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Author Topic: shower/washing machine graywater for toilet  (Read 375 times)

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Offline Bonnie

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shower/washing machine graywater for toilet
« on: December 19, 2012, 04:51:19 PM »
I couldn't figure out where to put this topic and everyone reads Chatter (right?) so I have a good chance of getting an answer to my question.

Which is: is there a system for storing/using graywater from showers and/or washing machines in the toilet? I don't want to get the kind of toilet with a sink on top - there is no way 1 handwashing would refill the toilet tank - even a low flow one.

Hopefully, it would be a simple system. On the good side, the shower, washing machine & toilet are very close to each other. On what may be the bad side, all are on the ground floor.

I've been searching the Internet, but my connection is extra slow today. Also, almost everything I've seen is about sink to toilet tank systems. One that isn't is a youtube, which I can't access from home.

If anyone can steer me in the right direction, I'll be forever grateful!

God bless,
Bonnie
Opportunity Farm
NE WA

"While we have the opportunity, let us do good to all." Galatians 6:10

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Offline Flight-ER-Doc

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Re: shower/washing machine graywater for toilet
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2012, 05:08:19 PM »
The systems I've seen basically have two different sets of plumbing - one for the toilets (black water), one for the sinks/shower drains (gray water).  The gray water goes into a tank (after being filtered), and is available to be used to water plants, flush toilets, etc. 

I don't know of a system similar to that you described.
Yes, I'm a physician.  No, I'm not YOUR physician.  Nothing I say here is medical advice.

Do I treat Glocks like I treat my lawn mowers?  No, I treat them worse.  I treat my defensive weapons like my fire extinguishers and smoke detector - annual maintenance and I expect them to work when needed


Offline AuricTech

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Re: shower/washing machine graywater for toilet
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2012, 07:20:45 PM »
In a home built from the ground up to use grey water for toilet flushing, I would imagine that designing such a system would be fairly simple: add a tank to hold the (preferably filtered) grey water, fit it with an overflow valve to allow excess grey water to exit the tank through the black water plumbing (in case grey water usage exceeds black water usage over time), then add a pump (assuming that straight gravity feed is not feasible) to send the filtered grey water to the toilet's tank.

Since your home is already built, it might be both easier and cheaper to replace or supplement at least one conventional toilet with a composting toilet as a water-saving measure.  While a cursory Internet search will turn up plenty of information on composting toilets, both factory-built and homemade, I've taken into account your slow Internet access by providing links to some of the more prominent manufacturers of composting toilets:

* Envirolet Composting Toilets

* BioLet Composting Toilets

* Sun-Mar Composting Toilets
American parachutists...devils in baggy pants...are less than 100 meters from my outpost line. I can't sleep at night; they pop up from nowhere and we never know when or how they will strike next. Seems like the black-hearted devils are everywhere....

Offline Haverwilde

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Re: shower/washing machine graywater for toilet
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2012, 08:29:40 PM »
If money is no problem, then it is easy. But on a normal budget--not so much.
The first problem I see is the shower. The washing machine pumps water out so it can go into a tank higher than the toilet. So let's for the moment forget the shower.
The cheapest tanks are probably either old hot water tanks or garbage pails.
So let's say you use a 30 to 44 gallon sturdy rubbermade or other quality garbage can, at the bottom install a water line out to the toilet and a second at the top for an overflow line. Install the garbage can so that the bottom is at or above the same level as the top of the flush water. Then plumb the washer to fill the tank.
The rest of the natural cutoff mechanism should work fine with the much lower pressure gray water tank. Although unfiltered graywater may tend to plug the line. But that should be easy to repair.
Diabolus fecit, ut id facerem!

Offline cd

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Re: shower/washing machine graywater for toilet
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2012, 08:39:44 PM »
It's a different approach, but any chance of capturing rainwater at a sufficient height that it could gravity feed the toilet?

Offline Haverwilde

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Re: shower/washing machine graywater for toilet
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2012, 11:40:49 PM »
Rain water cisterns also have the advantage of being nearly potable. The water is fine for coffee, tea, and general high heat cooking. So it adds to the H2O reserves,
Diabolus fecit, ut id facerem!

Offline Bonnie

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Re: shower/washing machine graywater for toilet
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2012, 11:31:25 AM »
Our Internet provider is having off & on problems because of the heavy snow we're getting - well over a foot last nite, on top of the foot we got earlier. Seems to be working now.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions! We have a composting toilet now, which my dh & son loathe & I'm not exactly fond of. We're not getting any younger & want a flush toilet for ease of maintenance, but I really don't want to be flushing our humanure with drinking water. Our well is not a high-producing one.

I like the idea of the laundry water going into a tank of some sort (which would have to be outside as there is no room inside), and going to the toilet tank from there. The washer & where the flush toilet will go back up to the same outside wall on the back side of the house. Nothing there but trees, so a tank wouldn't be an eyesore.

We have a friend who is a retired engineer, so I'll run these ideas by him & see what he thinks is feasible.

When the daily  temps drop to below freezing there might be problems, but we could have regular plumbing to the toilet for emergencies like that. And to appease the regulatory people should they catch wind of it.  ;D

Just realized that where a tank would be could be enclosed & insulated.

When we put in the composting toilet I checked out the regulations, fortunately staying anonymous. I was told we would have to have a septic system for the composting toilet! I asked why, as nothing would be going into the septic, & the rule was simply repeated. We didn't have the money for an entire septic system, so still don't have one, but what they don't know won't hurt us.  ;)

We still don't have the money, so all our more expensive plans are on hold until my dad's house sells. Once we pry baby sister out of it.  :(
God bless,
Bonnie
Opportunity Farm
NE WA

"While we have the opportunity, let us do good to all." Galatians 6:10

BonniesBooks.net

Offline BooMushroom

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Re: shower/washing machine graywater for toilet
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2012, 01:30:47 PM »
I was told we would have to have a septic system for the composting toilet! I asked why, as nothing would be going into the septic, & the rule was simply repeated.

This should make every American scream.

Offline oldguy52

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Re: shower/washing machine graywater for toilet
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2012, 01:51:56 PM »
This should make every American scream.

Indeed!

A perfect example of ignorant bureaucracy at it's best!
O.G.

"Stupid is supposed to be painful, it's nature's way of learnin' ya" - Me, 1994

When one finds himself living in interesting times, it is prudent to become as uninteresting as possible.... Me, 2011


 

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