Usually most attempts at building a better mouse trap does not significantly deplete the number of mice to be trapped.
This fact does not keep us from trying to come up with better mouse traps. After all, it is the American way–and many fortunes have been made from these attempts.
On a recent inspection, of a ten year old home, I came across one such “better-mouse-trap” that apparently did not catch on–at least not yet.
This mouse trap has to be the “Cadillac” of washing machine trays. It is still surprising to see a tray at all under washing machines, so when I came across this Floodsaver I could not help but be amazed.
This tray is not one of those cheap brittle plastic things that float around on the floor and has a flimsy drain that always leaks. This one is high-density polyethylene with a real drain as durable as any shower stall drain. The drain ran to the exterior of the home. This tray protects the floor and wall from leaking of the supply lines, flooding due to the drain backing up, as well as leaking of the washer itself.
The termination at the exterior was very clever as well. Since you would not want to install a trap on this drain—because then you would have to install a trap primer as well—this drain just ran to the exterior and pointed down toward the ground. Since these trays are only for catching emergency leaks, any traps would likely dry out quite quickly. To keep cold air and critters from going into the drain the end was sealed with a small hollow ball that would float if water had to find its way out of the pipe.
If you were in a jurisdiction that did not allow the pan to drain to the exterior, a trap could either be installed with a trap primer or long lasting oil trap seals can be used to prevent the trap from drying out.
The cost of the unit pictured is about $140.00 and seems worth it, in the context of a new home. There are models without the back wall cover and with no drain—sometimes there is just no way to drain the pan. Then of course you would want a high water alarm or to pay attention when the dog or cat has found a new watering hole.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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