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Wed, Sep 24th - 4:38AM

Floor Drain Primer Line - Does Your Basement Have One?


Have you ever just been casually looking around in your basement, typically around your furnace area and found a plastic line disapearing into your concrete floor and thought: what is this?

Well the “what is this?” is the automatic priming line for your floor drain.

Let’s start at the beginning here. According to the Ontario Building Code and the National Plumbing Code, a floor drain must have something called a trap seal, what this means is that there must be water in the trap to prevent sewer gas from entering your home.

What is a trap? It is a pipe that is either formed or pieced together to form the letter P (this is one of the common traps that we’ll discuss) . They are found in such places like under sinks, under showers, and of course they make up part of the floor drain. But because the traps in the floor drains do not get used as much as traps elsewhere in the house, the trap seal dries up and allows sewer gas and other smells into the house. This is the importance of a priming line.

So what’s a priming line? A priming line is a plastic or metal water line that is attached at one end to something that when in use, supplies water to another location. In most cases the priming lines are connected to the taps on your laundry tub, the taps in the kitchen (under the counter) and attached to the toilet tank (running up the back side of the tank). From their connection point they run through another pipe and eventually end up connected to the floor drain to maintain the trap seal – stops in the intrusion of sewer gas.

What if you don’t have a primer line – what do you do? You can make sure that all traps have water in them simply by running the taps for a few moments. Take a container, pour it down the floor drain, if you have a bathroom in the basement that you hardly use, run the taps in the sink and tub/shower. If there is a laundry tub that is not used to often… again, run the taps, get that trap seal working again.

By doing all of the above, you will maintain the trap seal, you should be minimizing the chances of sewer gas into the house and eliminating any unpleasant odours that make occur.

Brought to you by the Alliston Home Inspector


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