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View Full Version : Outdoor Kitchen - Where to drain the sink?



Gaze
10-11-2007, 11:26 AM
Again, forgive...not a welding question. Like the advice here, though.


Q. You know those sinks folks put in their "outdoor kitchen" counters...are they required to connect the drain to the sanitary sewer line from the main house, or are they just connected to maybe a storm sewer or french drain?

I suppose it may depend on the municipality rules, but if you have any info on this, please post.

Thanks guys.

Some Creep
10-11-2007, 11:40 AM
Dunno about your local codes, but I got by using a Little Giant mini-sump designed just for this purpose. It's a canister that goes under your sink with a pump in it that pushes the water into my septic drain. Works great for not having to worry about grade levels as it will pump up-hill. Don't go throwing a whole chicken down the drain, but for light use it's awesome.

Hotfoot
10-11-2007, 12:32 PM
Yes, it depends on where you are...but seeing how's you are in California, I'd imagine it has to be piped to a sewer or septic system. Is it a food sink or just a hand wash? Some areaslet the "greywater" go into a simple surface drain if it first goes through a simple grease/soap trap to prevent accumulation on the surface. I've known people who just let the kitchen sink drain to the flower garden, with wonderful results!. Texas used to allow it, but now requires sinks and shower water to go to the septic or sewer...really kind of wasteful, in my opinion. It should be allowed to irrigate!.:)

hankj
10-11-2007, 12:39 PM
I live in rural Yuba County, CA, and my local codes prohibit ground draiing any kitchen appliance. To meet code, I'd have to connect it to my septic system somehow.

If you live in a place that has a municipal sewer system, I'll be willing to bet you'll need to connect it to the sewer to meet code.

I'll tell you what I have done in the past, even though it was a clear code violation. I dug a pit, buried a 55-gallon drum with a lot of .5" holes drilled all around it, filled the drum with cobbles, installed the cover, filled up the hole, and plumbed the outdoor sink to it. I lived in that house for 20 years, and never had a sink drain problem from that setup. I was carefull not to drain any coffee grounds or egg shells, etc., into it, and it got no solid food matter, either, but anything liquid, including the wash (soapy) water, was fair game, and it worked without any odors.

Hank

Gaze
10-11-2007, 12:59 PM
I envision the backyard counter will be in a location smack over an underground 4" storm sewer pvc pipe.

At first I was not considering a sink adjacent the cooktop due to slab-on-grade house, knowing it was pretty much impossible to connect into the City sanitary sewer line (no septic tanks here). Then, I heard of others in the n.hood having outdoor sinks and the little lady saying it sure would be nice to rinse utensils, hands, etc. w/o having to track back into the house.

Hmmm, gotta find some of those neighbor culprits and ask how they dunnit. Wonder if they just connected to storm.

I suppose I can just have a water bibb there and use a hose to rinse hands, etc. and the water will go straight down the yard drain that's located right there. Really don't see the diff. just connecting the sink drain directly, except in the eyes of the City.

hankj
10-11-2007, 01:18 PM
If it were me, and I could get to that 4" storm drain without digging up the whole yard and/or advertising my intent to the neighbors, that's where I'd go!

Hank

Rocky D
10-11-2007, 01:32 PM
In San Diego, they always freak out at the prospect of any other kind of water but run-off going into the storm drains , and subsequently into the ocean! :eek:

The surfers get upset, and they have a big voice down here. :rolleyes:

TEK
10-11-2007, 01:46 PM
Funny this came up right now. I'm in the process of re-doing the deck and need to find out the answer to this same question. I'm heading to the County bldg. after lunch and should know by tonight. Not sure if its a state wide rule or not but I'll ask.....

Gaze
10-11-2007, 01:50 PM
In San Diego, they always freak out at the prospect of any other kind of water but run-off going into the storm drains , and subsequently into the ocean! :eek:

The surfers get upset, and they have a big voice down here. :rolleyes:
Surfers should get upset at the Mexicans who dump all sorts of chaos into the oceans just south of San Diego. That should be their primary beef since it flows up the coast and contaminates their playground...but you won't see anything about that because it's not PC.

I'm sure we've all rinsed off our dirty hands with the water hose and watch it drain down the hole. Sorry Mr. Surfer Dude but water flows downhill and can't change that. They should be more worried about the oil residue their leaky VW van left on the highway on the way to the beach. They'll be sucking that into their ears after the next rain.

Regarding the sink...wish I would've pre-plumbed an inlet before the slab was poured. Dang it!

Gaze
10-11-2007, 01:54 PM
Funny this came up right now. I'm in the process of re-doing the deck and need to find out the answer to this same question. I'm heading to the County bldg. after lunch and should know by tonight. Not sure if its a state wide rule or not but I'll ask.....
please post findings :)

Suppose I'll be at the bldg. dept. soon with same question. I always come back distressed after talking with those guys. Everything is somehow a difficult problem after asking them.

JimDon
10-11-2007, 02:31 PM
Just dealt with a building inspector this a.m. in Wis. For those who haven't figured it out yet, they're a lot like the old George Bernard Shaw joke about teachers. Those who can are (plumbers, sparkies, welders, handymen, carpenters, builders), those who can't are -- inspectors.

And a variation on the lawyer joke -- What's 100 dead inspectors on the bottom of Lake Michigan? A Good Start!

Jim Don

usmcpop
10-11-2007, 04:43 PM
I don't know about getting rid of "greywater", but from my deck in back, it's no problem getting rid of the yellow water when the trees are in leaf. Just watch out for spiders hiding between the pickets of the deck rail, and make sure no kids are playing out back below the deck.

Some Creep
10-11-2007, 04:59 PM
and make sure no kids are playing out back below the deck.

That's where I keep mine chained. Is it against code? Where are they supposed to be chained where they are out of sight?? :confused::confused:

Rocky D
10-11-2007, 06:01 PM
I made a quick cal to one of my clients who is a licensed plumber here in So Cal.

It is illegal to run grey water into a storm drain. He said you can get busted for washing your car on the city streets, too!....He suggested that you can pump it to where you need it to go, like back into your kitchen sink drain, or Like Hank suggested you could leach it to a 10 gallon can, with holes in it, to leach out into your back yard..just make sure you have several inches of rock around the can...the most you would ever have in it, would prolly be 3, or four gallons, anyway, and that would leach out overnight, and filter out the water so it would be beneficial to the environment.

txfireguy2003
10-11-2007, 06:03 PM
No experience here for outdoor kitchens, BUT I did some sewer work several years ago in a neighborhood that was on septic, then got annexed and had to connect to city services. Most homes, even those on city sewer, have a cleanout behind the house somewhere, it'll be a 4" PVC pipe right at or just above ground level with a cap on it. you could probably dig around that a little bit and tap into it, thereby putting your sink water right into the same drain that they rest of the house goes into. You MIGHT have to cut the 4" pipe above or below the cleanout and put in a "T" fitting, but anybody with a little mechanical skill can figure that one out pretty easy. It's just a little smelly. BTW, I would recommend that you install a check valve if one isn't already there, I've seen city sewers backflow right into a house during heavy rains....very nasty.

AnotherDano
10-11-2007, 06:27 PM
Can he use a garbage disposer for a pump??
If he's going into a sewer/septic what's the difference?
And,, it would take care of clogging from those little bits of stuff that aren't meant to go down the drain - but we all know will.

Gaze
10-11-2007, 08:21 PM
Most homes, even those on city sewer, have a cleanout behind the house somewhere, it'll be a 4" PVC pipe right at or just above ground level with a cap on it.There are a couple cleanouts, but unfortunately the only accessible point on them is above grade such that I would need to pump uphill to tap in. The cleanout lines themselves are within the house walls or encased in the slab concrete :o Otherwise, I'd be diggin' and tappin'

Okay, let's say I go ahead and put a swimming pool in like I was thinking about maybe doing. That will have a drain at the bottom...where does that usually connect to :confused: And let's say at the point the pool drain line gets installed, will that be something I can tap into with me sink?

hankj
10-11-2007, 09:51 PM
If you have a municipal sanitary sewer, that's where the pool drain will connect.

Hank

Gaze
10-11-2007, 10:02 PM
If you have a municipal sanitary sewer, that's where the pool drain will connect.

HankSo, say the drain is 8 ft. down from grade at the very bottom of the deep end...that is pumped out by the pump located at the pool equipment location? Then I wonder how they get that into the municipal SS system? ...because maybe I can hook a sink into that animal whatever it is.

txfireguy2003
10-11-2007, 11:19 PM
If you have a municipal sanitary sewer, that's where the pool drain will connect.

Hank

Now I'm starting to sound like a know it all, but I spent three summers in high school, building swimming pools. The drain that I think he is referring to, in the bottom of the pool, do NOT drain into anything. It's not actually a drain. The pool pump draws water from that "drain" and the skimmer at the water's surface, pumps it through the filter and back into the pool. The pool filter will have a backwash setting that runs water through the filter backwards and out a waste line, but around here, that water is usually just pumped out on the ground or possibly into a storm sewer.

I'm just curious about the cleanouts on this house. Does the house have a pump, or are you just referring to the vertical portion of the cleanout being above grade? At some point, the sewer line has to exit the slap and flow downhill into the city sewer unless the house has a pump, which is pretty uncommon around here. I would think you could figure out where that line exits the house, dig down to it, cut it off and put a "T" fitting in and tie the outdoor sink to the "T". Maybe I'm just not understanding how the house is constructed, but unless your outdoor kitchen is below the level of the slab, the sewer line has to be lower than the sink. All that was required when I was hooking up all those homes to municipal sewer was a 1:12 drop, and you would need a lot less if all you were flowing was water.

hankj
10-12-2007, 12:37 AM
The pool pump draws water from that "drain" and the skimmer at the water's surface, pumps it through the filter and back into the pool. The pool filter will have a backwash setting that runs water through the filter backwards and out a waste line, but around here, that water is usually just pumped out on the ground or possibly into a storm sewer.



Absolutely correct! I called a bud who does pool installs, and he assured me that I was full of crap!:o

Ahhh, well. Happens from time to time....

The pick-head in your avatar looks nicer than the chromed-head officer's axe on my retirement plaque!

Hank

Gaze
10-12-2007, 01:41 AM
Yeah, there is a SS main line from the house (front yard) to the City sewer in the street, but it is about 100 ft. from where I'm considering putting the sink in the rear yard. Dats the problem :)

My initial question arose from my wondering how others in this same configuration are putting in their sinks. I think builders should just pre-plumb in an inlet in the rear yard for this purpose, at least when there is a slab. I think these backyard kitchens are fairly popular and the cost for some extra pipe is negligible. Forunately I do have nat.gas and water supply very close by.

Dang it! Shoulda had my brain turned on the days before the slab was poured.

txfireguy2003
10-12-2007, 04:49 PM
Absolutely correct! I called a bud who does pool installs, and he assured me that I was full of crap!:o

Ahhh, well. Happens from time to time....

The pick-head in your avatar looks nicer than the chromed-head officer's axe on my retirement plaque!

Hank

Thanks Hank, I was actually considering doing those axes as a sideline job since our Local pays something like 400 bucks for the retirement axes they give away, and I have a total of about 40 in that one, plus my labor. The first one I did took about 15 man hours to do, but once I learned the "do's and dont's" and which power tools to use, I can take a painted one straight from the supplier, casting marks and all, down to the mirror finish in about 3-4 hours so long as I don't have any interruptions.

As far as the outdoor kitchen thing goes, SS pipe from the house, and 100' away....well that just sucks! I'm out of suggestions.

TEK
10-12-2007, 05:27 PM
please post findings :)

Suppose I'll be at the bldg. dept. soon with same question. I always come back distressed after talking with those guys. Everything is somehow a difficult problem after asking them.

I did not get to the Bld. Dept. yesterday or today. I tried calling and got a run around(gee, thats odd...) I did, however, talk to 2 contractor buddies and a draftsman friend and the general consensus was you need to connect to sewer. I suggested a line to a french drain beside a row of trees and they all said nope, dont do that. Guess I'll connect.

river-rat
10-12-2007, 10:23 PM
I had to take a Hippie-science class once were they explained that some desert and water-poor areas like AZ and SoCal actually encourage greywater recycling for irrigation (as someone already suggested). There was a requirement for some type of filtration (sometimes as little as a lady's nylon on the end of the pipe). You might dig deep in the local codes to see if such an exception still exists. Because you have neighbors and an active buidling inspector, I'm guessing that you aren't lost out in the Barstow desert somewhere, so this may not be useful at all. Just thinking out loud.

k.a.m
10-13-2007, 08:07 AM
i know the tarp feeling vicegrip got a pecan wood plaque over my kitchen sink when rita decided to remodel my house ended up doing all the work myself amazing how much a contractor wants when insurance is involved and how little insurance wants to pay

Gaze
10-13-2007, 12:01 PM
Folks concerned about their out-door kitchenette.

Around here some ...including my own sister & familly , are concerned about their out-door kitchen attacked to their out-door pantry / out-door bedrooms
etc. etc.

Houses on every block with home-depot tarps on the roof keeping the rain out , till we can stay empolyed long enough to afford a new roof done.

VG
Well if times are that rough there, maybe you should be spending your time better helping repair folks leaky roofs rather than making bitter posts on hobby websites.

I'll tell you what...I'll retract my request for advice about a sink drain if it'll make you feel better. My apologies.

Zrexxer
10-14-2007, 12:22 PM
It doesn't matter that while many are growing their toy lists , in their signatures , many of us are reducing ours to pay ordinary expences that our wages used to cover
http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtalk/attachment.php?attachmentid=24569&stc=1&d=1192382551

Gaze
10-19-2007, 10:33 PM
I discovered a sanitary sewer line nearby! It's under the very edge of the slab only about 20 ft. away from my proposed sink.

Speaking with a Contractor, he advised me that in newer construction the ABS drain lines are in sleeves as they pass from the walls, thru-slab, into the earth below. Encasing the line in concrete is no longer permitted due to leaks when the slab moves (settling, expansion, etc.).

Hence, the line is within an exterior wall nearby, passes thru the slab into the ground and can be unearthed just below the bottom of the perimeter footing. Eureka :D I have found it!

Someone mentioned this above, I think, and they were correct. Sorry if I dismissed your suggestion...I thought there was no way I could tap into the line below grade due to the monolithic slab.

Nickoli
10-20-2007, 07:41 AM
Hmmmm didn't you guys know draining greywater from out door kitchen sinks is known to the state of California to cause cancer:eek:

Gee I can't believe your state has that may inspectors to go around all the time and ding you for code violations like draining greywater from an outdoor kitchen sink onto the ground or nearby flowerbed. Your talking about 3-4 gallons of water at most at a time. Let me guess you not allowed to own a garden hose for same reasons?

I understand that codes are designed for a reason. I'm not trying to belittle codes but to me if you gotta go get a permit and be inspected for something as little as this scenario than there ought to be a lot of city legislature people who can't sleep at night.

I,m guessing your supplying the sink with water from your garden hose? If it were me I'd plumb the drain with PVC to a flowerbed and maybe add a garden hose fitting and attach one of those leaky hoses for watering flowerbeds. But thats just me!

Rocky D
10-20-2007, 11:25 AM
Hmmmm didn't you guys know draining greywater from out door kitchen sinks is known to the state of California to cause cancer:eek:...
They tell us EVERYTHING causes cancer...but they don't point the finger at the obvious cause...meat! http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v252/RockyD/Dans%20Brake/Emoticons/jawdrop.gif :D

Gaze
10-20-2007, 10:15 PM
Inspectors :rolleyes:

I have a friend who wanted some extra food storage space because his kitchen side-by-side frig was cramped, so he put one of those little mini-freezers in his garage. Welp, one day he left his garage open too long and the community snoop tagged him for having an open garage door and also turned him into the City for suspected illegal freezer circuit.

Guilty as charged, his freezer was not on a dedicated circuit so had to pay fine and get permit, hire lic. electrician, inspections, the whole expensive ball of wax just to keep a few steaks/fish cold.

Yep that would be Californication.

drizler
10-30-2007, 07:03 PM
Dig hole oversize, drop in plastic drain tub or plastic barrel at least 10 gallon and fill with loose crushed stone all around big chunky stuff. Run line in there cover it up and plant grass. The big advice here is just like the gay military. Don't ask don't tell. Or better later on say its whatever is legal bla bla. Unless you blab to someone or have a nosy neighbor, who is gonna know and it should cost you under $30. Like an old drill Sgt once told me. Keep it simple stupid and then it will work. Start dealing with the code creeps and next thing you are going to need an engineering study and be paying these dudes to come and give you crap. I seriously doubt your are going to endanger the anyone's anything with what you will be running down there.
Thats why I stay here in the North Woods freezing my tucus off. Where I am I can even go so far as to crank a round out the bedroom window to keep the coyotes away now and again.

Sberry
10-30-2007, 08:14 PM
Yup, mini septic with a 5 gallon bucket and maybe half a small plastic barrel cut lengthwise like a Quonset as a drain field, could put them end for end even. You would have a ton of drain. Could even use the lid on the bucket as a trap clean out.

Broccoli1
10-30-2007, 11:45 PM
Inspectors :rolleyes:

I have a friend who wanted some extra food storage space because his kitchen side-by-side frig was cramped, so he put one of those little mini-freezers in his garage. Welp, one day he left his garage open too long and the community snoop tagged him for having an open garage door and also turned him into the City for suspected illegal freezer circuit.

Guilty as charged, his freezer was not on a dedicated circuit so had to pay fine and get permit, hire lic. electrician, inspections, the whole expensive ball of wax just to keep a few steaks/fish cold.

Yep that would be Californication.


At least he has a legal space to keep his neighbor:D