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Thread: Water Softener Drain and what the Plumber told me while getting a quote...

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    Default Water Softener Drain and what the Plumber told me while getting a quote...

    I am in the process of "interviewing" plumbers to install a softener for me. I've done my research and know what to ask and how I want it done. So this first guy has been a plumber all his life and seemed to be a good creditable plumber which has installed a few softeners in my neighborhood.

    However, there are a couple of things he said that made me turn my cheek and I wish to get your opinion.

    First of all I was adimant about running the drain line up to the attic and over "just a few feet each" to the drain for the Washing Machine. Of course vented correctly and such. My next door neighbor had this done and I have read that this is common practice as long as its not enclosed and "vented" correctly. This guy was like, no way... I would never do that because it is a sanitary drain and I would never tie it over to that drain. He went on to say they always just route it outside into the grass or flower bed. I know better than that and said "no I don't want to do that because I know it is bad for the plants/grass, but he said no actually where the drain comes out is makes the grass real green and there is no problem with it. We are talking about a regular softener that uses the Salt Pellets.

    The other thing was that I was going to get my own softener and have him install it, which he didn't have a problem with, but he kept insisting that the ones from the Big Box stores were just as good, last the same amount of time, and cheaper than the Fleck, Clack, Autotrol, etc. He claims that having a plumber come out and replace the resin ends up costing as much as just buying a new one off the shelf at a Big Box store anyways. And with the hardness of our water EITHER water softener will need replaced after about 5 or 6 years anyway, so it is better to go with the cheaper Big Box softeners.

    From my research, this guy is wrong on both accounts.

  2. #2
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobiecatter View Post
    He went on to say they always just route it outside into the grass or flower bed. I know better than that and said "no I don't want to do that because I know it is bad for the plants/grass, but he said no actually where the drain comes out is makes the grass real green and there is no problem with it...
    I run mine to my sump pit that then discharges into a ditch on my property. While it hasn't killed any grass, it has killed quite a few trees. I cannot speak to the quality of box store models but my softener media needed replacing after 10 years and it was far cheaper to re-bed than replace.

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    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    I wouldn't have that guy touch anything of mine. Running salt water directly on the ground is not good. I have seen in some cases where the grass is very green from the salt discharge, but I have also seen it leave a big patch of dead grass. Running it over head can also be a problem. If the drain line leaks in the attic it will ruin the drywall. If you do run it over head, use pvc. Less likely of leaks. What part of TX? I still know good installers in the Austin area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mialynette2003 View Post
    I wouldn't have that guy touch anything of mine. Running salt water directly on the ground is not good. I have seen in some cases where the grass is very green from the salt discharge, but I have also seen it leave a big patch of dead grass. Running it over head can also be a problem. If the drain line leaks in the attic it will ruin the drywall. If you do run it over head, use pvc. Less likely of leaks. What part of TX? I still know good installers in the Austin area.
    I agree, I will not be using this guy. The second guy came out tonight and he seemed to know more. He does the drain overhead in the attic, but he uses PEX. I guess I could ask him to use PVC. I don't want that to leak for sure. Unfortunately, I have to go overhead. There is no other close place to drain to without digging a trench all the way around the house.

    I'm in Fort Worth. Know anyone good up here?

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    I'm guessing attics in Texas get pretty hot and I would not run PVC through a hot attic. PEX will never leak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    I'm guessing attics in Texas get pretty hot and I would not run PVC through a hot attic. PEX will never leak.
    Does it ever get hot in the attic? Oh yeah! We just hit the record of 70 days of over 100's for the year! So yeah PEX it is! I have another plumber that is scared of PEX runs because he says they are more prone to leak at the joints. Is he just not updated?

    I have another plumber that is afraid of using PEX in the flower bed because the ants can eat through the plastic. Is that true?

    What part of NW Ontario are you in? I've spent some summers in Sturgeon Falls & Lake Nippising
    Last edited by hobiecatter; 09-16-2011 at 09:35 PM.

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    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    I'm guessing attics in Texas get pretty hot and I would not run PVC through a hot attic. PEX will never leak.
    Funny. That's what they said about poly tubing when it first came out. I would trust pvc more that pex only because pvc has stood the test of time. Maybe in another 10 years I will be convinced about pex.

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