No basement drain?

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Posted by: from Ottawa
3/12/2011 at 9:35:47 AM

I have a 1 1/2 story home with block foundation built in 1950 that appears to have NO basement drain. When I bought the home last fall and pulled up the carpeting in the partially finished basement to put down dry core and a vinyl flooring, we expected to find the drain at that time. But there appears not to be any. Is this possible? There are a number of partition walls in the basement; Could they be "hiding" around or under those? Seems the house is too modern, relatively speaking, to have been built originally with only a rubble floor, and a DIY flooring poured in later. Any thoughts welcome.

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Enrico from Olivo Contracting in Toronto
Date/Time3/12/2011 at 4:03:14 PM

Hi Gail,

You're house is not too old not to have a basement drainage. This should be in and around the water heater, or water meter, although it may have been moved it shouldn't be far from these. Most likely it may have been covered and patched over with cement.

One way to find it is the slope of the floor or find the drain hose connecting from your water heater to the floor and trace that. This should be connected to the floor drain. Also, try to find the lowest point if you can, however, this might be difficult since you mentioned covering it with drycore. If you cannot find it, it would be in your best interest to have a drain in your basement, and if your laundry room is separate from your water heater or water main area, you would want one there too.

Hope this helps.


Enrico Olivo

Olivo Contracting

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Gail in Ottawa
Date/Time3/12/2011 at 5:20:32 PM

Thanks for this reply. But, still no drain. Neither anywhere around the water heater, nor in the area that seems to be the lowest part of the floor, which seems to be about in the middle of the basement (we would have seen it there when we took up the carpeting before laying down the drycore. There was definitely no drain.) The laundry room is diametrically across the basement from the furnace room. It is also where the main sewer pipe (cast iron) is. That room's floor is covered with peel-strip tile by previous owner. There could be a drain there, though nothing in the smoothness of the surface or in any slant of the room would suggest so. (Sigh) One more thing. The furnace room has a large concrete pad, about 3x5 ft, where I guess an oil furnace would once have been. Would this have been original to the house? If not, might it be covering a drain hole?

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Date/Time5/19/2011 at 5:25:05 PM


Your washer has to have a drain. Look at the back of the washer and find the drain pipe generally located in the lower portion of the washer. Follow this pipe to where it enters the drain. It may be located under the washer or dryer. Good luck


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