Sump Pump, Utility Sink, Washer, help!

Discussion in 'General Plumbing Help' started by Solid, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. Jan 25, 2012 #1

    Solid

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    Hello Forum, thank you in advance for your help.

    I am looking to replace the soap stone utility sink that is in my basement, discharge the sump pump outside the house (installing a new basin w/cover.), and I am debating whether or not I should drain the washing machine into the new utility sink to simplify things.

    So, here's what I'm dealing with:
    [​IMG]

    A close up of the work under the utility sink:
    [​IMG]

    Yet another angle:
    [​IMG]

    Now, as I said above, I will be eliminating the sump pump part of this drain all together, so that will leave the sink and the washing machine. One thing that I don't understand has to do with the sump basin. There is a pipe entering the basin that you can see here:
    [​IMG]

    I notice that when the washing machine drains, I see some (not all) of the sudsy washing machine water draining through that pipe. It isn't enough to trigger the sump pump, and it actually seems like it drains back out the same pipe! As you can see, the previous owner (I think) broke up the floor in that area. I don't understand the purpose of that pipe? I was thinking that maybe before the sump pit was installed, maybe it was a floor drain? The floor of the basement slopes to that corner, and to me, it would make sense because it seems to connect to the sewer drain. This is just a guess. Unless I'm told otherwise, I would plan on digging that section of the floor up (when replacing the sump basin) and eliminating it. I also found this in the basement, which I assume was replaced with PVC under the sink:
    [​IMG]

    So, my questions are:

    Does my plan sound OK?

    What is that pipe?

    Last, but not least, I don't see any venting here. Am I going to have to run some venting up through the ceiling and eventually connect to the vent in the attic?
     
  2. Jan 25, 2012 #2

    LiQuId

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    that pipe is likely from a weeping tile around the outside perimiter of your house.

    when you say "sump pump drain" is this a discharge line ?? edit: never mind, i looked closer, it is a discharge line and It is not trapped, this should have a trap on it...

    you could drain the washing machiene into the sink but a better practice would be to use a standpipe such as you have to drain it, but eliminate the fernco connection and make sure its properly vented.

    I would Not remove a sump, its there for good reason likely.

    as far as the venting goes, you can use a "cheater vent" actually called an Air admitance valve. make sure it is suitablle for a 2" installation and DONT buy the $10 one, spend the extra and get a good one or it will be problems down the road.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  3. Jan 25, 2012 #3

    Solid

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    I was thinking that, but why would the washing machine discharge be coming through that pipe, and why would there only be one pipe entering the basin? EDIT: I just noticed that you said it could be coming from the OUTSIDE of the house. I never thought of this.

    Please note that I AM NOT removing the sump pump entirely! I am planning on improving the basin (deeper with a sealed lid), and discharging it outside the house instead of through the sewer.

    This is great - I was thinking about using this. Thanks for your reply.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  4. Jan 25, 2012 #4

    Solid

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    I found this image on another site - would something like this work?

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Jan 25, 2012 #5

    LiQuId

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    Yes, this is a properly circuit vented branch, and you would likely have no problems at all with that set up. you would obviously need a p trap on the lav discharge.
     
  6. Jan 25, 2012 #6

    Solid

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    OK great, so that takes care of that, but what do you think about that pipe discharging into the sump basin? And, I still don't understand why there is waste water from the washing machine coming out of it. If this was a perimeter drain, I don't think you would see washing machine water coming out of it. What do you think?
     
  7. Jan 25, 2012 #7

    johnjh2o

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    There is a chance the washer and sink was draining into a perimeter drain. Where does your sewer line for upstairs exit the house? If it exits above the basement floor then the washer and sink couldn't be draining into the sewer line.

    John
     
  8. Jan 25, 2012 #8

    Solid

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    Hi John,

    Check out the first image - Just to the right(EDIT: Sorry, LEFT!) of the washing machine is the main stack (old, black cast pipe) which runs under the basement floor, out to the street. So, I assume that the pipe entering the concrete below the sink connects (under the concrete) to the main line heading outside. I haven't broken up the floor to investigate anything yet.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  9. Jan 26, 2012 #9

    LiQuId

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    perhaps I am looking at this wrong...

    it is possiblle that the washing machiene and lav were an after thought and that since the sump was already there it was simplly easier for the plumber at the time to only break open a small section of slab and to pipe into the sump. does running the sink yeild water out of that pipe ?? or, can you hear water form the sink flowing past that pipe ?
     
  10. Jan 26, 2012 #10

    phishfood

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    But then the sump would discharge back into itself, since it drains into the same pipe that the sink and washer drain into.
     
  11. Jan 26, 2012 #11

    Solid

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    Exactly Phishfood. And no, I can run the sink and not notice any water escaping into the basin through that pipe. The only time I notice it is when the washing machine dumps the waste water, and like I said before, it definitely isn't dumping straight into the sump basin. It is only a little bit of foamy, sudsy water that spills in. I just can't understand what that pipe is there for - do you think that line under the concrete (leading to the main stack) could be leaking? I would think you would notice water entering the sump basin from sink if that is the case. It looks like the only thing to do is start breaking up the floor and seeing where that pipe goes or, have a someone scope that pipe to see what is up. Any advise?

    Some more info: This is a 1948 New England Cape (not sure if this helps), and here is a picture that may (or may not) help. Imagine you are looking straight down from above the basement (grey box in left hand corner is the sump basin):
    [​IMG]

    I am assuming that the drain from the sink connects to the main waste line, underground, and heads out to the street.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  12. Jan 26, 2012 #12

    LiQuId

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    yes, I was tired when i wrote that last one and You are absolutely right.... I am guessing that its just a suds pressure zone. it could be many things, maybe they used the upper portion of the sum to serve as a vent for the sink branch since there appears to be no other connected vents. have it all scoped, but then this is easy for me to say since i have access to a scope that doesnt cost me.

    that the sudz are present tells me only that this pipe is at some point connected to the same drainage branch as the 2" for the sink and washer.
     
  13. Jan 26, 2012 #13

    Solid

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    No problem Liquid. So, If I dig this up and find out that the pipe is (for some reason) connected to that drain branch, is it OK to just remove it? Obviously, I would have to remove/repair the connection point and fill everything back in, but I don't see the point of having this. I do think that I should have the branch cleaned out while I'm doing all of this, to make sure everything flows out to the sewer. Can you guys give me an idea of how much something like that would cost? Thanks again for all of your help with this.
     
  14. Jan 27, 2012 #14

    LiQuId

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    prices would depend on the plumber and the going rate for your area.
     
  15. Jan 27, 2012 #15

    carpdad

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    I am not a plumber, so this is just a guess. Since the mystery pipe is connected to the sewer, why not cap it with rubber cap or a plug and see what happens? It may have worked as a vent? Washing machine needs the trap, although my mother's washing machine also does not have a trap, just a horizontal check valve. I don't think removing that section of the pipe is worth breaking up the floor.
     
  16. Jan 28, 2012 #16

    Solid

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    Carpdad,

    Thanks for the reply. I'm already planning on breaking up the floor to install a new sump pump basin, so while I'm at it, I will probably investigate the mystery pipe. The sump basin that is there now is about 1' deep by 1' square, and it does not have a lid. This will probably take me a while to gather all of the stuff that I will need, but I will try to update this post when I finally get around to doing all this. If anyone thinks of anything else it may be, please feel free to reply. Thanks!
     
  17. Aug 15, 2012 #17

    Solid

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    OK here's an update on this mess.

    I broke up the floor to expose this (with a rented rotary hammer):
    [​IMG]

    Notice that weird circular hole on the far right? Well, I thought it was just a patch in the concrete, but I decided to chip away the concrete to investigate (after I had to return the rotary hammer of course). Under a very thin layer of concrete was the bottom half of a broken glass bottle, and under that was a hole with a cap:
    [​IMG]

    At this point, I called the plumber to have him tell me what to do. The device above is a one way valve, or a back flow preveter (with a flapper valve). He said that the valve appears to be hung in the open position, so the water should be able to flow out just fine, but if there was a backup in the main line, the waste water would be able to come back through this valve. He said it shouldn't be a problem, and told me to fill in the hole with spray foam, and cover the top with some thin set. He ended up cutting the cast iron pipe, and used a banded coupling to PVC:
    [​IMG]

    I'm thinking that, at this point, I should break up the floor and remove this, so it doesn't cause any problems down the road. I'm concerned with the location of this valve, because it is pretty close the the main stack:
    [​IMG]

    I'm afraid that using a rotary hammer to break up the floor could damage the cast iron on the main line - should I be concerned with this? Also, do you think I will have enough of the old pipe left (after cutting out the valve) to attach the coupler?

    Finally, will a sawzall be able to cut through the 2" cast iron pipe with the appropriate blade? I don't want to call the plumber again - I can't afford it for one, and I don't think he really cares about this.
     
  18. Aug 16, 2012 #18

    phishfood

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    I have cut cast iron with a sawzall and a diamond grit blade. It is slow work, but doable. If it is a single cut in 2", one blade should do it.

    The last time I use a grit sawzall blade to cut cast was on 4". I have since bought a small angle grinder and a diamond blade. "Nuff said.
     
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  19. Aug 16, 2012 #19

    Solid

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    Thanks for the quick reply Phish. The plan is to rent the demo hammer and break up the floor and see what I'm dealing with once I get it all exposed. I guess it all depends on what the plumbing looks like, but if I do have to cut the cast iron, I'm going to just buy a 4 1/2" angle grinder and a diamond blade. My Sawzall is a piece of crap.

    Question: I'm assuming that this device is attached to the plumbing with a hub/spigot connection. If I can get the pipes to separate from each other, would I be able to use one of those donuts to make the connection? If so, I wouldn't have to buy the angle grinder to get this done. What do you think?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  20. Aug 16, 2012 #20

    IFIXH20

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    The age of the home leads me to believe the backwater valve is install with lead & oakum.(Hub/spigot), if it was installed later, then it may have no-hub bands. If you are replacing the backwater valve (which i would recommend), Install a clean-out before & after the BW Valve.
     

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