Carpet Covered Floor Drain

I have a finished basement where the concrete floor is covered with an underpad and carpet, no subfloor. When the carpet was laid several years ago, the only floor drain was covered. (Sewer gases haven't been a problem because the trap is topped up by the air conditioner/high efficiency furnace drain.)
I'm thinking of replacing my water heater and that floor drain would come in handy to drain the tank. Having a functional drain would be a good idea in general. The problem is: the drain is in a very high traffic area sandwiched between the furnace and the stairs. photo : http://ca.geocities.com/ snipped-for-privacy@rogers.com/floor-drain/index.html You have to step over the drain any time you enter the basement. I'm concerned that if I cut the carpet it will begin to fray and tear or become a tripping hazard.
I'm looking for a suggestion on how I could open the drain without causing other problems. Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance, Marc
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Marc wrote:

tempted to do something like this:
         | | \\ / Floor-----      ____________________| |_______________| | Level         | ______________________________________|          | |         | |         | |         | |         | |DRAIN
Cut a channel in the floor to accept 1 1/2" PVC pipe (or 2"). An EL drops into the drain. A TEE midway accepts the condensate drain hose. At the far right, use a 3" X 1 1/2" coupling to create a "funnel". The heater T&P relief can drain into that (so it's visible) and you could also use a drain hose into it.
Cement over the pipe and fab some kind of plastic cover over the floor drain so it's perfectly flush with floor (screwed down so it could be removed if needed.
Jim
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I think you can find a flange to provide an acceptable solution. A brushed brass or bronze one would probably be good with that color carpet. Look around with industrial suppliers, because this wouldn't be a typical home improvement item, but there are flat ones. I don't know how you'd get the old bits up, but maybe a slit in the carpet, and the new flange should hold things together.

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Thanks for the tips. The channel cut is how I feed the air/furnace drain line. Now that the carpet is down, I don't want to pull it up to make another cut as I'm sure I'll make a mess of it.
I'll check out the hardware stores to see if I can find a suitable flange.
Thanks again, Marc
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