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Practicing What He Preaches: Contractor Chooses Above-Floor Plumbing System for his Log Cabin Home
When plumbing contractor Don Frederick Sr. needed to add a bathroom to serve his home’s basement, he chose an above-floor macerating system from Saniflo over a sewage ejection pump, saving roughly $1,500 and more than a day’s worth of labor.
BY TONY BARA
AMSTERDAM, NY – Plumbing contractors install various products over the course of their careers and doubtless hold equally various opinions on them. When they install one in their own homes, however, it’s a statement that something about that product must be particularly advantageous, based on their experience. It’s the type of statement that Don Frederick Sr. recently made when he installed an above-floor macerator in his home’s basement.
Frederick has owned and operated Advanced Mechanical, a plumbing, heating and air-conditioning business in Amsterdam, NY for the past 21 years. Together with his son, he works to address his customers’ various plumbing and HVAC needs across the east-central portion of the state.
Recently, Frederick had a very special customer—himself. He wanted to add plumbing to his three-story, log cabin home’s walk-in basement, from which he runs his business. “In addition to a guest bedroom, we keep our business office down there and felt we needed to add some sort of bathroom,” says Frederick. He and his wife decided to convert an existing closet into a half bathroom. “Since we put the half bath in what used to be a closet, my wife now calls it our water closet,” mentions Frederick.
He had just one problem—the walk-in basement was below the home’s drain line, making it impossible to install a conventional bathroom. His first instinct was to take the conventional route of installing a sewage ejection pump. However, he recalled various problems he had run into while using this method in the past.
“Sewage ejection pumps come with a whole host of problems and hassles,” explains Frederick. “It’s difficult to find a good location to install them; they require the time, effort and mess of drilling through the concrete; they are difficult to service; and, if not sealed properly, they can be extremely foul-smelling.”
An Accessible Solution
For a more affordable and less labor-intensive solution, Frederick consulted his longtime distributor: Tom Nachbar, branch manager of Security Plumbing and Heating Supply in Schenectady, NY. In business since the 1930s, Security is a wholesale distributor of plumbing, heating, and air conditioning products, with 12 locations serving the lower Mid-Hudson Valley north through the Adirondack Region of New York, and into Western Massachusetts.
“When Don told me about his basement project, I knew immediately that Saniflo above-floor plumbing was the solution,” says Nachbar. Frederick himself admits that he always considered above-floor plumbing as a viable solution to his problem. “I was introduced to Saniflo through Security more than 10 years ago and have installed it in various applications without issue,” recalls Frederick.
Designed for both commercial and residential applications, above-floor plumbing systems macerate (or grind) waste into a slurry before pumping it horizontally or vertically to a home’s or building’s drain line. The technology is significantly less expensive and less difficult to install than a traditional sewage ejection pump and is becoming increasingly accepted not only for basement applications, but also for any part of the home where conventional plumbing is not a viable option.
The only decision left for Frederick was which above-floor plumbing product to choose. Nachbar recommended the Saniaccess3 macerator, which comes equipped with two easy-to-open panels atop the unit, providing ready access to the internal components for servicing. Periodic maintenance can be accomplished quickly and easily without having to disconnect the unit from either the toilet or the rest of the plumbing system. The pump can discharge waste up to 15 vertical feet and 150 horizontal feet.
“With its ease-of-maintenance and installation, the Saniaccess3 was the most economical and logical product for Don’s application,” explains Nachbar. Frederick raised no objections. “I was most impressed by the ease-of access this solution offered,” he says. “I knew that installation and maintenance would be a cinch.”
Master at Work
Frederick took on the bathroom project himself in January 2016, completing the above-floor plumbing installation in less than a day. The macerator handles waste from two fixtures in Frederick’s half-bath application—a toilet and a sink.
Two installation options are available for the macerator: (a) In front of the wall or (b) behind the wall with an extension pipe. Frederick decided to do the latter. “Aesthetically, I thought behind-the-wall looked better,” he explains.
Frederick reports that the installation progressed flawlessly. “There were no challenges whatsoever.” He maintains that the best part was knowing all the time and money saved by choosing above-floor plumbing over a sewage ejection system. “I saved roughly a day and a half and $1,500 in costs by opting for this solution,” he estimates. “Best of all, I didn’t have to jackhammer the floor!”
Frederick’s experience with his installation mirrors that of all the Saniflo installations he has done over the past 10 years. “These products always work out great for me. I wouldn’t have installed one in my own home if I didn’t have that trust,” he explains.
He recommends the technology to any plumbing contractor who is faced with the problem of installing a bathroom where no plumbing exists. “It’s easy to install, use and service and makes all the sense in the world.”
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SFA SANIFLO U.S.A. — whose parent company originated macerating plumbing technology — offers a complete line of up flush toilets and gray water pumping systems for residential and commercial applications. Saniflo developed its innovative, “above-floor plumbing” technology more than a half-century ago and has led its commercialization worldwide. Today, the company markets macerating technology through 24 subsidiaries in 50 countries and has sold more than seven million units worldwide since 1958. Saniflo markets through independent sales agents throughout North America, and the product line is currently available at distributor and dealer locations throughout the United States and Canada.
For more information, contact Saniflo at 1-800-571-8191. Or visit the Saniflo website at www.saniflo.com.
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