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Thread: Plumbing for new gray water washer/dryer

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member sdmarkus's Avatar
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    Default Plumbing for new gray water washer/dryer

    Greetings!

    Would like to install new washer in garage where there has never been one. The water heater is also located in the garage, which I recently replaced, so feel pretty good about roughing in the new plumbing for the washer.

    Where would be the best place to tie-in the supply lines for the washer? I'll be irrigating the yard with the grey water, so I'm not worried about the drain.

    Any pearls of wisdom?
    Many thanks,

    Mark

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    The California Plumbing Code absolutely does NOT allow you to irrigate with gray water, not in the way you may be thinking. Gray water systems ARE allowed by code, but you have to install filters etc. and distribute the water underground. You cannot just hose or sprinkler it onto the grass or garden. Algore and JerryBrown will come and get you!!!!!!

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    DIY Junior Member sdmarkus's Avatar
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    I'll be waitin' for 'em Jimbo...with one in the chamber

    I was under the impression it was legit:

    http://www.oasisdesign.net/greywater...rnia/index.htm

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    You replaced a water heater and now you are a "plumber" who can install water and waste for a washer and dryer. I guess if I replace a spare tire on my car, I can do engine repairs.

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    DIY Junior Member sdmarkus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    You replaced a water heater and now you are a "plumber" who can install water and waste for a washer and dryer. I guess if I replace a spare tire on my car, I can do engine repairs.
    Wow, did I take a wrong turn somewhere? Just trying to wrap my head around the project to determine if this is something I'm capable of. I'd like to think I'm pretty handy...

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Suggestions and Resources to Make the Most of California's Latest Greywater Standards Revision

    Is any of this included in new codes, or is it still in the suggestion phase?


    A clothes washer system and/or a single fixture system in compliance with all of the following is exempt from the construction permit specified in Section 1.8.4.1 and may be installed or altered without a construction permit:

    9. Water used to wash diapers or similarly soiled or infectious garments shall not be used and shall be diverted to the building sewer.

    12. An operation and maintenance manual shall be provided. Directions shall indicate the manual is to remain with the building throughout the life of the system and indicate that upon change of ownership or occupancy, the new owner or tenant shall be notified the structure contains a graywater system.


    Normally we would run the washer into the sewer.
    There aren't too many gray water systems in operation.
    The only people dissuaded by the tight control of the front door are building professionals—plumbers, builders, landscapers. It is hard for a homeowner to get help from a licensed professional to make an illegal system. So, they go out the back, and do it themselves.

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    DIY Junior Member sdmarkus's Avatar
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    The man himself...thank you Terry.

    I have the option of going the sewer route and/or installing a diverter if necessary. My main question is in regards to the supply lines and the best place to potentially tap into the existing plumbing in the garage.

  8. #8
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    A washer is considered four fixture units.
    a 1/2" line will handle between six and seven units. Since a plumber will normally install his plumbing to minimum, you may be best taking it off a 3/4" line.
    Depending on the home, it may be easier to pull it from the crawlspace. If you are on slab, that will change things. But really, it just depends on the home and how it's plumbed. That's why you can't quote over the phone.

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    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    I'll be irrigating the yard with the grey water, so I'm not worried about the drain.
    Installing a grey water irrigation system is very costly and done by people that want to be green. It will not pay for itself in water savings and is not meant to be an easy way to circumvent the plumbing code. Rain water collection is far superior if you are considering using a green method to irrigate.

  10. #10
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Suggestions and Resources to Make the Most of California's Latest Greywater Standards Revision

    Is any of this included in new codes, or is it still in the suggestion phase?


    12. .
    I don't have a copy of CA 2010. But from CA 2007:

    1602.0 Gray water is untreated household waste water that has not come into contact with toilet waste. Gray water INCLUDES water from bathtubs, showers, wash basins, clothes washers and laundry tubs. It shall NOT include water from kitchen sinks or dishwashers.
    1603.0 It shall be unlawful to contstruct, install, or alter ...any gray water system....without first obtaining a permit to do such work.

    There is still the provisions that the installer must provide an operation and maintenance manual, and for sure the water must be distributed UNDERGROUND. Note that gray water can NOT be routed in to flush toilets. Chapter 16 has provisions to bring in TERTIARY treated reclaimed water from the city to flush toilets. The isolation and backflow requirements on the rest of the house are stiff.

    We have a reclaimed water system in San Diego. There are literally MILLIONS of gallons per day which are simply diverted to the city sewer because the morons have not installed a widespread distribution system to make it available for use. It is used for a lot of steet, freeway, and golf course landscaping.


    As for the water supply, cetainly the hot and cold are accessible at the water heater. If it is some distance to the washer, the quick and easy way is to run some 3/4" PEX over to the washing machine. I would install a separate cut off AT the water heater, as well as shut offs at the WM. You can solder or even sharkbite your tees into your lines at the water heater. A quick browse at the hardware store will reveal all the assorted fittings and valves to make this work.
    Last edited by jimbo; 06-23-2011 at 06:33 AM. Reason: add

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Here is some follow up on the gray water. The link is to 2010 chap. 16, and while some distinction is made for clothes washer, I don't think it gives free reign to run amok. Here is an excerp:

    1603
    A.0 Permit.

    A written construction permit shall be obtained from the Enforcing Agency prior to the erection, construction,
    reconstruction, installation, relocation or alteration of any graywater system that requires a permit.
    Exception:


    A construction permit shall not be required for a clothes washer system which does not
    require cutting of the existing plumbing piping provided it is in compliance with Section 1603A.1.1.

    Here is 1603A.1.1

    1603A.1 System Requirements.
    1603A.1.1 Clothes Washer System.

    A clothes washer system in compliance with all of the following is
    exempt from the construction permit specified in Section 108.4.1 and may be installed or altered without a
    construction permit:
    1. If required, notification has been provided to the Enforcing Agency regarding the proposed location
    and installation of a graywater irrigation or disposal system.
    Note:


    A city, county, or city and county or other local government may, after a public hearing and

    enactment of an ordinance or resolution, further restrict or prohibit the use of graywater systems.
    For additional information, see Health and Safety Code Section 18941.7.
    2. The design shall allow the user to direct the flow to the irrigation or disposal field or the building
    sewer. The direction control of the graywater shall be clearly labeled and readily accessible to the
    user.
    3. The installation, change, alteration or repair of the system does not include a potable water
    connection or a pump and does not affect other building, plumbing, electrical or mechanical
    components including structural features, egress, fire-life safety, sanitation, potable water supply
    piping or accessibility.
    Note:


    The pump in a clothes washer shall not be considered part of the graywater system.

    4. The graywater shall be contained on the site where it is generated.
    5. Graywater shall be directed to and contained within an irrigation or disposal field.
    6. Ponding or runoff is prohibited and shall be considered a nuisance.
    7. Graywater may be released above the ground surface provided at least two (2) inches (51 mm) of
    mulch, rock, or soil, or a solid shield covers the release point. Other methods which provide
    equivalent separation are also acceptable.
    8. Graywater systems shall be designed to minimize contact with humans and domestic pets.
    9. Water used to wash diapers or similarly soiled or infectious garments shall not be used and shall be
    diverted to the building sewer.
    10. Graywater shall not contain hazardous chemicals derived from activities such as cleaning car parts,
    washing greasy or oily rags, or disposing of waste solutions from home photo labs or similar
    hobbyist or home occupational activities.
    11. Exemption from construction permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant
    authorization for any graywater system to be installed in a manner that violates other provisions of
    this code or any other laws or ordinances of the Enforcing Agency.
    12. An operation and maintenance manual shall be provided. Directions shall indicate the manual is to
    remain with the building throughout the life of the system and indicate that upon change of
    ownership or occupancy, the new owner or tenant shall be notified the structure contains a
    graywater system.

    And here is all of chapter 16:


    http://www.hcd.ca.gov/codes/shl/2007CPC_Graywater_Complete_2-2-10.pdf



    Last edited by Terry; 06-23-2011 at 11:56 AM.

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member sdmarkus's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info gentlemen, I may shelf the grey water option for now but I think you'll be seeing much more of this in the future.

  13. #13
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdmarkus View Post
    but I think you'll be seeing much more of this in the future.
    I think you are correct, and unfortunately we will probably see more hepatitis and staph infections, and worse...as people in the name of GREEN ignore the sanitary regulations which have made developed countries safe and healthy.

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Unless you have a postage stamp sized yard and wash a dozen loads of clothes everyday, you're not going to irrigate a yard with gray water from your washing machine. It's a stupid idea to even consider using contaminated water for lawn irrigation. There are ways to conserve that make sense: this ain't one of them.

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    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    Unless you have a postage stamp sized yard and wash a dozen loads of clothes everyday, you're not going to irrigate a yard with gray water from your washing machine. It's a stupid idea to even consider using contaminated water for lawn irrigation. There are ways to conserve that make sense: this ain't one of them.
    I agree. Like I said if going green is the goal, then rain water collection is a far better option.

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