Basement laundry and plumbing layout
Posted by Kevin Byrnes on December 26, 2003 at 21:36:25:
I live in a home built between 1910 and 1920. It is a two story 1 bath home. Currently I have a laundry tub in the basement that is positioned over a floor drain. The tub drains onto the floor and then into the drain. I would like to have a more converntional set-up that doesn't splatter water all over the floor.

I don't know much about plumbing so I want to clarify one term that I will use. My house has a giant (what appears to be cast iron) pipe that run vertically from the basement floor up through my roof. I assume the this is the main waste line/vent that I read about. I'm just going to refer to it as the "stack."

I will probably hire a plumber to do this work, but due to some differing opinions on my home's plumbing I want to try and understand how things might be set up.

The stack runs up the center of the house. My bathroom is on the second floor (tub, sink, toilet) and the wall next to the toilet has the stack running though it. The only drain on the first floor is the kitchen sink. When the house was originally constructed, the kitchen sink shared a wall with the stack. In the eighties the owner re-configured the kitchen moved the sink across the room. Based on other things in the house I am sure he did all the work himself. He also put in a dishwasher which emties into the disposal unit on the sink.

From what I can tell the orignal sink was connected to the stack at the basement ceiling level at a downward angle, with no vent. When the sink was moved across the kitchen, the owner simply ran the drain pipe into the baseemnt and through the joists to the same place and connected it. Again, there is no vent. The distance of this drain pipe across the basement increased from about a foot to about 8 feet.

I do not know what goes on in the bathroom walls, but there are no pipes, other than the stack, that protude into my attic and through the roof. I assume the connection must be similar to what is happening in the basement with the kitchen sink.

In the four years I have lived here, I have never had any plumbing problems other than some water occasionally backing up into the dishwasher when it is not in use. The toilet does seem to suck a little bit when it flushes, but it's not too dramatic.

The issue with my laundray tub poject has to do with venting. No one disagrees that it will be straghtforward enough to run the laundry tub drain into the stack, or alternatively under the foundation into the main line that exists the house. The issue that I'm struggling with is the vent. One plumber told me I would have to run a vent up to the attic and that he might be able to do it right next to the stack, but couldn't say for sure. Another plumber told me he would tie into the kitchen vent - he seemed sure we would discover one in the wall behind the sink if we looked (I am virtually positive there is not one there).

I have a couple questions:

1. Is it possible that my house , as built, had no "vents" as I've come to understand them? Meaning could all the venting have been accomplished through the stack?

2. If so, is this ok? Does the fact the the kithcen sink was moved a significant distance away from the stack affect this answer?

3. If it is OK, then why can't we just do the same thing in the basement?

I suspect changing building codes may be complicating things, but I was under the impression that the concept of venting was pretty old and pretty basic. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Sorry for rambling.

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