Major softener & pressure tank sweat issue

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by scooby074, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. scooby074

    scooby074 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    I got a major problem with tank sweat on my softener and pressure tanks. The 3/4 Pex feed pipes are sweating as well.

    This is really my first summer at this place and i need to get the issue addressed before mold and rot set in. I literally thought i had a pipe leak.. there was significant water on the floor. I was surprised to say the least.

    The house is on a slab, and the softener is in a finished laundry room.

    Tonite, i took some measurements to give an idea as to what were dealing with:

    Ambient air temperature: 19.6 C

    Inside Humidity: 45%

    Exterior Humidity:92%

    Softener tank exterior temperature: 13.6 c

    Pressure tank ext: 14 c

    And perhaps the most important temperature, the cast iron casing of the jet pump after running water for several minutes : 10.3C

    So my input water is quite cool.


    My options so far:

    1. Insulate all exposed piping and tanks.

    Not sure about this as i could have mold issues between the tanks and the insulation, especially fiberglass. And in my previous experience it wasnt 100% effective. Giving the location of the softener tank, id like it to be as dry as absolutely possible.

    2. Install a tempering valve for the whole house.

    This would be good i think, but at the cost of hot water wasted. I think the tempering valve is the best possible solution.



    A couple questions about #2:

    Is there any risk in feeding tempered water into the softener?

    Can/should i temper the water in my pressure tank?

    What valve do you recommend? What about an output thermometer so im not wasting excess hot water heating above the dew point? Any brands better than others?

    Any benefit from pipe insulation on exposed pipes in a tempered system?

    Wheres the best point to install the valve? On the "T" on the input to the pressure tank (ie: on the end of the line from the jet pump?) Or after the pressure tank before the softener? Or directly on the output of the pump?

    How effective are the valves? and how much hot water do they waste (typically)?

    Any other thing or options ive overlooked (other than dehumidifiers)?
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,989
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I wrapped all of my tanks with the type of insulation that looks a bit like bubble wrap. I used standard foam pipe insulation on all the lines.

    I have a tempering valve on the lines to the toilets to keep them from sweating.
  3. scooby074

    scooby074 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    i should add, i dont have an issue with toilets sweating. Theyre insulated.

    Im more concerned with the piping in the utility room, pressure tank, softener tank.. and particularly the 3/4 feed lines to the softener that go directly from the jet pump/pressure tank (which is inside the util room) into a bulkhead and over to the softener. I wonder how much condensation theyre dropping inside that bulkhead?

    I think i need a whole house solution as opposed to a point of use
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  4. scooby074

    scooby074 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    I went out and bought a valve, but looking at it now i dont think it will work. Its an Apollo 34-104-01 and its minimum temp is 120*F. This is far to hot for my softener so i need another option.

    What about the Honeywell Am-1. It goes down to 21*C. I figure ill set it at around 25 depending on humidity.

    Reading a bit has me concerned with Legionnaires disease? Any reason i should be worried having warm water in the cold water system? Im attaching a rough layout of my system. PLEASE advise what if any changes i should make.

    THanks. Water Mix plan.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  5. scooby074

    scooby074 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    Anybody have an opinion on the new setup? I have to do something, Im starting to get mold issues.
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,989
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    It wouldn't work without a pump. Why the checkvalve? It would make it a closed system and so also require an expansion tank.

    Run a recirc line from the HWT to a coil of soft copper wrapped around the bladder tank. Better still, just insulate the tanks and lines.
  7. scooby074

    scooby074 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    The check was to prevent all the hot water from leaving the HW tank and warming up the water in the pressure tank and pump.

    The Honeywell AM1 valve also has built in checks on the 2 inputs and output. I didnt show them on the diagram.

    Im going to insulate the softener tank today with aluminum bubble wrap and put a pan under the tank as well.


    Ill see how that works before proceeding with the tempering circuit. Why would a circ pump be required on the hot? Shouldnt it just act like a normal faucet and mix?
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,989
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Follow the circuit... The mixer relies on a pressure differential caused by flow but the HWT is downstream of the mixer. It's close to a definition of a perpetual motion machine.
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,989
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I wonder how well a drain water heat recovery system would work to exchange the heat from the drain to the well water? Their claim of 12ºC reclamation may be an optimistic "bast case" but you only need a few degrees.
    http://www.watercycles.ca/
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