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Old 01-13-2008, 02:01 PM   #1
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Washing Machine Drains to outside in woods? Options?


Just for some background the house is from the late 40s and the washer, dryer and water heater are in a shed in the carport which is attached to the house. I just found out that the washing machine drains into the woods behind the house.

I was wondering what options there are to fix this? I have heard it may overload the small septic tank this property has. What is the best option? Move the washer inside and make a new drain? Leave the washer and see if they can make a drain that would work? Any advice would be appreciated.

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Old 01-13-2008, 03:18 PM   #2
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Washing Machine Drains to outside in woods? Options?


How big is the septic tank?

How many people will be living in the home?

How many loads of wash per day?

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Old 01-13-2008, 05:14 PM   #3
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Washing Machine Drains to outside in woods? Options?


2 people
1 load per day
Have no idea on the size of the septic tank.
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:22 PM   #4
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Washing Machine Drains to outside in woods? Options?


IF nobody is pushing you to do something,,,leave it as is,,,cant imagine an outside washing machine,,,wouldnt last long HERE!! IF possible try relocating it inside and connect it back to the exisiting drain now. The soap from it will harm your septic,some day some way. IF you have to have septic replaced it isnt easy or cheap!! Dont push your luck connecting to that unless you HAVE to!!(that means probably doing the work YOURSELF!!)
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:27 PM   #5
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Washing Machine Drains to outside in woods? Options?


Oh and IF thats a really OLD septic tank it may well be a 47 Packard and two tractor tires!! In other words MOST of them are sub standard to todays specs!!
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:34 PM   #6
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Washing Machine Drains to outside in woods? Options?


Quote:
Originally Posted by justdon View Post
IF nobody is pushing you to do something,,,leave it as is,,,cant imagine an outside washing machine,,,wouldnt last long HERE!! IF possible try relocating it inside and connect it back to the exisiting drain now. The soap from it will harm your septic,some day some way. IF you have to have septic replaced it isnt easy or cheap!! Dont push your luck connecting to that unless you HAVE to!!(that means probably doing the work YOURSELF!!)
i agree ,,,,and if any bleach is used it kills the septic bacteria
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:36 PM   #7
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Washing Machine Drains to outside in woods? Options?


Some people are actually, today, doing just what you are doing. Its suposedly eco friendly and saves on septic system issues and unburdens waste water treatment facilities. (I read this somewhere its not my opinion) I think part of that plan was some eco friendly detergent too. (Phosphate free?)

Anyway -
why fix what aint broke.
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Old 01-14-2008, 07:57 AM   #8
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Washing Machine Drains to outside in woods? Options?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brik View Post
Some people are actually, today, doing just what you are doing. Its suposedly eco friendly and saves on septic system issues and unburdens waste water treatment facilities. (I read this somewhere its not my opinion) I think part of that plan was some eco friendly detergent too. (Phosphate free?)

Anyway -
why fix what aint broke.
People are installing daylight drains or french drains for washers? I thought that was universally against code?

If this guy is still looking to upgrade and flip this bargain house, I think he'd be wise to tie the washer into the house's drain plumbing.

Did you have the septic uncovered and inspected when you purchased the place?
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:44 AM   #9
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Washing Machine Drains to outside in woods? Options?


Ayuh,..........

I doubt that I would go putting the Washing Machine into the Septic system,......
Mainly because very few people are willing to Not use Bleach........

If the daylighted drainage is an Issue for you,.....
A small Drywell would be a Much Better alternative.........
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Old 01-14-2008, 12:03 PM   #10
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Washing Machine Drains to outside in woods? Options?


What you are doing is the same thing that many eco-freaks and eco-gurus do, take "gray" water, which is that from washing machines and showers, and sprinkle it on the lawn.

The visible washing machine drain ending in the woods diminishes the curb appeal of a house for sale. (So does the outdoor washing machine but that is another program.) The most modern looking house will have the washing machine indoors and hooked up to the septic system.

Running the washing machine outlet into a drywell turns the latter into a cesspool and a cesspool is illegal in most places even though the water goes into the same place, the ground.

So what you do in the short run versus what you do in the long run will depend on whether you are about to sell the house.

Last edited by AllanJ; 01-14-2008 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 01-14-2008, 12:22 PM   #11
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Washing Machine Drains to outside in woods? Options?


First thing to do is to find out if it really needs fixing. There may be some areas where this is still allowed. If it's not against codes in your area and it's not causing some other issue then don't fix it.

Here, septic tank sizes are established based upon #of bedrooms so your septic tank size requirement per codes probably won't change if you add a washing machine to it.

If you want/need to discharge the washer to your septic and you feel you are close to the septic size limit, then you might find that a new front load machine that uses a lot less water might be cheaper than a septic system upgrade.

I'm on a septic system and my washer drains into it. I haven't run into any issues with the occasional use of laundry bleach.
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Old 01-14-2008, 12:49 PM   #12
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Washing Machine Drains to outside in woods? Options?


We've been on a septic system for more than 30 years with the washer and all discharging to it as required by law here.
Never had any problems.
I'm also a 21+year real estate broker, and anyone with an illegal discharge here can not only be fined, but if they try to sell their home, it has to be replumbed to comply with code. If a septic system is too old and too small for adding a washer discharge, then the homeowner can either add a drainline to the field, or install a dry sump, or a very small septic system designed just for gray water. NOTHING can be discharged above ground, such as on the lawn or into a drainage ditch.
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Old 01-14-2008, 02:29 PM   #13
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Washing Machine Drains to outside in woods? Options?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bondo View Post

I doubt that I would go putting the Washing Machine into the Septic system,......
Mainly because very few people are willing to Not use Bleach........
Is everyone here under the impression that the millions of homes with septic systems in the country wash their laundry in a stream out back?

Washing machines are no problem on a septic system. The amount of bleach used in an occasional load of laundry is not going to affect the bacteria in a 1000g tank that's turned over every couple days.

Twilight - have you finalized the purchase of this house yet? If not, I'd make sure the seller isn't legally responsible for this sort of an update. Otherwise it could be a costly problem for you to fix when you sell it.
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Old 01-14-2008, 02:48 PM   #14
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Washing Machine Drains to outside in woods? Options?


Quote:
Is everyone here under the impression that the millions of homes with septic systems in the country wash their laundry in a stream out back?

Washing machines are no problem on a septic system. The amount of bleach used in an occasional load of laundry is not going to affect the bacteria in a 1000g tank that's turned over every couple days.
Ayuh,..........

I guess you've never shacked up with a Clean Freak who bleached Everything, All the time......
She told me the water was Too Hard,+ Bleach was Necessary........
'course the Quart or so she used to Clean the Toliet Bowl weekly didn't help much either.......

In the circles I've traveled,....
If the Grey Water is diverted to a Drywell,+ the amount of Fat & Grease was closely monitored,.........
Septic Tanks are known to run for 10, maybe 20 Years between pumpings.......

With the Clean Freak,....... It was every 6 months to a year............

And,.... My Own Theory is;...........
Asside from Toliet Paper,........
If you haven't already Eaten it,..........
It Don't belong in the Septic System.......................

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