Below grade plumbing


Old 01-27-02, 06:27 PM
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Question Below grade plumbing

I am planning to install a basement bathroom and move the washer/dryer downstairs. I've installed a number of bathrooms before, but nothing below grade. I assume a sump pump would be needed, and a vent. A few questions:

How far below the washer, shower, toilet and sink does the sump pump need to be (do I need to knock a hole in the concrete floor for the pump or can it sit at grade) and what sorts of specs should I look for in pumps to handle that?

What backup systems should be installed (in case the pump fails)? What happens when a pump gives up? How about when the power is out? Just curious.

Does the vent have to go straight up or can it be vented out of the side of the building? If so, how far can the vent pipe be routed to the side and is it kosher to bring it out at grade?

Thanks in advance for any additional warnings about a project like this that come to mind.
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Old 01-27-02, 07:08 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
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There are a LOT of very specific items and details that HAVE to be included in a waste system that is below the gravity waste system. This IS NOT a DIY project, unless you happen to be a licensed plumber (in which case, you wouldn't be posting these questions).

Contract with a licensed plumber to have him or her install the waste system for your remodel, and do it with a bldg. permit.

A sump pump isn't going to work. You need a waste ejection pump. They are NOT the same thing! Venting is faily easy, but has to be done properly (i.e. 'up to code'). A power failure will have no effect on your system. Done properly, it will have check valves (and proper labeling) so that a power failure will not be a problem. Also, in the event of a clogged waste line, you don't want to go putting a snake into this system. You could wind up draining your septic tank or the city sewer into your basement.

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