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

  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
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    I have no clue what that thing is but it is a steel fitting and will rust pretty bad so get rid of it. Yes, pipe your supply and bypass after the sillcock.

  10. #10

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    I was thinking of doing that but I do want to get rid of that rusty thing that looks like some sort of pressure relief thing. If I get rid of that and still pipe in after the sillcock then I'll have to add exter bits in first. I was thinking (if you look at the pic of the main supply line with the two tanks) of cutting in where the first connection is near the top of the ph tank. That's why the manifold idea hit me first. I was thinking tie in a manifold and use it to then go to the first sillcock and one line to the filters, etc. Thoughts?

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    I can't see whats screwed into the steel fitting but the fitting has to go. swap it to a brass one if you must but get rid of the steel. I guess you could do a manifold thing but is seems like a lot of extra work.

  12. #12
    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.

  13. #13
    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.

  14. #14

    Default

    Well Gary it's a little sad to hear I didn't buy the perfect gear. It's been a while since this stuff was ordered, I had other projects to finish up. Can you remind me the difference between the EE and the regular WS-1? Also, not looking at product durability or ease of repair, are we mainly talking about flow rates here? There is just two of us living here. We have only one bath and nothing fancy anywhere. There is no horse or other animals that drink a ton of water and if I remember right the 32k might have even been on the overkill side of things. Like I said, its been a while but I did look at the SFR back when this project was fresh. Did the running water into the bucket timed test and estimated some things. I think I remember even using something on your side that took some numbers and spit out some recommendations. Hindsight is a great thing, who knows I might have been better off just giving you a call. I didn't compare prices from you sight but I did get a good deal from a friend on the gear I have. I almost went with a Kinetico before I got my head out of the sand. 6k for everything from them lol! Anyway, I really appreciate your help on this. To everyone as well, thanks for the help. I'm going to do up a little diagram on how I'm going to plumb this and if it looks good I'll do it up and we can move onto configuring the controls.

  15. #15
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    You did good in getting the equipment, now it is to work with what you have with out adding more ..
    The clack valve that you have will work very well for what you are doing. The EE is the new and improved valve,, ie more money to spend..

    You can run two lines for the drian, one for each or start off each unit put a check valve in the drain and then bring the two together with the higher flow rate discharge on the straight through of the TEE and the lower in at the 90 part of the TEE.

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