View Full Version : Floor Drain Questions
02-15-2009, 07:37 PM
At my newest mat I have had problems with the floor drains blowing up suds and making a river on one side of the mat. What I have is a bulkhead with 6 front loaders on one side and 8 tops on the other. A 6 inch PVC drain is shared. There are 3 floor drains in between that have been bringing up the suds. I don't know much about floor drains. Do they have P-traps? Anyone think that I can just cap them? I believe that oversudsing in the fronts is the problem. So cap them?? Maybe just shove some rags in them to see what happens. Gotta do something. Been open 3 months now and the place is starting to get busy. Any thoughts??
02-15-2009, 07:43 PM
Floor drains usually have P traps to keep out the sewer gases. Make sure they have water in them by pouring a few gallons down each.
Every month or so I'll pour down some bleach water to keep them full and to kill any mold or mildew.
02-16-2009, 12:00 AM
A better way than stuffing rags down the drains, see if you have room to put flapper type pvc ck valves in each floor drain line?
This way the drains still work, if needed for future leaks
02-16-2009, 09:33 AM
If you only been open 3 months, why not call back yourlumber who installed them.
02-16-2009, 10:43 AM
Flapper valves sound interesting. Was going to put rags to close to see if would solve problem or if suds just came up stand pipes.
Can't call plumber back. Store built in 1975. Just bought it. Was a big pos. Now getting busy and already turning a profit.
Any more suggestions??
Yeah Brett, I'm wondering if you have rodded out your main line. All kinds of lint and junk sticks to the sides over time. It really gets restricted about every 6 mo. Home Depot has a nice Ridgid model that will save you a lot of money over time. I would purchase my own as opposed to calling a sewer rodding service. Just start up a few machines set to hot and when they dump it helps to soften up all that soapy sticky junk on the drain pipes. Keep rodding and dumping the hot water down the drain. You will see black and grey crap flowing out into your lint trap. That should solve the soapy overflow out of your back flow troughs. It will still back up into the troughs but when the process reverses it will go down quickly. Good Luck.
02-16-2009, 08:15 PM
BCW. Back flow troughs?? Have heard of them, but have none in this mat or my other two.. Don't have problems at either of them. Took a look in the lint trap outside today. Looks like I have only 3 or 4 inch line from each trough going in to the lint trap. No problems with flow out of the trap. Inside I have 8 tops on one side and 6 30lb fronts on the other. PVC in bulkhead is 6in and has been pieced together. I looked at the flow into the trap and the pipe was flowing well, the mat was busy today. The outflow pipe from the bulkhead was almost completely used up. So any way, where do you get and insert a surge tank or back flow trough?
Also bulkhead is about 21 feet long with lots of piping. I had a passing thought about just using a 10 inch pipe to act as a surge tank. Anywhy where can I get a look at a tank? Thanks, Brett
Brett, I also have a pvc line above the drain. All machines dump into it. It is fitted with vent stacks and it dumps into the main drain. The cement floor underneath it is cut with backflow troughs that drain into the same main drain. It is a natural occurance for soapy water to back up. The backflow troughs are used to alleviate the problem. As far as surge tanks go, I had a tank designed at the local steel mill and it handles 3 55lb., and 4 18lb. machines. I lift the water out overhead by way of a sump pump and pvc to the lint trap directly. I'm sure that the same company that offers custom bulkheads has these tanks also. You could also most likely have one fabricated locally. Draw it up to your specs. and have it fitted with drain hose fittings. Then just drop in a sump pump and run pvc up to the ceiling and into your lint trap. Mine is in my mech. room, so that's what worked for me. You could also run it under the floor to wherever.
02-17-2009, 03:11 PM
My favorite design is a concrete trough built into the floor of the bulkhead and sloped toward a central drain. Mine is 12" wide x 9" deep (in the center) x almost the length of the bulkhead. The trough has one 4" trapped drain midway between the two ends. This drain has a crown (roof) grate over it to prevent large items from entering the line.
The trough allows you to install either gravity drain or pump drain washers on either side of the bulkhead. I merely use 4" standpipes attached to the side framing to accomodate the hoses from my toploaders. These standpipes have a couple of 4" elbows at the bottom to direct the flow into the trough. When I convert from toploaders to frontloaders, I'll merely remove the standpipes and plumb each frontloader directly to the trough. Nothing could be simpler. The trough acts as a surge pit and suds accumulator.
There may be municipalities that don't allow concrete troughs in the bulkhead. Others REQUIRE the concrete trough. I know of a brand new Wascomat laundromat in Grand Rapids that does not have troughs. Instead, each and every washer's drain is plumbed individually through the concrete floor where they connect to the sewer branch line UNDERGROUND.
02-17-2009, 10:50 PM
In our burned store we're replacing a 4" cast iron line with a stainless steel 20' trough that will dump into the drain line. City doesn't allow pvc and inspector didn't feel the 4" line was enough for 4 30's, 2 40's and 2 60's even though it's enough for 20 tops. Don't get me started....
02-17-2009, 11:06 PM
Thanks for all the posts guys. Sounds like we have a lot of different ideas about how to move water and suds. Leaning toward plugging the floor drains to prevent "backwashing" when drain line leaving store gets going full bore. Next step since space in bulkhead is limited, think I will try going to a 10" pvc line to allow for more standing water and suds while waiting for drainage. Let you know how it works out. Also, although I don't think it is a problem, When I have the drains apart I'll rod out the line. Again thanks guys, I'll get this done in a couple of weeks and let you know the outcome.
Brett, Perhaps you should consult with a plumber (just a suggestion) before you cap off your floor drains. You might not like the results.(air lock) Your lines are backing up for a reason. Capping them off might create an even bigger problem. You would be taking away an air vent and the water/suds might back up into the washers.