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Thread: air gap built into Fleck 7000 drain?

  1. #16
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    The plumbing codes define the discharge of filtration equipment as nonpotable because obviously.....it is not drinkable. I probably have said air gap on several occasions when I should have been more specific and said air gap or air break is required. At any rate though, as long as there is not a hard connection between his drain lines and the stand pipe what he has meets IPC, UPC, National Standard and BOCA codes which is not to say that some states or localities have not amended it and is a good reason to check with local inspectors before forging ahead. Is the code nonsense? Possibly. After all the chances of contaminated waste water backing itself all the way up through the drain lines is pretty slim. There would have to be a chain of unfortunate and improbable mechanical failures for back-flow to occur but we don't write the codes we just follow them which keeps us from having to tear stuff out and re-do it when the inspector looks at it.

    The picture is not very clear either, I would like to see a better view of the tee arrangement but I also see a couple other things that are not right one of which is that he has glued PVC to ABS which is not acceptable under the code. I think that in one of my earlier posts I said that the drain lines could not be hard piped to the standpipe.

    BTW, a point of clarification. There are no national codes. There is a code called the National Standard Plumbing Code but it is neither national nor is it the standard that everyone has to go by. States adopt whatever code they decide to use. I suspect that is based on heavy lobbying by the publishers that write them. Most things in all the codes though are pretty much the same. There are some minor differences though that if you live on the boarder of a couple states that use different codes can be confusing. New Hampshire is an IPC state and Maine is UPC and to make matters worse I work in Mass. occasionally and they have their own code. It would be nice if everyone had the same code but money and politics will never let that happen.
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 05-17-2012 at 05:57 AM.
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  2. #17
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F6Hawk View Post
    Thanks for posting the actual rule, Tom. Good to know it meets code. I wasn't about to change mine, and wasn't suggesting he change his. But it IS good to know we are legal for future home sales.
    I see "Tom" has changed things in a later post. Your drain line going up, he says it has non potable water in it.

    Now that means everytime the control valve opens its flow to the drain, you are going to have a cross contamination between that non potable water in the drain line and the potable water in the control valve and there is no way to prevent that unless you run the drain line downhill from its connection on the control valve and ensure that the drain water always drains out of the drain line.

    Quote Originally Posted by F6Hawk View Post
    Gary, I'm sure you know the inner workings of the valve better than I, so if it's not possible for a malfunction to suck waste water into the valve, so be it. In my case, my drain runs overhead into the sewer lines which are in the ceiling, so I know drain water lays in the tube after a cycle. I would think it would be more prone to cross contamination than a drain that only runs down hill. But I drilled the holes you mentioned, and it's a fairly good air break, IMHO, so perhaps I will be safe.

    Thanks for the input!
    I agree with the more prone to cross contamination.

    Since you drilled the holes, you now have an air gap because now if the sewer lines back up, the water goes out the holes and can not touch the end of your drain line; unlike an air break.
    Last edited by Terry; 05-21-2012 at 05:28 PM.
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  3. #18
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    My post # 7

    johnjh is correct here. As long as there is not seal between the drain lines and the standpipe you are in good shape.

    My post # 16

    The plumbing codes define the discharge of filtration equipment as nonpotable because obviously.....it is not drinkable. I probably have said air gap on several occasions when I should have been more specific and said air gap or air break is required. At any rate though, as long as there is not a hard connection between his drain lines and the stand pipe what he has meets IPC, UPC, National Standard and BOCA codes which is not to say that some states or localities have not amended it and is a good reason to check with local inspectors before forging ahead.

    So show us where I have said anything different here or otherwhere (which by the way is not a word)
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 05-17-2012 at 07:34 AM.
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  4. #19
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    My post # 7

    johnjh is correct here. As long as there is not seal between the drain lines and the standpipe you are in good shape.
    The problem is that johnjh was talking about the two lines so he was replying to the OP, not f6hawk. And the OP has those two lines connected to two points on a Tee and the Tee screwed into the top of the stand pipe, a hard connection, and you agreed with johnjh saying he was right, now since then you say it's not allowed then all's well and right with the various codes unless this'er that here or there etc. etc..

    And you've got me screwed up and me forgetting he used an end cap and drilled holes in it so he does have an air break.

    BTW, you didn't use your current name while running down water treatment dealers and DIYers for not installing air gaps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    My post # 16

    The plumbing codes define the discharge of filtration equipment as nonpotable because obviously.....it is not drinkable. I probably have said air gap on several occasions when I should have been more specific and said air gap or air break is required. At any rate though, as long as there is not a hard connection between his drain lines and the stand pipe what he has meets IPC, UPC, National Standard and BOCA codes which is not to say that some states or localities have not amended it and is a good reason to check with local inspectors before forging ahead.
    I think you said the code said IF the water was non potable, that's why I asked what determines that. Now millions of people won't drink their tab water because it is not "drinkable" but, that doesn't make it non potable.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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  5. #20
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    I run down everyone that does not use either an air break or an air gap including plumbers.

    There are degrees of water hazard. The discharge from a softener is not highly toxic but it's not potable either in that drinking it would most likely make you pretty miserable. And you are correct in that a lot of folks won't drink their tap water for various reasons. I lived on Lake Michigan for a few years and the tap water was so nasty smelling and tasting that everyone in town drank bottled water but, it was city watr and the city certified that it was safe to drink. The tap water at my Florida house is also pretty rank smelling and tasting.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  6. #21
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Tom, I appreciate the code lisitngs and information. Water Softener installations and RO installations in California have traditionally required a true air gap, I have not seen or installed a system in a municipality that does not require a true gap. The code you cited is written with some ability to add interpretation. For the most part, in California, all water that comes from a potable source, must have a true gap.

    As Tom said, check with your local municipality to see what the varying requirements are for your location.

    http://www.airgap.com/about_airgaps.htm This is a great resource for air gaps and information.

    Last edited by Terry; 06-21-2012 at 04:59 PM.

  7. #22
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    I'm going to jump in here. Maybe someone can tell me how drilling 1/4" holes in the stand pipe could prevent a cross connection. If there was a sewerage backup it wouldn't take much to plug those 1/4" holes and there goes your air break. There should not be a solid connection between the two.

    John

  8. #23
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Good call John, something that got overlooked in the rest of this nonsense. For some reason whoever installed it in the first place decided to over complicate the whole thing or (and I can't see it in the picture well enough) the two drain lines were too big to fit into the standpipe. the easiest thing to do would be to remove the pvc piece (because you can't glue pvc to abs) and increase the standpipe size to 3" with a 3 x 2 reducing coupling and then extend the stand pipe 3" to accept the drain lines. If the work was done by a plumber, he needs to spend some time with the code book but......it's California where a plumbing license is just about worthless. LOL
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  9. #24
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    What difference will it make if the discharge water is potable or not. The point is you have a cross connection between a water supply and sewerage? Which must be protected.

    John

  10. #25
    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnjh2o1 View Post
    I'm going to jump in here. Maybe someone can tell me how drilling 1/4" holes in the stand pipe could prevent a cross connection. If there was a sewerage backup it wouldn't take much to plug those 1/4" holes and there goes your air break. There should not be a solid connection between the two.

    John
    Absolutely correct, which is why an air gap is the correct application here. Now that I know the difference, I will replace what the previous plumber did and put a reducer/coupler on it, remove the drilled cap, and provide a true air gap instead of the current air break. I'm not in a hurry to do it, I know what is there now works, but as you point out, in a back-up situation, it won't. It's on my list of things to do, but getting a season's worth of firewood comes first!

  11. #26
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F6Hawk View Post
    Absolutely correct, which is why an air gap is the correct application here. Now that I know the difference, I will replace what the previous plumber did and put a reducer/coupler on it, remove the drilled cap, and provide a true air gap instead of the current air break. I'm not in a hurry to do it, I know what is there now works, but as you point out, in a back-up situation, it won't. It's on my list of things to do, but getting a season's worth of firewood comes first!
    I made my air gaps by cutting the stand pipe down the center about 3" then cutting half way through the stand pipe. This leaves a tab on the stand pipe to attach the drain hoses to. I drilled 4 holes and used zip straps to hold the drain tube insuring there was at least 1" between the drain tubes and the drain.

  12. #27
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Well there is no cross connection if the water in the drain line is non potable. The idea behind an air gap is to prevent a cross connection between potable and non potable waters, right?

    And potable doesn't mean only water that people will drink as our esteemed code reciting robot has said, alluded to, implied and/or inferred.

    So the multitudinous codes must be protecting the drain line from being contaminated and thereby becoming a non potable entity and since it is connected to a control valve, which must be considered as containing potable water, THERE! there would be the cross connection. By potable water in the control valve getting out into the cross connected and non potable filter's and/or softener's drain lines.

    Or... should we contemplate that they, the codes guys, are only attempting to prevent the tip of the filter/softener drain line from becoming contaminated and thereby contaminating the whole drain line eventually and then eventually the potable water in the control valve and the rest of the filter and or softener and the whole entire city water supply?

    BTW, I think our codes spewing robot needs some reprogramming or a whole new operating system. He's old, retired, can't seem to light in one place for very long. Plus I hear he's short, bow legged, paunchy (probably from bloating from all the beer) and blames his baldness on high testosterone levels.

    But really, seriously, for a few years now he's been pulling his hair out himself. His database is becoming corrupt. Probably from oxygen deprivation due to flying that antique open c ock pit plane he rents from time to time, without a proper scarf applied correctly. He probly thinks it looks more dapper wrapped around his neck and whipping in the wind. He's known to pretend to be 'others' and I'll bet he pretends to be related to the Red Barron. Probly makes rata tat tat tat tat noises too.
    It is a cross connection. Where are the lines for the backwash coming from? I would say a potable source. What are they discharging into? I would say into a non potable source. That would make it a cross connection. If the water in the discharge line is potable or not it is coming from a potable source.

    John
    Last edited by johnjh2o1; 05-18-2012 at 07:27 PM.

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    Potable water is fit for human consumption, also called drinking water.

  14. #29
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnjh2o1 View Post
    It is a cross connection. Where are the lines for the backwash coming from? I would say a potable source. What are they discharging into? I would say into a non potable source. That would make it a cross connection. If the water in the discharge line is potable or not it is coming from a potable source.

    John
    I don't see an actual physical cross connection until the sewage water were to touch the drain line.

    I do see a potential cross connection and isn't that what the code is addressing or the code would prevent any drain line connection to a drain for sewage or any connection to anything rated as non potable; the ground, a dry well etc. etc.?

    Then take it up with "Tom" because he has said an air break is OK, and an air gap isn't required. He also said that the water exiting the control into the drain line was "undrinkable" which to him means non potable.
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  15. #30
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    I don't see an actual physical cross connection until the sewage water were to touch the drain line.

    I do see a potential cross connection and isn't that what the code is addressing or the code would prevent any drain line connection to a drain for sewage or any connection to anything rated as non potable; the ground, a dry well etc. etc.?

    Then take it up with "Tom" because he has said an air break is OK, and an air gap isn't required. He also said that the water exiting the control into the drain line was "undrinkable" which to him means non potable.
    I don't understand your point. I thought the reason for the air gap was to protect a potential cross connection from happening.

    John

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