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Thread: Water Softener Install with PEX Plumbing

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member amorak's Avatar
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    Default Water Softener Install with PEX Plumbing

    Hi everyone,

    I have 3/4" PEX plumbing coming off my city water meter in my basement. The builder (built 2006) used AquaPex plumbing and roughed in the isolation of the outside taps and sink/fridge water so they are not impacted by the water softener.

    I plan to cut into the main water supply after the isolation section and go over to the water softener I've just bought, then come back in and reconnect into the house line.

    I've tried to sketch it roughly below. Basically, post-isolated items, I am cutting into the water line and going over to the water softener, then attaching into the line up into the house, so that all the rest of the water into the house is softened:




    What I am hoping to do is use two of these: http://www.homedepot.ca/product/12-i...-4-inch/921503
    where the shark bute connects onto the water line in (after the isolator) and then I screw onto the water softener, then use the same to get the softened water back into the line I'd cut to get it over to the softener.

    Is this a good idea?

    I am also contemplating two 90 degree sharbite adapters, then a piece of pex, then a sharbite pex-to-FNPT fitting to attach it to the softener (doing essentially what the above is doing, but with pex).


    Any thoughts or suggestions ?

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    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    I used those same things, except they were 3/4" F NPT on both ends. I will say this.... they are not as flexible as I thought. My copper pipes were already in place on the wall, and I had to do some de-soldering and re-soldering to make it work. Those stainless connectors provide some stand-off from the wall, and a little bit of radial flexibility at the softener, but not much. Since you are going from PEX to them, you will probably have more than I did, and be just fine.

    On another note, you will probably want to tap into the city water (pre-softener) for things like outside hose bibs, refrigerator/icemaker (or some other drinking water source, unless your current water tastes bad). I was fortunate that my house was already plumbed that way.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member amorak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F6Hawk View Post
    I used those same things, except they were 3/4" F NPT on both ends. I will say this.... they are not as flexible as I thought. My copper pipes were already in place on the wall, and I had to do some de-soldering and re-soldering to make it work. Those stainless connectors provide some stand-off from the wall, and a little bit of radial flexibility at the softener, but not much. Since you are going from PEX to them, you will probably have more than I did, and be just fine.

    On another note, you will probably want to tap into the city water (pre-softener) for things like outside hose bibs, refrigerator/icemaker (or some other drinking water source, unless your current water tastes bad). I was fortunate that my house was already plumbed that way.
    Thanks for the reply F6Hawk! What you describe in your last paragraph is what I meant by the "isolator" - I am planning to cut the main line after the isolated lines (outside, fridge, sink cold) so that those lines are unsoftened.

    I am just a bit nervous running nearly all my incoming water through a $10-12 hose, but all I read is glowing reviews of sharkbite installs, so maybe it would be just fine...

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    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    I haven't used them personally, but I have played with them in the stores, and they seem to be of great quality. Read the plumbing forums, I am sure you will find info there about them. I have seen some threads referring to them, and no one seemed to be bashing them.

    FWIW, I left my kitchen sink softened, due to doing dishes, and the only unsoftened water in the house is the fridge. Me thinks that to get more convenient hard water, I may add a drinking tap at my kitchen sink. I just prefer the taste of unsoftened water, and I think I would cook with it too if it were easier to obtain.

  5. #5
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Check out the Falcon Flex lines, these are excellent products, we stock and sell tons of them and they have been excellent. They also do not have any restriction, they are full port.

    You can find them at several online suppliers.
    Last edited by ditttohead; 05-03-2012 at 02:05 PM.

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    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    And, if like my local HD store, if you can't find the much better quality Falcons as Ditto suggests, pay attention to those braided lines at HD... there are two diff inside diameters. One is very small, and one is larger, more like the Falcons. Luckily, I caught it and got the larger diameter. But I'd go with the Falcons if you can get them!

    And something else ot consider, since you have PEX already... make your own flexible connectors with PEX and shark bites. Not as flexible as Falcons, but if you make them longer, you could double the pipe on itself in a loop, and pretty much configure it how you wanted to.
    Last edited by F6Hawk; 05-03-2012 at 02:42 PM.

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