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Thread: Water Softener with RO and Ph (acid) Neutralizer Install Help

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  1. #1

    Default Water Softener with RO and Ph (acid) Neutralizer Install Help

    I need some help installing a new water softener, RO system and acid neutralizer. I'll post pics as the process is completed and hopefully this thread can serve as a nice guide for the future. I have all the main equipment now and need to move on to the main plumbing part. I'll have to come back around for the programing help at the end but first I need everything hooked up. For Ph I have a Fleck 5600 with 1 cuft. I have the WS1 at 32k with SST-60 resin for the softener. A PuroTech RO system and an inline sand seperator. The RO system also has a pump if I need to install it. This is a small ranch house with one bathroom and a simple shower with a regular shower head. There is only two of us living here. I have 3/4 copper coming in and want to use CPVC and PEX as much as possible. I'm a DIYer but have no plumbing experience. The water comes in at one side of the house from the city and drain goes out to a septic system at the opposite side of the house. Also on the drain side of the house is a tankless hot water heater. The kitchen sink is on the main supply side of the house and the bathroom is on the septic side of the house. (60 to 70 feet apart) I'll post the main questions I have to start below and I'll provide the details need as they come up.

    My understanding is that the sediment filter is installed first in line, then the neutralizer and then the softener. Is that correct?

    I have to run the drain line about 70 feet to the septic drain. I've read that 3/4 PVC is the smart choice. Is that correct? Can the neutralizer and the water softener share the same 3/4 inch PVC drain? Also, how much should this drain line slope?

    Should the RO system be fed softened water?

    What size plumping pipes should I buy? Everything branches off a main copper pipe that is 3/4 inches now. I don't want the hose bibs softened so I'm even thinking of adding in manifolds if they make sense.

    Which is a better choice CPVC vs PEX after the main copper to connect to the water filters?

    I'm thinking shark bite fittings for copper to whatever but whats a good PEX connection system? I've read up on it and have a hydronic heating system thats using a crimp system that seems ok but has had some leaking problems. I didn't install that system by the way.

    What information can I provide to help out here? Thanks!

  2. #2
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Pex either red or blue and sharkbites are your friend.
    The sharkbite 3/4 coupling from copper to pex and then maybe some bend supports or elbows depending on room.
    Sediment filter then Neutralizer then softener then RO would be the line up.. each system's bypass will have markings showing flow.
    The RO would be after 2 larger systems. a 3/4x1/2x3/4 TEE and then a 1/2 by -- for the RO feed line.
    Because you have the RO going in , I would run the softener on a little higher salt setting for say 1000 gallons.
    So if you where going to have the softener set at say 6 lbs and 1000 gallons, with the ro I would have 9lbs and 800gallons.. the ro will work better.

    One way of doing the drain is 1/2 poly whit tubing,, if you tie the two together there should be a check valve for each of them in the drain lines.. or just run 2 lines one for each system. Do not go over 8' above the discharge point for either system.
    Last edited by Akpsdvan; 02-27-2010 at 03:44 PM.

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Me on the other hand... I don't know how 2 more lbs of salt are going to help an RO. It will have to work harder to remove the additional sodium.

    And I say the drain line can't go up more than 6-7 feet from the fitting on the control valve, and it can't go sideways over 30' much unless it is going to come back down from over head. And to go this 70', you need 3/4" from the fitting on the control valve.
    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.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    I know that when I was running the bottle plant for a company , when the softener was on max salt while running just under the max meter setting both the RO and Distiller worked better and needed less cleaning.

  5. #5

    Default Follow up with photos

    Here is a quick follow up with photos. Thanks guys for the quick responses. Gary, reading your website and posts is the reason I decided to go the DIY route by the way. Attached are photos of my setup in the basement. I know I'll have to get back to the setup details like salt settings, etc, but first I've got to get the plumbing done. I'm a little worried about the drain line. I just need a break down of the steps to take. Like step one, shut of the main and drain everything. Two, cut the copper and pop in a sharkbite T then attach 3/4 in PEX and then connect to sand seperator. Then go to the ph filter the to the softener, etc. Most of it I got, but putting in the RO of the PEX is a little confusing. And the drain line going so far is a little weird to me, etc. I'll attach the photos and then I'll go over each area that is causing me to question things. Also, does it look like I bought some good equipment? Not getting into if it's all the right size, which it should be because I used a lot of good sites to figure this stuff out, but just considering the brands guess.

  6. #6

    Default Equipment Corner

    These are photos of the corner and the equipment. It shows the layout of the space and how high the drain line needs to run up to the ceiling.
    Attached Images Attached Images      

  7. #7

    Default First Decision

    My first decision is what do I do with this thing at the top of the main supply? What is that? And the you see the first outside hose bib. Should I just tie in right after that so this hose bib is not on soft water?
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  8. #8

    Default Drain Issues

    Then I have to worry about the drain. Should I go with one long PVC run at 3/4 inch? How does one drain connect to two filters? I want the drain to be close to the ceiling because in the future I want to finish my basement. There is a photo looking out from the equipment corner to the septic side of the house and a picture of a beam the drain line has to rise up even further over before it gets to the end. Once the drain reaches the end I have a PVC connection a washer will eventually hook up too. What do you think?
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  9. #9
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thinkup View Post
    Gary, reading your website and posts is the reason I decided to go the DIY route by the way. I know I'll have to get back to the setup details like salt settings, etc, but first I've got to get the plumbing done.

    Also, does it look like I bought some good equipment? Not getting into if it's all the right size, which it should be because I used a lot of good sites to figure this stuff out, but just considering the brands guess.
    I'm glad to see you joining the ranks of the DIYers but I have concerns. I go over constant SFR and K of capacity sizing, programming and installation etc. with my customer usually before they buy. There are few people that buy from me that I don't go over all that with them first.

    And I see that you bought the EE version of the Clack WS-1 and a 5600 time clock for a heavy mineral pH filter. I would have told you not to do that. The 5600 is not a good choice because it is a 3/4" valve. You should have gone with the Clack WS-1CS for both with the one for the filter being non metered or the time clock version.

    Run your drain line in 3/4" PVC with as few elbows as possible. Run the filter line straight back toward the wall and tee the softener into that line or where the line goes up the wall. No check valves. The fitting on the 5600 is 1/2" FPT and 3/4" MPT on the Clack.
    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.

  10. #10
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akpsdvan View Post
    I know that when I was running the bottle plant for a company , when the softener was on max salt while running just under the max meter setting both the RO and Distiller worked better and needed less cleaning.
    Then I would have checked the softener for unacceptable hardness leakage and set it up correctly.
    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.

  11. #11

    Default

    Water Softener with RO and Ph (acid) Neutralizer Install Help

    I need some help installing a new water softener, RO system and acid neutralizer. I'll post pics as the process is completed and hopefully this thread can serve as a nice guide for the future. I have all the main equipment now and need to move on to the main plumbing part. I'll have to come back around for the programing help at the end but first I need everything hooked up. For Ph I have a Fleck 5600 with 1 cuft. I have the WS1 at 32k with SST-60 resin for the softener. A PuroTech RO system and an inline sand seperator. The RO system also has a pump if I need to install it. This is a small ranch house with one bathroom and a simple shower with a regular shower head. There is only two of us living here. I have 3/4 copper coming in and want to use CPVC and PEX as much as possible. I'm a DIYer but have no plumbing experience. The water comes in at one side of the house from the city and drain goes out to a septic system at the opposite side of the house. Also on the drain side of the house is a tankless hot water heater. The kitchen sink is on the main supply side of the house and the bathroom is on the septic side of the house. (60 to 70 feet apart) I'll post the main questions I have to start below and I'll provide the details need as they come up.

    My understanding is that the sediment filter is installed first in line, then the neutralizer and then the softener. Is that correct? Yes

    I have to run the drain line about 70 feet to the septic drain. I've read that 3/4 PVC is the smart choice. Is that correct? Can the neutralizer and the water softener share the same 3/4 inch PVC drain? Run 1" and yes you can connect then together. Also, how much should this drain line slope?
    No slope is needed

    Should the RO system be fed softened water?
    Yes

    What size plumping pipes should I buy? Everything branches off a main copper pipe that is 3/4 inches now. I don't want the hose bibs softened so I'm even thinking of adding in manifolds if they make sense.
    3/4", Put a Tee on the inlet side of the water softener and run a line to your outside hose bibs.

    Which is a better choice CPVC vs PEX after the main copper to connect to the water filters?
    Pick up two copper to pex adapters.

    I'm thinking shark bite fittings for copper to whatever but whats a good PEX connection system? As long as they have them available.I've read up on it and have a hydronic heating system thats using a crimp system that seems ok but has had some leaking problems. I didn't install that system by the way.

    What information can I provide to help out here? After installing leave water softener in bypass, open bypass on pH filter and let tank fill with water. Then close the bypass and put system in backwash. This will release the air from the tank out the drain line. The open bypass and let the system finish its regeneration cycle. When pH filter is back in service then open the bypass valve on the water softener and follow the instruction on our site for start up procedure. Here is the installation guide links for both of these systems.

    http://www.qualitywatertreatment.com...on%20Guide.pdf

    http://www.qualitywatertreatment.com...ev12_18_09.pdf
    Last edited by Terry; 04-15-2010 at 03:13 PM.

  12. #12

    Default It's Alive!

    Well it's alive and it appears to be running well. I'll post more pics if anyone is interested.

    I took out the pre-filter before the AN in the end.

    I had the AN-Filter up and running a day or two first and not a drop of water pressure lost that was noticeable. I could get a sense of the limestone smell and the water tasted different. Is that normal? Is drinking limestone safe?

    The softener came on line next and I programmed as per the instructions in the last post from Waterman824. We are only a two person household with one bath and SST-60 (I think) resin. So do those instructions seem about right for me?

    Speaking of drinking water, having resin softened water is ok to drink? It's just weird to think about I guess?

    O, and RO system went in easy. Not a problem at all with that.

    I'll post a follow up post for others as a reference with some final photos in a bit as well. I'll leave out the part where I thought I had the water supply off and didn't and almost flooded the basement with water and soaked the electrical breaker box and all that too. :-)
    Last edited by thinkup; 04-25-2010 at 09:51 AM. Reason: spelling

  13. #13
    DIY Senior Member Bob999's Avatar
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    Your Acid Neutralizing filter adds calcium carbonate to the water (same mineral contained in many calcium supplements)--safe to drink. The softener exchanges sodium ions for calcium and magnesium ions (and iron and manganese if present) and is generally considered safe to drink but should be avoided by individuals on a sodium restricted diet. The RO unit removes most of the sodium and other minerals in the water.

    The programming instructions in the link you refer to use maximum salt dose for the amount of resin which results in relatively low grains removed per pound of salt used and not what I would recommend for most installations.

  14. #14

    Default

    Thanks for the reply Bob999.

    Can you give me a high level overview of your recommendation on the programming of the softener? My goal is first to be salt savy and they to worry about the total softness and resin life. I want this thing to last a long time but my water was only about 10 hard to start and there are only two of us here. Also, I didn't do a manual regen right off the bat. Should I since the first regen won't be till about 10 days from now? Does the type of resin I chose play any big parts in this?

    Also for the AN filter; it's set to regen every 4 days. Good idea or not based on the other factors of this setup?
    Last edited by thinkup; 04-25-2010 at 08:33 PM. Reason: spelling again

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member Bob999's Avatar
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    Please post your water analysis again--this thread has gotten so long finding it if it is posted is difficult.
    Hardness 10?
    Iron and manganese (I will assume none)
    pH
    City or well.

    I understand you have a 1 cubic foot unit with SST-60 resin and your AN filter has calcite (only). You say two people in the household--I will assume 60 gallons per person per day unless you have better specific information for your water usage.

    If you have iron in your water the 4 day regen for the AN filter is good. If no iron then 7 days would be my recommendation.

    You should program your softener so that it regenerates every 8 days based on average use so determine the capacity used in 8 days--2 people @ 60 gal per day equals 120 gallons at 10? GPG hardness is 1200 GPD or 9600 for 8 days--round up to 10,000 grains of capacity. Now you need to deal with reserve capacity because the softener is typically set up to regenerate in the middle of the night (only) and there needs to be sufficient reserve capacity to ensure there will be soft water between the time the meter reaches the capacity setting and the regeneration time. The specifics of reserve are determined by the valve (and the specific model with the Clack WS1) and programmer choice. Once you determine the total capacity needed (10,000 grains plus reserve) this will determine the salt dose. You can refer to the literature for SST-60 resin to determine the relationship between salt dose and capacity. The literature is for new resin and most installers also include a factor to account for the fact that the regeneration efficiency will degrade a bit over time.

    Set day override to 8 to ensure regeneration at least every 8 days.

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