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Thread: location of drain line for water softener

  1. #1

    Default location of drain line for water softener

    I had a water softener installed a few years back in my garage. I originally wanted it in the back of my garage so it wouldn't get in the way of parking my car. But at that time the plumber said it would be easier to place it in the front ( right by the garage door) since the most accesible drain is a bathroom which was located on the other side of the wall. He installed it with the drain pipe being a simple plastic tubing that went from the water softner in a downward direction into the wall and then into the drain pipe of the sink in the bathroom.

    I would like to move it to the back of my garage. To do this I would have to run copper pipes up and over a door way and then connect to my water line. My question is the drain pipe. After searching the internet it said the drain pipe has to be in a down ward direction other wise it can back up into the water softener, yet another post said it is under pressure and can run up a wall as much as 8 feet. My other choice is to run it into my garage drain which I understand is illegal since it drains into the gutter.

    I also have a choice of running it along the floor and then into the wall where my sink is which would then be only about a 2 feet rise. There is a small step where the door is so I would have to snake it around the step.

    One other question is the sewer gas. The previous plumber simply ran the drain tube into the sink pipe without any provisions for preventing any back flow so I assume it isn't necessary. Any help anyone can give will be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default softener

    IF the drain line connects to the sink drain properly, you can run it over the doorway, and there is no sewer gas issue. But the key word is properly, and we cannot see how he made the connection to the sink drain.

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Any drain line installed on the elbow overflow fitting on the side of the salt tank must go downhill. That water is gravity fed overflow of the salt tank water.

    The drain line from the softener, off the control valve, can go up 6-7' (from the control valve) and then sideways 20-30' and farther IF it is going to come back down from the ceiling. That water is under pressure.

    There should be a trap for all drain lines; your plumber may have connected your drain line above the trap for the sink. Code also calls for an air gap to prevent cross connection of potable water (in the softener) and gray or black water (sewage).

    You don't have to use copper for your water lines to/from the softener, you can use CPVC (3/4" at least) or PEX (my choice) or in some places sch 40 PVC (3/4 or 1"; my first choice).
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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