Question regarding connecting a softener

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by jkats, May 10, 2013.

  1. jkats

    jkats New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    CA
    Hi guys,

    So I'm about to install a 14x65" tank. The bypass inlet/outlet are 71" high, and the inlet/outlet on my softener loop is at 48" (both horizontal). That's a difference of 23". I have a pair of falcon stainless connectors but they are way too short. A new pair of 1" connectors long enough to cover the distance will cost over $100. Is it ok to use pvc pipe/fittings to connect to the bypass connectors to extend them long enough for my water connectors to reach? Is there a better way to do this? I hate to spend an extra $100 on connectors if I don't have to.

    Thanks!
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,246
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    You should modify/extend the existing piping so that it comes to the appliance. PVC is not approved for water supply piping indoors.

    If the house is piped with copper, I would stick with copper. You could use PEX or CPVC, keeping in mind that it has a smaller I.D. than the equivalent copper pipe size.
  3. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,836
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Agreed, a little bit of copper sweating skills is all that is needed to extend your plumbing to the correct height to accomodate the Falcon Stainless Flex lines.
  4. jkats

    jkats New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    CA
    The only problem is I'm installing this for a relative and the house is a rental, so I don't want to modify the existing pipes. Do I have any other options, other than springing for the 36" falconstainless connectors at $100?
  5. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Location:
    Central Florida
    Are the existing pipes terminated with fittings of some sort, or are they just bare copper? A pro plumber with the tools might make up a pair of PEX lines with the appropriate fittings for $99.99. Or, you could make a pair of copper or PVC or CPVC pipes with the appropriate fittings for maybe $30. There's no requirement AFAIK to make a permanent set of pipes reach the softener.
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
  6. jkats

    jkats New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    CA
    The pipes are terminated with 1" female threaded adapters. I was hoping to extend the adapters on the softener side with PVC, since that would be an easy and cheap fix, but from what cacher_chick says, apparently PVC isn't up to code for indoor water. I could use CPVC, PEX, or copper, but that starts to get expensive.

    btw, what are the implications of going against code and using PVC anyways (aside from being hung by your toenails by the building code gestapo, of course)?
  7. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    I've used PVC inside in Tx and Fl and have never heard it not being approved for indoor use. I've even had to pull permits in some areas. You could call the county building department and ask if they allow it.
  8. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    From an old book...

    CPC (UPC) 604.1 Water distribution pipe, building supply water pipe and fittings shall be of brass, copper, cast iron, galvanized malleable iron, galvanized wrought iron, galvanized steel, or other approved materials. Asbestos-cement, CPVC, PE, PVC, or PEX water pipe manufactured to recognized standards may be used for cold water distribution systems outside a building. CPVC, PEX water pipe, tubing, and fittings, manufactured to recognized standards may be used for hot and cold water distribution systems within a building. All materials used in the water supply system, except valves and similar devices shall be of a like material, except where otherwise approved by the Administrative Authority.

    I've heard many different reasons for disallowing interior use. But as mialynette2003 says, check with your local building official to get the straight poop on what applies to your situation.

    Once you find out, it's neither difficult nor expensive to make up a CPVC link from your plumbing to your softener. Copper would be preferred, but it's more expensive (especially if you had to buy soldering equipment and supplies) and more diffcult, but in either case I'd be surprised if you had to spend $50.
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
  9. jkats

    jkats New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    CA
    Thanks guys - great advice! I'll see if I can find out from the county building department on monday. pvc would definitely save me some money.
  10. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I'm not sure about your market, but PVC & CPVC are about the same price here, and CPVC is an approved material in residential supply piping, hot or cold.
  11. jkats

    jkats New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    CA
    Visited a couple hardware stores today - my local home depot doesn't carry any CPVC, and lowes carries only a limited selection! Gonna try another store a little farther away tomorrow.

    Btw, I was looking at PEX as an option, but I noticed the inner diameter of 1" PEX is considerably smaller than the inner diameter of 1" copper. Since the inlet/outlet pipes are 1", I guess it wouldn't make sense to use PEX - or am I missing something? I didn't see any PEX larger than 1".
  12. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    If you buy pex, you will also have to buy the tool to install fittings on the ends.
    The I.D. of pex or cpvc will be smaller than the equivalent copper pipe size. If it is a relatively short piece you are installing, you probably won't notice any difference. Many houses have no supply piping larger than 3/4".
  13. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,836
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Water pipe size and flows meet certain specifications. A 1" Pex pipe is smaller inernally than 1" copper, but both are rated for very similar flows. Copper is rated for 8 feet per second with cold watr, Pex is rated for 12 Feet per second flows. All things being equal, it becomes more of a code/technical issue rather than an actual restriction or flow loss concern.
    Hope this helps.
  14. jkats

    jkats New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    CA
    Well, I called the county building dept. (ventura county in socal) and was told no pvc indoors. Believe it or not, none of my local hardware stores sell cpvc (only lowes has a very limited selection). At this point, I'm thinking of going PEX. Not the cheapest since I'll have to spring for the tool, but I'll consider it an investment for future use. Will let you all know how it turns out!
  15. amateurplumber1

    amateurplumber1 Member

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Here
    Just rent the tool.
  16. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    California has a long history of being unfriendly to CPVC (see, e.g., http://www.calpipes.org/ProtectingCalifornians_CPVC.asp), so retail stores are apparently continuing that tradition. You might try a "real" plumbing supply store. If you do buy the tool, you're probably past the magic $100/Falcon mark, but PEX has the added advantage of flexibility..
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