember to turn off the water heater and washer supply if I go for longer than a weekend, so I think it is fairly well protected, certainly way more than when I bought the place, and vinyl sheet should do better than the cracking no longer attached older vinyl tiles.

    right now the drain has no cover. the laundry room generates a lot of dust. but it has so many pvc pipes above it (two from water heater, two fro ac, one form washer) that I wonder if the emergency ones will all really go in there. I think I can combine all the drip pans into one pvc so that just three going in, AC condensate, water heater pressure valve, and one for all three emergency drip pans
  5. Inspektor Ludwig

    Inspektor Ludwig Journeyman/Inspector

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    In the good ol' UPC
    PVC is not an approved material for your t+p drain. Use cpvc or copper. The floor drain would be your best option but be sure to center the t+p directly over the floor drain or you're going to get some major splashing if it ever goes off. I'd set the t+p off just to make sure. If you do get alot of water splashing out of the drain you can get a funnel that attaches to the drain cover, that usually solves the problem.
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