Laundry lint

A colleague has a washing machine that is about 12 years old and they moved into a house with a septic system. The way the original washing machine was set up (when they were looking at the house) was that the washing machine drain water flowed into a wash basin that was then pumped to the septic tank.
They hooked their washing machine up the same (having never dealt with a septic) and the problem is that there is so much lint from the washing machine (top loaded) that it plugs the drain to the sump that pumps the water to the septic. Realizing that it probably wasn't good to have excess lint being pumped to the septic lines, they've tried to "filter" the water by putting panty hose or other porous material on the drain from the washing machine to the wash basin, but it's a PITA, the material eventually clogs and rips and they're wondering what is "typically" done ... whether the original setup that they observed was "rigged" or if there is a better way to handle the lint from the washing machine.
I suggested a newer washing machine that might have a lint filter, but since front-loading machines preceded life before 12 years ago, I wanted to ask if there was a screen or other more common solution before they plunked $$$ into a new machine.
TIA, Dave
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wrote:

Maybe, but I don't know it.

I think newer machine are less likely to have a lint filter, lint isn't going to clog anything.
But the idea of a new machine over some nylon stockings doesn't seem to make economic sense, to me. -----
- gpsman
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I thought I read someplace that the very fine lint suspended in the water that you can't really see is a bad thing for septics. Gets out in the leech field. Maybe not credible info. I mean I had septic for many many years with no issues no comments from septic guy when it was pumped and inspected every 3 yrs.

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Me neither. But lint that small would have to be organic material and break down before long. I don't see how it could cause any harm. -----
- gpsman
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On 5/22/2008 9:01 PM gpsman spake thus:

Not if your clothes are all polyester. (Livin' in the '80s?)
--
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On Thu, 22 May 2008 19:32:55 -0700 (PDT), "tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

The nylon stockings sound like a perfect solution. I've have seen them used many times for filtering laundry drains and dryer exhaust. Yes, you need to clean and replace as needed.
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With "modern" cloth, it can be safely assumed that "lint" will NOT rot away in the septic system. But neither will much of the "dirt" that was the reason you washing your clothes in the first place.
The "lint" that is caught of the old stocking would mainly be larger pieces which are most likely to settle out in the tank and not be transported into the field. Your filters mainly serve to keep the tank from accumulating solids. It will have less effect is keeping out "fines" that will end up in the field.
More and more local districts are requiring pump outs occasionally. (Our place is once every five years.)
I figure that if you are going to pump out the tank anyway, you don't have to be as careful with solids as one might have been in the era of "set up the system and forget about it for 30 years." Compared to "town" water and sewage service, a pumping fee (on the order of $200 "around here") every 3 years isn't all that bad ($10/month or less).
It's a good idea to "be curious" when the pump truck and guy does his thing. LOOK into your tank and talk with the guy about how your system and its "sludge" burden looks compared to others. If you see a lot of solids you can either try to get your ENTIRE family to change its habits OR you can just resolve to call the pump guy a little more often.
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tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Can they drain the washing machine to someplace OTHER than the septic system?
Flower beds, corn crop, yard?
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I believe they make cleanable lint filters to replace his rigged up nylon stocking, which would solve his problem.

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There are commercial lint filters available for the hose to the washtub. The ones I use are a fairly coarse stainles steel "bag". The nylon thing probably works better if replaced often enough. just about any coarse enough cloth bag should work.
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Buy some foot stockings (the kind for ladies). Fit it over the hose and attach with a small clamp.
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On May 22, 10:32 pm, "tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com" >

Plumbing section of a big box store should carry washing machine lint filters. Three to a pack for a couple bucks. Even comes with a zip- tie to secure the filter bag to the washing machine hose.
Since its already being pumped out, why not route it somewhere other than the septic? My lawn gets watered when I do laundry.
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Any water that is not sewage is know as "gray water". Google it and you find lots of info. Some areas are still afraid of what might be in it and forbid it's re-use for watering landscape. But most laundry detergents are not harmful any more, and really, what's the diff if you are pumping it onto the surface of the yard or a couple inches down in the septic system?
On the issue of a new washer having a better filter - most new washers come with 'self cleaning' filters. These filter the water during the wash/rinse cycles, but on the drain cycle the water is pumped back thru them and the collected lint is washed down the drain.
>

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If they ever make the mistake of using bleach in their wash, esp. chlorine bleach, a *big* difference.
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drunner.com...

Well yes. Chlorine bleach etc. Some people put all kinds of chemicals in their washing machines! And then 'wear' the clothes next to their skins!!!!! Gosh knows what's really in most detergents? Here, for example, recently, it has seemed, at the s.market where we normally shop, anyway, impossible to buy any laundry detergent that does not have that artificial 'Lemon' flavour/smell. Very irritating! By the way we pumped our wash water onto a section of our lawn for quite a few (ten to twelve maybe?) years (that was back before we had water and sewer services and were also using an old fashioned wringer washer) and the grass in that section, ether then or now, grew any better or worse than elsewhere.
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