Open drain

This is an older house built in 1926.

The shower, laundry and sink all drain into this open drain. Is this allowed.
There are no vent pipes since it is open.

Is this acceptable for an older house or does the pipes need to be ran in the concrete and vent pipes installed.

The black pipe is the sink. The shower and laundry are not visible. Dont remeber what the hose was for.


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A house that age does not fall under any “is it allowed” issues…

Just report that the house has substandard systems and explain what you see and recommend each trade be consulted for estimates on upgrades and repairs. Just be sure to observe and report every single item.


The picture of the shower pan clearly shows that this is a refitted Bathroom. That is not a 1926 Shower floor.

Codes applicable at time of Bathroom Renovation apply.

I would recommend further plumbing review of the conditions present with repairs made as needed.

All I can say is 'you wanta be careful stepping out of the shower dude".


I did report to have evaluated by a plumber for repairs. There was no window or exhaust fan present & made a remark pertaining to it.

I was glad there was an acess for the drain. Handyman repairs always seem to be at every inspection. I think they should call then unhandy or unsafe.
Handy indicates that a person may be skilled. The stuff we see is usually unsafe or poorly done.

If you look close there is a board that covered the drain.


I have heard of requirements that a house be brought up to current code if more than 50 percent of square footage or value is added.
Anyone know which states use this method?
Do some states include all upgrades?
What constitutes a renovation? Installing a tub or shower?


Under what circumstances would a Bathroom Stall Shower be permissable to drain to an open floor sump?

None that I am aware of…

me either, my original point was that always looking for a code reason is the wrong appoach to inspecting. Observe and report based on your knowledge and honest convictions and don’t worry about whether or not it is allowed or not.

Are open floor sumps for Bathrooms normally encountered in York, SC?

No, and if I see one I do not need a code reference to report it as being wrong. Even if someone says that it meets code I will still write it up.

Begs a question…

Is there any such thing as ‘grandfathered’ items if a permit is pulled?

Do all current code compliance issues have to be addressed? i.e. pull a permit to expand a bedroom… all the sub-floor and joist work is done and inspected, but the electrical wasn’t upgraded…

you get the idea, what is and isn’t expected to be ‘brought current’?

I do believe that this would be “Grandfathered” in but that may vary with location (City, state). It is at times permissible to have fixtures drain into one location like this but there should be an air gap off of each drain. Otherwise, instead of the drain resting on the floor where a backup in the floor drain could run into the fixture drains an air gap would prevent the backup from going into the fixture drains.

Thats basically what I asked above, I guess the answer is this:

The local AHJ could tell us anything if we called, there may be something on record somewhere that could cause an inspector that is “inspecting to code” to end up buying the upgrades that were left out. I am not trusting any AHJ with that so I choose to just write up everything that I can find simply as my opinon (which is the requirement). If the client, seller or agents want to call the local AHJ and sort out what is code and not then they are welcome. I do not offer that service due to the extreme high cost/liability of it etc.