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  1. #1
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    Adding a utility sink to a basement washing machine room

    I want to add a utility sink to my basement washing machine room. Currently, the washing machine drains into a drainpipe that comes out of the foundation about 4 feet above the floor. I would like to add the sink next to the washer. I think I need a sump pump since the sink will sit lower than the drain pipe. I'm not sure how to have both the washing machine and sink empty into the same drain pipe without one backing up into the other. I'd like to set it up similar to the diagram, but I'm confused about the joint that I circled in red. Do I use a T joint of some kind? Do I need to attach the washer at a higher level than the sink? Is it possible to do what I want? Please help. Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
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    Technically speaking sump pumps may only be used to discharge storm drainage and may not be connected to the DWV (Drain, Waste & Vent) system.

    The discharge from a laundry sink is tecnically defined as sanitary waste and requires an approved Sewage Ejector Pump. Sanitary sewage may not be discharged through a sump pump.

    After discussing this idea with a couple colleage's who are Plumbing inspectors we are all of the concensus opinion that you could take advantage of a rather gray area of the code providing it is not rejected by your local inspector.

    If you were to cut a hole in the concrete and install a permanent sump or catch basin that would be considered a permanent fixture and as such you would be required to install an approved sewage ejector complete with a water tight lid and a vent through the roof, howver, if you use a crock or vessel sitting on the floor and fitted with a utility pump you could then make the argument that it is not a plumbing fixture but rather it is an appliance in the same manner as the washing machine or a condensate lift pump on an HVAC system (providing you do not connect a watercloset to the crock.)

    As an appliance the discharge must then be connected to the house DWV system by means of an indirect waste receptor which in this case would be the washing machine standpipe.

    To make an approved standpipe you would first come off the existing drain line with a 2" P-trap, then install an 18" PVC riser on the input of the P-trap. (The code minimum for a washer standpipe is 18" vertical above the trap.)

    There are a number of small submersible utility pumps such as those made by "Little Giant or Wayne Pumps" that have a 3/4" garden hose connection on the output that would suffice for your needs. You could then attach an appropriate length of 3/4" garden hose and on the output end make a U shaped section of copper or aluminum tubing which could be inserted into the garden hose and connected with a radiator clamp. The Inverted U shape would then hang on the top of the standpipe to make the final connection. (The pumps are typically about $75)

    For a control system you can get a submersible float switch that is made for sump pumps that has a long cord attached. The switch assembly is secured to the pump by means of a large radiator clamp and the cord goes up to your outlet. The switch cord is plugged into the outlet and the pump is then plugged into an outlet on the switch cord. Once this is set up as the water rises in the holding vessel the switch floats upward and turns the pump on. As the water level drops the switch then floats down to the horizontal position and turns the pump off. (Accessory float switches are typically about $20).

    Both the washing machine and the pump can share a common standpipe.

  3. #3
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    pump

    This is the pump I was considering buying. Would this do the job?

    http://www.flotecpump.com/asp/Product.asp?PId=305

  4. #4
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    The pump in your link is a self contained sewage ejector pump, which definitely would serve the purpose however it presents a number of technical problems.

    First of all, if you examine the top of the enclosure you will see two pipes coming off the top. One is the discharge pipe and the second one is a vent line which must be connected to a vent to the roof.

    The discharge line must then run vertical to a point above the gravity flow drain line to which you will connect it. The discharge line must then be connected to the gravity flow line by means of a Wye connection with the side opening on the top of the pipe.

    There must be a "Backflow preventer" installed on the vertical riser from the pump and it must also have a manual DWV rated gate valve above the backflow preventer.

    The real problem is the output rate of the pump. That pump is rated at 2880gal/hr.

    2880 / 60 = 48gal/minute. (Under the International Residential Code the Code minimum for a sewage ejector pump is 14.2gal/min while the Uniform Plumbing Code minimum is 20gal/min.)

    Before connecting the pump to the house drain system under the International Residential Code we must compute the load at 1.5DFU'd (Drainage fixture units) for each GPM from the pump. (Uniform Plumbing Code demands 2DFU for each GPM).

    The pump discharges 48GPM so the output load is now:

    International Residential code= 48gpm x 1.5 DFU = 72DFU
    Uniform Plumbing Code = 48gpm x 2 + 96DFU.

    This DFU load must then be added to the existing DFU load on the drain line.

    Under the International Residential Code the maximum permitted DFU load on a 3" branch line is 20DFU and the maximum permitted load on a 3" house main drain or house sewer with a 1/8" per foot pitch is 36DFU and with a 1/4" per foot pitch it is 42DFU.

    Under the Uniform Plumbing Code the maximum permitted DFU load for a 3" horizontal branch line is 35DFU and for a 3" house main drain or house sewer the maximum permitted load is 35DFU.

    This means that if you use the pump in your link it must be connected to a 4" drain line. Many homes only have a 3" line, therefore in order to install that pump you would need to change the entire main drain and house sewer line to the municipal sewer connection.

  5. #5
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    Another pump

    Is this pump more appritate? It doesn't seem to need to be attached to a vent pipe.

    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...esc&lpage=none

    http://www.waterace.com/pdf/R3S%20R3...s%20Manual.pdf
    Last edited by joeg13; 03-10-2006 at 09:27 AM.

  6. #6
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    Current setup

    Here's a picture of my current setup. Thanks again for the advice.

    Last edited by joeg13; 03-14-2006 at 09:45 PM.

  7. #7
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    All the pumps shown in that link are sump pumps and would be much too big for this application.

    In order to use a pump that is directly coupled to a drain line to lift waste the pump would be required to be ASTM listed as a "Sewage Ejector Pump"

    A Sewage ejector pump is required to be sealed inside a water tight enclosure with a removable service access cover and a separate vent through the roof of the structure.

    The output of the pump is required to be rated at 1.5DFU's for each GPM from the pump, which means the pumps illustrated would be 1.5DFU x 30gpm = 45DFU of load on the line it discharges into. That means it would be required to discharge into a 4" or greater line.

    The present washing machine connection illustrated in your photo is also a violation of code because it is directly coupled to the drain line. Washing machines are required to discharge into an "indirect waste receptor".

    You could create an indirect waste receptor by disconnecting the present hookup, then extending the copper input pipe on the P-trap a minimum of 18" vertically providing that is a 2" diameter line and connecting the washing machine drain line in the conventional manner.

    Below I have illustrated a method whereby you can use a small utility pump in a catch vessel under your sink to pump the water up to the washer standpipe. Since the pump is portable and the discharge is connected to the input side of the P-trap it would be classified as an appliance instead of a sewage pump therefore it would be acceptable.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #8
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    The full picture

    I think I understand all of the instructions you've given me. I'll shop for a much smaller pump that pumps at the rate you've suggested. I updated your picture to show my understanding of the complete hookup. The main thing I added which I'm not sure if it's correct is the double sanitary tee with the backflow preventer. Did I get that right? Please let me know how I did. Thanks again.


  9. #9
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    What would be prohibitive about installing a sealed box such as is on the link below that contains a pump in it. Then instead of tying into the main stack to vent, an air admittance valve could be used instead. Home Depot sells small contained units such as this, couse the link also provides the name of a supplier.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/home...t/1275616.html

    Just curious?? Thanks

  10. #10
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    kactuskid

    The sealed box is a great idea. The Flotec pump that I provided a link to in my second post is a sealed box that contains a pump like you're descibing and shown in the Popular Mechanics article. It's sold in Home Deopt. I just need to find one that is less powerful since LazyPup said the Flotech one pumps too many gallons per min. I agree with you and was hoping to find something like this.

    Your suggestion of an air admittance valve, solves the problem of not wanting to tie into the existing vent pipe.

    I think my last problem is how to attach both the waste pipe/hose from the sink pump and the waste hose from the washing machine to the same 18" stand pipe. Would I use a double sanitary tee with backflow preventers as I added to LazyPup's diagram? Or is there a better way?

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