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Thread: No drain near softener - looking for idaes

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    Default No drain near softener - looking for idaes

    Hi Guys,

    I've been trying to come up with a plan for weeks. I checked some other threads here with similar issues but I couldn't find anything definitive for my situation.

    Background:
    I'm in a Chicago suburb, two story townhouse built on a slab. The water main is in a storage space under the stairway which butts up to the neighbor's house and there is no drain in that area.

    Two options I'm considering so far are:

    1) Putting a softener in the 1st floor space under the stairs (where the main comes up through the slab) and pumping the discharge up a 9' exposed wall in the storage space. The line would have to run straight across in a joist space another 15 ft. and then up 2' more into the laundry room drain. The Liberty Pumps I've looked at seem to handle the flow and pressure needed to pump the discharge up and across. The problem is the output of the pump would have to be 1" 1/4 minimum which would be tricky to run. Also, the pump has a 2 year warranty no warning alarm in case the pump fails. This would flood my and some neighbors homes.

    2) Run the two copper lines up the wall and across up into the laundry room. Space is very limited and I would have to build a rack (likely out of 1 "5/8 uni-strut) and suspend the softener from the ceiling and above the dryer.

    I'd love to hear any other ideas or suggestions.

    Thanks

    Edit: I can't change the spelling error in the thread title
    Last edited by Tater; 03-10-2010 at 12:44 PM. Reason: spelling error

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    What is the total vertical distance and the total length of the run to the drain?

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    Total vertical would be 12' and the entire run would 30'-35'.

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    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    One should not go more than 8' higher than the discharge point of the softener..
    Run is a bit different... I have done 40-50' from level start to going down to drain point...

    If the softener discharge is 4' off the floor, and then say 4' to go through the floor and then 4' up to the laundry drain point... that is close.... but should work... if you put the softener on some kind of plat form say 2' that would close the gap....

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tater View Post
    Hi Guys,

    I've been trying to come up with a plan for weeks. I checked some other threads here with similar issues but I couldn't find anything definitive for my situation.

    Background:
    I'm in a Chicago suburb, two story townhouse built on a slab. The water main is in a storage space under the stairway which butts up to the neighbor's house and there is no drain in that area.

    Two options I'm considering so far are:

    1) Putting a softener in the 1st floor space under the stairs (where the main comes up through the slab) and pumping the discharge up a 9' exposed wall in the storage space. The line would have to run straight across in a joist space another 15 ft. and then up 2' more into the laundry room drain. The Liberty Pumps I've looked at seem to handle the flow and pressure needed to pump the discharge up and across. The problem is the output of the pump would have to be 1" 1/4 minimum which would be tricky to run. Also, the pump has a 2 year warranty no warning alarm in case the pump fails. This would flood my and some neighbors homes.

    2) Run the two copper lines up the wall and across up into the laundry room. Space is very limited and I would have to build a rack (likely out of 1 "5/8 uni-strut) and suspend the softener from the ceiling and above the dryer.

    I'd love to hear any other ideas or suggestions.
    With a Clack or Fleck control valve, from the drain line fitting on the control valve that the drain line attaches to, you can go up 6-7 feet and then sideways 30-40' and farther if you come back down some. You can increase the drain line ID to 3/4" or increase the DLFC in the control valve, or do both, to go up higher or farther sideways. So it depends on the size of the softener as to how high the drain line fitting will be. If you have a 1.5' or larger softener than 2' unit that drain line fitting will be about 5' off the floor, so a 9' ceiling and 2-3' more should be fine as long as you use one piece of regular PE tubing drain line instead of pipe/tubing and elbows.
    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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    Here is the specific pump I was looking at: http://www.libertypumps.com/Products...?p=20&s=8&c=15

    I called the company and they said it would handle the horizontal/vertical distance and it comes with the check valve. Having no alarm in case the pump fails is a big concern though.
    Putting the softener on a riser would be no problem either if that would help.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tater View Post
    Here is the specific pump I was looking at: http://www.libertypumps.com/Products...?p=20&s=8&c=15

    I called the company and they said it would handle the horizontal/vertical distance and it comes with the check valve. Having no alarm in case the pump fails is a big concern though.
    Putting the softener on a riser would be no problem either if that would help.
    You don't need a pump, your main waterline pressure moves the water through the drain line.

    You don't need to raise the control valve either.

    You do need to run the right type and size drain line or increase the gpm rating of the DLFC (drain line flow control) button slightly.

    You do not want any restriction to the flow through a drain line, it is already flow controlled and restricting it will prevent proper backwashing and brining which all leads to resin failure.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    You don't need a pump, your main waterline pressure moves the water through the drain line.

    You don't need to raise the control valve either.

    You do need to run the right type and size drain line or increase the gpm rating of the DLFC (drain line flow control) button slightly.

    You do not want any restriction to the flow through a drain line, it is already flow controlled and restricting it will prevent proper backwashing and brining which all leads to resin failure.
    Oh my gosh, I'm embassed I didn't even think about the water main pressure being strong enough to push the water up 9'. What's odd is that no one I talk to (Culligan, Home Depot) even mentioned this.

    I have zero plumbing experience but just so I'm clear about this:
    The output from the water softener would have the same pressure as the main going in? And this would push the discharge up 9' and 15'-20' across?
    I would not need anything in the vertical section that would prevent water from pushing back into the softener?
    Would pex tubing work for the discharge line?

    Thanks for the help so far, I just want to be suree I understand. Some of the terms used are new to me.

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    When you use the up 9', that 9 is from where? from the floor? or from the discharge point of the softener?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akpsdvan View Post
    When you use the up 9', that 9 is from where? from the floor? or from the discharge point of the softener?
    I don't have a specific softener picked out yet. The ceilings are 9' plus the space betwwen the joists to get up through the floor into the laundry room. I was kind of guessing that the height of the discharge would make up for the difference of the joist space.

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    If the run was shorter, pex would be ok, though a bit pricey for the application. Size is also an issue as even though pex comes in big diameters, 3/4" is about the maximum that a homeowner can handle. Better off with pvc. Its lots cheaper and easy to run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tater View Post
    I don't have a specific softener picked out yet. The ceilings are 9' plus the space betwwen the joists to get up through the floor into the laundry room. I was kind of guessing that the height of the discharge would make up for the difference of the joist space.
    If the softener that you get has its discharge point 5' off the floor, then about 4' to the floor and another 4' from floor to the washer drain box.. 3/4 pvc would work great...
    You should put a check valve in that drain line just after it leaves the softener so that if for some reason you need to remove the softener the water in the drain does not come out, or if there is a back up in the washer box drain it will not go into the softener..

  13. #13
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tater View Post
    Oh my gosh, I'm embassed I didn't even think about the water main pressure being strong enough to push the water up 9'. What's odd is that no one I talk to (Culligan, Home Depot) even mentioned this.

    I have zero plumbing experience but just so I'm clear about this:
    The output from the water softener would have the same pressure as the main going in? And this would push the discharge up 9' and 15'-20' across?
    I would not need anything in the vertical section that would prevent water from pushing back into the softener?
    Would pex tubing work for the discharge line?
    Water pressure pushes water up to second floor showers, sinks, tubs etc. all the time. Culligan guys know this but probably not big box store guys.

    At your max flow rate there will be only a few lbs of pressure lost across a correctly sized softener. And the main line water pressure will push the water through a properly constructed drain line as I mentioned before. PVC unless 3/4" is not a good choice, the same for CPVC or copper. Use regular PE drain line tubing or 3/4" PEX if it will bend OK without elbows.

    I say no check valve in the drain line. They require a number of lbs of pressure to just open one plus the pressure loss through them. So do not reduce the gpm flow through the drain line. If you need to remove the drain line fitting, remove the fitting without taking the drain line off it and let the water in the drain line flow into a bucket that you hold up under it as you take it off the control valve.

    There is a brine valve in all Clack and Fleck softener control valves (you should buy a Clack WS-1 CS version) and you can't push water back through that valve unless you depressurize the softener AND open that valve by hand or operating the control valve into the backwash, brine draw or rinse.

    You said the space has a 9' ceiling, that is usually measured from the floor. So the connection on the control valve of the softener will be about 60" (5') off the floor, so the ceiling is 4" higher, plus the joist area and the 2-3' up to the drain you want to use.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Griffin View Post
    If the run was shorter, pex would be ok, though a bit pricey for the application. Size is also an issue as even though pex comes in big diameters, 3/4" is about the maximum that a homeowner can handle. Better off with pvc. Its lots cheaper and easy to run.
    I priced some pex and it would be more expensive, but depending on how flexible 3/4 is it might mean the difference between not having to cut drywall in the ceiling.

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    3/4 PE is very flexible also and a lot less money than pex. I'm not trying to talk you out of pex because I don't like it though, just because of the expense and the special tools needed.

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