We have a couple holes in our basement floor that I assume drain to the sewer, but they're not covered. A guy installing our water heater recommended covering them so we don't get sewer gas or something. We stuffed plastic bags partially down them for now, but wondering what a more long term solution would be. Is it acceptable to fill them with concrete? Are they there from a heater or something from a long time ago or do they stool serve a purpose? (The house was constructed in 1920.)


We want to at least level the floor, but do we need to leave this open?

We're in northern Minnesota if that matters.

  • Locale? Pictures? – bib Jun 29 '14 at 2:21
  • I've never encountered a floor drain from 1920 that isn't already completely blocked. Have you tried running a snake down them? Do you have other intentions for the basement floor? I noticed the basement-refinishing tab... – Comintern Jun 29 '14 at 4:17
  • I believe the plumber who snaked them when i had it back up at one point said it ran to the main other drain, but not sure. We'd like to level the floor and possibly make a spare bedroom down there – user3541 Jun 29 '14 at 14:32
  • That pic doesn't look like a drain to me and looks like it is already blocked. Maybe there was a post there or something at one point? Is there anything above it? – Steven Jun 29 '14 at 14:57
  • Do you see that part where the plastic bag is sticking out a bit? That's a hole. And water will go down it. Could it be a vent for the other drain where the washing machine water goes? – user3541 Jun 29 '14 at 15:02

To be on the safe side:

Contact a local plumber and request that he scope the drains.

  • Plumbers equipped with a snake camera can inspect the drains and tell you if there is any damage or blockage. I would highly recommend you go this route especially if you plan on finishing the basement. Do not put a floor over these holes until you know for sure what they are.

  • If you want to try and DIY, call a local hardware store that rents out these drain cameras. The draw back is that since you do not have the experience, if you find something questionable you'll need to contact a plumber anyway.

  • If you are really set on finishing the floors and are going to do it despite recommendations here be sure to leave some sort of access door / trap door in the event of flooding.

Good luck.

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