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Old 01-15-2008, 03:26 PM   #1
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Sink doesn't drain into Septic but somewhere else? 40s house? Where?


I just found out that the sink doesn't drain into the septic system. The plumber couldn't figure out where it drained to but he said it wasn't connected with the shower or toilet. There was a vent outside and he thinks that it might drain about 20 feet from the house into what he called a french drain that would catch the grease (grease pit). I read about French drains and it didn't seem to fit what he was saying. The house was built in the late 40s. What could the sink drain to since it doesn't drain into the septic system? Any info would be appreciated.

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Old 01-15-2008, 04:24 PM   #2
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Sink doesn't drain into Septic but somewhere else? 40s house? Where?


Since a sink drain is considered "gray water", it very likely could be draining into its own "dry sump", which could be nothing more than a hole in the ground full of rocks, broken brick, etc.
Is the septic system nearby or on the other side of the property?
A house only has to meet codes of the year that it was built, unless it is in violation creating some kind of health issue.
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:16 PM   #3
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Sink doesn't drain into Septic but somewhere else? 40s house? Where?


It is on the other side of the property. I have heard the term grease trap. Does that sound right?
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:12 PM   #4
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Sink doesn't drain into Septic but somewhere else? 40s house? Where?


Most homes that used a french drain didn't worry about a grease trap. Grease traps need to be cleaned out occasionally (stinky mess) or they eventually clog up with solids. Most areas permit gray water to be taken out to the yard. Some people even use it for their gardens. Any plumbing fixture except those containing human waste can be drained this way. I have seen french drains made out of a 55 gallon drum filled with stone and buried.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:15 PM   #5
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Sink doesn't drain into Septic but somewhere else? 40s house? Where?


Ayuh,.......

This might be the perfect place to drain that Washing Machine in the carport, that drains out Onto the backlawn, that you've got........
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:56 PM   #6
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Sink doesn't drain into Septic but somewhere else? 40s house? Where?


Would it be simpler to just tie into the sewer system?
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Old 01-16-2008, 04:44 PM   #7
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Sink doesn't drain into Septic but somewhere else? 40s house? Where?


Hi guys. Thanks for the info. Well we do have sewer access. However I got a quote to hook up to the sewer. It is $10K since my property is so large. It is over 500 ft. to the sewer T and some of it is steep and has to be dug by hand with shovels. Another quote was for $9.5K. So I think I will stay with my septic tank. I am not sure if the sink goes to a grease trap or ?. It is similiar to a septic tank. It is a large tank with a large cover on it buried in the ground on the opposite side of the property.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:51 AM   #8
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Sink doesn't drain into Septic but somewhere else? 40s house? Where?


Are you still planning to sell this at some point in the future? If yes, pay 10K and get this house hooked up to the sewer. It's an inevitability. A very old septic system is not going to last forever, and $10K really isn't very much, when you consider what any repairs or replacement of your septic system might cost.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:06 AM   #9
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Sink doesn't drain into Septic but somewhere else? 40s house? Where?


I planned on staying in the house for a while. I like the property. I have put aside some $$$ to put into it but I didn't plan for $10K for sewer right now.
I talked to some other plumbers over the phone and they all called what the sink drains into a grease trap. I have never heard of that before so I am trying to learn about it. This is new to me.
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:13 AM   #10
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Sink doesn't drain into Septic but somewhere else? 40s house? Where?


Quote:
I talked to some other plumbers over the phone and they all called what the sink drains into a grease trap. I have never heard of that before so I am trying to learn about it. This is new to me.
Ayuh,.....
Around here it's known as a Dry Well, or Grey Well......
Basically a Septic Tank,.... Without a bottom,+ With holes in the sides......
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:19 PM   #11
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Sink doesn't drain into Septic but somewhere else? 40s house? Where?


Have you bought the house yet?

If not, then use this as a tool to put in a lower offer.

Tell the seller that it is going to cost $10K to connect the sewer line.

If you find any major defects on a house prior to buying then point this out to the seller and then have this reflected in a lower price.
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:36 AM   #12
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Sink doesn't drain into Septic but somewhere else? 40s house? Where?


The sink should not be tied into the same French Drain (if any) that keeps water from seeping into the basement. The latter has perforated pipes running around the perimeter of the house. Odors from the part shared with the sink could waft back up these pipes and get into the basement. So can sink water if that together with rain water overload the system.

The soil around a dry well used for a kitchen sink will eventually become saturated with grease and the dry well would have to be (re)dug somewhere else. A separate grease trap preceding the dry well will forestall this time but is usually not worth the effort and trouble.

A grease trap, a dry well, and a septic tank are three different things. A grease trap and a septic tank have inlets and outlets but no other holes in the sides or bottom. A dry well and a cesspool are the same thing.

A grease trap is shaped so the grease, which floats on water, stays behind while water leaves via the outlet. In a septic tank the grease also floats but the tank is large enough for most of the grease to stay there and biodegrade and then commingle with water and exit by itself without saturating the leach field beyond.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 01-18-2008 at 09:56 AM.
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