Thanks for the help everyone. Turns out that tools for 1-1/4 PEX are not something the smaller plumbers in my area typically have. They all recommended going back to the company that plumbed our house when it was built last year since they obviously have the tools.
The ironic part about this over-sized supply line is that my family is apparently quite frugal with our water use. I checked our usage with the water company and we have only been averaging 4,000 gal/month (33 gals/person/day not counting the baby). Our other two kids each take a both or shower every day so I expect only a slight increase as the baby gets older. We had guests twice in the last few months and our highest usage was 6,000 gallons when we had 3 extra adults and one kid staying here for almost two weeks. We go much higher in the summer (16,000 gallons!) but that's all from irrigation and won't affect a softener.
I also checked our tubs for max flow rate and the only one that's not anti-scald is putting out about 5-7 gal/min when we draw a bath. It could go higher but then it is coming out ridiculously fast and we'd never use it like that.
But yes having the company that did the plumbing at the start come back and do a bypass set up with 1" males or females would be the way to go.. in a way they should have done that at the start if treatment is normal in that area..
Most softeners either come with a bypass or one is available as an option. You indicated you presently have a loop so one option would be to have the plumbing company cut the loop open and install female brass adapters on each leg of the loop and then connect the loop together if you don't' have the softener there to connect to when they cut the loop. That would avoid installing a bypass that creates dead ends and resulting stagnate water once the softener is installed.
I will have the softener there before I have a plumber come out. It won't cost much more to have him plumb the softener vs just crimping on the female adapters.
If I'm going to use PVC for the pipes connecting the softener, I would want PVC adapters hooked on to the PEX rather than brass, right? My plan was to install a 1" ball valve before and after the softener's bypass valve. Then I'll try Gary's idea of using the Clack bypass to bleed in some hard water for a little while if the wife wants it.
What I told my customers is to try the soft water first and after about 2 weeks you don't like it then bleed some hard water into the soft. In 13 yrs I only had 1 that called me back after 2 weeks to bleed hard water into the soft.
You're right, brass is probably the way to go. My new plan was to use 1" brass ball valves and 1" Falcon stainless lines, but according to their site those falcon lines are $35/ea. Wow.
They are a bit spendy.. but there is a trade.. if unit that you get needs to be moved left or right a little in a few years the Falcon lines will let you do that.. if it is copper then where the unit is is where is stays..
Turns out the manager of the company that plumbed my house is a good friend of my neighbor and they also carry softeners. I asked him to crimp on some fittings to my PEX and this is what I ended up with:
It's a 3cuft unit with an Autotrol 268/760 and 1-1/4" bypass valve. Our loop had the inlet/outlet opposite from the bypass so we had to add 2 extra elbows. If we could have moved the resin tank forward another 3-4" i could have just run the pipes in an "X", but we just didn't have room.
The Autotrol is limited to 3 salt settings so at the lowest of 3.3lbs/cuft I get 44k of capacity from a "90k" softener. That would cover around 3 weeks of usage so I set the calendar regen to 14days if we don't hit the 3,600 gallons first. We have 0 iron on city water so i hope that's not too long between regens.
As the existing hard water in the heater and plumbing gets flushed out I'll see how my wife adjusts to soft water.
Thanks again for the help.
and before anyone asks, the second power cord is for the Watts recirc pump i put on my hot water heater. I'll put its own outlet in the closet eventually.
Looks GREAT. I know you will enjoy clean water. Congrads.
first rate job, looks great. Love the Stainless tank, you can see your face in it :)
I think you'd find that the SS is a wrap around SS jacket, not a SS tank.
Thanks for pointing that out to everyone. I'm sure it makes a huge difference. Could you tell us the grade and thickness of the stainless while you are at it? Perhaps the country and factory it was manufactured in. LOL
p.s. SS tanks don't have the black plastic cap on them.