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Plumbing a washing machine overflow tub

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  • Plumbing a washing machine overflow tub

    Our plumber (new house) plumbed our 2nd floor laundry with a washer overflow tub that is not hooked into the houses waste line. The PVC waste line comes down into the basement where it terminates into open space - just a pipe hanging out of the ceiling. So should the washing machine overflow the water wont damage the 2nd or 1st floors but will damage the finished basement. The explanation was that plumbing it into the waste line would result in a trap that would dry out allowing sewer gases to enter the house. In my last house, the plumber solved that problem by pouring mineral oil down the train and into the trap - I guess the mineral oil takes longer to evaporate. I am inclined to insist that the plumbing be changed to have that line plumbed into the sewer line. Any thoughts before I do that? Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Plumbing a washing machine overflow tub

    I dont think I understand you right. The only thing that wouldnt get tied in, is the floor drain that would be in the laundry room. Reason being is that if that floor drain gets water you have a problem and by letting it terminate in the basement you will be able to see it leaking and that you have a problem. If the basement is finished then I wouldnt allow it.


    • #3
      Re: Plumbing a washing machine overflow tub

      You can't plumb the overflow pan into the drainage without a trap. The trap would have to have a trap primer installed. Mineral oil is not an approved method of either insuring or maintaining a trap seal.


      • #4
        Re: Plumbing a washing machine overflow tub

        We do our washing machine pans in new homes the same way that yours is plumbed. if it is located in a part of your basement that is to be finished just have it relocated to the unfinished area in your basement preferably near a floor drain but not into it so it can be noticed if your washing machine begins to leak.
        This is an indirect waste that should not be tied into your sanitary drainage system so it can be observed if you do have a problem.
        If it is to difficult to relocate in your basement you can also plumb the drainage outside but also make sure it can be observed if you have a problem.


        • #5
          Re: Plumbing a washing machine overflow tub

          Take the line and indrectly connect it to a floor drain in the basement. The pan will only catch water coming from the washer itself, if you have a rupture in a hose the pan will do next to nothing. I would recommend buying stainless steel braided hoses. If a hose lets loose it will spray everywhere and the pan is useless.
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          Last edited by TOPDAWG; 02-24-2011, 04:21 PM.


          • #6
            Re: Plumbing a washing machine overflow tub

            It is not an "overflow" pan it is a drip pan. They are not meant to be tied into the DWV system.

            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

            I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!


            • #7
              Re: Plumbing a washing machine overflow tub

              can you turn it to the outside of the house above a window?

              does the basement have a shower or bathtub? letting it drip above those fixtures would tell you there's an issue.

              as already noted a drip pan is not going to handle a broken hose or a plugged up drain. what size is the pan and what size is the pipe that's run to the basement

              when i need to worry about a washer upstairs, i install an automatic water shut off that has a water sensor to shut off the hoses if it trips. it will not prevent a clogged drain from overflowing, but it will keep the machine from refilling again.

              phoebe it is


              • #8
                Re: Plumbing a washing machine overflow tub

                Thank you all for such quick replies.

                Yes, I am talking about the plumbing for the drip pan.

                The pan is basically the same size as the washing machine that it sits in, maybe 30 x 30? The pipe to the floor drain is maybe 1.5".

                The basement is finished but this pipe terminates into open air in the unfinished portion.

                There is a sewage ejector pump (not sure if that is the right term) in the basement that sits down in a pit. The lid on the pump assembly is recessed down in the pump by a few inches. And that lid is sealed.

                I would bet that the portion of the pit that rises above the lid would hold several gallons of water before it overflowed onto the basement floor. Maybe have it plumbed to dump the water there? Or as an alternative, is there a way that this pipe and another waste line could be shared so that the other line keeps the trap full of water?

                I have a little alarm that I have placed on the floor next to the washing machine that would alert me if there was water on the floor. I could put another one on the lid in that pit.


                • #9
                  Re: Plumbing a washing machine overflow tub

                  Yes it can be done.
                  Anything can.
                  But wouldn't it be easier to run to the outside?
                  The lid thing is a gamble with limited benefits?
                  What if you blow a washing machine hose while your out for a long period of time?