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Thread: Water Softener Questions

  1. #16
    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    ummm, that was posted already. LOL Post #8
    Yeah I should have probably read the description better. I'll find the one I need to order but I wish it was available locally.

  2. #17
    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    Can someone please help me understand this bypass valve we currently have installed, please?

    Since I am not going to solder, and am going to do this:

    I saw the photo you have of the piping in the basement. Mine looked very similar when I started. What I did was cut that all out, so I just had two cut copper pipes hanging there. Then I got two gatorbite ball valves like these:

    Shop GatorBITE 3/4" x 3/4" Removable Ball Valve at Lowes.com

    Stuck one on each pipe. Then you'll have threaded ends on the softener side and gatorbite ends on the wall side. You can just go to Lowes then and buy PEX tubing and any elbows to join it all together.
    The left side is water incoming, and the right side is water outgoing? I'm just trying to be 100% sure before I do anything. I know this sounds extremely stupid so, uh, thanks for bearing with me. :P

  3. #18
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    To see which side is incoming, close the center (bypass) valve, and then slowly open each of the other two valves, one at a time. One of them will have water under pressure -- that is the supply side. The other will probably show a brief spurt as water drains from the distribution lines, then just dribble.

    With no softener installed, the center valve should be open, the other two closed. With the softener installed, there are two states:

    Service state -- center valve is closed, other two are open.
    Bypass state -- center valve is open, other two are closed.

  4. #19
    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    Thank you mikey! How would this change if I did what I quoted above and just cut out the bypass, left the two pipes there, and used a bypass on the softener side?

  5. #20
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    It would be a lot easier to just leave everything in place, which would allow you to hook up the softener (with its own bypass), and completely isolate the softener and its bypass if necessary. Then just close the middle valve, leave the other two open, and use the softener's bypass alone until you have problems with it.

  6. #21
    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    It would be a lot easier to just leave everything in place, which would allow you to hook up the softener (with its own bypass), and completely isolate the softener and its bypass if necessary. Then just close the middle valve, leave the other two open, and use the softener's bypass alone until you have problems with it.
    My problem is that I have been told not to use gate valves because they restrict flow, and more importantly, I have no idea how to solder and really dont feel like buying the tools to do it, haha. Nice title btw. Love working with computers, not so much plumbing.

  7. #22
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amateurplumber1 View Post
    Love working with computers, not so much plumbing.
    Me too. Been doing both for far too long .

  8. #23
    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    Ok, found that (same thing, different brand) tube at the hardware store. It is freaking awesome. Install should be relatively easy.

    The only thing i dont understand is the bypass valve on the wall, that i'll be dismantling into 2 pipes and hooking up to the softeners bypass valve. What the hell is it? As a I understand it, a bypass valve should look like this: http://hostedmedia.reimanpub.com/TFH..._PLUMBW_01.JPG

    Mine looks like this: http://imgur.com/a/m7u3X

    Anyone care to try to explain it to me? Sorry that I have the plumbing knowledge of a 10 year old.

    As always, thanks again!

  9. #24
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Those two bits of plumbing are functionally identical. The objective is to arrange valves so that water can be diverted through a 2nd path (in this case, a water softener). The softener bypass typically has only two knobs, but each knob can divert the water into one of two paths --- straight into the softener, or across the bypass to the other leg. Without a purpose-built bypass, you construct that same functionality using three straight-through valves, as both the pictures show. Both of the two configurations work exactly the same way, as I described in #18.

  10. #25
    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    Thanks for looking that over. I'm now thinking that, like you advised, it may be a good idea to keep a bypass on the valve, but instead of using whatever is there, I may take it down and reconstruct it, possibly using sharkbite fittings (i know, i know), or just learning how to solder and work with what I have. Probably a good skill to pick up anyway. If I do it using sharkbite fittings, I'm gonna have to get a ton of freaking fittings, which will suck (2x 3/4 to 3/4 ball valves, 2x copper T fittings, figure out how to construct the center bypass, etc).
    Last edited by amateurplumber1; 03-16-2013 at 01:06 PM.

  11. #26
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Soldering isn't all that hard, just takes a little practice. I sure wouldn't bother taking the existing stuff apart, only to replace it with expensive but equivalent stuff, uless you've got a real good reason I'm not seeing. BTW, one detail I forgot to mention that may or may not apply in your case: the rightmost vertical pipe in the linked image feeds unsoftened water to wherever it goes. Usually outdoor hose bibs used for irrigation don't get softened water (although those used for car-washing do), so it's handy to have a source of unsoftened water available. That's something a sharp architect or builder will consider in the early design -- lots harder to do after the house is built. Any such pre-softener branch isn't obvious in your picture, but it may be there somewhere.

  12. #27
    DIY Member hiperco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amateurplumber1 View Post
    Hello,

    I will be purchasing a Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 grain capacity water softener. However, before I order, I've got a few questions:

    1)What place do you guys think is the best place to order from? I've been recommended qualitywatertreatment.com, ohiopurewater.com, and qualitywaterforless.com. They're all within the same amount of money, and they all seem to be pretty good.
    Any comments on these places?

  13. #28
    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    Err, should I be considering the 7000sxt over the 5600sxt if I have 3/4" pipes? I can't tell if it's better or not (if you have 3/4" pipes)--some people say yes, some people say no.

  14. #29
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    There is no disadvantage to using the 7000SXT over the 5600 series except for the physical size. The 7000 valve is larger, but it is slightly smaller than the old style 5600 series with the paddle wheel meters (distance out the back of the valve), most of the 5600SXT series use the turbine meter so they are slightly smaller. The 7000 has some nice 90 degree adapters available (pt# 61601) that can be used to save space and it also has 3/4" sweat adapters or 3/4" threaded plastic adapters.
    The 5600SXT is a good valve, a little old in the design but a solid valve that will serve you well for many years. Both valves are very easy to maintain, but neither should need to be rebuilt for at least a decade. Check out the video below to see how simple the 7000 is.

  15. #30
    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ditttohead View Post
    There is no disadvantage to using the 7000SXT over the 5600 series except for the physical size. The 7000 valve is larger, but it is slightly smaller than the old style 5600 series with the paddle wheel meters (distance out the back of the valve), most of the 5600SXT series use the turbine meter so they are slightly smaller. The 7000 has some nice 90 degree adapters available (pt# 61601) that can be used to save space and it also has 3/4" sweat adapters or 3/4" threaded plastic adapters.
    The 5600SXT is a good valve, a little old in the design but a solid valve that will serve you well for many years. Both valves are very easy to maintain, but neither should need to be rebuilt for at least a decade. Check out the video below to see how simple the 7000 is.
    Thanks for the info dittohead. I guess the question is...what advantages does the 7000sxt have over the 5600sxt? All I have heard about is that it has larger internal valves and something about microswitching and resolution. :P

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