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Thread: Waste System Questions

  1. #16
    DIY Junior Member wetzelja's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply. So really, neither of the lines are really vented at all. Argh.

    I had gotten a quote from a local plumbing contractor (before coming to this forum) to connect the three latter fixtures to the main line. This information helps me know that I need to make sure that quote includes venting, not just hooking up to the main line.

  2. #17
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    As I said earlier, once a drain, always a drain; or, once a vent, always a vent. You can't mix functions - they are separate and distinct. They must be joined properly, or they don't work properly.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #18
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Maybe dumb questions wetz, but...

    I understand from reading the pros' (and friendly engineers') comments that it looks like you need some dwv system revisions, particularly re venting and traps.

    But do you know for sure that this line of greywater (interesting to me that that's what it is) is connected to your old septic tank? Michigan is an IPC state, so (okay, reaching the limits of what I should be talking about...) if I understand it can sometimes be used for underground irrigation and toilet flushing. (I also know that, notwithstanding the IPC, in my jurisdiction, "washings" from the human body are considered sewage. which has to go in a public sewer if it is available, so this would still be verboten where I live.) Any chance that your local jurisdiction was somehow *not* interested in collecting it? Any chance that those lines go somewhere else? Have you popped the top of your old septic tank and seen whether anything is running into it? (Or is it not accessible? Where we live we are required to have a lid at ground level that meets certain requirements both for access and for limitations on access.) Dye tab in the shower or whatever?

    Actually, the more I think about this, I know that in the jurisdiction in which lies our family home outside NYC, when the sewer system is expanded and people are connected to it, it is not only customary but in fact legally-required that the old septic tanks be caved in and filled in. Wonder why they didn't (if they didn't) do that at your place?

    I'm thinking that at the end of the day if the local jurisdiction wants it, you are probably already required to be giving it to them. But I'm just intrigued that the greywater is running in a little dinky line off somewhere, maybe; and before you pay to do this work at least you probably want to be sure that it isn't already running into your lift station (or somewhere that it's expected to be running).
    Last edited by wjcandee; 09-04-2012 at 08:59 PM.

  4. #19
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Some places used to separate the laundry from the rest of the waste lines...the thought that the lint would clog up the leach field. Course, if you pumped your tank regularly, that shouldn't be an issue. But, a WM pumps a lot of water fast, so who knows. The two could already be joined somewhere underground - it's not a bad idea to verify that. But, most codes want anything underground to be at least 2".
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #20
    DIY Junior Member wetzelja's Avatar
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    Thanks for putting thought into this, wjcandee.

    I honestly don't know for sure where the grey water goes from the sink, shower, and laundry. I assumed it was the old septic tank. I know that I ran the water for a long period of time, with the lid of the sewer holding tank in the back yard off, and it never seemed to enter there. My only conclusion was the old septic tank.

    I did float that theory to the township water supervisor, because I wondered if it was an oversight and they'd cover the cost of having it done. While he didn't give me definites because they used third-party contractors, he said it wouldn't be unusual to have two lines and they were only required to connect the main from the toilet.

    I don't actually know the location of the septic tank, so I haven't tried to dig it up. I'm fairly certain that it wasn't caved in because all of this transition was happening as I was purchasing the property, and I didn't see any of that in the yard.

    The whole thing is just a mess. This 1.5" line going out into the yard is bizarre and poorly assembled. When I started digging it up at the point where it comes out of the house, it goes 90 degrees into the ground for about 18" and then goes 90 degrees out to the yard. NONE of these elbows or sections of pipe were cemented together, just dry-fitted.

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