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    diynaturegirl's Avatar
    diynaturegirl Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Jan 13, 2011, 06:06 AM
    Is it a good idea to drain a washing machine out to the yard into the grass?
    I want to prolong the life of my septic tank. I have heard I should drain this with 2 45's for a smooth flow of water then run it under the ground and pop it up with a 90 and leave it stubbed up above the ground like a little fountain. Any problems here besides code? I live on 3 acres in the country.
    massplumber2008's Avatar
    massplumber2008 Posts: 12,824, Reputation: 1211
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    #2

    Jan 13, 2011, 06:19 AM

    Hi DIYNG...

    Definitely against code, but you know that, right?

    I would not recommend just stubbing the pipe out the building as someone has suggested. Here, just as an example, water will collect in the winter and the water will freeze and the pipe will freeze, etc... doesn't make sense.

    How about little critters outside? Screen the end you say? If you screen the end of a washing machine drain the lint will eventually clog up and be an issue.

    Further, grass won't grow due to phosphates/other chemicals. The ground will smell and stain, etc. etc. etc.. . ;)

    If you decide you still want to run the washer discharge outside then, at a minimum, you should install a DRYWELL outside and run the washer discharge pipe into the drywell system. Here, basically, you'd dig a hole that is 4-5 feet deep and 4-5 feet wide and fill the hole with gravel. Install the drain pipe within a foot of the top pitched at 1/4" per foot into the drywell. Cover the drywell with plastic or landscaper's weed guard and then backfill to grade. This will usually give you years of trouble free service.

    More questions? Let me know...

    Mark
    diynaturegirl's Avatar
    diynaturegirl Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Jan 13, 2011, 07:10 AM
    Comment on massplumber2008's post
    Sounds like an old type septic system... like they used to do in the old days. This sounds like a much cleaner and logical answer to my problem. Thanks I will do this. Does it matter if it is pea gravel or large river rock?
    massplumber2008's Avatar
    massplumber2008 Posts: 12,824, Reputation: 1211
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    #4

    Jan 13, 2011, 07:16 AM

    Pea gravel with have a tendency to get clogged up with lint, etc. over time. Use the larger 1.25" gravel mixed with larger rocks for best result!

    Good luck!

    Mark
    hkstroud's Avatar
    hkstroud Posts: 11,929, Reputation: 899
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    #5

    Jan 13, 2011, 07:17 AM

    I respectfully disagree with Mark on several points.

    It would probably be against code in a urban area. To me 3 acres in the country and a septic tank imply a rural area and there is probably no code issue.

    I agree that I would not stub the drain up as suggested because or the freezing issue. I would trap the drain, install an AAV to keep the creepy crawley things out and then drain to daylight.

    For aesthetics, I would put the drain line underground slightly. If you have a good positive drain you should not have freezing problem (unless you live where Mark does).

    To distribute the water over a larger area I would make the last 10 to 20 feet 4" perforated pipe (assuming you are using a 2" drain).

    I also disagree with Mark about the grass not growing and say get your mower out. The middle number you see on fertilizer bags (10-5-5) is the phosphorus content. The grass is gong to love it.

    Being the disagreeable person that I am, I disagree with even doing it at all. The only thing you are accomplishing is diverting a small amount of your waste water to a location other than you septic field. It is not the amount of water that causes a septic field to fail as much as it is the solids that pass over time and clog the aggregate and the soil. Most of your waste water (and solids) come from your toilets.

    Unless you are doing several load of laundry every day you will never know the difference.

    The best thing you can do to preserve you septic system is to have it pumped about every 5 years to remove the solids that accumulate in the bottom of your septic tank.
    massplumber2008's Avatar
    massplumber2008 Posts: 12,824, Reputation: 1211
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    #6

    Jan 13, 2011, 07:21 AM

    I respectfully appreciete your thoughts here Harold.. I really do as I agree that this isn't a great idea to begin with but If they are going to do it, I still think a drywell is a smart way to deal with it!

    Excessive phosphorus will burn the grass and I assumed a PTRAP and vent were already in place, too... ;)

    You have a great day!

    Mark
    diynaturegirl's Avatar
    diynaturegirl Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Jan 13, 2011, 07:46 AM
    Comment on hkstroud's post
    What about all the bleach that is hurting the system? Isn't it hurting my system?
    hkstroud's Avatar
    hkstroud Posts: 11,929, Reputation: 899
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    #8

    Jan 13, 2011, 07:51 AM

    Hi Mark,

    I may or may not have mention to you that I have a small mobile home park on septic systems in SC. After 20 some odd years, I've had two of ten systems fail, primarily because in my ignorance I did not have them periodically pumped. You can imagine what is probably put into those systems.

    You've hear the saying "The grass is always greener over the septic tank". Not there, because that's where they all seem to want to park their trucks.

    Hi diynaturegirl,

    I agree that chlorine beach probably has a adverse affect on the enzymes in the septic tank that break down the solids. However, that is probably negligible unless you are really using a excessive amount. Just how much laundry are talking about?
    massplumber2008's Avatar
    massplumber2008 Posts: 12,824, Reputation: 1211
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    #9

    Jan 13, 2011, 07:52 AM


    I was just going to bring up the chlorine bleach, but not only that, isn't the perforated pipe running out 10-20 feet going to have to be set in a bed of gravel anyway... kinda like a longggg drywell, really, so no real disagreement here, huh, Harold?

    Trucks over septic system... I swear I've seen it before, too! Amazing!

    Back to you...
    hkstroud's Avatar
    hkstroud Posts: 11,929, Reputation: 899
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    #10

    Jan 13, 2011, 08:21 AM

    Yup, we agree Mark. Now we just have to get diynature to agree that it isn't worth doing.

    Not having 16 feet of snow like you I have to go unstop a disposal.

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