Upstairs Utility Closet Floor Drain Plug/Valve?

I am currently working on one of my writing assignments and decided to use some photos of the floor drain in my upstairs utility closet, where my HVAC and Water Heater are located. While looking down the drain I noticed what looks like a plug of some sort in the drain pipe, which is covered with dirt and dust. When I apply any force to it with my finger it moves down the pipe. Not sure if this is some sort of Valve (if so is that acceptable practice?), or if it is a plug that is going to prevent water from draining, or slide down the line and clog it entirely?

My other concern is with the drain pipe from the water heater pan (pipe on left) not terminating in a 90 degree bend to direct the water flow down the pipe instead of across it, potentially. I’m not a plumber, so not sure if the thought is that the water flow should not have enough force through the 2" pipe to travel past the drain, but with the TPR valve discharging into the pan I’m just not confident.

The discharge termination may very depending on you location, here is a section from IRC which allows termination at the pan.
P2804.6.1 Requirements for discharge pipe. The discharge
piping serving a pressure relief valve, temperature
relief valve or combination valve shall:

  1. Not be directly connected to the drainage system.
  2. Discharge through an air gap located in the same
    room as the water heater.
  3. Not be smaller than the diameter of the outlet of
    the valve served and shall discharge full size to the
    air gap.
  4. Serve a single relief device and shall not connect
    to piping serving any other relief device or equip-ment.5. Discharge
    to the floor, to the pan serving the water
    heater or storage tank, to a waste receptor or to the
  5. Discharge in a manner that does not cause per-sonal
    injury or structural damage.
  6. Discharge to a termination point that is readily
    observable by the building occupants.
  7. Not be trapped.
  8. Be installed to flow by gravity.
  9. Terminate not more than 6 inches (152 mm) and
    not less than two times the discharge pipe diameter
    above the floor or waste receptor flood level rim.
  10. Not have a threaded connection at the end of the
  11. Not have valves or tee fittings.
  12. Be constructed of those materials indicated in Sec-tion
    P2906.5 or materials tested, rated and
    approved for such use in accordance with ASME
  13. Be one nominal size larger than the size of the
    relief-valve outlet, where the relief-valve dis-charge
    piping is installed with insert fittings. The
    outlet end of such tubing shall be fastened in

Here is a code section from UPC which does not allow it.
608.5 Discharge Piping. The discharge piping serving a
temperature relief valve, pressure relief valve, or combination
of both shall have no valves, obstructions, or means of
isolation and be provided with the following:
(1) Equal to the size of the valve outlet and shall discharge
full size to the flood level of the area receiving the dis-charge
and pointing down.
(2) Materials shall be rated at not less than the operating tem-perature
of the system and approved for such use or shall
comply with ASME A112.4.1.
(3) Discharge pipe shall discharge independently by gravity
through an air gap into the drainage system or outside of
the building with the end of the pipe not exceeding 2 feet
(610 mm) and not less than 6 inches (152 mm) above the
ground and pointing downwards.
(4) Discharge in such a manner that does not cause personal
injury or structural damage.
(5) No part of such discharge pipe shall be trapped or subject
to freezing.
(6) The terminal end of the pipe shall not be threaded.
(7) Discharge from a relief valve into a water heater pan
shall be prohibited.

As you see, it depends on your location.

When it comes to the floor drains, sometimes plumbers install trap primers to prevent them from drying out.


Welcome to our forum, Louis!..enjoy participating. :smiley:

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Remove it or flush the drain.

It will work just fine. An air gap would be best practice but that’s difficult to do with a water heater installed on a floor.

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It is most likely a waterless trap seal, don’t remove it, that will allow sewer gasses to enter the dwelling:


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It’s a backwater valve used to prevent sewer backup.


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I really appreciate everyones responses. Thank You All!


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