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Basement renovation

I've read "We Got Steam Heat" (great book!) and have lived in a home for ~10 years with single-pipe steam heat. We're planning a renovation that involves expanding the basement along the back wall of the house - where the wet return runs about 1' above the basement floor. To make it practical to walk from the original part of the basement to the new part, I'd like to move the wet return lower (below floor level). I've seen lots of discussion advising against raising it, but I haven't found anything confirming that it should be harmless to move it lower.

If it is ok, what's the best way to handle it? I saw GW Gill's solution (http://www.gwgillplumbingandheating.com/webapp/p/669/wet-return-pipe-technique) - is it recommended? Any other suggestions/warnings?



  • Paul S_3
    Paul S_3 Member Posts: 1,257
    edited March 2016
    You can lower it ....i would do it similar to gerry's idea, no trip hazard, pipe is protected and accesible, great idea
    ASM Mechanical Company
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  • LionA29
    LionA29 Member Posts: 255
    Return may need to flush during maintenance seen that it is not a straight run.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    There is no issue with dropping the wet return below the floor. The Gerry Gill approach is an excellent way to do it. I'm not sure what the cost of that might be but, if the wet return is against the wall, just dropping it at the doorways would work too. As has been said, I'd put a flushout at each end of the wet return so that it can be flushed periodically (which it should anyway, above or below grade) You may already have flush outs. If you just drop it at doorways, I'd also connect the pipe with unions on each end of the "drop down" to make it easy to take the horizontal pipe out if there should be a problem.
  • andrewcopp564
    andrewcopp564 Member Posts: 1
    Its great thought of moving the wet returns below the floor level but the most important thing to be kept in mind while implementing is maintaining the slope of water flow if the wet returns came back.

    Renovation builders
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    New Zealand......Really? You make yourself look silly, commenting(incorrectly) about something you have no clue about.