Softener backflow question?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by chargedmr2, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. chargedmr2

    chargedmr2 New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    TX
    Quick question about they way I plumbed my softener:

    The main line that feeds the softener tees off to an outside water faucet (just a few feet before reaching the softener) so that I don't get softened water through my outdoor hose. When I run the hose, the meter on the water softener indicates flow for about the first 5 or 6 seconds of the hose running and a couple of seconds when I turn it off. This seems to indicate that some of the pressure in the media tank escapes back through the valve and down the feed line when the hose is turned on as things equalize. Do I need a check valve on the main line just after it tees off to the hose to prevent this? Or is this no big deal?

    Thanks for your help.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,348
    Location:
    New England
    Are you on a well? Depending on the pressure differentials, I could envision some backflow. Now, not sure if that would be a problem with the softener. With a well system, additional checkvalves tend to create other problems.
  3. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    Since both the sillcock and the softener are on the "potable" water system, no you don't need a BFP or a check valve.
  4. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,496
    Location:
    Alaska
    Is there any iron in the water?
    If there is water flowing backwards through the softener, there might be some challenges as the backward flow is unpacking the resin bed and then when the water flows the correct way there could be some untreated water getting through...
    So if you have had this going on for some time and have not seen any problems......... let it be, but if you have seen some challenges from time to time then you may wish to put in some kind of backflow/check valve between hose and softener so that does not happen.
  5. chargedmr2

    chargedmr2 New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    TX
    Thanks for the replies. We are on city water so there is no iron to worry about. I don't want hard water leaking through so maybe I will consider a check valve. As is, however, we only use the hose infrequently so this won't be a common problem.
  6. big dripper

    big dripper New Member

    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Ohio
    Sorry, I misread the original post and thought you were talking about a backwashing system.
    Whenever you replace the housing---only---hand tighten it. Many make the mistake and apply the wrench and bind it down tightly, but have a tremendous time getting it off.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,348
    Location:
    New England
    If you DO install a checkvalve, keep in mind that that will make the system a 'closed' system and you will have to install an expansion tank ,if one doesn't already exist. if you don't, when the water heater gets emptied and needs to heat a fair amount of water, when it expands, it will pop the T&P valve, and you'll have water on the floor. The expansion tank can go anywhere on the cold side before the WH, and should be after any shutoff to it so it can't be isolated inadvertently.
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