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Thread: Full port valves

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    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    Default Full port valves

    Is it important that I use full port ball valves when constructing a bypass for the water softener I plan on installing? Or can I get away with just using regular ball valves?

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    The idea is that if the pipe is say, 3/4", you don't want to create a restriction in the line. I've not paid much attention to what is available, but I would guess that the majority of ball valves that size and larger are full port.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I wouldn't suggest a manual 3 way by pass. The control valve type is much better and some offer more flexibility than just on or off. And they don't cost as much or take up as much space and don't create any dead ends in the plumbing.
    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.

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    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    What is this control valve type bypass you speak of?! No one has mentioned that to me yet (I don't think) heh.

    Edit: are you talking about the bypass on the softener? I just figured (and was told) that its good to have the bypas on the wall too, so if there is a problem with the softener I can just turn on the bypass and not have to shut off all the water.
    Last edited by amateurplumber1; 03-23-2013 at 11:04 PM.

  5. #5
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    The by pass on the wall is called a 3 way manual by pass.

    You can do the same with the factory type by pass made for your control valve. And in some cases you can do more than just by pass the softener with the factory BP.
    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.

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    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    The by pass on the wall is called a 3 way manual by pass.

    You can do the same with the factory type by pass made for your control valve. And in some cases you can do more than just by pass the softener with the factory BP.
    So if the softener breaks and I have to repair it, and i have no bypass on the wall, i can disconnect the bypass and softener and still have my water run? The guy who told me to keep the bypass said this:

    I would not remove the bypass. Here is why:

    1) If you leave it in place, you can take all the time in the world installing your softener. Then, once it is installed, you simply open the two vertical valves and close the horizontal one. Easy.

    2) If you leave it in place and something goes wrong with your softener and you have to remove it, you simply close the two vertical valves and open the horizontal one and do what you need to do with the softener.

    3) If you remove the bypass, you have to shut down the water to your entire house and drain it, the whole house. When you open the vertical valves, more water will drain out - have buckets and towels ready as you will need them. Then you have to remove the bypass. Then you have to install whatever it is you are going to install. Then you install the softener. If you were a professional plumber this might be a quick job, but you are not. It will take a long time, during which, you will have no water in your home.

    4) If you remove the bypass and something goes wrong with your softener, you will have to shut down water to your home to deal with it.

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    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    I prefer a high quality 3 valve bypass over the valve mounted bypasses. I only recommend using the Apollo Conbraco ball valves, full port versions. If you are going to use cheap ball valves, or gate valves, then a valve mounted bypass would be better and eliminate the 3 valve bypass.

    That being said, a good quality 3 valve bypass is much more expensive, time consuming, and for the most part overkill. It is the way we always do commercial units, the majority of residential units use the valve mounted bypass.

    Some valve mounted bypasses are very poor quality and should not be used. The old Eria and Autotrol "Pushrod" bypasses were terrible and would break when they were used. Many of the big box stores low end units bypasses are no good and should not be used. The Divertaflo (I think Watts owns it now) was excellent, and could re bebuilt in under 10 seconds. The Old Fleck Stainless (formerly Brass) bypasses have proven to be very reliable, and if they fail, they start to drip. They can be rebuilt for a couple dollars in a few minutes. The 7000, WS1, and Fleck plastic bypasses have proven to be long lasting, high quality bypasses that are all easily repairable and long lasting.

    Hope this helps.

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    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info! Definitely helps. I have been pricing out the parts and it will probably cost me around $100-150 to rebuild the bypass with decent parts. A good chunk of that is soldering equipment (I have none). On top of that, it will take some time for me to learn how to solder and be comfortable enough to solder the valve together.

    So NOT using the bypass would save a ton of time and money. Appreciate the help!

  9. #9
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Yes you can easily remove the softener from the factory by pass valve.
    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.

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    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    Oh, wow. That makes my life incredibly easy. Do you trust these push connectors in lieu of solder?

    Also, just once more to make absolutely sure: if something happens to the softener, and I dont have a separate bypass on the wall, and I have to repair it, i can just engage the bypass, have my water continue to run but be unsoftened, and repair the softener? You are awesome Gary. :P

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    DIY Junior Member Gilley7997's Avatar
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    If you want a good picture of what the bypasses look like take a look in this post. http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...l=1#post374581 These are for the 7000's I just installed over the weekend. I also have the 3 valve bypass installed, but that was just for piece of mind, and yes the units are are easy to take of the push connectors. I will honestly say that we did cut one of the O-Rings when we tried to slide the 90 degree fittings into the head. But that was mainly our own fault and us being lazy and not initially wanting to cut the extra 1/4" off one of the copper pipes that was just a hair to long. We eventually pulled the pipe out and trimmed it and it's now very easy to get the units on and off, after replacing the .39 cent O-ring. I actually really like the easy on and off feature of the units. I guess back to the original question, we did use full port valves and, no we didn't buy ball valves mainly because the hardware store didn't have any 3/4" Ball Valves, so we went with the gate valves instead. Here's hoping I never really have to use them.
    Last edited by Gilley7997; 03-25-2013 at 09:03 PM.

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