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Thread: Softener Outside

  1. #1
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    Default Softener Outside

    I have a Clack softener installed outside. I live in a part of Florida where it can be below freezing overnight for several hours. The spec for the Clack controller does not allow for an operating temperature below freezing. Is this something to be concerned about? What can I do? Also, should I protect it from rain? Everybody around here has them outside exposed.

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    I would build an enclosure around it with a lightbulb to give off some heat if it gets below freezing. I have seen all sorts of exposed plumbing equipment in Florida from pumps to water heaters. I suspect the manufacturers would hesitate to warranty these things if they knew they were left outside in the rain and hot sun.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member zl700's Avatar
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    It depends on the softener. Many are designed to go outside, check the model of the head it should have a NEMA rating of 3 or 4.

    NEMA 3 Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt, rain, sleet, snow, and windblown dust; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.
    NEMA 4 Includes all the above plus hose directed water spray protection on unit.

    Regarding the freezing this year and it was the coldest in a long time, about 5 nights this week I left the kitchen sink running at a trickle to prevent freezeup overnight.

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    A NEMA rating will not keep the head from freezing and cracking.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oros95 View Post
    I have a Clack softener installed outside. I live in a part of Florida where it can be below freezing overnight for several hours. The spec for the Clack controller does not allow for an operating temperature below freezing. Is this something to be concerned about? What can I do? Also, should I protect it from rain? Everybody around here has them outside exposed.
    Has it been damaged or is it working alright?

    If you don't know if it is OK, use it for awhile and see.

    If it is OK, keep doing what you have been doing to protect it from freezing.

    If it isn't OK, you need to cover it up with like a tent using a good blanket or tarp etc..

    Or build a building over it and heat it in some way.

    Or, disconnect it from the plumbing and take the resin tank and control valve inside.

    Then remember to uncover it, turn off the light in the building and vent the building so it doesn't get too hot in there, take it back outside and reconnect it etc. etc. and listen for future freeze warnings.

    BTW, the Clack has UV protection but the tanks don't. And you can get an outdoor cover if you want to.
    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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    Thanks for everyone's input. Yes, it is currently working. I don't have much experience with it and I just thought it was odd to have something outside like that exposed to rain and the occasional freeze.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oros95 View Post
    Thanks for everyone's input. Yes, it is currently working. I don't have much experience with it and I just thought it was odd to have something outside like that exposed to rain and the occasional freeze.
    Softeners are commonly installed outside from SC to FL to CA. So are jet well pumps, pressure tanks and the water lines to/from them until they go underground. Most of that stuff is not covered or protected from rain. You're from FL and don't know that, take a ride out of town and look in side and back yards.
    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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    I have seen washers and dryers outside.

  9. #9

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    Any water using applicance that is installed outside is subject to freezing. As stated, put a cover over it with a 40 watt bulb and you should be fine.

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member zl700's Avatar
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    My Fleck head unit with NEMA 3 head, survived 5 nights of 20 degrees, again a trickle at sink kept it from freezing
    The brine tank wont freeze unless it's really cold, its filled with salt
    Last edited by zl700; 03-11-2010 at 03:20 PM.

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