Am I correct in assuming that the drain of a urinal equipped with a
Sloan "sensor activated Flushometer" valve should be able to accept that
valve failing in the open position and handle the full water flow
without the urinal overflowing?
That didn't happen in our office building last night when a valve in the
second floor mens room failed to close, the urinal overflowed and the
floor drain also could not handle the continuous flow so the water went
out under the bathroom door, spread into a couple of offices and then
leaked down into several offices below, including mine.
Our landlord's maintenance manager called it "a perfect storm" and there
have been workers here all day cleaning up the messes it caused.
Just for S&Gs (I guess I should say P&Gs)I tested the urinal in the
first floor mens room a few minutes ago. I pushed the manual button on
the top of the Flushometer valve as often as it would accept a push and
watched the water level in the urinal continue to rise while I did that.
I have no doubt that it would have overflowed had I continued, or the
valve got stuck open.
The building is about 25 years old and I suspect that nobody gave much
thought to testing the urinal and floor drain's capacities during that
time, and most likely they were partially clogged. I hope they will in
A plumber who once came to my house to snake out a drain tested it by
turning on the hot and cold water full blast. He told me that any
fixture's drain must be able to handle the full input without backing up.
Since the floor drain could not handle the overflow either...I assume
the entire drain pipe must be clogged.
Wonder if the drains are constricted by calcium scale,
or some such? Perhaps a plumber with a drain snake might
prevent the next catastrophe.
If you'd like an activist "take charge" idea, buy a bottle
of drain cleaner with acid, some time. Pour the entire
bottle into the drain of one of the urinals. Flow test
an hour or so later.
Hydroxide cleaner won't do any good, here. Or maybe it
will (if it's grease clog). Might try the hydroxide
cleaner the next day.
Right...take charge, pour some chemicals down the drain but make sure you
don't tell the maintenance guys who might come along and decide to try to
clear the drain via mechanical means, like a snake. They don't need to know
that there's acid in the drain. They'll figure it out eventually.
And is that something you are willing to guarantee won't happen?
Are you also will to guarantee that no workman will be working on any
downstream pipes in that building at the time the tenant pours the
All in all, it's my humble opinion that a tenant in an office building
shouldn't be pouring chemicals down the floor drain of a bathroom without
informing someone who is responsible for the maintenance of the building.
For all the tenant knows, the maintenance crew may have already put
something in the drain, something that may not play nicely with whatever
the tenant adds to it.
If someone was visiting my house and found a clogged drain, I sure wouldn't
want them "taking charge" and pouring chemicals into the drain without
informing me first.
On Thu, 23 Jan 2014 04:40:22 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03
I was a summer sub-subtenant of a guy with a piano, and I was scared to
to even repair his piano without permission, but he was in Europe and I
didn't know where. Of course I could have asked my
roommate/landladies,, who wer emere subtenants of his, but I was afraid
they'd say no. (The reason I chose this apt. was the piano.)
I moved at the end of the summer and a month later got a phone call,
"Are you the one who stayed here this past summer?" Yes. "And are you
the one who fiddled with my piano?" Yeeeesss. "I want to thank you
for fixing it."
His 2-year old daughter had been dropping pennies in the keyboard and
several keys didn't work.
But I didnt' use any chemicals, and I knew I could put it back together
without harming it, even if I didnt' fix it.
And he couldnt' fire me if things didn't work out right.
That means several factors all misfunctioning together. What broke
except for the valve.
Are the drains the required diameter?
Well that explains it. The need for drains wasn't fully understood
until last summer
When I entered the 12th grade, the township had just built a new high
school. And it opened the day after Labor Day. About 6 months later, a
truck hit a light pole a block away and knocked out the power to the
school. The emergency lights went but not in the right places. Some
were in rooms with windows, but some rooms with no windows had no lights
go on. I think there was an elevator for kids in wheel chairs, but
it had no power . And then I think the generator failed in about 20
minutes. AIUI, the school district had 6 months to accept the
building or make complaints and they had made no complaints about any of
this stuff, because they never checked anything. If the truck hadn't hit
the pole, they wouldn't have known.
They still had a few days on the warranty and the electrical contractor
did all the repairs for free, but the school was just lucky.
You would think so, just like a urinal with a handle, or a sink.
I suspect that all the urinals, and sinks, and toilets, empty into a
common drain pipe and therein lies the fault, or something else is lying
in there. Perhaps an abundance of feminine hygiene products.
Or, I don't know where you are located but it has been very cold up here
in the NE. Perhaps the drain pipe froze up underground?
So *some* US bathrooms *do* have floor drains. When the question was
asked here a few years ago why US bathrooms don't have them (as
Australian bathrooms do), the answer was something along the lines of
"because Americans don't pee on the floor."
SS now the question: Which US bathrooms have floor drains? Only
bathrooms in commercial premises? Only bathrooms in certain
In my experience, and to the best of my recollection, the only US bathrooms
that have floor drains are in commercial establishments.
Well, unless you want to count what used to be in my basement bathroom. In
the sorry excuse for a shower stall, the "base" of the stall was the
basement slab itself. A round hole was drilled in the slab and a kitchen
sink strainer was placed in the hole. I guess you could call it a "floor
Soon after moving in I jack hammered the slab, removed the cast iron trap
under the shower and replaced the cheap plastic shower stall with a
fiberglass unit, proper base and PVC drain.
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