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Old 03-23-2012, 08:38 AM   #1
dartsportsteve
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Default Garage Floor Drain

Hi guys. I'm getting ready to start a garage build and thought I'd finally post. I'm pulling all kinds of ideas from the forum so THANK YOU.

My question has to do with floor drains and where they run to. Does anybody have them run to a french drain? I realize that whatever I do has to fit into code, but the city hasn't been able to give me any answers. To give you an idea, we don't even have a building inspector here.

Just wondering how most floor drains are done. Thanks!
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:29 AM   #2
K'ledgeBldr
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

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Originally Posted by dartsportsteve View Post
Just wondering how most floor drains are done.


Most aren't done. For the most part it is against code. At least from the standpoint of being connected to the sewer or storm drain. The closest you might come is to run it out as surface drainage or into a dry sump pit. But, then the EPA has a shit-fit about those things.
Several people have done the hidden (all-be-it illegal) thing- buried in concrete, open it up after the C/O.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:37 AM   #3
dartsportsteve
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

I see. I'm probably better off to just forget about it and keep a floor squeegie around then.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:52 AM   #4
Bruce Amacker
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

Most home garage floor drains go to sanitary sewer, not storm sewer unless they're really old. French drains I'm familiar with go to storm sewers, not sanitary sewers. If you're in the boonies with no sewers go to your county bldg dept (not city/township) as they will probably have jurisdiction anyway. I'm from the commercial garage environment and I vote against floor drains because of legal liabilities. I've even corked existing floor drains in buildings I've had to prevent legal issues. I know two customers of mine who had bad stuff go down a sewer, the EPA charged them $50-100K for cleanup. One was a mixture of latex paint and water, the other was a bleach-like chemical. Both went down storm sewers and created quite an expensive clean-up, although he real environmental damage was small.

I ran a commercial garage for decades with no floor drain, used only oil-dry on the floors, and they were super clean. In a home environment you probably want one for snow drippage, washing cars inside(?) and the like.

I'm just paranoid one of my classic cars will spring a fuel leak, dumping gas down a drain and an expensive clean-up. The EPA is ruthless in these (rare but existent) situations. I've been told it's in the area of $10K for the cleanup of a truck crash where 50-100 gallons of diesel fuel is dumped on the road/ditch.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:55 AM   #5
dartsportsteve
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

Yeah, I was primarily concerned with snow/ice melt off the cars. Considering I will be changing oil and eventually doing a restoration in there, I'll still with the floor dry.

Thanks.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:56 AM   #6
cderalow
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

To properly do a floor drain, you will need to include an oil-water separator after which it can tie into any sanitary sewer system, or depending on your jurisdiction and systems, a storm sewer (it would be considered gray water, which can sometimes be dumped into a storm sewer v brown water which has to go through the sanitary system).
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:01 AM   #7
Bruce Amacker
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

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Originally Posted by K'ledgeBldr View Post
Most aren't done. For the most part it is against code. At least from the standpoint of being connected to the sewer or storm drain.
???

Every home I've owned, probably every home in my city, and every home my friends live in has a floor drain in their garage.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:27 AM   #8
Big-Foot
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

Mine runs right out onto the ground.. It's there to get ice and snow melt out of the garage and shop without causing a mildew & mold problem... Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it...

In another shop I built many years ago, I just stuffed a rag down the drain and broke through the concrete after the inspection ( I was in Minneapolis at the time and floor drains in garages were frowned upon at the time ) .. That drain too, went out the side of the slab and onto the ground..

I never could figure out why running a drain like this onto the ground would be frowned upon.. If it's fuel or oil leaking from a vehicle they are worried about, then why are gravel driveways legal?
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

Garage Floor drains are a thing of the past. Unless properly done i.e. $$$ Other wise they are illegal. And not to mention the potential hazard if there were some flammable product go down and a discarded cig. were to meet. It has happened....it basically becomes a bomb.

Last edited by KELLHAMMER; 03-23-2012 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:45 AM   #10
mslisaj
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

I have a floor drain in the shop and it's really handy. It is tied directly into the sanitary sewer. It's very convenient for washing the floor and the spills that miss the pan. This building is 30 years old and it was a permitted installation. Not sure I would have a French Drain for the floor drain as the stuff that does get in there that would be bad for the ground water can be an issue. In my driveway I have a storm drain that drains into a French drain and I'm careful what I wash down the drain there.

But a shop floor drain is nice.................

Lisa
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:55 AM   #11
K'ledgeBldr
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Amacker View Post
???

Every home I've owned, probably every home in my city, and every home my friends live in has a floor drain in their garage.

Here's the specific code IRC (International Residential Code)
R309.1 Floor surface.
Garage floor surfaces shall be of approved noncombustible material.

The area of floor used for parking of automobiles or other vehicles shall be sloped to facilitate the movement of liquids to a drain or toward the main vehicle entry doorway.

The words "facilitate the movement of liquids to a drain"...
the problem? There is no definition as to this particular drain. And a lot of AHJ's (Authorities Having Jurisdiction) have amended the code EXCLUDING the "drain" notation.

There is specific written code for floor drains in the IPC (International Plumbing Code)-

SECTION 1003
INTERCEPTORS AND SEPARATORS

1003.1 Where required. Interceptors and separators shall be
provided to prevent the discharge of oil, grease, sand and other
substances harmful or hazardous to the building drainage system,
the public sewer, or sewage treatment plant or processes.

1003.2Approval. The size, type and location of each interceptor
and of each separator shall be designed and installed in accordance
with the manufacturer’s instructions and the
requirements of this section based on the anticipated conditions
of use. Wastes that do not require treatment or separation
shall not be discharged into any interceptor or separator.

Problem? This applies to Commercial, not residential.

We are talking new construction. I never said it wasn't done in the past- but it safe to say that petroleum distillates WOULD wind-up in the sewer and/or storm drain system- not very environmentally friendly.

All AHJ's will have the final say. My statement is based on the IRC and widely known practices of many jurisdictions.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:09 PM   #12
1967marti
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

Seems like darts is more worried about snow-melt and rain water from his cars making puddles in his garage. I helped a buddy build up his garage (in Baltimore, MD) with a drain in his floor for that exact purpose. basically his garage was raised a good 2 feet above ground level with the drain from the floor sticking out of the garage's foundation about halfway up the foundations slab. The inspector had no problem with it and even said it was a good idea.
I think the EPA issue is more of a "wash the toxic mess from your garage and into a storm drain" issue. If the drain pipe is dumping onto the surface of the ground or outside parking pad I can imagine how that would be a problem.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

We just had our house built almost 3 years ago and had a floor drain installed. It just runs out to the yard.
I am very careful about not letting anything run into it that shouldn't be.
Had no issues with the home inspector either.



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Old 03-23-2012, 01:12 PM   #14
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

I've got a floor drain in mine and it ties in with the downspouts out to a creek. New house built in 2009. I am careful about what does go near it tho.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:06 PM   #15
NUTTSGT
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Amacker View Post
I'm just paranoid one of my classic cars will spring a fuel leak, dumping gas down a drain and an expensive clean-up. The EPA is ruthless in these (rare but existent) situations. I've been told it's in the area of $10K for the cleanup of a truck crash where 50-100 gallons of diesel fuel is dumped on the road/ditch.
A spill has to be in excess of 55 gallons to report it to the EPA.




When I poured the new floor in my garage, I covered the old drain because I didn't want one. If I get any rain/snow mess in there, I'll grab the squeegee.


If I were to put a drain in on a new build, I'd run it to a dry well.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:13 PM   #16
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

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Originally Posted by ratdoggy View Post
I've got a floor drain in mine and it ties in with the downspouts out to a creek. New house built in 2009. I am careful about what does go near it tho.
Exactly the same as mine. I even built the house in 2009 as well.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:01 PM   #17
bleazenb
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

I just finished up my floor drain yesterday for my 40x 56 shop. Its acutally draining a shop area of 28 x 40. I used a 9" square drain basin and its piped out the back of the shop to a french drain pit of stone.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:07 PM   #18
K'ledgeBldr
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by NUTTSGT View Post
A spill has to be in excess of 55 gallons to report it to the EPA.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KELLHAMMER View Post
...not to mention the potential hazard if there were some flammable product go down and a discarded cig. were to meet. It has happened....it basically becomes a bomb.
Then what happens? They get involved.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:35 PM   #19
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

I faced the same decision with my new build. I own a used car lot and I wanted a wash bay BUT I also plan on doing some light mechanical work including oil changes. I was in the retail/wholesale gas business for 25 yrs and I know the epa all too well. The city said no problem and actually extended the storm drain a short distance for me to hook into it for the drain. The more I thought about it the more leary I became on the floor drain. I ultimatly decided not to do it. As mentioned previously the ONLY safe and proper way to do it in a shop where mechanical work is being done is to utilize an oil/water seperator. A residential property is not likely to get a visit by the epa, but a commercial property is very likely. If they come in your shop and see oil on the floor and a floor drain I can assure you that you will have problems. My recomendation would be to NOT DO IT.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:37 PM   #20
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Default Re: Garage Floor Drain

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Then what happens?
You pay dearly and they are like the IRS, RUTHLESS, they don't care if it bankrupts you or not.
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