diy grey water install

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by twinsrusracing, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. twinsrusracing

    twinsrusracing New Member

    I was wanting to install a grey water recycling setup in my house where all the toilets would be filled with grey water from showers,sinks in my house to cut down on water consumption. Here is my plan, both toilets in my house will be supplied seperatly from the rest of the plumbing so no cross contamination will occur. I plan on having a closed container in my basement which will hold the water coming from the bathroom sink and shower only. Probably about 25-30 gallon capacity. I will have an overflow near the top of the container and it will be hooked to the main sewer pipe and exit the house like the rest of the waste water. My problem is I need some sort of small pump or pressure tank to pump water back up to the bowls of my toilets from the grey water container when the toilets are flushed. I know there are some kits outthere for about 300.00 but I am on a budget:D. If anyone has any ideas or pros and cons of this type of set up I would appreciate it. Thanks!
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    Being an early adopter of new, unproven, technology is not usually done with budget constraints. You are dealing with public health and safety ( not just you and your family.) Plumbing codes are just starting to embrace the grey water concept, but inspectors are not trained or experienced. There is HUGE concern for cross connection. You understand that issue, but may not realize how strict the requirements will be. I expect at a minimum, codes will be written to require marking ID on pipes, etc. You may need a pump AND a pressure tank to make this work. It is coming, for sure. But so are LED lights. Right now, the cost of a simple 60 watt equivalent LED bulb for your lamp is $119. Graywater system costs will also be sky high until they are mainstream.
  4. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    I already have shower and sink water draining into a sump in my basement, and I cannot imagine re-using that water for anything without first filtering and decontaminating it. There are bodily fluids in that water along with quite a bit of hair and whatever else falls off during a shower ...

    If I were you, I would wait a few years until several systems have been engineered and their prices eventually come down.
  5. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    S. Maine
    It's your lucky day:D

    Appendix C of the IPC has al the codes you need to adhere to.

    You need to filter the grey water because it is full of nasty smelly bacteria. Typically it is a 2 stage process. Stage 1 filter takes out large particulate like food and hair etc. Stage 2 filter takes out smaller particulate matter. Typically a diatomaceous earth filter is used here. Then the water needs to be chemically treated to remove the bacteria that is still present and will make the back of your toilet smell worse thatn the bowl. Here a clorinator will do just fine though ultra violet filtration is also used. Next we move on to a dye injector that will color the water either green or blue (your choice) so that it may be identified as "grey" water. The overflow from your tank can indeed be piped to the sewer but it will also require a vent. There is a very real possibility that the waste water from the showers and sinks will not at times be enough to re-fill the toilets so water make-up must be provided. That piping must be protected from backflow by an RPZ. So by the time you get all done with the project the pump you decide to use will be the least of your expenses.
  6. rmelo99

    rmelo99 Network Engineer

    I'm with the others. Like you I too wanted to try using grey water. I bought a few books that came highly recommended. I quickly learned the toilet grey water reuse wasn't happening. Then I decided how about using it for irrigation.

    In the end I ended up with no grey water system.

    What I did do was pipe my shower and lav sinks with seperate piping for a future grey water setup. I can just repipe in the basement when more advancements are made in residential grey water use.
  7. twinsrusracing

    twinsrusracing New Member

    thanks for all the advice to everyone that responded. I plan on waiting this out and getting more info. I am sure glad there are professionals that offer their time and expertise to help us weekend warriors out on forums like this!!
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Yakima WA
    I think you are very wise to at least postpone this project until technology to make it feasible from both healthy and economical. In the meantime, you can look into other way to conserve water through the type of vegetation in your landscaping, the type of toilets you use, how you use your dishwasher, length of showers, and so on.
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