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Thread: I have no idea what's going on with my piping.

  1. #16
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    You showed a pic of the mainline correct? Turn it off and drain all the water from your plumbing. Open all 3 gate valve to insure there is no water then close all of them. Open the main and then open the gate valve to the left. If there is water but no pressure, the crossover gate valve is not holding. Close and open the valve to the right. If you have no water, that is not a proper bypass for a softener. If you have water under pressure, check all faucets to see which have water under pressure.

  2. #17
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amateurplumber1 View Post
    Question: even if I was using the softeners bypass, I would still have to have a bypass in the main line so that the hard and soft water don't mix, right?
    No. In the usual installation, the water comes into the house from the source -- city or well. Then there is often a tee to allow unconditioned water to be routed to hose bibs and other fixtures not requiring conditioned water. Then would come the softener bypass, then on to the fixtures requiring conditioned water. Draw a picture; it will make sense.

  3. #18
    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    No. In the usual installation, the water comes into the house from the source -- city or well. Then there is often a tee to allow unconditioned water to be routed to hose bibs and other fixtures not requiring conditioned water. Then would come the softener bypass, then on to the fixtures requiring conditioned water. Draw a picture; it will make sense.
    Here's a pic:

    http://imgur.com/QwjDo36

    Pink is the softeners bypass, blue is the softener, red is pipes, black is mainline. Where the arrow is pointing...if there's no bypass valve there, wouldnt the incoming hard water mix with the softened water thats coming out of the softener?

  4. #19
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Correct, but usually there's no pipe there at all, if you're going to depend wholely on the softener bypass -- the incoming water goes directly to the softener bypass inlet port, and the outlet port goes directly to the supply line to the house. If you want to be able to remove the softener entirely, or not use a softener bypass, then plumb in the 3 valves to create your own bypass. I suppose you could put a valve in there where your picture's arrow is pointing, to blend softened and unsoftened water, perhaps, but it doesn't make much sense.
    Last edited by Mikey; 04-09-2013 at 05:06 AM.

  5. #20
    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    A simple yet concise explanation from Mikey yet again! Thanks sir. Lets say you have that center pipe missing like you said most people do when they use a softener bypass...what happens if the softener messes up and you have to repair it? Do you just repair it where it's at and the softener bypass stays there?

  6. #21
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Basically, yes. I have Fleck valves on my tanks, all with bypasses. To rebed a filter or work on the valve, I turn off the main water valve and relieve system water pressure, then put the valve in bypass. At this point there's no pressure in the tank, so I can separate the valve from the bypass module and do whatever I need to do with it. Normally, I don't want any water to be used at all with a tank out of the system (for example, with the GAC tank out, there's a nasty chlorine taste and smell, and it doesn't do the softener media any good), but I can get along without softened water if need be, so if I'm working on the softener, I can turn system water back on while I'm working on the valve. I have a spare tank, so if I'm just rebedding one, I can have the old tank out and the rebedded tank in in about 10 minutes.

  7. #22
    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    So it is looking like the bypass valve is just broken. I shut it off, but there was full pressure at both the right and left sides. Arghhhh...

  8. #23
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    LOL, that is why I stopped using gate valves 20 years ago. It is also another reason that the valve mounted bypasses are preferred to 3 valve designs in smaller application. The valve mounted bypass is very cheap and easy to repair/replace if it is ever needed in the future.

  9. #24
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amateurplumber1 View Post
    So it is looking like the bypass valve is just broken. I shut it off, but there was full pressure at both the right and left sides. Arghhhh...
    Any mixer-type faucets on while you tested?

  10. #25
    DIY Senior Member amateurplumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    Any mixer-type faucets on while you tested?
    I've tested that once. Did not affect the faucets at all. Neither cold nor hot, or mixed.

  11. #26
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Did you ever make that system diagram I recommended in #11?

  12. #27
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amateurplumber1 View Post
    So it is looking like the bypass valve is just broken. I shut it off, but there was full pressure at both the right and left sides. Arghhhh...
    You didn't know that opening a valve without shutting off the water before that valve that you'd get full pressure flow!!

    Gate valves are a very bad choice for a valve that is left in one position for a long time. Usually they break off the stem that is connected to the 'gate' as you try to open or close the valve; or the gate won't go all the way closed which causes a leak that usually can only be fixed by replacing the 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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