No drain near softener - looking for idaes

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Tater, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. Tater

    Tater New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Algonquin, IL
    Hi Guys,

    I've been trying to come up with a plan for weeks. I checked some other threads here with similar issues but I couldn't find anything definitive for my situation.

    Background:
    I'm in a Chicago suburb, two story townhouse built on a slab. The water main is in a storage space under the stairway which butts up to the neighbor's house and there is no drain in that area.

    Two options I'm considering so far are:

    1) Putting a softener in the 1st floor space under the stairs (where the main comes up through the slab) and pumping the discharge up a 9' exposed wall in the storage space. The line would have to run straight across in a joist space another 15 ft. and then up 2' more into the laundry room drain. The Liberty Pumps I've looked at seem to handle the flow and pressure needed to pump the discharge up and across. The problem is the output of the pump would have to be 1" 1/4 minimum which would be tricky to run. Also, the pump has a 2 year warranty no warning alarm in case the pump fails. This would flood my and some neighbors homes.

    2) Run the two copper lines up the wall and across up into the laundry room. Space is very limited and I would have to build a rack (likely out of 1 "5/8 uni-strut) and suspend the softener from the ceiling and above the dryer.

    I'd love to hear any other ideas or suggestions.

    Thanks

    Edit: I can't change the spelling error in the thread title
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2010
  2. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    What is the total vertical distance and the total length of the run to the drain?
  3. Tater

    Tater New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Algonquin, IL
    Total vertical would be 12' and the entire run would 30'-35'.
  4. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,484
    Location:
    Alaska
    One should not go more than 8' higher than the discharge point of the softener..
    Run is a bit different... I have done 40-50' from level start to going down to drain point...

    If the softener discharge is 4' off the floor, and then say 4' to go through the floor and then 4' up to the laundry drain point... that is close.... but should work... if you put the softener on some kind of plat form say 2' that would close the gap....
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    With a Clack or Fleck control valve, from the drain line fitting on the control valve that the drain line attaches to, you can go up 6-7 feet and then sideways 30-40' and farther if you come back down some. You can increase the drain line ID to 3/4" or increase the DLFC in the control valve, or do both, to go up higher or farther sideways. So it depends on the size of the softener as to how high the drain line fitting will be. If you have a 1.5' or larger softener than 2' unit that drain line fitting will be about 5' off the floor, so a 9' ceiling and 2-3' more should be fine as long as you use one piece of regular PE tubing drain line instead of pipe/tubing and elbows.
  6. Tater

    Tater New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Algonquin, IL
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You don't need a pump, your main waterline pressure moves the water through the drain line.

    You don't need to raise the control valve either.

    You do need to run the right type and size drain line or increase the gpm rating of the DLFC (drain line flow control) button slightly.

    You do not want any restriction to the flow through a drain line, it is already flow controlled and restricting it will prevent proper backwashing and brining which all leads to resin failure.
  8. Tater

    Tater New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Algonquin, IL
    Oh my gosh, I'm embassed I didn't even think about the water main pressure being strong enough to push the water up 9'. What's odd is that no one I talk to (Culligan, Home Depot) even mentioned this.

    I have zero plumbing experience but just so I'm clear about this:
    The output from the water softener would have the same pressure as the main going in? And this would push the discharge up 9' and 15'-20' across?
    I would not need anything in the vertical section that would prevent water from pushing back into the softener?
    Would pex tubing work for the discharge line?

    Thanks for the help so far, I just want to be suree I understand. Some of the terms used are new to me.
  9. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,484
    Location:
    Alaska
    When you use the up 9', that 9 is from where? from the floor? or from the discharge point of the softener?
  10. Tater

    Tater New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Algonquin, IL
    I don't have a specific softener picked out yet. The ceilings are 9' plus the space betwwen the joists to get up through the floor into the laundry room. I was kind of guessing that the height of the discharge would make up for the difference of the joist space.
  11. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    If the run was shorter, pex would be ok, though a bit pricey for the application. Size is also an issue as even though pex comes in big diameters, 3/4" is about the maximum that a homeowner can handle. Better off with pvc. Its lots cheaper and easy to run.
  12. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,484
    Location:
    Alaska
    If the softener that you get has its discharge point 5' off the floor, then about 4' to the floor and another 4' from floor to the washer drain box.. 3/4 pvc would work great...
    You should put a check valve in that drain line just after it leaves the softener so that if for some reason you need to remove the softener the water in the drain does not come out, or if there is a back up in the washer box drain it will not go into the softener..
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Water pressure pushes water up to second floor showers, sinks, tubs etc. all the time. Culligan guys know this but probably not big box store guys.

    At your max flow rate there will be only a few lbs of pressure lost across a correctly sized softener. And the main line water pressure will push the water through a properly constructed drain line as I mentioned before. PVC unless 3/4" is not a good choice, the same for CPVC or copper. Use regular PE drain line tubing or 3/4" PEX if it will bend OK without elbows.

    I say no check valve in the drain line. They require a number of lbs of pressure to just open one plus the pressure loss through them. So do not reduce the gpm flow through the drain line. If you need to remove the drain line fitting, remove the fitting without taking the drain line off it and let the water in the drain line flow into a bucket that you hold up under it as you take it off the control valve.

    There is a brine valve in all Clack and Fleck softener control valves (you should buy a Clack WS-1 CS version) and you can't push water back through that valve unless you depressurize the softener AND open that valve by hand or operating the control valve into the backwash, brine draw or rinse.

    You said the space has a 9' ceiling, that is usually measured from the floor. So the connection on the control valve of the softener will be about 60" (5') off the floor, so the ceiling is 4" higher, plus the joist area and the 2-3' up to the drain you want to use.
  14. Tater

    Tater New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Algonquin, IL
    I priced some pex and it would be more expensive, but depending on how flexible 3/4 is it might mean the difference between not having to cut drywall in the ceiling.
  15. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    3/4 PE is very flexible also and a lot less money than pex. I'm not trying to talk you out of pex because I don't like it though, just because of the expense and the special tools needed.
  16. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,484
    Location:
    Alaska
    Finished Basement?

    It can be a little tricky ... I my self would find a spot in the floor of the laundry room say the corner behind the washer and drill down, take it very slow, first through the floor, make sure that there are no wires ,, pipe... and then go through the next layer... then all that you have to do is run a straight 3/4 up through the hole that you made..

    Then do elbows needed to make the run to the drain and the softener.
  17. Tater

    Tater New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Algonquin, IL
    Hi guys,

    I think I'm not understanding this correctly or I'm confused by the terminology. The house is on a slab and the water main comes up through the slab (no basement), there's a shut-off valve then it goes right back down into the slab and then who knows where. What I need to run up the wall and across into a 2nd floor laundry room is the salty/waste water, there is no drain near by on the first floor. Is this pressure equal to the water main pressure?
  18. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,484
    Location:
    Alaska
    If there is a faucet on the first floor or main floor and it has 50psi, then any faucet on the second floor should have the same 50psi...

    The two rooms in question are not right over each other?

    Where is comes up through the floor ,, that is for the shut off valve, then it goes back down to go to the different faucets on the first floor and then some place it goes up to the second floor..

    The drain line will have the city water pressure coming out, be it 50psi or 60psi..
  19. Tater

    Tater New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Algonquin, IL
    2 story townhouse, sits on a slab. The water main comes up through the slab and then goes right back down again. I would need to cut into that for the water softener. There is no drain there so whatever waste/salt water normally needs to drain out of a water softener is what I need to get upstairs to the laundry room drain.
  20. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,484
    Location:
    Alaska
    No laundry tub on the first floor?
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