washer plus floor drain on second floor

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by atuel, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. atuel

    atuel New Member

    North Carolina, IPC Code
    We're looking to remodel a fairly large closet (15'x6') on the second story to be a laundry room.

    The previous owner was going to make a dark room to develop photos out of this closet meaning a sink of some sort. They took the first step in this and ran 2" PVC up through the wall to a sanitary T (about a foot above floor level) that reduces to 1.5" that runs about 30" to the left before being stubbed out and 1.5" straight up through the roof to vent.

    So converting the 30" run to the left into 2" and adding a trap is not difficult.

    The part I have the question about is since this is on the second story, we definitely need a way to catch overflow, etc. I've never cared much for the little catch pans that do little more than catch overflow, so I was looking at doing a full floor drain instead. Sloping the floor toward the drain and the water proof barrier and tile on top of that is easy enough. The question I have is about plumbing the floor drain.

    Now since we'd have a full on capable floor drain with all the tile/mortar bed work, I would prefer to plumb the floor drain into my septic system rather than just run it down and dump it outside the house for emergency use only.

    If I just insert another sanitary T in the stack (below floor level) and run it out into the middle of the space a couple feet, I'm concerned that the washer dumping in above where the floor drain would hook into the stack would cause water to flow up out of the floor drain.

    I'm also concerned about the floor drain not being used a lot and the trap drying out, so I'm wondering how to best deal with this.

    It seems I could run a second 2" PVC line down through the wall through the first floor into my crawl space and hook in there to prevent the backup, but its a fair amount of extra work and does not solve the dry trap issue. What options do I have here?
  2. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    You have the obvious option of hiring a plumber who will get this done properly. DIY is one thing but to run the risk of getting into a job one is not skilled to do is another. I mean this with all due respect.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    The washer would not overflow the floor drain if all is installed correctly, unless of course there is a clog downstream. If you put in the floor drain, you will need a trap primer.
  4. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    And any device that is combining potable water to sewer is something that a only a licensed plumber should be installing, IMHO.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    J R Smith, and the other similar companies, all have a "backwater" device that inserts into their floor drains to prevent overflow. You will need an approved trap primer to prevent the trap from drying out.
  6. atuel

    atuel New Member

    North Carolina, IPC Code
    I may hire this out to a licensed plumber yet, but even if doing that, I want to do my homework first.

    I was aware of the backwater valves before posting, but I have not found anyone using them. This makes me wonder how well they work and how much maintainence they may need over time. Seems to me, the less moving parts, the beter.

    I would prefer to get the washer drain dumping into the stack lower than the floor drain to let gravity to the job for me, but that would require dropping a second line down into the crawl space. I guess not that big of a job, but if not completley necessary, it'd be nice to avoid it.

    Without doing that, I'm left with it is as now with the washer dumping in about a foot higher than where the floor drain would or potentially using a double sanitary T in order to get it dumping in at the same level. Is there any guidance over how far away from the drain stack the floor drain should be to help prevent back flow problems without a back flow valve?

    On the trap primer, even on this forum, some people seem to use/like them and others are completely against them. I'm wondering the same question of maintainence and failure rates.
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