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  • No Vent in gray water system

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    I bought an old farm house that has a septic system. The bathrooms all run into the septic tank but the kitchen sink, dishwasher and clothes washer run into a separate tank. I am not sure if it is a tank or an old septic pit of some kind. This second gray water system does not have a vent so I occasionally get sewer odor coming from the clothes washer drain where the hose goes into the pvc pipe. This clothes washer does not have a trap but there is a u-bend in the drain hose. I plan on adding a trap to the 1 1/2 inch clothes washer drain and an AAV valve. Can I also put in a vent on the outside of the house where the dain line goes into the ground/pit?

    The line starts at the sink/dishwasher then goes 13' to the clothes washer then 6' to the outside wall then down into the ground. I have attached 3 photos. One of the washer drain, the other is the outside wall where the drain comes out and goes into the ground and the 3rd is a larger view of the outside wall where I want to run a vent pipe up.

  • #2
    Re: No Vent in gray water system

    Your problem is that the house is on its side!

    From the pictures you provide, the drain appears to not go into the septic, but to wherever the gutter drains go. You could put a rube-goldberg vent outside at the drop but make sure it is well attached and rises at least 1 foot above the roof line. Though, it may not be approved code application in California.

    The odor could be a combination of washer debris, soap, and rotten stuff in the old gutter drain system.
    ~~

    ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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    • #3
      Re: No Vent in gray water system

      Rick thanks for you quick reply. If I put an AAV vent on the washing machine line do I even need to put a vent on the outside line or will the AAV valve and trap solve the issue of the sewer smell coming back up?

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      • #4
        Re: No Vent in gray water system

        Judging from your picture the AAV won't help you in your washing machine pipe. The pipe looks to be sealed with tape and the machine itself is probably trapped internally. You would need a trap in the pvc pipe just above the floor level. Though, be aware, if it's only 1.5" pipe it may overflow due to restriction when your machine empties.

        The AAV only allows air into the pipe. A true vent will equalize both directions and will allow nasty-gas out, up, and away from the main house (ideally).
        ~~

        ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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        • #5
          Re: No Vent in gray water system

          a lot of the older houses had a separate drain system for gray water that went through a grease trap first then into the septic tank
          (people were always dumping bacon grease down the drains and the goo would wreak all kinds of havoc in a septic tank)
          i think i still have the old book around someplace that shows the construction of the septic systems back then
          shooting the s*** is a lot more fun when you use hollow points (much more splatter)

          coffee hell gimme booze!!!

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          • #6
            Re: No Vent in gray water system

            Its been a few months but here is an update. I installed an AAV valve and this seems to have solved the odor problem. I am not sure why I installed a "Y" fitting and not a "T" but at the time it made sense. Thanks for everyone help.

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            Last edited by fidler4; 11-28-2013, 01:00 PM. Reason: adjust photo location

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            • #7
              Re: No Vent in gray water system

              Is there a way to run a vent up the wall and out the roof?
              Or vent as soon as it exits the house. But I'd dislike seeing a vertical pipe there.

              Have you looked to see where the gray water goes?

              Hope it is not near the house.

              Wish we could make use of a gray water system to water the lawn.
              I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
              It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
              "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

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