Installing an Up-Flush System in the Basement

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Mr Rooter Tip Of The Day: Brilliant, in its concept, and fully explainable by Bob Beall, master plumber.

view of installation behind the wall
Allow all day for installation, and make sure no one uses the drain/sewage system when you have lines cut. Read and understand all directions before starting.

“Installing a toilet or full bath in your basement will add convenience to a home and can increase its selling price,” says Bob Beall, the most referred plumber in the Southwest Pennsylvania and Northeast Ohio region. A basement toilet, according to Beall, or bath installation, however, “will prove difficult if it becomes necessary to cut the concrete floor to accommodate the drain line.”

As an easier alternative, install an “up-flush” system. “This system consists of a tank that sits on the floor (no digging required) with a sewage pump inside the back.” According to Mr Rooter, Pittsburgh’s plumber, the pump pushes waste water up a drainpipe via a fitting cut into the main drain overhead. “The unit will accommodate a toilet and a tub/shower and sink,” says Beall. Its only disadvantage is that it puts a toilet about 5 1/2 inches higher and a tub or shower 6 inches to 7 inches higher than if they were installed on the existing floor.” But, this problem is easily resolved by following Mr Rooter’s expert advice. According to Beall, build a false floor to the same level. Brilliant, in its concept, and fully explainable, as he explains.

Mr Rooter Tip Of The Day

Tip #1 Cut the 2-inch pressurized discharge pipe from the sewage pump into the drain lines overhead, but with a flexible fitting, that takes only a few minutes.

Tip # 2 Add another flexible fitting to transition the 3-inch vent pipe from the tank into the house vent system or outside through the rim joist or the top of a masonry wall. It is not possible to reduce the vent size. The easiest installation is with a Zoeller® Qwik-Jon® kit (available at most large plumbing supply firms), which has all the parts in one package.

BONUS TIP: Allow all day for installation, and make sure no one uses the drain/sewage system when you have lines cut. Read and understand all directions before starting.

Tip #3 After getting the kit home, verify all parts are in the kit, and get familiar with them. Note the tank is flat in front with a raised compartment (the “tower”) in the back. The flat section supports the toilet, and the tower encloses the sewage pump.

Tip #4 Now comes one large decision–it’s time to decide whether to install the tower in the room or behind the wall.

Tip #5 To add drains for a bath/shower or sink, drill into the side of the tank only where indicated by manufacturer. Insert the supplied grommet for a 2-inch pipe in the hole.

Tip #6 A shower or tub will need to be on a raised platform slightly higher than the drilled hole so the water can flow downhill to the tank.

Tip #7 To keep sewer gasses inside the tank, place a foam seal around the tank top.

Tip #8 Mount the toilet flange directly to the tank, with the finished floor (if any) to be built around it.

Tip #9 Find the pipe with the weep hole and glue it to its adapter if it’s not already assembled. Teflon-tape the threads of the adapter and screw it into the sewage pump outlet. Set the pump into the tower with the weep hole angled about 45 degrees to the left of dead-ahead center.

Tip #10 Mount the switch to the right of the pump, with the switch locked in its proper position. Plug the pump cord into a 120v CFCI electrical outlet and test the system by running a temporary drain line from the pump to the outdoors, and sending water into the system with a hose.

Tip #11 Disconnect the temporary drain line and set the lid on the tank, feeding the cord through the supplied grommet. Last, connect the 2-inch drainpipe (with its check valve), and cut in a 3-inch vent line from the tank into the house system or run it outdoors. The vent pipe will fit into a grommet inserted in the large vent hole on top of the tower.

Tip #12 Do not diminish the diameter of either pipe. With all the pipes in place, lock the unit down with the manufacturer’s bolts.

TESTING THE SYSTEM: To make sure the system turns on and off at the water levels required by the manufacturer, adjust the pump switch by sliding the rubber grommets up and down on the rod.

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Mr. Rooter Media Center

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Rooter (Pittsburgh)

Robert A. Beall
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