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Thread: Re rout drain line to washing machine

  1. #1

    Default Re rout drain line to washing machine

    We moved in to our custom built house 1 year ago this month. We have a septic tank and water is coming out of the drain field. I called DHEC in and saw that it is almost clear fluid coming out. They advised taking the strain of my laundry, which is approx. 2-3 loads a day, off of the septic tank. To do this, I am having to re route the drain line (we have a foundation) outside the house and into the woods beside us to a rock bed. Luckily, the laundry room is right next to the garage where we can run the pipes. BUT, we are not plumbers and don't know exactly how to do this. We called someone in for an estimate and for 100' of pipe, it was $2100. Is this reasonable? Or would it be simple enough for a jack of all trades guy to do himself?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I doubt the inspector would approve of that connection. A well functioning septic system should be able to handle that, I think. I wonder if they took some shortcuts from the design when they actually built it...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by db8171cakes
    We have a septic tank and water is coming out of the drain field ... the strain of my laundry, which is approx. 2-3 loads a day ...
    Septic systems are usually sized according to the number of bedrooms in a given house, and I would suspect the strain of your laundry discharge was not anticipated by the designer/engineer.

    Quote Originally Posted by db8171cakes
    I am having to re route the drain line (we have a foundation) outside the house and into the woods beside us to a rock bed.
    Unless that woods begins just a few feet from your house and there is no way to do so, it would be better to install a drain field in a place where the sun can assist with some evaporation. And rather than a "rock bed", you should use something like in the picture below.

    Quote Originally Posted by db8171cakes
    ... the laundry room is right next to the garage where we can run the pipes. BUT, we are not plumbers and don't know exactly how to do this ... would it be simple enough for a jack of all trades guy to do himself?
    Yes.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Get a profession to figure out the best solution for your problem and forget about the jack of all trades. You want this to work and be trouble free.

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by db8171cakes
    ... to re route the drain line ... into the woods beside us to a rock bed ... We called someone in for an estimate and for 100' of pipe, it was $2100. Is this reasonable?
    Possibly, but it is not best, and what is best will cost less even if done professionally.

  6. #6

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    If that's not best, then what is the best thing to do?

  7. #7
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Like Gary said, a professional can figure out your best solution, and here are some things that need to be considered:

    First, you definitely need to either get your washer discharge out of your septic system or have your present system enlarged to handle the washer discharge. Costs and disruptions considered, and if you have room on your property, it would be best to do as you have already planned. At that point, then, you need to determine your best location and type of drain-field system.

    A drain field in a woods would not be best. Either roots will soon infiltrate and mess things up, or your laundry detergent and whatever else will begin affecting trees and/or other vegetation. Any type of drain field is best out in the open where the sun can provide some evaporation along with the drain field's leeching.

    A typical drain field from the past begins as a trench, then some perforated pipe (pipe with holes in it) is laid in the bottom of the trench and rocks are placed on top of that. The stuff in the picture I have posted first needs a trench just like the older method, but you can haul it home in the trunk of your car rather than needing a dump truck to deliver the more-expensive rock. And, it is commonly considered to be equal in effective capacity to double the size of a rock-filled trench.

    All we are talking about here is a sophisticated way to dump a tub of wash water in the back yard, and anyone who can install a little pipe and handle a shovel can get that job done without having to spend a large sum of money.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for all the input. It helps in making a more knowledgeable decision.

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