Draining a Water Softener

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by batman71, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. batman71

    batman71 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Ohio
    I need to move a softener to another house and want it as light as possible. Is it OK to drain the water by merely laying the softener on it's side? I assume that the resin would just settle back to where it needs to be after I set it upright again??

    If above is not OK, what is the simplest wayt to drain the water from the resin tank?

    Thanks,
    Batman
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,987
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Not all softeners have a top basket so resin could get up into the head if you try that. I would leave it upright and apply air pressure to the inlet. Assuming it is not one of the reverse flowing type, that should push the water down through the bottom basket and up the tube. You could also put a wet/dry vac on the outlet.
  3. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    If you can do as advised by LLigetfa, spin the valve off the tank. Slowly tilt the tank toward to ground. With the water flowing slowly out of the tank, resin will stay settled and you will not lose any.
  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,836
    Location:
    Ontario California
    If you remove the valve, you will see a tube in the middle. Put a small tube down it to the bottom and siphon the water out.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Suction on the outlet probably wouldn't get much water out.

    I used to leave the valve and the by pass valve in the service position. I leaned the tank over very slowly to pour water out the outlet until I had the top of the tank about 2' off the floor and I'd stand the tank up and shake it so the resin would fall back down in the tank if it had moved at all, then I'd slowly pour until the top of the tank was like 6" off the floor and quit by standing it up and shaking it again. That leaves some water in the tank so the resin can't dry out (which ruins resin) and yet makes the tank much lighter. Then I never laid a tank down flat on its side and loaded the tank on about a 45 deg angle or sideways in the vehicle so accelerating or stopping couldn't cause sloshing and get resin up in the valve. And I put the by pass valve in by pass so water wouldn't evaporate (or spill accidentally) in case the unit wasn't installed for months.

    Removing the control valve usually raises the distributor tube and unless you don't have a gravel underbed, you can't get it back in correctly with out laying the tank down and getting the resin to lay flat in the tank to expose the dimple in the bottom of the tank so you can get the pointy end of the bottom basket in it and hold it there while standing the tank up again and shaking it so the resin falls down to hold the distributor tube in place. If you don't do that you tun a high risk of breaking the DT or having it break later because it would be under stress if not placed properly.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,250
    Location:
    IL
    Suppose the tank was in the service position. Then gentle compressed air would be applied to the water input port. Water comes out the output port. When a selected amount has come out, pressure is removed. Tank stays upright. tube stays in place.

    Alternate idea: remove the water with a wet-dry vacuum cleaner sucking on the output port. http://www.shopvac.com/specifications/quiet_series.asp says they can suck up over 50 inches. "Sealed Pressure(in inches)" spec is about 55 inches at stall.

    Idea 3: Adapt sturdy flex tubing to a fitting screwed into the output port. Use a wet vacuum cleaner to get the tube filled with water, and set the opening of the tube at the level you want the water to drop to. Hold with tape, clamp, whatever. When you are down to the right level, the siphon stops. Lung power might even be sufficient to start the siphon.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
  7. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,836
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Be careful using a vacuum on a tank. See picture for explanation of why. :)

    vacuum effect.jpg
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,987
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    You guys sure do like to take things out of context... Maybe you missed the word also. A constant air pressure applied and a wet/dry vac to suck up what comes out would not collapse a tank.
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,250
    Location:
    IL
    I somehow missed your post. I am prone to that. Sorry.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
  10. batman71

    batman71 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Ohio
    I thank you guys for the pointers!
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Here is all of what you said. "Not all softeners have a top basket so resin could get up into the head if you try that. I would leave it upright and apply air pressure to the inlet. Assuming it is not one of the reverse flowing type, that should push the water down through the bottom basket and up the tube. You could also put a wet/dry vac on the outlet.".

    I read that as either or, not as in addition to the suction.
  12. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,174
    Location:
    Maine
    we winterize a bunch of them and we use a compressor and just enough air on the inlet to blow the water out.
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Then tell him how you do it.
  14. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,836
    Location:
    Ontario California
    I read it wrong too. Tanks and negative pressure is not a good idea. Your idea of a little air pressure on the inlet is great and will evacuate a tank of water quickly. I was also looking for an excuse to post that picture. here is another picture of what negative pressure does to a tank.

    DSC_1051.jpg
  15. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    It's amazing how those tanks can hold pressure up to 125 psi but collaspe with as little as 5 psi vacuum.
  16. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,987
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Wow! I'da never thunk so many would interpret it as either/or.

    I guess the OP could have taken it the wrong way also. :eek:
  17. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,987
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
  18. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Wow! indeed. How thick are the sidewalls in those tanks?
  19. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You had this "Assuming it is not one of the reverse flowing type, that should push the water down through the bottom basket and up the tube." between the air part sentence and the vac sentence.
  20. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,987
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Classic mistake in writing 101... know your audience.

    I do technical writing in my field and need to be reminded of that from time to time.
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