1-1/4" PEX, is a DIY install possible?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by hoffmand, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. hoffmand

    hoffmand New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Our new home has a softener loop in the garage with 1-1/4" PEX. I was planning on installing a softener myself with Sharkbite (or similar) fittings, but as far as I can tell, they only go up to 1".

    I can't seem to find any other options other than the tool-based systems and that is tough to justify for only two fittings. Are there any other options or am I better off just paying a plumber for this job?

    Thanks,
    Dave
  2. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    Have the plumber install to female or male nipples off the 1 1/4 pex tee.. if the nipples be either male or female then you can reduce down to the size that you will need to get to the softener bypass.

    There are 2 different ways of using the pex, crimp or exspand... I have the exspand set up....
  3. hoffmand

    hoffmand New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Thanks, I will call around to get rates from a local plumber. Any recommendations on what size the MPT fittings should be? Seems like 1" is more standard but I want to check since I'm coming off of 1-1/4".
  4. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    If he does 1 1/4 FPT and your system is 3/4" then use a bushing from 1 1/4 to 3/4 then a nipple and then flex to the softener bypass...
    or
    If he does 1 1/4 FPT and your system is 1" then use a bushing from 1 1/4 to 1 then a nipple and then flex to the softener bypass...

    Either way you win....
  5. mattbee24

    mattbee24 In the Trades

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Fremont, OH
    Are you sure what you have is 1-1/4" pex? That's kind of an odd thing to run in a residential setting.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I question 1.25" PEX too, never heard of it before. You sure you aren't measuring the OD? PEX, CPVC and copper are all CTS (copper tubing size) which maintains the OD and the ID varies by the pressure rating. So the ID is less than the common name for the tubing, like 3/4" (7/8" OD) or 1" (1 1/8" OD) etc.. The hole is smaller than the 3/4" or 1" name.

    And Peter should be here any minute saying AKpsdvan shouldn't be proposing reduction of the ID of the pipe because code says not to reduce the 1.25" ID to make the connections.
  7. hoffmand

    hoffmand New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    It's a black plastic pipe and the fittings say 1-1/4. Let me know if I've got it wrong.

    [​IMG]
  8. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    You have it right..

    Now the choice... there are few to no 1 1/4 valves out there... either going to 1 1/2 or down to 1" will be the real choices that you have..

    One thing that you might wish to look up is the head loss for 1 1/4 and 1 and see if there is a great difference....

    most of the books that have any kind of table do not go below 10gpm on 1 1/4 pipe.....
  9. hoffmand

    hoffmand New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    We have 4 full bathrooms so maybe the builder sized up to accomodate multiple showers running at once?

    Edit - During my research tonight I came across a site offering a 1.25" "high flow" Clack unit. If I'm not supposed to reduce my water line should I be looking at something like this vs a regular WS1?
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    That's my guess to, an over sized main line but, PEX has a smaller ID than copper and CPVC so you may have an ID closer to 1" than 1.25".

    Depending on the size of the softener, you probably don't need a 1.25" control valve but, you can get 1.25" plumbing connectors for a 1" control valve.
  11. hoffmand

    hoffmand New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Gary- Our city-supplied water is not very hard (10 gpg) and with 5 people your calculator recommends a 1.5 cf, 24,000 grain system. Would a 1" system be appropriate?
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
  12. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    Flow rate?

    1.5 cubic would be more in line with 33000 grains at 9lbs and clean about every 10 days with your hardness and number of people.

    1" valve Bypass and Valve Fleck or Clack would be able to handle peak flow of 17 gpm with 25psi loss..

    Look for one with a Digital meter... so that you can set for both gallons and 9 day over ride..
  13. hoffmand

    hoffmand New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Peak or average flow rate? (sorry, still learning....)
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You aren't reading that right. Every softener has an adjustable K of capacity. The K of capacity is controlled by the number of lbs of salt used per regeneration, which is adjustable.

    The calculator gives you the minimum cuft of resin and the K of capacity required and then you set the salt dose to provide that K of capacity in that volume of resin. And 10 gpg hard water is all but extreme hardness.

    5*60= 300 *10= 3000 * 8 = 24,000 and I'd round up to 25K and set the salt lbs at 8.5 lbs in a 1.5 cuft softener with regular mesh resin. That has no reserve built in and with a Clack WS-1 CS you don't need a reserve.

    You'd get a regeneration roughly every 8 days but... The constant SFR gpm of a 1.5 cuft may be too low for your 4 bathroom house and family size. I'd have to talk to you to tell you if it is.

    Yes a 1" Clack WS-1 CS valve would be fine as long as the constant SFR of the softener is correct.
  15. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    Learning curves are great....

    Average Flow the way I was tought was Gallons used in a day divided by 1440 ... so your house size family size would maybe put you at say 700gallons/1440=.46gpm.... but when one counts fixture plumbing weight that would have every thing on at the same time it might show 38gpm..

    So there is a balance that is going to be needed.. if you size to small there is going to be higher pressure loss.. if you size to big then there will be channeling or water finding the path that is easy through the system..

    Doing a search of Plumbing Fixture Weight Count will help you in finding what that peak is going to be for your house.
  16. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    How do you expect a homeowner to come up with his "flow rate"? And which "flow rate" are you talking about? As a dealer you should be doing that for your prospective customer.

    Your statement of 17 gpm @25 psi... I don't see that with the softeners with the Clack WS-1 that I have been selling for over 6 years. And I've sold them on up to 6.5 cuft softeners with many 2.5, 3 and 3.5 cuft softeners. No customer has ever mentioned a pressure loss (or flow) problem. And that includes 2 person showers with up to 6 body sprays. IMO there is something about sizing softeners that you aren't understanding correctly.
  17. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    So there is no greater pressure drop the higher the flow rate through a valve?

    The Home owner should not learn what is going on inside their house including water usage and flow rates and why there is not Great pressure at the shower on the third floor?
  18. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Because of the variations in water quality and temps, actual experience is the best way to learn but I've never heard of what you have been taught.

    Fixture unit count gets you into HUGE sizes because it's as if every faucet and water using appliance is run at the same time. No one lives like that.

    I don't agree with "a balance", I size for the peak demand gpm based on the type of fixtures etc. and how the family actually uses water based on fixture flow rates. I've been doing that for many years.
    I've never had a customer with a channeling problem or to go over the constant SFR gpm of their softener, or complaining about a pressure/flow loss.
  19. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    What ever.............

    Looks to be only one way to do things...
  20. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Did I say there wasn't a greater pressure drop, no I didn't. I said that from my experience it doesn't work the way you think it does. BTW, a correctly sized softener will not have a noticeable pressure or flow loss.

    And I don't recall selling to anyone with a third floor but, if they have a 3rd floor, they already have the pressure and flow to service it.

    Maybe in AK there are many three floor houses, but my customers tend to be in ranch or two story houses, not three story.
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