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Tcp
Should I filter my washing machine drain?
Tcp

Hey guys just bought my first home late last year and it has a septic system. Someone at work mentioned to me the other day that I should get some kind of filter for my washer before it dumps into the septic. I tried searching for related threads but they are all almost 10 years old. On the web I just found the Filtrol 160 which is discontinued and the Lint Luv-R. Also no room for a large slop sink. Can only fit a tiny 12 inch wide sink so right now its draining to a 2 inch stand pipe in the wall. Can anyone shine some light thanks!

A. Spruce
Re: Should I filter my washing machine drain?
A. Spruce

I grew up in the country, 22 years on septic, never worried about washer lint, never had a problem.

Lynne
Re: Should I filter my washing machine drain?
Lynne

We've been draining a washing machine into the septic system for 40 years! We do get a routine pump out every couple of years.

dj1
Re: Should I filter my washing machine drain?
dj1

I once got a call about a washing machine which wouldn't drain properly. Turned out to be a clogged lint filter. Totally unnecessary.

Fencepost
Re: Should I filter my washing machine drain?
Fencepost

The worst things for septic systems are chlorine bleach (kills bacteria that makes the system work) and soap (clogs the soil so the leach field fails to absorb/evaporate), and there's no filter that will take that out. Lint from natural fibers such as cotton, linen, or wool garments is biodegradable and will be processed just fine by the septic system. Synthetic fibers such as nylon and polyester can't be broken down by the bacteria in a septic system, so what doesn't settle to the bottom of the tank will end up going out into the leach field.

However, synthetics tend to produce MUCH less lint than naturals, so the problem from that is minimal. And the chlorine bleach and soap makes a difference in the life of a properly designed septic system and leach field on the order of maybe 40 years versus 80 years (guesstimate). Just don't use an excess of chlorine bleach or soap and you'll probably have nothing to worry about. The bacteria in your feces is generally sufficient to sustain the colonies in the septic system, even with bleach and antibacterial soaps trying to kill them off.

What's more important is that the septic tank be cleaned and inspected regularly, so the scum and sludge that build up in the tank do not pass out to the leach field. If that stuff gets out there, it will result in rapid failure of the leach field as it will plug everything up and render it unable to absorb and evaporate effluent. Where I live, the county mandates an inspection every three years.

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