Second Floor Laundry Room

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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
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Deano wrote:

Use steel hoses for the washer and reduce chances for a catastrophe. Why is a drain not practical since you also need a drain for the washer?
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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.
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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 at HD.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Also quarter-turn valves for the water supply. You turn it on to wash, turn it off when done.
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wrote:

Three suggestions:
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 supply leak.
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.
HTH,
Paul F.
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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.
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Deano wrote:

Instead of a washroom, consider a chute or dumbwaiter to the basement (with access on the ground floor). All the dirty laundry goes to the cellar. Also a chute would be less work and more fun.
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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.
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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.
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jamesgangnc wrote:

That makes sense because the drain is for emergency use only.
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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.
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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
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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.
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Oren wrote:

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.
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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
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Deano wrote:

And the fact that it sometimes freezes is of importance exactly how?
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HeyBub wrote:

Well, if nothing else, it is a air leak to the outside. An ambitious bug could even enter that way, unless you screened the end of it.
-- aem sends...
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jamesgangnc wrote:

Put the trap in the basement.
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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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