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oasistree 03-08-2011 11:20 AM

Use gray water drain for basement bath?
I am preparing to finish the 800-sq.-ft. basement of my 1925 bungalow. This would include creating a second bathroom, which in addition to the toilet and sink would also have a shower and separate bathtub. I also likely will place the washer and dryer in or next to the bathroom. I am further contemplating putting a mini bar in another portion of the basement.

Before I have plumbing contractors come in and just tell me what I want to hear, I would like to get your views on this: Can the current gray water drain in the basement be used to handle waste water from the washer, sink, shower, bathtub, and minibar?

The current plumbing setup includes a large (6-inch?) cast-iron sewer pipe that goes out through the north poured-foundation wall and handles all the plumbing from the first-floor bathroom. The kitchen plumbing in handled by a smaller iron pipe that goes out the south wall of the foundation. The gray water from the washer goes out an even smaller pipe (1.5 to 2 inches), but this pipe exits through the foundation floor by the west wall. All three lines converge in the backyard, so eventually all sewage and waste water from the home exits into the main sewer line via one pipe.

I imagine that waste from the basement toilet would have to be handled by an ejector pump taking it to the large cast-iron pipe on the north wall. Fortunately, I think the layout for the basement bathroom would easily accommodate this.

However, as for the washer, shower, bathtub and minibar, can all these be handled by putting in plumbing below the foundation so they all drain to the pipe that currently handles just the gray water? It seems if I can do that, then most waste water from the house will leave by gravity alone, minimizing the wear and tear on the ejector pump for the basement toilet.

All the bathroom and washer plumbing would be placed in a space roughly 10feet by 14 feet, and the bathroom is planned for the spot where the current gray water line exits the home, so it seems this can be done with a minimum amount of cutting to the foundation floor. The minibar is a different matter, however, since that would involve having to run a pipe all the way the other side of the basement, about another 20 feet.

Any thoughts on this are welcome. Thank you.

Redwood 03-08-2011 05:29 PM

Really your questions would be best answered by a contractor on site...

I'd make sure that the plumbing is done by a licensed plumber...

AllanM 03-10-2011 02:37 AM

I agree with Redwood. Maybe it's time for you to contact a contractor than to DIY. It may cost you more if something wrong happens.

plumber4200 03-11-2011 04:56 PM

Technically Oasis If the pipe is big enough it could. As long as the laundry pipe does go to the city sewer that is. If the laundry piping is 3" it feasibly could handle a bathroom group on it. Keep in mind in most code you can only have 3 toilets on a 3" drain line before upgrading to 4". However I agree with the other guys that you need to have a licensed, insured plumber that has done some basements actually look at the job. Contrary to your belief i believe that most plumbers that are willing to pull permits and get inspections will tell you straight and not just what you want to hear... I like for my customers to be happy and safe with the assurance that they will not get sick or have their families hurt by something I did. Give your local licensed guys the benefit of the doubt:)


oasistree 03-13-2011 03:10 PM

Thank you all for your comments. It sounds like there is potential for this to work, so I'll be consulting with some pros is the next few weeks. Thanks again.

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