We're converting our garage into a family/game room, and we'd like to
add a small bar with running water for making drinks, washing hands,
etc. This new room will be a good distance from the kitchen or any
water sources in the house, plus we have a concrete foundation.
Just curious, would it be feasible or recommendable to run flexable
hose of some sort through the attic to this sink from the kitchen or
someplace else in the house? I've seen this done with copper tubing
to add water behind a fridge for an ice maker, but we're looking at
going about 60 feet if we did this.
As for drainage, since this sink won't be used very much, my thought
is to drain it into the yard as we have a planter just outside where
the sink will be located.
Thanks for any ideas or suggestions ...
I don't know about that. Ever hear of a "gray water" drain? My daughter has
a relatively new house that has 2 drain systems. One is for "gray water"
(just about anything other than toilets or garbage disposals) and one for
"black water". In her case the black water is dumped into a septic tank
while the gray water can be routed to irrigation needs or a dry well. She
happens to have very sandy soil.
With all the water shortages around the country I would think they
would encoiurage irrigating with grey water.
I have been dumping water from the washing machine into my yard for 25
years. The mango tree loved it but hurricane Charlie killed my tree.
Now it is irrigating bananas. They are going strong.
If you're in a freezing climate, running plumbing (of any kind) through
the attic is a bad idea. Yes, you could heat it or otherwise try
to keep it from freezing, but the consequences of a failure in
that leading to a leak are pretty horrendous, so you'd want to
avoid it. Yes, you can blow lines. But that is a real PITA.
If you're not in a freezing climate, running anything other than copper
or fully-plumbing-rated plastic pipe thru the attic is also a bad
idea. Some non-rated tubing (eg: the cheaper black PVC stuff, or
some kinds of 1/4" line) aren't safe on the high end of muncipal water
As others have mentioned, grey water systems are common and legal in
many places. They tend to something on the order of a buried gravel
pit, where you can be pretty sure of the drainage. There is some
plumbing code that discusses the requirements (in areas that permit
Classic drywells are a pit to below the frost level, filled
with gravel, and topped with topsoil. The drain pipe ends
in the gravel.
It's common with rural homes that have had additions upon additions,
where, for example, they find it to be extremely inconvenient to get the
clothes washer drain to the septic system. A friend has a fully
permitted/approved drywell for that purpose.
You don't need much for a grey water disposal system. If they're
Putting the end of the drain hose in a flower pot or planter is not a
good idea. You might kill the plants, and/or attract things like wasps
or other undesirables depending on what you pour down the sink.
I put in a sink (made out of an old stainless steel bowl) into our
detached garage (used as a workshop) that puts its drain into a cutout
in the slab. The cutout exposes a portion of the gravel base that
has been excavated and topped up with gravel to be about 18" worth
Putting a lot of water or anything but water into that would be bad.
Putting water into it during the winter would be bad.
It's really only for emergency or "I need a glass of water" uses. Only
small amounts of water and only rarely very small amounts of soap go
down its drain - and not frequently at that. Nothing else. The supply
line (cold only) to the garage is shut off and blown during winter.
[The water supply is actually a tap off the irrigation system running
off our regular well water. On the house side of the anti-siphon
valves. The main line is buried CSA-rated 1/2" PVC black
tubing (the "good stuff"). Costs more than double the regular
"utility grade" tubing.]
Our garage drain is probably not adequate for the OP's purposes (which
could be daily use), but it is for mine. My use is no worse on the
gravel than naturally occuring ground water movement.
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
Look for PEX plumbing at your local building center. It is flexible,
it can be pulled just like you pull wire, and it is nearly very tough
One trick that I have seen for a low volume drain is to leave the
drain pipe cut off about a foot under the sink, then put some kind
of container under there to catch and store the drain water. For
example, an empty water jug of the type that they use for water
delivery would be ideal. Just remember to dump it every so often.
John A. Weeks III 952-432-2708 firstname.lastname@example.org
Nope. Sprink a leak and you will cause massive ceiling damage. You have
water pressure issues from the main line and may have temperature problems
depending on where you are.
Make sure that's legal in your area (some are, some are not).
I have a possible easier answer if this is really a low use water need.
Did you consider just using a sort of water cooler type device with a small
tap over a 'sink'? This could be as simple as one of the bigger (5g or so)
bottles that sits on a ledge over the sink with a tap at the bottom you
twist to let out some water, or the bigger bottles you might see in an
It may not be as fancy as you were thinking of, and yes you have to refill
the bottles (can use tap water if you want), but I have a neighbor with a
system like that in his back shed.
Ths is what he did: The shed isnt attached to the house and he uses it for
car projects and such. He has electricity but no water. Because he is
often cleaning car grease and such off his hands, he has one big bottle in a
top cabinet with a spigot that sticks out from a cabinet above, and this is
over a small sink with a cabinet below. Inside the cabinet below, is
another bigger bottle (top cut mostly off) to catch it all. He just dunks a
piece of cutoff garden hose in the bottom one, tucks a thumb over one end to
hold the water in and puts that end in a bucket to let it drain to the
bucket. He takes the bucket to inside (our area doesnt allow greywater
dumping and his had solvents for grease anyways) and dumps it to the city
Because he is older and can not lift much, the bucket is smaller and takes
about 3 drainings to get the lower larger bottle empty. The upper 'feed'
bottle is deliberately smaller so he never accidently overloads the lower
'drain' one. When the top one is near empty, he just drains the lower one,
then refills the top one. In his case, refills with an exterior hose which
is about 10 feet away on the back of his house.
Because he has nice little cabinets over the top bottle and bottom one (a
bathroom sink enclosure at bottom, a matching bathroom wall cabinet at top
with a hole for the spigot), it actually looks very nice. I am not sure
exacly, but the top feed bottle looks like 5gallons, and the bottom one
might have been 10 before he cut the top down a bit to make putting the hose
in easier. It still holds more than 5G.
If there are no 'grey water' resitrctions where you are, you could just run
a hose from the bottom of the sink to outside as you were thinking, and
dispense with the need to empty a 'drain bucket'.
Anything useful in that for your needs?
If it also helps, he was worried about the weight of the 'feed bottle' on
top so the cabinet was placed right between studs and reinforced with more
2x4 'H' ' 'jointed' between. He probably over did the bracing needed but it
only took about 1/2 hour to add the extra wood to make sure. Hope I used
the right terms there for the 'H' joint.
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S I N K TOP
If I did that simple drawing right, you'll see 2 studs, with 2 crossbars
added then a 2x4
running between the studs butted up to the 2 crossbars. The 2x4 between the
studs, runs to the cement floor behind the sink cabinet.
Grin, even if this wasnt what 'you' needed, it may help another and was fun
to type. I think my neighbor quite inventive there!
PEX pipe - a 3/8" 100' roll will run you about $25 or $30 bucks. PEX
can take freezing pretty damn well. The amount of water in a 3/8"
pipe won't expand enough to burst the pipe so you only have to worry
about the fittings.
Sharkbite fittings - Google 'em. You'll need to T into the existing
line and definitely install a shut off valve inside the house.
As far as the drain water, run it into a planter on the other side of
the garage wall.
Hi Everyone ...
The conern of draining gray water from the sink into the yard isn't an
issue in my area, this will be a very small amount of water mainly
from washing hands after coming indoors, drink of water, coffee maker,
etc... small items. We do have a planter outside the garage which
this sink will drain into.
As for the water source, I did run across PEX pipe, which I'm thinking
of using. I'm not sure exactly where to tie it into the house water
system, but whether from an inside source or tieing into the outside
fossett, I'll probably need to get a plumber involved. We live in
Central Texas where it freezes only a hand full of times each year,
and no freeze lasting more then a day or so. PEX pipe will probably
do the job quite well :)
Thanks again for the great input ..
Pride of place in the front window of some British homes of the 1920s
was a large plant in a brass pot. Often an Aspidistra*. The front room
was often used for entertaining, beer of variable quality was often
Aspidistras don't like stale beer. They wilt! They get 'hung-over'
PS. * Look up Gracie Fields and "The biggest Aspidistra in the world".
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