12 Aug How to Install a Greywater System
With very little effort, you can make your outdoor kitchen ecologically friendly and economically frugal. Through the installation of a greywater system, you can save on water bill costs, every time you enjoy your remodel. Instead of using new water for your outdoor kitchen necessities and irrigation system, water your plants with the used water from your appliances. By using biodegradable soaps and our guide to installing a greywater drainage system, you’ll be on your way to saving water and saving money. Before you follow this easy how to guide to building a greywater system, be sure to check the building codes in your area to get the proper permits for your project.
There are a few ways to install a greywater system from your outdoor kitchen sink, but we are going to describe the steps to one that feeds water directly to your flower beds and one that utilizes a holding tank. We recommend you consult with your local contractor for installation, but if you are a seasoned DIY homeowner feel free to give this project a go.
- Turn off the water to your outdoor kitchen appliances during the entire installation process.
- Make sure your kitchen sink has a garbage disposal attached, and begin by installing the standpipe after the trap. If you have a dishwasher, it should drain through the same plumbing as your sink. In order to utilize that water as well, begin your standpipe after those connections.
- Dig a trench to run the drain pipes from your standpipe to your desired flower beds. You have two options for this method: water the topsoil or water from underneath.
- Topsoil – this option allows you to run the drain pipe to your flower bed and leave the very end exposed to run water directly over the soil. This option is easiest to achieve if the flower beds are at a lower level than the outdoor kitchen.
- Underneath – this option allows you to water your plants from underneath the soil with perforated drain pipes. This is a great way to hide the entire pipe, but does leave your system open to more maintenance. Since the pipe is vented to let water out, but doesn’t have constant pressure, dirt will be able to clog the holes.
- Next connect your standpipe to your drainage pipes, and make sure all the connection points have a watertight seal.
- You can check your connections after the installation of the pipes is complete by turning the water back on. We’d recommend doing this prior to burying the pipes so you can make the corrections with ease.
- Finally, enjoy your outdoor kitchen while saving water and being eco-friendly.
Note* Greywater systems that utilize a holding tank are appropriate for those homes that also capture their rain and runoff water. Without collecting the rainwater and potential run off, an outdoor kitchen alone doesn’t truly have enough water use to maintain a relatively full holding tank.
- Instead of running the drain pipes directly to your flower beds, run them to a holding tank that should be on the side of the house that is used the least. The trench should be dug to a safe depth, that allows you to install the pipes with a downward slope of at least a ¼” per foot. Be sure to consult local codes for the minimum depth needed.
- Run your sprinklers with the water from your holding tank by installing a pump that runs to a bypass valve to your home’s sprinkler system. We recommend a solar pump to continue saving energy and costs. The bypass valve will give you the option to use the holding tank or your home’s water supply if the tank doesn’t have enough water in reserves.
- Finally, turn the water on to check your connections and enjoy a your eco-friendly greywater system.
After installation, make sure the drain pipes are relatively easy to access for any possible maintenance. From the sink to the holding tank, you’re going to want to be able to clear out potential clogs with ease. For starters we recommend installing tape light behind the lip of the cabinets that you open to access your sink. Working under the sink is already a difficult endeavor, poor lighting can make it a nightmare. This is a cheap way to make minor repairs to the pipes or clear out the trap without driving yourself crazy. Next, we recommend covering the buried drain pipes with step stones or pavers, so the pipes are less painful to access. If you cover them with a flower bed, you’ll hate digging up the beauty of your yard to repair an annoying leak. Last, use mesh to keep any backyard debris out of your holding tank. This system is a fantastic way to recycle your water; saving you and the environment.