It is a common practice for many households to drain their washing machine outside, whether it be into a yard, street drain or an external drainage system.
Can you actually drain your washing machine outside? Yes you can and no you can’t! The methods via which you could drain your washing machine depends on your state local codes.
But is this practice actually legal? In this article, we will explore the potential legality of draining a washing machine outside and what factors may influence the decision.
Is It Illegal To Drain Washing Machine Outside?
It depends! Due to grey water containing a mixture of foreign substances, bacteria, contaminants, detergents, which are literally harmful to the environment. It is illegal to drain a washing machine outside in some particular region.
Additionally, you are also allowed to legally do this in some other states that simply have no strict laws opposing this action.
In order to be certain whether or not you are allowed to do this in your state, check with your local homeowners association.
Be aware that you could get yourself in trouble if you drain your washer outside without properly researching land ordinance for confirmation.
Understanding The Regulations For Washing Machine Drainage
If you are looking forward to planning a drainage system for your washing machine, first you need to know that there are no specific regulations regarding the drainage of washing machines to an extent.
However, it is important to ensure that the drainage system is properly installed and in good working condition so as to prevent water damage and other related issues.
Whether or not you are directing your washing machine drain pipe outside, you need to make sure that the drainage system is connected to a plumbing system.
It must be capable of handling the amount of water produced by the washing machine which is termed as “grey water“.
States That Legally Allow Draining Of Washer Outside And Those That Don’t
In this particular section of the article, we’ll be highlighting the list of states which legally allow habitants to drain grey water outside and the states that prohibit this action.
You will find out that only a few areas do not allow this drainage system. Although, each region has specific reasons for disapproving this.
|Areas That Legally Allow You To Drain Outside||Areas That Prohibits Draining Outside|
Note that the aforementioned list might change or be restructured overtime. It is best to check with your local authorities for specific regulations regarding greywater drainage in your area.
However, if your region falls in the list of deregulated areas that aren’t allowed to drain washer into yard (outside), you can simply utilize other drainage system.
Don’t worry, we’ll be highlighting some of the best ways to drain your washing machine which might even be better compared to draining outside.
Potential Risks Of Draining A Washing Machine Outside
Despite the fact that it’s legal to some extent to externally drain your washing machine, there are some potential risk associated with doing this.
It is important to know the risks and side effects that might arise. Here are a few of them which will obviously be of help to you in the long run.
- Legal charges
- Environmental pollution
- Water damage to the surrounding area (Flooding)
- Insect or rodent infestations
- Slipping hazard
#1. Legal Charge Might Apply
You could be charged for going against the regulations in your region if you drain a washing outside whereas you aren’t allowed to.
In specific areas like Missouri and new york, you need to abide by the local plumbing codes and follow the rules.
However, it is possible that your neighbors might have reported you which is why you might find authorities by your doorsteps the following day.
#2. Environmental pollution
Another potential risk associated with draining your washer outside is environmental pollution.
If you do not properly drain your washing machine, it might lead to environmental pollution and you might also end up getting affected.
If you still insist on exterior draining, it is recommended that you properly do this with all the help you can get. A professional can easily assist you in order to avoid making errors.
#3. Flooding And Water Damage To The Surrounding Area
Even in some locations that have no strict rules against draining a washer outside, you might break the law if you exceed the number of gallons you are allowed to drain per day.
This might result in excessive flooding and damage to the surrounding area. Pollution or contamination of the surrounding soil and water sources is a risk you need to be aware of.
This is what happens when grey water is drained onto the ground, it can potentially contaminate the soil and nearby water sources
#4. Insect Or Rodent Infestations
Pest, insect and rodents are basically attracted to standing water and contaminated water resources.
It’s risky to drain a washing machine into the yard if the water is left stagnant and abandoned.
It might result in numerous insect-borne diseases and contaminations. You might also be irritated by the increase in mosquitoes and pests coming into your house due to the stagnant water which was caused by draining the grey water outside.
#5. Slipping hazard
Allowing your washer water to be disposed openly outside can result in slipping hazard. Your safety is most important in situations like this.
You literally don’t want kids falling and sustaining injuries from slippery surfaces and stagnant water.
This is why in most areas that disallows disposing washing machine water outside, they recommend sending grey water through a plumbing system that is connected to a municipal wastewater treatment facility or any other safe methods.
Don’t forget the fact that draining your washing machine outside for agricultural practices and watering your lawn safely is actually beneficial to some extent.
Best Practices For Washing Machine Drainage System
If you are not sure whether your local plumbing regulations permit you to drain your washing machine outside.
Perhaps you have made your findings and you discovered this drainage system is not allowed in your state, here are a few alternatives to use rather than draining your washer outside.
- Running your washing machine to your backyard (outside). This is considered a good technique for irrigation only if you use biodegradable detergents. You can simply run greywater outside for watering your lawn as long as you don’t use toxic dish detergents that might be dangerous to plants.
- Septic tank. If you have a septic tank, make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the proper use and maintenance of your washing machine to avoid damaging the septic system.
- Make sure the drain hose is securely attached to the washing machine and the drain pipe. It’s important that this part doesn’t come loose in order to avoid water leakage.
- Perhaps you notice any leaks or other issues with your washing machine’s drainage system, it’s important to address them promptly to avoid further damage.
- Inspect the drain hose and drain pipe regularly for clogs and any blockages. Remove them all as soon as possible so as to ensure free flow of water through the system.
It is important to properly drain a washing machine and dispose of the water in a safe and responsible manner.
Frequently Asked Questions!
Below are some common questions which might broaden your knowledge on this topic and provide you with more information.
Q: Is it illegal to drain washing machine outside in michigan?
If you stay in michigan and you are willing to know whether or not you are allowed to drain washing machine water outside.
You need to know that this action is legally accepted in michigan as long as you avoid water from dishwashers.
You are required to drain water correctly in order to avoid legal charges in the future.
Q: Is it illegal to drain washing machine outside in georgia?
Similar to Michigan, it is legal by the local plumbing codes to drain washing machine outside in georgia.
You just need to avoid draining water that’s passed out from a dishwasher, this type is considered hazardous to the environment.
Q: Is it illegal to drain washing machine outside in florida?
According to the Florida building code and the Florida Plumbing Codes (Section 301.3), Subsurface irrigation is no longer included as a permitted use of greywater in the Florida Building Code.
Moving forward, greywater must only be processed and passed through an approved filter in Florida. This means it must be disinfected via the use of iodine, chlorine or ozone.
Q: Is it illegal to drain washing machine outside in North Carolina?
According to research, it’s currently illegal to drain washing machine outside in North Carolina.
If you live in this state and you are willing to know more about this regulations, you can reach out to your local plumbing authorities.
Q: is it illegal to drain washing machine outside in new york state?
In new york state, its not legally permitted by local plumbing regulations to drain washing machine water outside.
Note that there are specific reasons for this which mostly of them has been highlighted above.
Q: is it illegal to drain washing machine outside in south carolina?
For residents of South Carolina, you should know that it’s currently illegal to drain washing machine outside in South Carolina.
Q: Is it illegal to drain washing machine outside in texas?
Specifically for Texas, if you’re willing to know whether or not you are allowed to drain washing machine water outside.
You need to know that this action is legally accepted in Texas as long as you avoid water from dishwashers.
You are required to drain water correctly in order to avoid legal charges in the future. Additionally, your drain water must not exceed 400 gallons a day.
At this point, you should be well informed of whether or not you can drain your washing machine outside your house. It is recommended that you get in touch with your local authorities for confirmation.
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