Washing machines consume loads of water. Of course, the dirty water builds up and needs to be released somewhere. With city plumbing, all your problems are taken care of. However, with a septic tank, you cannot really put the dirty washing machine in the tank because it doesn’t make sense. In that case, you can run the washing machine drain outside.
To run the washing machine drain outside, you have to get rid of the drainage pipe. Replace this with a pipe that leads straight to the backyard. Then, loop the piping to the irrigation system so that you can use the washing machine water to water your plants. You can also simply add this water to a greywater tank.
Running the washing machine drain outside can be a little complicated. There are some things you need to be careful of before you can make your final decision.
Can You Run the Washing Machine Drain into Your Yard?
This largely depends on the kind of washing machine you are using. If your washing machine washes clothes, it is safe for your yard. However, if it washes dishes, draining the water into the yard is not a good idea.
The water that you use to wash your clothes is called greywater. This is completely safe for your garden, and you do not have to worry about it damaging any of the plants. Moreover, you can use this water for irrigation purposes as well. However, this only applies if you use eco-friendly, biodegradable detergents.
Never let water infused with dish detergent make its way into the yard, as this can be catastrophic for your plants.
Is Running the Washing Machine Drain Outside Illegal?
There is no straight answer to this question. Depending on which area you live in, running the washing machine drain outside could be legal or not. However, most areas do have a legal grey area.
The best thing you can do before you hook up your piping is to check with your local HOA. We would also recommend that you research land ordinances and figure out how regulatory boards feel about this. If your yard falls in the list of deregulated areas, you can easily let the washing machine drain water into the yard.
There are many places worldwide, especially in California, where individuals are required to reuse water. This water is then used to install sump pits. Sump pits are pits filled with gravel that help eliminate any debris that may have found its way into the laundry water. However, before you start work on this, make sure to double-check the local laws in your area.
How to Run the Washing Machine Drain Outside
Of course, the plumbing setup of every washing machine is different. However, here are some general rules that you must follow. You can tailor these depending on your preferences. Here is how you can run the washing machine drain outside:
1. Always Start with a Plan
Starting with a plan increases your chances of success. It will help you be more organized and will ensure that you do not make too many mistakes.
Your first goal should be to decide where the washing machine water needs to be drained. There are several options you can use. You can collect the water in a big barrel and later use that water to water the plants with the help of a watering can.
Moreover, you can drain the water to your irrigation system or even simply divert it outside with the help of a hose. If you have decided to make use of a barrel, remember to get one that can store 41 gallons of water, as this is the average that a washing machine makes.
2. Do Your Research Beforehand
When you research beforehand, you can stock up on any materials or supplies you may need to run the washing machine drain outside. For example, if you want to drain the water to the ground floor from the basement, you must get a laundry sump pump. This will help push the water up.
If you have decided that you want to drain the machine water into a barrel, you must already have a barrel. Moreover, regardless of what you decide to do, having a 1-inch hose is a necessity as it will help you funnel the water through. Do not start to push water out without having the required supplies, as this will result in havoc.
3. Replace the Drain Tube You are Using with New Tubing
Once you cut the drain tube that is connected, insert a new tubing into the open space. You can then run your tubing through the drain.
You can choose between an irrigation channel, pump, or a sump pit, depending on your needs.
4. Check Everything
Before you power the washing machine, make sure that everything is functional. If your operation is not watertight, it will result in loads of water leaking into your entire house. Who wants to deal with water damage?
Get in Touch with a Professional
Running the washing machine drain may sound simple enough, but it can get out of hand very quickly. If you want to store the water in a big barrel, you could possibly do it yourself by following instructions off the internet.
However, if you are planning to get a sump pit, we would strongly advise you not to do this on your own. This intricate irrigation circuit will require you to lay down pipes underneath dirt and have a number of building codes. This is not a DIY project- make sure to get in touch with a professional who can provide you with top-notch services.