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UPDATE: Photos Added to POST!! Basement Floor Drain question

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RTW
RTW Member Posts: 60
edited April 1 in Plumbing
I have a basement metal circular floor drain about 4 or 5 inches in diameter that empties into a 1 1/2 to 2 inch metal pipe likely installed when they poured the floor in the early 60's. It does NOT have any outlet and is filled with dirt from what I can tell. It does drain slowly if some water is poured on top. QUESTION: Is there any maintenance that could improve draining small amounts of water? My house is over two hundred years old

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  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,136
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    That floor drain has to go some here and it is obviously plugged and need to be cleared.
    You may have a gray water floor drain that empties to the ground outside on your property.
    The only way to find out is to have the drain cleaned.

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,322
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    You should clean it out. Which is a bit of a chore, but can be done. Originally there was likely a dirt floor, and it almost certainly had a drain to... somewhere. Sometimes a dry well. Sometimes just led to daylight. They were ingenious in those days. That said, it still goes somewhere, likely the same where. It may or just as likely may not have a trap. It should have a perforated cover...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Mad Dog_2
  • Mustangman
    Mustangman Member Posts: 95
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    Its fairly common to find floor drains piped to nowhere. Typically, they put stone a few feet deep where the floor drain is located. Its better than nothing but not much. Over time, fine dirt finds its way into the floor drain and into the little stone dry well under the slab. We had a few companies locally who use to drill a hole in the concrete floor and would drain AC and gas furnace condensate directly into the stone under. Same deal. It worked until the stone got dirty enough it wouldn't drain. Normally we would install a condensate removal pump. I did learn a few things that may help your situation.
    First, get a shop vac and suck out all the loose stuff. I found a short piece of threaded rod does a good job of busting things up. If by chance you find that the put a 90 under the slab don't fret. Get a hammer and piece of 1/2" steel pipe and drive the pipe thru the heel of the 90. Look at it this way. Your drain doesn't work. Busting up the fitting is going to give you more drainage. Use the 1/2 pipe and hammer and loosen up as much of the stone as you can. You can suck more dirt and stone up, making more space for drainage. This should increase your ability to drain by quite a bit. I had a similar issue at a house I once owned. I did exactly what I outlined above but went one more step. I mixed 50 50 of calci solve and water. This idea was not thought out... when I dumped the acid, it reacted to the limestone. I had foam growing up through the drain. I thought I was in that old 80s movie "The Stuff". I finally dilluted it enough the foaming stopped. That was 10 years ago and as far as I know, still draining. Don't get me wrong, the drain won't take 5 gallon buckets of water, but the water will leach out now that everything is loose.
    Good luch
    hot_rodMad Dog_2
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,962
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    You might be able to clean it yourself as it may only be clogged at the trap just below the floor.
    Since you mention it drains slowly when water is poured you can dig it out and you a hose to clear it. It's worth a try. If that doesn't work, it will need to be snaked out.
  • Mustangman
    Mustangman Member Posts: 95
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    You did say that there is no discharge piping for the drain? I thought it was just a floor drain in the concrete? Floor drains piped to nowhere will drain slowly.
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,962
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    Intplm. said:

    You might be able to clean it yourself as it may only be clogged at the trap just below the floor.
    Since you mention it drains slowly when water is poured you can dig it out and you a hose to clear it. It's worth a try. If that doesn't work, it will need to be snaked out.

    Using a camera down the drain will verify where it goes. Until then, yes, it will drain slowly.
  • RTW
    RTW Member Posts: 60
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    I believe "mustangman" is on to something I should check out. In the meantime, I will post a photo over weekend, but it is my 1st photo post, so may take a little effort. The crush stone below drain makes the most sense. Regards RTW
  • RTW
    RTW Member Posts: 60
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    Here are images of basement drain

    Regards,
    RTW


  • PRR
    PRR Member Posts: 142
    edited April 1
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    RTW said:

    ....floor drain ....empties into a 1 1/2 to 2 inch metal pipe ....poured the floor in the early 60's. It does NOT have any outlet and is filled with dirt from what I can tell. It does drain slowly if some water is poured on top.... My house is over two hundred years old ...

    Your woodwork looks SO much like my old 1834 house that I was afraid you bought my problems. (But my "drain" was a bit different.) Yes, dirt with 20th century concrete over.
    AFAICT, the drain did not go anywhere. There were used to draining the boiler on the dirt. It went away in a few days. When they concreted they set a drain in that spot. Probably cashed the check before the concrete set. Didn't seem to do any real harm. I blew-down the boiler many times in that hole.

  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,954
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    Shop vac out what you can. Mad Dog 
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,859
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    Water hose vacuum
    Water hose vacuum
    repeat as needed. 

    Here they only go to the sand below the house. 
    Intplm.
  • RTW
    RTW Member Posts: 60
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    Roger that! RTW