Basement Plumbing in St. Louis – Maplewood Plumbing
Everything you need to know about basement plumbing… and then some.
Underneath the concrete floor of your home’s basement is a complex plumbing system made up of four distinct parts. These are the:
Basement floor drain
The purpose of the basement floor drain, or foundation drain, is to keep your basement floor dry by draining any excess moisture into your sewer line or your sump pump. The preventative drain maintenance measures you use will depend on the type of floor drain connection you have, and this depends on where water drains. If it drains into the sewer line, your drain will be fitted with a back flow prevention valve. If it drains into a sump pump, you won’t have sewer backing up, but the basement floor drain will be more limited in what it can handle. For instance, a washing machine won’t drain into a floor drain that empties into a sump pump.
Sump pumps are vital in St. Louis homes to help avoid flooding that can occur in low-level areas, especially during heavy rains and thunderstorms. Sump pumps are installed below the basement floor level so that gravity will take water down into the sump pump “pit” and away from your home’s foundation. Sump pumps do require regular maintenance to perform well. Homeowners can DIY sump pump cleaning, but remember to have a professional plumber check it annually and handle any professional cleaning and maintenance that might be needed to keep it in good working order.
Water supply line
In some St. Louis homes, the main water supply line runs underneath the basement floor and connects to the interior water supply lines inside your house. In this configuration, the water heater and/or water softener can treat your home’s water supply before it travels to your kitchen or bathroom faucet. There is a risk with this configuration, however. If the foundation of your home shifts, you could face a water line leak that’s difficult to detect based on its location. If your home’s water supply line is under your basement floor, keep an eye out for signs of a leak, such as a change in water pressure, a musty smell, or a wet concrete floor. If you do notice any of these red flags, contact your local plumber.
Main sewer line
Your home’s main sewer – or drain – line runs below the floor of your basement and is connected to your basement drain. The main drain line carries all the water from your home’s drains away from the foundation and dumps it into the sewer. Just like any other drain or pipe line, your main sewer line does have the potential to leak or clog. This can cause other drainpipes in your home to drain more slowly or stop altogether. It can also be a health threat to the people living in the house, so don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber if this should occur.
Basement Bathroom Additions
Adding a basement bathroom, wet bar, or second kitchen to your finished basement can enhance your home and has the potential to upgrade its value. Because they’re below ground, additions that require basement bathroom plumbing add a bit more work than a typical above-ground bathroom or kitchen.
There are a few things you need to know before getting started with a basement bathroom, bathroom remodel, wet bar, or kitchen. If your St. Louis home was built above the sewer lines, you’re in luck. In this case, the plumbing work can be done just as it would be for an above ground project.
If your home’s sewage pipes run above the level on which the basement is built, you have a couple options:
- Up-flushing system. This style relies on various tubes to push used water into the main sewage line.
B. Sewage-ejector system. These systems work like a septic tank in the sense that they are enclosed in a container that sits beneath a toilet.
Some homeowners choose to DIY the rough-in plumbing for a basement bathroom. Whether you do this yourself or hire a professional plumber to handle your basement bathroom plumbing work is up to you, but you’ll want to make sure you have the time, tools, and skills necessary before diving in!
According to Family Handyman, there are 13 steps to follow to do this correctly:
Step One: Locate the main drain.
Step Two: Measure for a minimum of 1/4 in. slope per foot.
Step Three: Pencil in the basement bathroom layout including walls, toilet, sink, shower, and drain lines.
Step Four: Trench the basement bathroom floor with a sledgehammer.
Step Five: Cut out a section of drain to install a Y-fitting.
Step Six: Tie into the drain.
Step Seven: Build the drain system carefully to ensure the exact location of the drains and vents and cap the open pipes.
Step Eight: Patch the concrete floor.
Step Nine: Frame the walls and assemble the vent system.
Step Ten: Connect the new vent system to your existing vent system.
Step Eleven: Position and assemble the shower drain.
Step Twelve: Select the proper type and size fitting and connect drainpipes.
Step Thirteen: Select the proper type and size of vent pipes and connect them.
If digging into the foundation of your home isn’t something you want to take on yourself, we don’t blame you! These projects are complicated, time consuming, and create a significantly higher chance of leaks. Maplewood Plumbing and Sewer has more than 30 years of experience roughing in basement bathrooms in St. Louis City and St. Louis County. Our family-owned business prides itself on our solid reputation in the community. Give us a call and see for yourself why our loyal customers won’t use anyone else!
We offer a one-year warranty on all parts and labor excluding washers.
We are experts in kitchen plumbing, bathroom plumbing, laundry room plumbing, commercial plumbing, outdoor plumbing, and remodeling. Give us a call at 314-645-6350 or fill out the contact form here to request a bid.
© 2023 Maplewood Plumbing & Sewer, LLC | Designed & Developed by Studio 2108