While installing a washing machine at home, we must consider its drainage options. Of course, you may drain the washing machine to the main sewage line. However, you may consider draining it outside and using the water to irrigate your plants.
But for this, you must know how to run the washing machine drain outside. Also, you should consider if your municipality allows washing machines to drain outside and in yards. It’s necessary because some cities have strict washing machine applications and usage rules.
First, remove the washing machine from the main drainage pipe to drain it outside. After that, you must remove the drainage pipe from the back or side of the washing machine. Finally, connect a new pipe and drain it outside the laundry room.
Is It Illegal To Drain Washing Machine Outside?
While draining washing machines outside, you may need clarification about their permission and legality. Is it legal or illegal to run washing machine drainage outside?
The good news is running a washing machine in an outdoor space isn’t illegal. You can drain the laundry machines directly to your garden and yards. Using the drained water to water your flowers and plants is even possible.
However, a few areas have complete restrictions on draining machines outdoors. Thus, we suggest you consult with the local building authority and municipality. They will help you know about the suitable drainage options for washing machines.
You must be highly considerate when you drain the washing machine outdoors. You may run it directly into yards and convert the water to the irrigation system. Alternatively, you may run it into a greywater system. For this, you will need a well in your home.
How To Run Washing Machine Drain Outside
Draining a washing machine outdoors is easier than most people think. You can complete the task of running the washing machine and draining water in yards or wells with minimum knowledge. The key is to choose the draining location, find the right tubing, and replace the laundry machine’s existing draining setup.
Step 1: Preplan your draining setup
Proper plumbing and drainage success depends mainly on its design and preplan. The same goes for washing machines. The preplan phase includes inspecting the outdoor space, the location from where you will drain the washing machine, and designing the entire system.
First, you must check for enough outdoor space. It could be better if the drained water ran to your neighbor’s house. Your yard or garden must have adequate space where the washing machine can run and empty the water properly. It is crucial because a standard washing machine uses 14 gallons of water for each load for each cleaning cycle. This information is derived from Energy-Star-rated machines that use 33% less water.
Thus, non-efficient washing machines will use close to 18 to 20 gallons of water. It implies the importance of draining the washing machine with enough outdoor space. Or else it can quickly flood the area and cause more concerns for you.
The drained water must be fine with your neighbors. Also, check the legality and take necessary permission, if required. Some states may have banned draining washing machines outdoors.
Also, decide how you want to drain the washing machine. You have two options:
- Drain the laundry machine directly into the yard. It doesn’t offer you any control over the drainage system and will waste the water.
- You can use a grey water tank or barrel to collect the water. You may then use it to water the plants and vegetables in your summer and winter garden.
Step 2: Gather the draining tools and tubes
Next, you must collect the plumbing tools required to perform the drainage task. You have to replace the existing draining hose with a new one. Also, it should lead to your yards without a problem.
- Start by measuring the distance from the washing machine to its draining location. As you pick the drain pipe, make sure it fits with the appliance’s draining outlet diameter. Or else it won’t fit into the appliance.
- Usually, a washing machine drain hose of 1-inch inner diameter works perfectly. It lets you funnel the water accurately to where you want it to go.
- When choosing the drain hose, you should buy it a little longer than required. For instance, you should buy a 10 feet hose if the distance between the washing machine and the draining point is 8 feet. It provides you with more flexibility.
- If you choose to drain the washing machine in the barrel or grey water tank, buy it too. However, it’s only sometimes necessary. A barrel or drum will be more affordable than a grey water tank. You may get the drums for around 20 dollars. These drums can hold 55 gallons of water and are ideal for draining home appliances.
- Did you place your washing machine in the basement? Then, you will need a sump pump too. It allows you to pump the water to ground level instead of draining it underground. 1HP of sump pump will be enough for the job.
Additionally, you will need an adjustable wrench, screwdrivers, putty knife, and Teflon or plumbing tape.
Step 3: Install the suitable draining hose
You have gathered all the tools. It’s time to start replacing the actual drain hose with the right one for outdoor use.
- Disconnect the washing machine from the electrical outlet. Also, detach its hot and cold water supply lines. Alternatively, turn off the water supply lines.
- You must access the hose clamp to detach the drain hose from it. For this, remove the screws securing the control panel. Also, look at the back panel for the cabinet. Use a screwdriver to pry off the cabinet from the top.
- As you access the hose clamp, look for the screws. Use the flathead screwdriver to loosen it. Then, squeeze the clamp legs and move it 2 to 3 inches downwards. It works fine with the spring hose clamps.
- Some washing machines will secure the drain hose using screws. If so, remove the screws and release the tubing.
- Clean the back panel of the washing machine and connect the new outdoor drain hose to the outlet section. If you use a sump pump, you need to connect it to the pump. From there, use another hose to release the water into the ground.
Finally, you must recheck the drain hose connection and remount the control panel. It helps you secure the connections.
Is It Possible To Use Washing Machine Drain Water For Irrigation?
Since you will drain the washing machine outdoors, it’s possible to use the water for irrigation. You don’t need to worry about the plant’s health too. Research on grey water and plant health has found that using grey water doesn’t harm plants.
Grey water refers to water used to clean clothes and dishes. It generally comes from washing machines and dishwashers in your home. However, you need to follow a few tips to ensure the safety of the plants with greywater irrigation.
- Don’t use detergents with sodium in them. The sodium will go with the water and cause dryness in the plants. It works as if the plant is suffering from droughts.
- Avoid washing the clothes with feces, borax, and bleaching powder. Washing diapers or feces will turn the washing machine’s water black. Also, bleaching powder and the borax will increase toxicity in the soil.
- If possible, collect the drained water in a barrel. Then, with a garden hose, rinse the plants with the drained water.
As you see, draining a washing machine outside is possible. It also allows you to recycle water and stop its wastage. By draining the laundry machine outdoors, you may put your first step toward an eco-friendly home.
I am James Martin, An professional plumber with more than 16 years of experience. The main purpose of my writing is to share my experiences of helping others. Be with me and explore bathroom plumbing, installation, cleanness ideas, and many more.