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Any advice on choosing a portable washing machine for greywater use?

 
Judith Moran
Posts: 7
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
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I'm thinking about getting a portable washing machine that I can hook up to a garden hose and drain the resulting greywater onto mulched yard.

Anyone doing this? Any recommendations for washing machines? Consumer Reports (my go-to source for recommendations) hasn't reviewed portable washing machines.

thanks!
 
Andy Moffatt
Posts: 93
Location: New Zealand
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food preservation goat hunting
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Why portable?
Can you not just pipe your current indoor one to the yard?
 
Judith Moran
Posts: 7
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
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No I can't use my current one because the washing machine is in the basement and even if I got a powerful pump to pump the water up to the yard the location of the washer in the basement is adjacent to the driveway - the one place I don't need greywater.... In my specific case, a portable washing machine seems easiest choice.

Unfortunately when many U.S. houses were built, washers were placed in the basement. This might make sense in that the noise of machine doesn't disturb family living on first floor. But as population ages it is difficult for older people to haul wash up and down stairs. And this set-up makes greywater from the machine difficult or impossible.
 
eric koperek
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TO:  Judith Moran
FROM:  Eric Koperek = erickoperek@gmail.com
SUBJECT:  Portable Washing Machines
DATE:  PM 6:49 Thursday 18 August 2016
TEXT:

(1)  Contact your nearest Maytag dealer  -- or --  search for used washing machine dealers in the Denver area.

(2)  Buy an old-fashioned Maytag wringer washer with a cast aluminum tub.  You can usually purchase these machines for less than $200 dollars.  The last machine I purchased cost $125 (in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).

(3)  Old Maytag wringer washers last virtually forever because they have very few moving parts.  There is no On-Off switch.  Insert electrical plug to use washer.  Remove electrical plug when finished.  Elegant design = very simple.

(4)  I have 1 or 2 Maytag washers on every farm that I own.  These machines are great for heavy-duty laundry, especially work clothes.

(5)  Old Maytag washers are ideal for your intended application.  The tubs drain from the bottom by gravity = no pump required.  Just unhook the hose and the water drains wherever you want it to go.  Fill the tub with your garden hose.

(6)  Really old, beat-up Maytag washers ($50 or less) can be used to wash root crops like potatoes, turnips, beets, and carrots.

(7)  Doing laundry outside is FUN!  Lots of fresh air and sunshine.  Great for children.  And you can make all the mess you want.  Install an outside sink and you can wash pots, pans, and dishes too.  (Goo and water are irresistible for children).

(  Note:  For safety, place laundry machine on a flat = level surface.  Make sure you have an inspected, outside electrical outlet and water-proof extension cord.  Keep your laundry machine covered with a water-proof tarp when not in use.

ERIC KOPEREK = erickoperek@gmail.com

end comment



 
Andy Moffatt
Posts: 93
Location: New Zealand
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food preservation goat hunting
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Could you move the current machine perhaps?
Or maybe have it empty into a drum downstairs and then use a submersible pump to lift and push around the outside of the house, or across the floor and out the right side of the building.
Hauling a washing machine around every few days sounds a lot harder than carting washing up and down stairs
 
Judith Moran
Posts: 7
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
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Portable washing machines are only at most 65 lbs and some styles have wheels. If I buy one without wheels I'll certainly put it on wheels.  I have porch which has an overhang and is open on two sides so it shouldn't be too much trouble to wheel it under the porch after I'm finished using it.

In my specific situation the portable washing machine is the way to go.  In a former house I used the laundry drum system to pipe greywater from my ground  floor laundry room out to the landscape and that worked well. But there is no place in present home to place a laundry on the ground floor.
 
Perry Tart
Posts: 9
Location: Pacific Northwest
bike goat woodworking
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I could recommend a few models but I don't recommend washing your clothes straight from the garden hose. Most garden hoses leach contaminants like lead from the spout and tend to have harder water than the water actually inside the house, for a variety of reasons. It may be better to look at a model where you bring the water to it, or wheel it from the water source to where you want to drain it.

Other ideas that come to mind are, like, sourcing a broken washing machine and modifying it for bike power or other alternate source, and possibly hooking up a filtration system so the hose water isn't an issue, but THAT's a lot more complicated. I'm also seeing on Amazon some pretty decent models which are under 15lbs, though they do wash less per load. (For me that's fine as lighter loads are easier to manage.)

Edit to add: I hand wash using two 5 gallon buckets and this hand washer. IDK if that's an option for you, but 5 gallon buckets can be pretty versatile in regards to laundry. For that matter, so can larger buckets. You could even modify them to put a spigot and a stopper on them and attach a hose when you want to empty them without dumping. ...I'm going to write that idea down for later. (I also have seen plans for a portable handwashing station that saves grey water using two 5 gallon buckets and a plastic hand pump.)
 
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