Softener Outside

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Oros95, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Oros95

    Oros95 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Florida
    I have a Clack softener installed outside. I live in a part of Florida where it can be below freezing overnight for several hours. The spec for the Clack controller does not allow for an operating temperature below freezing. Is this something to be concerned about? What can I do? Also, should I protect it from rain? Everybody around here has them outside exposed.
  2. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    I would build an enclosure around it with a lightbulb to give off some heat if it gets below freezing. I have seen all sorts of exposed plumbing equipment in Florida from pumps to water heaters. I suspect the manufacturers would hesitate to warranty these things if they knew they were left outside in the rain and hot sun.
  3. zl700

    zl700 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    237
    Location:
    Texas
    It depends on the softener. Many are designed to go outside, check the model of the head it should have a NEMA rating of 3 or 4.

    NEMA 3 – Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed equipment; to provide a degree of protection against falling dirt, rain, sleet, snow, and windblown dust; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.
    NEMA 4 – Includes all the above plus hose directed water spray protection on unit.

    Regarding the freezing this year and it was the coldest in a long time, about 5 nights this week I left the kitchen sink running at a trickle to prevent freezeup overnight.
  4. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    A NEMA rating will not keep the head from freezing and cracking.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Has it been damaged or is it working alright?

    If you don't know if it is OK, use it for awhile and see.

    If it is OK, keep doing what you have been doing to protect it from freezing.

    If it isn't OK, you need to cover it up with like a tent using a good blanket or tarp etc..

    Or build a building over it and heat it in some way.

    Or, disconnect it from the plumbing and take the resin tank and control valve inside.

    Then remember to uncover it, turn off the light in the building and vent the building so it doesn't get too hot in there, take it back outside and reconnect it etc. etc. and listen for future freeze warnings.

    BTW, the Clack has UV protection but the tanks don't. And you can get an outdoor cover if you want to.
  6. Oros95

    Oros95 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks for everyone's input. Yes, it is currently working. I don't have much experience with it and I just thought it was odd to have something outside like that exposed to rain and the occasional freeze.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Softeners are commonly installed outside from SC to FL to CA. So are jet well pumps, pressure tanks and the water lines to/from them until they go underground. Most of that stuff is not covered or protected from rain. You're from FL and don't know that, take a ride out of town and look in side and back yards.
  8. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    I have seen washers and dryers outside.
  9. Skip Wolverton

    Skip Wolverton In the Trades

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Ocala, Fl
    Any water using applicance that is installed outside is subject to freezing. As stated, put a cover over it with a 40 watt bulb and you should be fine.
  10. zl700

    zl700 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    237
    Location:
    Texas
    My Fleck head unit with NEMA 3 head, survived 5 nights of 20 degrees, again a trickle at sink kept it from freezing
    The brine tank wont freeze unless it's really cold, its filled with salt
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
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