Is it OK to connect washing machine to septic tank?

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Current drain from washing machine is blocked. Two person house. Wash

two-three loads per week.


  14 answers
  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on May 19, 2020

    For a little wile but if the septic tank was for a one family house originally then you will need to pump it out soon. The septic tank is sized to the bedrooms of the house meaning one family it will accommodate. You will have to get it pumped or you will get backup into the house and it’s not pretty. Just a little help ful reminder use Ridex once a month flushed down the toilet will help the septic last longer it eats up grime.

  • Gk Gk on May 19, 2020

    Our wash machine goes into the septic tank. Same situation: Two people/ 3 or 4 wash loads a week. Have not had any septic tank issues. I do not use bleach in my washing machine. Bleach is bad for septic tanks as it kills all the good bacteria that you need to keep your septic system healthy. Drain cleaner is worse. We only have our tank pumped about once every 2-3 years as recommended. Ridex adds good bacteria into your tank/septic system so you do want to do that once or twice a year.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on May 19, 2020

    We have had it both ways separate grey and black water septics In NJ, and one septic tank In VA that laundry goes to.

    Routine pumping is advisable, our community requires it every 5 years.


  • Cindy Cindy on May 19, 2020

    Hi ECP. Yes, it's ok to connect your washer to your septic system. But be sure to do routine maintenance on your septic tank. Any problems with that will result in a stinky mess. Wishing you all the best.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on May 19, 2020

    What does the original drain connect to? If you are planning to replace the drain make sure you are following code. I would be more concerned about why the original is blocked, instead of doing a work around. If it's a rental, have the landlord repair it. If it's your property, you need to address the blocked line. Good luck and stay well!

  • Zard Pocleeb Zard Pocleeb on May 20, 2020

    You need to have the septic system checked by a professional before routing the washing machine into it if it’s not currently going into it. Your drain fields might not be adequate for the additional load placed on the system.

  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on May 20, 2020

    WE have had houses with a septic tank. All drains went to septic tank.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on May 20, 2020

    I had mine going into the septic tank from 1984 to 2012. Then we had an issue with so much water (5 people) and we had a second tank put in 1999 when we added onto the house and most everything went into it. So my husband diverted it from the tank. Make sure to put an additive in monthly for tank health.

  • Walter Bercarich Walter Bercarich on May 20, 2020

    As mentioned by some one before, first you find the blockage and that will determine your next step. Your tank may be full, how do the toilets flush, are they slow? All drains in the house go to one main line to the septic, you could have it snaked and it may clear the clog. All above suggestions are good. Normally the washing machine drain should not go to the septic, it avoids a lot of problems.

  • Barbars Barbars on May 20, 2020

    Had my washing machine go into a septic tank for over thirty years. Four children lots of washing, no problem, I did have it cleaned occasionally.

  • Ana Bacallao Ana Bacallao on May 20, 2020

    We used to have it go to the septic tank but a few years back we diverted it to a dry well that we built just for this purpose. No problems.


  • Cynthia Carroll Hall Cynthia Carroll Hall on Mar 21, 2021

    Our house was built in 1984, the washer, dishwasher, actually everything drains in to the septic tank. It is a big tank, at least a 1000 gallons. We did not build the house but have lived here since 1997. We have had to drain the tank, when we first bought the house, then in 2018 we had to do it again. Occasionally we dump a yeast type product suitable for septic systems in the toilets and flush. That seems to help. I think most current laws require you to dump everything into a septic tank at least in most states. I am in the lower southern midwest. The outlet hose could be any number of things, like a sock or kink. Not sure that it is the septic tank, unless you have backup in sinks or tubs. Now if you have never had it cleaned it probably is time to do so. Good luck.


  • James Baker James Baker on Feb 27, 2022

    The majority of modern septic tank systems can handle wastewater from washing machines, but irresponsible use can still result in septic tank and line problems. Erring on the side of caution will help to prevent washing machines from causing serious damage to your septic system.