Water Softener Bypass Plug Leak

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by sasha7771, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. sasha7771

    sasha7771 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Last night I heard the sound of water spraying in my basement. There was water gushing out of a pipe up near an old water softener. I shut the water supply off and discovered that the water was not coming from a broken pipe, but a pipe where a plastic plug had shot out. The plug I believe is some type of bypass (it says push in to bypass) to the water softener. If I put the plug back in and turn the water back on, it shoots out again from the pressure of the water. If I hold the plug in place with the water running, another plug that looks just like it pops out on the other side and water comes gushing out. This plug says "push for soft water". If I put both plugs back in, and turn the water back on, it doesn't take long before it seems like the pressure just builds up and one or the other pops and and water sprays everywhere. I'm obviously going to call a plumber this morning but thought I would ask for some advice on what may be causing this.
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Let the plumber tell you the cause of the problem but the simple answer is that your softener bypass is broken, it shouldn't be doing that...but then you knew that...the plumber can see it we can't
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Calling a water treatment dealer to describe your softener control valve so he can decide what make/model you have so he could bring a new by pass valve would be a better idea than calling a plumber because the by pass valve has to be replaced. Or the softener has to be taken out of the plumbing; or it has to be replaced so you have water in the house.
  4. sasha7771

    sasha7771 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    I haven't used the water softener in years so I'm thinking my best bet will be to have someone come out and remove the softener and re-route the piping. Thank you for your replies.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,812
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    bypass

    That type of bypass unit is used by many companies, but Culligan's seem to be the one's that break most often. It is repaired with a new rod, or removal of the bypass unit.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Unless it is a brass IIRC Divert-A-Flow, all other push pull rod types are control valve make and model specific, or proprietary, unless the softener is made by Ecowater (Kenmore, Whirlpool, GE etc.). The older Autotrol push pull by pass (the 155) was the flimsiest, I've never seen a bad brass Culligan by pass.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,812
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    bypass

    The only Culligan bypass valves I have seen have had the plastic spindle and they break in the middle.
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yes all push/pull rod type by pass valves have a plastic rod. This is the first I've ever heard of any of them breaking in the middle one evening/night without any help.

    Usually the land or groove the oring fits in will have part of the side broken off from a sticking oring rolling out of the groove as you push or pull the rod. I've never seen that in any BP that Culligan used, only with Autotrol BPs.
  9. sasha7771

    sasha7771 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    It is a Culligan water softener with plastic plugs. Looking at the plugs, I couldn't visibly see anything broken on them, they just wouldn't stay in the pipe. It's now disconnected with new piping run - they didn't solder anything. They used something called Shark Bites at the joints. No leaks yet!
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Those plugs, they are two halves of a rod and it broke allowing an end to be pushed out by your water pressure, but you got it fixed and the old softener off the plumbing.
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