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Thread: Laundry drain conundrum - drain CWM into bathtub?

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member vga4life's Avatar
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    Default Laundry drain conundrum - drain CWM into bathtub?

    Pardon my ignorance - I'm a professional computer geek, not a plumber.

    I recently bought a condo apartment in Seattle and want to install a compact ventless clothes washer dryer combo unit to avoid trips to the basement laundry room. (Nothing in the bylaws limits my right to do this, fortunately.)

    Naturally, the drain's the rub.

    I have a walk-in closet that happens to be directly under the water heater (overhead in the storage loft so access to hot and cold supply is not a problem) and shares a common wall with the foot of the bathtub.

    This gave me the idea of fixing the drain hose to a "dummy" tub spout (or otherwise running the hose through the wall) to drain into the bathtub. It seems like this would adequately provide for an air gap and the tub's ample capacity (many times that of the small front-loading washing machine) would adequately buffer the drainage flow over time.

    Would this be a realistic alternative to spending many kilobucks cutting willy-nilly into the walls and/or subfloors to find and plumb into drains and vents? If not, why not?
    Last edited by vga4life; 04-23-2006 at 07:09 PM.

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    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    The essence of engineering is to find the most economical way to satisfy the functional requirements while ensuring safety and all that stuff. Just make sure the washer drain is adequately secured so you don't flood anyone downstairs.

    Now I'm sure there are lots of reasons such as the fact that it isn't permitted by the Universal Plumbing Code, but I can't think of a technical reason that it wouldn't work fine. Just don't tell anyone in your condo about it. And make sure that you regularly check the tub drain to make sure it doesn't plug with lint and overflow on the fourth load.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The drain should work, but I'd be worried about the moisture from the drying cycle. That can be significant, and the lint trap doesn't catch everything, either. Blowing lint into the house can be a health hazard. Is there a window you could put it out on a temporary basis?
    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 Junior Member vga4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua
    The drain should work, but I'd be worried about the moisture from the drying cycle. That can be significant, and the lint trap doesn't catch everything, either. Blowing lint into the house can be a health hazard. Is there a window you could put it out on a temporary basis?
    The units that I'm looking at use condenser dryers that don't vent the moist air - it's condensed out and sent down the drain (hence "ventless"). Quite common in Europe and Asia, virtually unknown in the US.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default dryer

    IF you can find a dummy tub spout that will handle the washer's discharge flow, and can live with the lint in the tub, then go ahead. But since your "drain" is the open tub, the dryer's condensate is going to be in your bathroom, not down the drain with the lint.

  6. #6
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    hj, these things actually work quite well. The moist air is condensed into water, so no matter if you put it into the tub, it is still water and drains away. You do not have moist air going into the room. There is of course energy cost, and probalby some waste heat, but the units are small and quite functional.

  7. #7
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
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    yes laundry sinks and washers require a 2' trap , but

    this is a bootleg suggest you invest in a good rubber mat to keep the washer vibration down.

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