My 3" vertical drain pipe, which penetrates the basement concrete floor slab, has a cleanout plug around knee-height above the floor. I'm looking to install a drainwater heat recovery pipe, and with these devices the longer the better. I can fit a much larger heat recovery pipe if I move the drain cleanout closer to the floor. Are there any code requirements or important considerations that would typically require the cleanout to be raised high off the floor, or can I have the cleanout wherever I like in that vertical section of pipe?

  • So your clean out is already below grade lowering it further may provide a surprise if you have to open it during or after heavy rains. I am not aware of a minimum height. – Ed Beal Jan 3 '18 at 20:25
  • Where is this house? I have heard of systems being employed to recover heat from waste water in Scandinavia, but not elsewhere. Seems like a lot of trouble to go to for slight gain. – Jim Stewart Jan 4 '18 at 1:16
  • 1
    Jim, it's in Colorado. DWHR is really big in northern climates like Canada, admittedly not as popular in the lower 48, but if the stars/circumstances align the payoff can actually be really good. They are extremely efficient at recapturing heat, the big ones recapture more than 50%. All comes down to your energy costs and hot water usage. Payoff can be as short as two years, or twenty or longer. For us, it may turn savings sooner than solar, and it never needs service. Check out: ceati.com/calculator – Patrick Shyvers Jan 4 '18 at 17:30

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