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Laundry room plumbing: A recessed PVC floor drain

  • Comments 3

Recessed PVC floor drain


The building code in my area calls for a floor drain in the laundry room. But the laundry room in my house is on a standard wooden floor above the crawl space, not on concrete. So here's the problem. The only floor drain you can buy is for flush mounting to the floor. And when the water softener and furnace condensate drain lines flow into the drain, there will invariably be water running onto, and ruining, the finished floor. It'll also seep under the drain and eventually rot out the subfloor underneath the finished floor.


I invented a solution—a recessed drain using standard PVC plumbing fittings—but in an unconventional way.


Diagram of recessed PVC floor drain

First I traced around the 4-in. sewer and drain adapter and cut out the opening, just a little larger than the fitting. Then I glued it to the sides of the opening, flush to the floor with construction adhesive. (Wedges made from small shims held it in place while the glue dried.) Then I glued on a 4-in. coupling and then a 2-in. reducer and slipped in the 2-in. PVC pipe to hook it up to the trap down in the crawl space. The 2-in. floor drain just drops into the opening; there's no need to glue it because the whole contraption is sealed perfectly. Now the drain lines flow into the deep recess, so there's no need to worry about errant water wrecking the floor. It works perfectly.


— Travis Larson, Senior Editor


For some basics on working with PVC pipe, check out:

- Modify a Floor Drain to Prevent Flooding

- Tricks for Splicing Plastic Drain Pipe

- How to Connect a PVC Pipe to ABS Pipe



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  • Comments
    • by posted on

      I applaud you for meeting the floor drain requirement, if the new floor drain is properly vented. I would be interested in knowing where and how the new trap drains into the existing drain line. From your picture, it would seem that the water softener and overflow drain lines now create a common plumbing code violation due to the lack of a proper air gap above the floor drain.


      Oye Home Inspection, Inc.

      MN State Certified Building Official # 1540

      ASHI ACI Inspector # 200456


    • by posted on

      Interesting idea.  Sounds like a room best suited for a moisture resistant flooring.  When one of the lines leaks or gets knocked out of the drain (or the washer leaks) and damages the floor, I would replace it with tile or vinyl.  Good luck to you.

    • by posted on

      One more thought...

      If you do go with a new floor later on that is moisture resistant, be sure to drop the floor drain down flush with the floor.  If the lines or washer leak, the raised drain will keep water from draining...and will cause more damage as the water will make its way through and around the tile or vinyl floor.

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