The addition of a bathroom in the basement can really increase the functionality of that space as well as dramatically increase the value of your home, but there can be some potentially sticky situations when plumbing below ground. Typically waste water travels with gravity, this is often not an option for basement bathrooms, and this is where things can get a little hairy.
While adding a bathroom is certainly a DIY project, for many there are some portions that might benefit from an expert weighing in. The plumbing is a critical component that is difficult to change after the fact. Getting an expert opinion before starting a bathroom addition can head off potentially costly mistakes. One area that has the highest risk potential for homeowners is the process for dealing with waste. A certified plumber can take a look at the available sewer or septic lines, and determine if those are deep enough that it’s possible to tie in to those and still take advantage of a gravity fed system, or whether other plumbing options need to be considered.
The team from All Star Plumbing and Restoration can also let you know the general depth of your sewer line, the specifics for your septic system if needed, as well as the flow rates that are available. By collecting all of this information a plumber can decide whether your existing system can effectively remove waste from the proposed bathroom. You may also want the plumber to install a backwater valve to prevent sewage back up in to the basement, in some areas this requires getting a permit from the building department.
If the All Star plumber determines that a gravity system isn’t going to work, there are three options to consider – an upflushing toilet, a sewage ejector system, or a composting toilet. An upflushing toilet uses a series of pipes and pumps to move waste water up from the toilet and over to the main drain for the home. While they’re a more expensive option it’s still cheaper than breaking up the concrete flooring to run something below ground, and also minimizes potential damage to the foundation. A composting toilet uses very little water and will have a limited capacity. They must be vented to the outside and use heat and vans to evaporate liquids. That which cannot be evaporated will have to be emptied periodically. The final option is the ejector system which sits below the toilet. The other fixtures – toilet, sink, and shower – are raised slightly off the ground to allow them to drain with gravity into the tank for the ejector system. This system then uses a pump to move the waste up and into the drainage lines for the home.