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Add a Toilet With No Drain


Dear Pat: My husband does many dirty car projects in the garage. We would like to install a toilet and sink in the corner of the garage, but it is built on a slab with no drain. How can we add this? — Charelle P.

Dear Charelle: There is nothing worse than trying to clean old black motor oil and grease mixed with grit from the doorknobs and floors, not to mention the odor. The very fine grit from brakes and other car parts works its way into the pores of many sink and vanity materials and is difficult to ever get clean again.

Adding the plumbing to run cold water to the garage is the simplest part of the project. A cold water pipe can be run from any of the bathrooms up through the ceiling and over to the garage. Install at shutoff valve at the source so the water to the garage can shut off from inside the house. To provide hot water in the garage, install a 110-volt inline instantaneous water heater at the garage sink.

There are methods to install a toilet and sink in a room with a slab and no drains below. First, you must consider how cold the garage gets on the coldest winter nights. If it gets below freezing, you will either have to heat it or turn off the water and drain everything during the winter. Making sure the gaskets around the garage door seal well can help a lot.

Installing the toilet is probably most important. Your husband can take his time to use a waterless cleaner on his hands before coming indoors, but the need to use the toilet does not always give the luxury of extra time to first clean up his hands and shoes.

Check the plumbing layout for your home. If you are lucky, you may be able to locate the toilet and sink against a house wall that is near a drain.

A little digging through the floor may give you access to a drain. This also will be a warmer location to avoid freezing pipes in a cold climate.

If you cannot get access to an existing house drain, you will have to install a toilet that flushes upward or a no-water toilet. They look similar to a standard toilet. Saniflo, (800) 363-5874, makes many models of upward-flushing toilets. Some of these toilets also offer the option of functioning as a drain for the sink (called gray water).

Upward-flushing toilets are also called macerating toilets. When the toilet is flushed, an impeller grinds up the wastes, and they are pumped up and out to a drain. These are powerful pumps that can pump the wastewater up 12 feet vertically and more than 140 feet horizontally.

That should allow you to reach an existing drain. Your other toilet option is an incinerating toilet. Research Products, (800) 527-5551, makes several models. These toilets operate on electricity and use no water. The wastes are incinerated at high temperature by electric heating elements. There is no odor, and the ashes are sanitized by the very high temperature.

Either way you go on the toilets selections, this is going to be a fairly expensive project. It would be wise to get a building permit and have your local inspection departments review your plumbing plans initially.

Send your questions to Here's How, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit To find out more about Pat Logan and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Send your questions to Here's How, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit To find out more about Pat Logan and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



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James Dulley
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