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Thread: Drain for Softener

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member elmwood's Avatar
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    Default Drain for Softener

    First timer here. So I've installed a water softener and put in a new water heater. Trying to figure out the drain situation. When the house was made there was a 1 1/2" PVC pipe put in the floor for the A/C air handler. The Contractor has the pipe coming out of the floor about 1' then placed an elbow and a reducer in it for 3/4" pipe. Coming out of the A/C air handler is 3/4" and a series of elbows forming a "P" trap and loosely fiting into the reducer. This is my only place to use for the water heater and the softener. The water heater overflow was originally only piped to overflow out on to the floor but I want it so that if it did would go into the drain. Now adding the water softener I need a place to put the overflow and the drain hose. Can someone throw me a bone on an idea of how to handle all of this? This is in a basement that is used and there needs to be some sort of a P trap for sewage order. I had thought to just get more 1 1/2" pipe and elbows and form a circle with 4 elbows and then put a 1 1/2" to 3" reducer on top and have all 4 (A/C air handler, water heater and 2 softener) hoses and pipes suspended above that to drain. I figured since the softener drain periodically that would provide water to keep the "P" trap with water to maintain the block for the sewer gas. One other thing, the A/C air handler, water heater and softener are all side by side.

    I do hope this makes some sort of sense to someone to give me ideas. If need be I can post a pic online later this evening to provide a pure visual and post a link here.

    Thanks,
    Eric (elmwood)

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    If there are no sewer gases coming from it now, then most likely it is not tied into your sewer system or it already has a pee trap. I am not a plumber but most of the floor drains I have seen do not drain into the sewer system. They merely seep into the ground. Use a hose and try to run about 3 GPM into the floor drain for about 15 minutes. If it keeps up with the flow, you could use it for a softener drain. I don't think it will.

  3. #3
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    You can check to see if there is a p-trap by shining a light down the 1.5" standpipe. You should be able to see the water seal.
    Yes, floor drains do connect to the waste system.

  4. #4
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    If you are on 'city' sewer, the floor drain could be connected to the sewer line but if you have an on site septic tank/system, it more than likely won't be and the dry well it is connected to may not be large enough for the volume of discharge water from a softener.

    The best place to connect the drain line is into the house drain lines in the ceiling of the basement. You can run the standard 5/8' OD PE line (called 1/2") across the basement on the ceiling as far as needed. Or use the drain for a clothes washer in the basement.
    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.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member elmwood's Avatar
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    I appreciate people chiming in but the point is being missed here. There is a drain pipe already in existence in the basement floor in front of my A/C air handler. It is part of the sewage system which is city (county actually but that doesn't matter it's not septic), there is no P trap in the pipe below ground. The pipe is only 1 1/2". I need to be able to put the A/C drain, water heater overflow and water softener overflow and drain in a configuration so it all fits into the one drain pipe. I know regulations state that I need to have an air gap between the sewage drain pipe and the 4 drains I'm trying to have use this one. I was just looking for some sort of solution to the problem of 4 drain lines using 1 pipe and a good solution to a P trap solution to keep the sewage gases out. Everything I am dealing with here is in the basement.

    The only thing I can come up with is to make a P trap with 1 1/2" and then put a 1 1/2" to 3" reducer on top. This would make it look like a funnel. I am trying to avoid having a weird and large configuration of pipes.

    Thanks,
    Eric (elmwood)

  6. #6
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Maybe you missed a point or two.... IF the floor drain was connected to the sewer line and it has no trap as you say, you would have sewer gas in the basement.

    Now if you don't have sewer gas in the basement, the line is not connected to a sewer and most likely you have yourself a dry well or the pipe is connected to a foundation drain system etc.. If a dry well it doesn't have to be very large for what is now draining into the floor drain.

    Hook up a garden hose and run about 3 gallons per minute of water into the drain for not less than 10 minutes, I suggest 15 is a better test, and see if the drain can handle that but if it does, then repeat the test after waiting 10 minutes and see f it can handle that water flow.

    If not, your softener can not be drained into that drain. If you don't want to do the test, go with your idea and hook up the water heater and softener to the drain and see how long things go well without flooding the basement. BTW, you can install a piece of 3" into the 1.5" x 3" fitting and drill holes in it to create an air gap and connect your drain lines to the top of the pipe.

    And as I said, there will be drain lines in the ceiling and that is where the softener drain should go. I certainly wouldn't want the contraption you are designing poking up in my basement floor...
    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.

  7. #7
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    We often use fittings to make a "funnel if we need to drain a lot of pipes. A picture posted would have helped us with what you had going on there.
    Frankly, I can't imagine an inspector not insisting on a p-trap for a floor drain. If you have a standpipe now, it would be a simple and quick job to install a p-trap above ground, with the funnel to add your collection of pipes. A Studor or AAV could vent the p-trap.
    And a picture would be nice.

    Last edited by Terry; 04-27-2013 at 12:26 PM.

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    4 x 1-1/2 reducing coupling
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    A funnel on a drain.


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