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  #1  
Old 12-02-2012
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Clothes washer discharge?

I am planning to put an LG washer/dryer combo on a new Beneteau 45 and was wondering the best way to discharge the effluent from the washer. It's a ventless model, so there is the condensate to remove from the machine as well. The specs say it needs 20 Liters of fresh water for each load, but it doesn't say what the discharge pressure of the pump is, or how the condensed air from the dryer is pumped away. If anyone has any experience in installing these units I sure could use some advice!....I figure I have 3 options:
1) direct thru hull (but where is the best level to discharge?)
2) holding tank with its own pump discharge?
3) discharge to the shower base?

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Old 12-02-2012
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Re: Clothes washer discharge?

FWIW - you dont list your sailing area; but, most places in the EU, many metro areas of the US absolutely FROWN (some places its highly illegal) on the visible discharge of 'grey water', especially in harbors and busy anchorages that dont 'sweep' themselves. For such large amounts of grey water discharge, you really need a 'grey water' holding tank ... and either dump it 'outside' the lawful limit, or unload it at a 'pumpout'.
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Old 12-02-2012
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Re: Clothes washer discharge?

Rich- Seriously? Washing machine water from recreational boats is regulated now in parts of the US? Wow, didn't know that.
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Old 12-02-2012
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Re: Clothes washer discharge?

My comment is not to the question you asked, but it might help if the reason you're putting in a washer dryer is that the mate thinks she needs one.

We had a w-d come with the boat when we bought it. We carried that tin box around for three years and never used it once. I eventually gave it to a yard workman in Trinidad who took it home and made his wife very happy. I put a big Edson gallon-a-minute, save-the-boat bilge pump where the w-d used to sit. It's a much better use of the space even though I haven't used the bilge pump any more than I used the w-d.

In the places we've cruised (mostly Caribbean and US EC) that you can always find either a laundromat or a laundry service. In some places in the Caribbean the laundry service will pick up and deliver from the boat, sometimes even when you're at anchor. It's expensive ($10-12/bag), but IMO it helps the local economy and the mate enjoys not having to mess with the laundry. And then there's laundromats -- most places have one near the port or in the marina. We've met some really nice people in laundromats. It's not always the best way to spend an afternoon, but when you're cruising what else do you have to do?

If I had to put one back on board, I'd plumb it to a thru-hull that discharged below the water line with a vented loop in the discharge line to prevent a back siphon. If you're in a harbor that won't let you discharge 'grey water', don't do the wash until you move on. Fortunately, most places haven't gotten crazy enough to ban grey water discharge.

Last edited by billyruffn; 12-02-2012 at 08:54 PM.
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Re: Clothes washer discharge?

Well for openers The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary prohibits ALL discharge, even bilge water discharge is prohibited .... and if you carefully scrutinize those regs even engine cooling discharge 'could' be considered within the ban of ALL discharge.
A starting point for such info: http://floridakeys.noaa.gov/scisummaries/wqfaq.pdf

Such a 'concept' was spreading as 'possibilites' for inclusion into other No Discharge Zones - NDZ ... until BoatUS and other boat advocacy groups made the politicians who were in the process of such 'enactment' - to become 'reasonable'. You'll have to check on the Boatus.com website (government affairs - archives) for further info. At this point, all I remember is that such discussions were very serious at that time.
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Old 12-03-2012
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Re: Clothes washer discharge?

RichH,

Where does it say (in the page you linked or otherwise) that "No Discharge" includes graywater?

(see: 15 CFR 922.163(a)(4))
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Re: Clothes washer discharge?

Washing machine 'greywater' presents two problems.
1) the same disease-causing bacteria that discharge through the toilet will be present on clothing, and thus in the greywater.
2) the detergent in the washwater acts as a fertilizer, feeding algae blooms. Serious algae blooms can make the water deadly to fish and to land animals who drink the water.
As a good sailor, you don't want to do anything that would damage the environment which brings us so much pleasure.
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Old 12-03-2012
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Re: Clothes washer discharge?

Internationally few areas regulate grey water. Some of those who do (Turkey/Greece/Croatia to name 3) do so only on paper.

The amount of water coming from a modern washing machine is very little, as is the detergent use. I disagree with Pneuma-seeker about the bacteria present in grey water vs. black water - skin bacteria cultures are quite different from those found in fecal bacteria.

I have my washing machine plumbed directly overboard, but had I been given a choice I would have plumbed it to a holding tank - just to be "future safe".
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Re: Clothes washer discharge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pneuma-seeker View Post
Washing machine 'greywater' presents two problems.
1) the same disease-causing bacteria that discharge through the toilet will be present on clothing, and thus in the greywater.
2) the detergent in the washwater acts as a fertilizer, feeding algae blooms. Serious algae blooms can make the water deadly to fish and to land animals who drink the water.
As a good sailor, you don't want to do anything that would damage the environment which brings us so much pleasure.
I agree with Zanshin that there is not likely to be any more bacteria in clothes washer discharge than if I were to jump into the water. Now if you are intending that we should not swim in the ocean either I think you are pushing it to far. I suppose if you were washing diapers you might have some, but it would certainly be in small amounts. And there is no evidence that boat discharge causes any issues, even Black water.

As long as you use a quick degrading detergent I don't think that would be an issue either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
Internationally few areas regulate grey water. Some of those who do (Turkey/Greece/Croatia to name 3) do so only on paper.

The amount of water coming from a modern washing machine is very little, as is the detergent use. I disagree with Pneuma-seeker about the bacteria present in grey water vs. black water - skin bacteria cultures are quite different from those found in fecal bacteria.
I don't know I have met some people who sure smell like it is the same bacteria!

Last edited by miatapaul; 12-03-2012 at 05:39 PM.
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Re: Clothes washer discharge?

We find our Splendide W/D to be very useful when cruising. Of course, the energy usage is not eco-friendly if we need to use the genset.

Ours is also ventless, which means damp dry is about as good as you will do. I highly recommend micro-fiber and quick dry clothing. They will dry faster in the drier, but the real advantage is to skip drying altogether as they will hang dry in 30 minutes. Forget washing jeans, they will never dry, ever.

We are plumbed directly overboard via a thru hull at the water line. The seacock stays closed unless we are using it. We use environmentally friendly detergent and I find criticism of it in the environment to be the sort of extreme irrationality that keeps people from embracing change that really does make a difference. Soap destroys the cells of most bacteria. All soap, not just anti-bacterial. So arguing that you are putting skin bacteria in the water is the perfect example of hysteria. Are you not to go swimming either?

Enjoy your W/D, we do.
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