OK, so here’s the current plan for the basement floor drains.
I haven’t quite finished poking and prodding the drains in the office and the back basement, but assuming the configuration is the same as what I predicted in my previous post, I want to scope them out with a video drain inspection system like the Ridgid SeeSnake. I think it’s the only way I’m going to find anything concrete out about their configuration. SunBelt Rentals, which has a location in Laurel, rents the SeeSnake at a base rate of $126 a day, which seems reasonable.
Assuming I can get my hands on a SeeSnake, I may need to do some surgery on the drain(s) to do my inspection, depending on which SeeSnake model is available. The camera on the base model is 1.75″ in diameter, which is too large to fit through the bell trap opening in the drains. I’ll need to enlarge the opening to about 2″. The drain is cast iron, so I will initally try using a tungsten carbide hole saw. Home Depot has one for around $12-$15 that I hope will do the job; Grainger has some much more expensive models. Drilling the drain(s) out will lose the bell trap functionality, but that’s not a huge loss because I don’t have bell trap covers for most of the drains anyhow.
During the SeeSnake rental, I may want to simultaneously rent a power drain auger with cutter blade. This will allow me to inspect, then clear obstructions, reinspect again, etc.
12/12 – A week or so ago I checked out the carbide hole saw that Home Depot sells. It looks a little too shallow to clear the raised bell trap opening and reach the area where it would need to cut. As a workaround, I might want to try using a sawzall to make shallow radial cuts through the opening, so I can break off the raised area. Home Depot also sells tungsten carbide sawzall blades.
Also, today I was able to confirm that the bar sink drain ties into the floor drain plumbing. With the drain plumbing relatively empty (it’s been several days since it rained) I ran a large volume of water down the bar sink, and I was able to see the water flowing through the drains in the office and the back basement. This also confirms that the drains flow from east to west, and it raises the possibility of using the bar drain as an entry point for the video snake. Access is a little tough under the sink, though.