Install a Lift Pump to Drain Plumbing Fixtures
LESLIE: Ooh, Ronny in Illinois is thinking about adding a bathtub in the basement. Ronny, tell us what’s going on.
RONNY: My question is … I’m a first time homebuyer and we’re … I want to put in a tub in the basement …
RONNY: And set it over the (audio gap) square foot drain site (audio gap) one foot square drain channel (inaudible) call it. And I don’t know if I need to cap that off and put a hole in it or put in a wooden floor over and set the tub on top of it.
TOM: Let’s back up for a second. You say that you have a drain already installed in that basement floor?
RONNY: Yes, there’s a shower there right now.
TOM: Okay, great. So what you need to do, of course, is to connect the bathtub drain to that same drain. And what’s the access point for that? Would you have to dig out the floor, do you think?
RONNY: I don’t know because I wasn’t … I … the drain sits … goes in pretty deep. The shower sits over it and the washer water goes into the same drain.
TOM: So is it like an open hole?
RONNY: Well, yeah. You know, like you have a drain plug in your basement?
TOM: Right. You mean like it’s just draining through the floor?
RONNY: Well. Well …
TOM: It’s not a plumbing pipe?
RONNY: It’s drains … there’s a … there’s a drain pipe there, yes, but it does not go above the beveled edge.
TOM: It sounds to me like what you have is a floor drain, not a plumbing drain. Is that correct?
RONNY: That could be, yes.
TOM: Alright. Well, let’s get this straightened out because that’s not the proper way to drain plumbing fixtures. What you really need is something called a lift pump. And, basically, it’s a … sort of a fancy sump pump but it’s not open; it’s sealed and it’s vented. And it sits in the floor. And as the waste water gets into that and fills the pump up, a pump kicks on. It’s float-actuated and it picks the water up high enough so that it can gravity drain into the main waste pipe for your house; the drain waste vent pipe for your house. That would be the right way to do it. Otherwise, it’s just an open drain.
And sooner or later, you’re going to want to sell that house and that’s going to really be frowned on by any inspector or potential buyer that takes a look at it. It’s just really not the right way to do it.
RONNY: Oh, okay.
TOM: So you want a lift pump. That’s what you need.
RONNY: A lift pump. Okay.
TOM: Lift pump.
RONNY: Okay. Well, that answered my question big time.
TOM: Terrific. Ronny, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit. 1-888-666-3974 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-888-666-3974 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.