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Laundry-to-landscape: PVC & galvanized pipe, etc.

 
Brian Young
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Location: California
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Hi everyone:

I am working on a laundry-to-landscape system for our one-story house in Berkeley, CA. We have a tight crawlspace and I'm trying to minimize the amount of plumbing I have to do under the house--but at the same time I don't like the look of a lot of piping on the outside of the house and on most sides it's not practical due to downspouts, doors & other openings, walkways, etc. I realized after being under the house a couple of times that we have an old length of galvanized pipe that used to supply the water heater still in place. It already runs about 70% of the distance I need to cover to get to the front yard. I am thinking I could join PVC to either end to complete the run--one one end a standpipe for the washer and connection into the crawlspace, and on the other the connection out to the yard.

Is it feasible to connect 1-inch or perhaps 3/4-inch PVC to the galvanized with a mechanical connection (i.e., a rubber sleeve with metal bands to tighten it)? If not, is there any other method I could use? I am assuming the galvanized isn't too corroded, and that I can flush it to assess that, and get any detritus that has built up inside. What other things I should look out for?

Thanks!
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Hi Brian - and welcome to Permies!

If it was me, I'd replace the whole thing with PVC. Here's why.

I have an L2L system. I've also replaced old galvanized plumbing in my house here in Phoenix. The guy who replaced the pipe let me look into the interior. LOTS of buildup in there! L2L systems vent a lot of lint. Lint would get stuck on any not-perfectly-smooth surface in a system, potentially causing backflow issues over time or even motor burnout. Why invite trouble? Plus the stench of greywater stagnating in a pipe is very, very icky.

Kudos on your L2L project - let us know how it goes!
 
Brian Young
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Location: California
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Thanks, Jennifer, I looked at both ends of the pipe yesterday and it is indeed pretty corroded. Clearly that's the reason a previous owner replaced these pipes with copper. I think I am going to take your advice, as much as I would prefer not to use that much plastic. The next challenge is getting out of the crawlspace without having to go uphill over the foundation or drilling through 8 inches of concrete... I'll try and post more once I've figured that out.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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I hear you on wanting to limit plastic use. However, I think it will save you headaches in this situation.

Post some pics when you get a chance.
 
Brian Young
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Location: California
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Hi everybody--

Thanks to Jennifer for her input earlier. I tore out all the old galvanized and am proceeding with 1" PVC. It's slow going, but I'm most of the way out of the crawlspace and will be working on the yard in another couple of weeks. I'm learning lots of fun stuff along the way as I make and fix mistakes, but am looking forward to being able to work standing up again...

My next set of questions is in re: the tubing in the yard: where does one get 1" HDPE or just plain poly tubing as per Art Ludwig's recommendations? Our local irrigation and plumbing supply stores don't carry it and don't seem to know where to find it, much less the chain hardware places. Dripworks sells a 3/4" poly tubing, with an inner diameter of 0.83", which might be OK; they also have something called "Oval Hose" with an actual 1" diameter, but I don't need 250" of it. Does anyone have a line on other online sources?

Thanks.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Brian - let me ask my friend Ryan who is the project manager for Watershed Management Group here in Phoenix. He sources our parts for us.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Here is Ryan's response:

Sprinkler World, http://www.sprinklerworld.com/.

They generally have the 1" polyethylene tubing in stock, 500 foot roll, black only. We then paint it with purple marking paint before back filling the trench. Purple marking paint also purchased at Sprinkler World.


Sprinkler World also caries the 1/2" poly tubing with the purple stripe.

You may be able to find the 1" polyethylene tubing from other irrigation stores, or they may be able to order it. If so, see if they can order it with the purple stripe to avoid the painting step. Sames goes for the 1/2" poly tubing.
 
Brian Young
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Location: California
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Thanks again, Jennifer. Sprinkler World seems to be retail only rather than just online, but I take Ryan's point about irrigation stores in our area being able to find a similar product. As I said, the one place I've been to here in Berkeley was having trouble finding it. Maybe if I go back to them with a manufacturer's name they would be able to track it down that way.

An additional problem is finding someone who will just sell me a little bit. I really don't need 250 or 500' of tubing for an L2L system... I think I need to find some local greywater installers who routinely buy large quantities and buy a small lot from them.

Any SF Bay Area folks listening? If you've got some of this tubing and could sell me 50-100', or advise as to where I could find such, please send me a PM.

Thanks!
 
Brian Young
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Location: California
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A quick update after many weeks: I consulted some local graywater professionals and found 1" Bluelock HDPE at the Urban Farmer Store, a place I had forgotten about. I now have just about everything in place and am trying to tune the system, but have run into another problem that merits a separate thread.
 
wayne fajkus
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Just taking a guess. I wonder if a genesis valve is the answer to your problem. I've needed one anytime I rigged a washing machine to drain through a hose.
 
Brian Young
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Location: California
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Hi Wayne--

wayne fajkus wrote:Just taking a guess. I wonder if a genesis valve is the answer to your problem. I've needed one anytime I rigged a washing machine to drain through a hose.


Sorry, I don't know what a genesis valve is... could you clarify?

The problem I am having has to do with backflow because there is an unavoidable rise in the pipe about 40' after it leaves the washer (right before it gets to the yard). I'm looking into adding a check valve, though I'm not sure where the best place for it is. I was intending on starting a new thread on this but won't be able to today, so if you want to respond here that would be fine.

Thanks! Brian
 
wayne fajkus
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It's hard to explain what it is. Kind of like a back flow preventer but it seems to pulse/push the water. It has a bearing that moves up and down in a channel that might suck air into the downstream pipe to help push it through.

When i first hooked a water hose to the washing machine to water the yard, it didn't work. Like the restriction backed up the system and it wouldn't drain. The genesis valve fixed it. It makes a water tight connection between the drain hose a drain box, pvc pipe, water hose, or whatever else you use to transfer down stream.

I wish I had more info. The inventor/manufacturer is in temple, tx. He sells them at his website but I've also bought them from local plumbing supply houses (in temple, tx lol). Not sure how widespread their distribution is.

If someone knows "how" it works I would like to be corrected on my assumptions.

 
wayne fajkus
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Www.gviivalve.com
 
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