Hi, I have purchased an 1890 vintage house in Cincinnati and would
like to put in a "laundry closet" in an eave on the second floor. I
could use some suggestions about building a good floor liner in case
of leaks. I don't think that a drain is practical, but I'd like
something larger than a rubber pan that the washer sits in. Space is
approximately 72" by 48';" I have to build the wall out a little as
the roof is slanted inside. Thanks! Deano
Agreed. No "pan" solution is going to solve your problem. The washer
holds more than you can possibly catch in a pan that is not connected
to a drain. I talked to a guy that had the solenoid water valve in
the washer fail on a 2nd story washer. The water just keep flowing
until it overflowed the washer tub. It was in a lake house so it ran
for 4 days before anyone found it.
A pan solution won't solve the worse case scenario, but it could
prevent less serious leaks from doing damage. But I agree that
trying to do something with the floor isn't likely to yield additional
protection in line with the work involved, unless it includes a drain.
There are several other options too:
1 - There are automatic electric shut-off valves available. They
only turn on the water when the machine is running, ie drawing
power. The washer plugs into the widget, the widget plugs into the
outlet and it then senses when the washer is running. They will
protect against a burst hose when the machine is not being used.
2 - Floodsafe hoses. These are designed to close if the hose bursts,
ie they allow water at some pre-determined rate, but will close if the
volume exceeds that. Never tried one and one concern I'd have is if
they provide enough water flow when the machine is spinning and
injecting bursts of water at the start of the rinse cycle. At least
that's how my older top-loader works.
3 - Water alarms that you can set by the washer, in the pan, etc. $10
Treat it like a shower stall with a raised curb, a floor drain, and
waterproof membrane under the finish floor and partway up the wall.
You want this big and deep enough to hold at least a full tubs worth
of water in case a drain hose leaks. Suggestion 3 will deal with a
Install a single lever shutoff for the water supply and turn it off
every time you're not actually using water.
Install a water detector with backup shutoff valve. These have a
sensor that sits on the floor. If it detects water, it shuts off the
water supply. These are commercially available. Cheap insurance. And
if you really can't install a floor drain, this will save your bacon
before the water overflows the containment.
Second the suggestion for Stainless reinforced hoses.
Many of the condos that I do work in have a homemade pan in the laundry
closet installed by the builder. It is nothing more than a wood frame
around the base that has been fiberglassed. There is a floor drain.
I suppose that if you wanted to get fancy you could build a basic shower pan
and put ceramic tile on top with a floor drain. I would not do it without a
drain. You want the water to go somewhere and not lay there.
You have had good advice, but its a laundry room, tap into the drain
you will use for the machine and add a floor drain under the machines,
thats what a laundry room needs, ive had water from overfilled tubs,
repairs and carelessness, it goes down a drain.
Sometimes it's difficult to tap into the drain in this situation.
Drains need to have a trap in them to prevent gas from getting back
into the house. Often washer drains are installed with that trap in
the wall behind the washer. The floor drain needs to connect above
the trap. So the trap would have to be lower than the floor. That
may or may not be difficult to do. A safety drain can't have it's own
trap because it would dry out. So a lot depends on what the options
for plumbing the new location are.
If it's possible to get a floor drain connected above the trap that
would be fine. Otherwise a straight pipe going out an exterior wall
will do as well.
In my last house, the laundry closet was on the 2nd floor hallway. The
pan was made of galv. sheet metal ( 2 inches height) and a drain. The
drain was piped to an outside wall with 3/4 PVC. Outside the wall
there was a elbow - directing water downward.
My HVAC furnace in the attic has a similar design.
Agree on having the pan drain ouside. Here it is code for the secondary
pans on a/c coils to not only drain outside, but be where they are
easily visible, so the homeowner will be alerted to a problem early
enough to prevent damage if the pan overflows. The drains often come out
over the door, so they will not only see it, but not be tempted to
postpone repairs. Larry
About two years ago, I was in a restaurant, which had AC,
and a drip coming from over a window. I mentioned that, and
the reason. The old guy say "Oh, it does that every time we
use the AC" and didn't seem at all interested.
I have a similar pan which is plumbed to the basement near a floor drain
- no trap. In this climate I wouldn't want it plumbed outside.
Water supply is ball valves which we always turn off when the washer is
not being used.
Hey Guys, great advice! I imagine I would have to build up the
floor to install a drain...which would make the washer quite a bit
higher...unless we get a front loader. I like the "drain outside"
idea on the surface but it does freeze here (let's not even bring that
up at the moment...I'm so sick of Winter by February!). I would be
concerned about a fiberglass "liner" breaking under a heavy, vibrating
appliance. The metal lines and shut off "lever" type valve are a
must. I suppose I could make a liner out of concrete or even backer
board on the floor and sides with cement connecting the pieces and
covered with some kind of thinset (?) You've convinced me about the
drain .... just have to work out the specifics. We are running lines
from a downstairs bathroom and a 2" copper vent that is behind the
wall. Thanks again and all input will be appreciated. Deano in Cincy
Do floor drains use a trap? If they do, how do you keep the trap
full of water?
I don't understand why they make gourmet cat foods. I have
known many cats in my life and none of them were gourmets.
They were all gourmands!
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