How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
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Should I disconnect the washing machine from the septic tank to reduce the load on the system?
Friday, September 21, 2018
It’s estimated that a washing machine contributes about 22% of the liquid input to your septic tank. But, while it would seem like a good idea to get rid of nearly a quarter of the flow into the tank to help the system last longer, sending your washing machine drain cycle into a puddle in the yard is a health hazard.
Once you consider that what is euphemistically called “skid marks” in your family’s underwear will be washed out onto the ground, you can understand why this is not recommended and called out as a defect on a home inspection report. All “black water” from toilets, urinals, and kitchen drains, along “gray water” from washing machines, sinks and showers, should stay connected to the septic system. Here’s the citation from the Florida Residential Building Code:
Gray water is allowed, however, to be used for flushing toilets or urinals where there is an approved gray water system is installed. The requirements for approval of a gray water recycling system are extensive and probably not worth it for most homeowners.
See our blog post What are the building code requirements for gray water reuse in Florida? and What can I add to my septic tank to help it work better? to learn more.
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To learn more about septic tank systems, see these other blog posts:
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