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  1. #1
    Platinum Member PSDStu's Avatar
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    Default Washing Machine Drain Line Options

    In order to pass inspection we will be required to have our washing machine drain line connected into the main drain line leading to our septic tank.

    After the inspection is complete I want to reroute the drain line seperatly.

    One of the options I was considering was burying a 55 gallon drum, drilled with some drain holes and filled with some rocks/gravel. Then run the washer drain line into the top of the tank.

    What are some options ya'll have done?

    Stu

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Washing Machine Drain Line Options

    One neighbor in the country did exactly what you said with the 55 gallon drum. Another neighbor had a separate septic tank and a pump and pumped the water out of that tank periodically to water his yard. And another simply ran it out of the ground where it ran down a bit of a slope away from the house and soaked in or evaporated.

  3. #3
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    Upstate NY, USA
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    Kubota L3710 HST and a Kubota ZD21 60Pro

    Default Re: Washing Machine Drain Line Options

    Probably not an option for you, but here's what I did.

    1) purchased a high efficiency washer, is uses 1/3 - 1/2 the water of a normal washer. 2) tripled the size of my leachfield, min for us was 250 feet of pipe, I ran 15 50' laterals. Since I was doing the labor, the cost was not prohibitive.

    Eventually a 55 gallon dry well is going to plug up with lint and soap scum, or simply rot out and cave in. I worked for a plumber in high school and have seen it all when it comes to septic systems, including using a junk car as the tank for a dry well.

    Add a few laterals to your existing system and leave the washer attached to the house drain.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Washing Machine Drain Line Options

    Now, I'm going to offer a peek inside my family to see just how much of a miser my wife is (she prefers "thrifty").

    First, I should explain that in our present location, we are on city water, which is not cheap. We have a laundry tub next to the washer. My wife keeps buckets inside the tub; they mostly fill the space very well. She hangs the washer drain hose on the side of the tub, and into one of the buckets. When the washer drains, the bucket is filled first. If she's not around, the rest goes down the drain, which makes her cry. So, she times the washer and tries to show up at drain cycles to redirect the hose into additional buckets.

    She then uses the buckets of wash water to water her herb garden, right outside the door from the laundry. The plants seem to thrive on the diluted soapy water.

    When she's really up on her game, hardly a drop of water is wasted.

    You could much more easily use one of Bird's suggestions and attach a hose to the drain and run it out of the door, preferably to a garden. I could do that for my wife, but then what would we tease her about?

  5. #5
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    Raceland, Kentucky
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    NH TC35DA, JD X324

    Default Re: Washing Machine Drain Line Options

    It's hard to get a straight answer to a question like this. That's because the professionals don't want to recommend something illegal, and a lot of non-professionals don't have a good understanding of how septic systems work.

    You're in Florida, so you probably have much different conditions than I do. Here it is hilly with lots of clay that does not drain well. Here 90% of the septic systems can't handle a large volume of water, as from washers and bathtubs. All the old-timers have separate drains, some of which just run into open creeks. This is not legal, but it works. The other choice is to stay legal, and continually fight leach bed problems.

    I would think if you have sandy soil like most of Florida it would be possible for a well-designed septic system to handle all of your waste water. But then, I am a non-professional. I don't know what the rules would be on dry wells, but aside from that, the performance may depend on how high the water table is.

  6. #6
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Washing Machine Drain Line Options

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( plants seem to thrive on the diluted soapy water )</font>

    I've not tried it myself, but a neighbor told me that one of the most beautiful lawns in Dallas is regularly fertilized with Tide laundry detergent and nothing else. Has anyone else tried that?

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Brazos County Texas 77808
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    Kubota L3130HST w/LA723 loader

    Default Re: Washing Machine Drain Line Options

    It is my understanding that Texas has approved separating gray (washing machines, etc) water from black (sewage) although many counties are resisting. Planning a kitchen remodel and will include a separate tank and simple drain field. Might even add a pump to use the water for irrigation.

    Vernon

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
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    NW PA
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    Default Re: Washing Machine Drain Line Options

    I've always wondered if I did mine "correctly".
    My drain hose runs into a slop sink that sits over a sump tank. The first winter here we had a massive snow melt that gave my newly cemented cellar (used to be dirt) about three inches of water and my sump pump couldn't keep up, so I was advised to drill holes in the bottom of the tank to allow the water into it more quickly before it could come up through the concrete.
    Now, these holes also allow the washer water (and anything else I wash in the slop sink, like paint brushes) to drain into the ground rather than filling the tank and getting pumped into my septic.

    Works for me, but probably isn't legal. However, I was told a few years ago that dirty water that filters through 12 inches of gravel becomes gray water, so I don't think I'm contaminating the ground water supply and my well is about 60 feet away.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member PSDStu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Washing Machine Drain Line Options

    I liked Don's idea...........but..........and when I mentioned it to my wife.......the little lady said I must have married the wrong person......... go figure!........after 25 years I should have known better!

    I'm thinking about trying to rig up something to use the water for flower beds now instead of the whole 55gal drum plan.

    Lots of valuable ideas so far!

    Thanks

  10. #10
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    Tombstone Az
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    KIOTI LK30

    Default Re: Washing Machine Drain Line Options

    Are you sure it is not legal? There have been a lot changes made lately about grey water. Here in Az it is encouraged for you to pump laundry water out on the ground to water trees ect. I have an out door shower also that feeds directly to some high water trees. all legal. It is not legal to dump into sand washes or any type of existing surface water.

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