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Thread: Where to drain water softener?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member word2yamutha's Avatar
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    Default Where to drain water softener?

    The closest drain in the basement is about 15' away. Is it ok to tie the WS drain into a bathtub drain pipe? I was thinking 1/2" PVC for the job. I would only be going 4 ft up and 6 ft to that drain line. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks
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    Last edited by word2yamutha; 09-28-2013 at 10:09 AM.

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    You need an air gap and a trap to tie into a sewer.

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    DIY Junior Member word2yamutha's Avatar
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    Well I was trying to go for a clean looking install. So I guess my only bet is to use a drain hose?

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Plumbing code requires a true break between the softener drain and the sewer pipe. It must be no less than 1", or twice the diameter of the drain pipe. Check out this link for some great information. http://airgap.com/



    You will want a p-trap too.

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    DIY Junior Member word2yamutha's Avatar
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    Dumb question, but how do you tell where the sewer drain is located? The only drain I have is located next to the water heater. Would this be it?

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    The pic you posted is a drain that goes to the sewer.

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    DIY Junior Member word2yamutha's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention that the water softener I have is the Kenmore 300 series softener. Well I think I get the idea here. Im running 5/8 tubing to the gap-cap, which is connected to the p-trap. P-trap is installed to the bathtub drain via a pvc y connector. Silly question here, but will the water softener have enough pressure to move the water to the sewer line? Would it be a better idea to use a rigid PVC line instead of the flexible tubing?

    How much water accumulates from the overflow drain? I wont get any sort of water backup if the water softener and the bathtub are draining at the same time?

  8. #8
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Your water pressure is the power behind the drain line flow. With a big box brand softener, you can go up like 5'+ without causing a problem. The salt tank over flow is gravity/no water pressure so the line has to go downhill to drain excess water out of the tank. Most people do not have a drain line on the salt tank because of that and not having a floor drain. I suggest checking the water level in the salt tank weekly so you catch a problem before salt water floods the floor.

    Most softeners use 1/2" ID (5/8" OD) opaque semiflexible poly tubng for the drain line and salt tank overflow line.
    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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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Your water pressure is the power behind the drain line flow...
    Up until it reaches the air gap. From that point on, inertia and gravity take over. It is possible that the softener drain combined with the tub draining, could overwhelm the sewer drain causing a backflow out the air gap.

    Install the air gap and P-trap as close as possible to the stack and as far away as possible from the tub. Don't drain the tub when the softener is doing a backwash/rinse.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member word2yamutha's Avatar
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    Sorry Im a little new at this but what is the "stack?"
    Last edited by word2yamutha; 09-29-2013 at 12:33 PM.

  11. #11
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    The stack is where the drain goes vertical.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Up until it reaches the air gap. From that point on, inertia and gravity take over. It is possible that the softener drain combined with the tub draining, could overwhelm the sewer drain causing a backflow out the air gap.
    Actually the water pressure causes open discharge water flow into and through the air gap. And the only way the tub water would backflow out the air gap is if the water level in the tub was higher than the air gap.

    And he can connect to the tub or other drain lines anywhere, he doesn't have to get as close to the "stack" as he can. He just needs to keep the air gap above the water overflow height of the fixture he is connecting his trap to. And that can be done by the height of his standpipe up from the trap to the air gap.


    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Install the air gap and P-trap as close as possible to the stack and as far away as possible from the tub. Don't drain the tub when the softener is doing a backwash/rinse.
    His air gap, standpipe and trap are all a much larger ID that the 1/2" water flow of his drain line and, if he does as I said above he won't have tub water overflowing during a regeneration of the softener.
    Last edited by Gary Slusser; 09-29-2013 at 03:36 PM.
    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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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    And the only way the tub water would backflow out the air gap is if the water level in the tub was higher than the air gap.

    And he can connect to the tub or other drain lines anywhere, he doesn't have to get as close to the "stack" as he can. He just needs to keep the air gap above the water overflow height of the fixture he is connecting his trap to. And that can be done by the height of his standpipe up from the trap to the air gap...
    If you look at the picture, the tub is upstairs and the drain goes down through the floor so the water in the tub would be higher than the air gap that he wants to install in the basement.

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    His air gap, standpipe and trap are all a much larger ID that the 1/2" water flow of his drain line and, if he does as I said above he won't have tub water overflowing during a regeneration of the softener.
    You have to factor that the water coming out of that 1/2" line is under pressure. The water coming out of my showerhead is also from a 1/2" line but code says that my shower drain has to be 2".

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    DIY Junior Member word2yamutha's Avatar
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    So in the picture both of those drains are from my bathtub/shower combo. Is it normal to have 2 separate drains for this?

    Well I thought about changing my mind and adding it closer to the stack. The circled red part is where I would make my cut and install an adapter from a 3" to 1.5". What do you guys think? Also, what should I use to hang the 1/2" poly-tubing with along the floor joist?
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    Last edited by word2yamutha; 09-30-2013 at 04:54 AM.

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