Where to drain water softener?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by word2yamutha, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. word2yamutha

    word2yamutha New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Missouri
    The closest drain in the basement is about 15' away. Is it ok to tie the WS drain into a bathtub drain pipe? I was thinking 1/2" PVC for the job. I would only be going 4 ft up and 6 ft to that drain line. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    You need an air gap and a trap to tie into a sewer.
  3. word2yamutha

    word2yamutha New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Missouri
    Well I was trying to go for a clean looking install. So I guess my only bet is to use a drain hose?
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,156
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Plumbing code requires a true break between the softener drain and the sewer pipe. It must be no less than 1", or twice the diameter of the drain pipe. Check out this link for some great information. http://airgap.com/

    [​IMG]

    You will want a p-trap too.
  5. word2yamutha

    word2yamutha New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Missouri
    Dumb question, but how do you tell where the sewer drain is located? The only drain I have is located next to the water heater. Would this be it?
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The pic you posted is a drain that goes to the sewer.
  7. word2yamutha

    word2yamutha New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Missouri
    I forgot to mention that the water softener I have is the Kenmore 300 series softener. Well I think I get the idea here. Im running 5/8 tubing to the gap-cap, which is connected to the p-trap. P-trap is installed to the bathtub drain via a pvc y connector. Silly question here, but will the water softener have enough pressure to move the water to the sewer line? Would it be a better idea to use a rigid PVC line instead of the flexible tubing?

    How much water accumulates from the overflow drain? I wont get any sort of water backup if the water softener and the bathtub are draining at the same time?
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Your water pressure is the power behind the drain line flow. With a big box brand softener, you can go up like 5'+ without causing a problem. The salt tank over flow is gravity/no water pressure so the line has to go downhill to drain excess water out of the tank. Most people do not have a drain line on the salt tank because of that and not having a floor drain. I suggest checking the water level in the salt tank weekly so you catch a problem before salt water floods the floor.

    Most softeners use 1/2" ID (5/8" OD) opaque semiflexible poly tubng for the drain line and salt tank overflow line.
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Up until it reaches the air gap. From that point on, inertia and gravity take over. It is possible that the softener drain combined with the tub draining, could overwhelm the sewer drain causing a backflow out the air gap.

    Install the air gap and P-trap as close as possible to the stack and as far away as possible from the tub. Don't drain the tub when the softener is doing a backwash/rinse.
  10. word2yamutha

    word2yamutha New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Missouri
    Sorry Im a little new at this but what is the "stack?"
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The stack is where the drain goes vertical.
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Actually the water pressure causes open discharge water flow into and through the air gap. And the only way the tub water would backflow out the air gap is if the water level in the tub was higher than the air gap.

    And he can connect to the tub or other drain lines anywhere, he doesn't have to get as close to the "stack" as he can. He just needs to keep the air gap above the water overflow height of the fixture he is connecting his trap to. And that can be done by the height of his standpipe up from the trap to the air gap.


    His air gap, standpipe and trap are all a much larger ID that the 1/2" water flow of his drain line and, if he does as I said above he won't have tub water overflowing during a regeneration of the softener.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    If you look at the picture, the tub is upstairs and the drain goes down through the floor so the water in the tub would be higher than the air gap that he wants to install in the basement.
  14. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    You have to factor that the water coming out of that 1/2" line is under pressure. The water coming out of my showerhead is also from a 1/2" line but code says that my shower drain has to be 2".
  15. word2yamutha

    word2yamutha New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Missouri
    So in the picture both of those drains are from my bathtub/shower combo. Is it normal to have 2 separate drains for this?

    Well I thought about changing my mind and adding it closer to the stack. The circled red part is where I would make my cut and install an adapter from a 3" to 1.5". What do you guys think? Also, what should I use to hang the 1/2" poly-tubing with along the floor joist?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  16. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,080
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    One is the drain and the other is the vent.
  17. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yes and I and my DIYer customers have installed a few thousand drain lines as I described without the problem you mention possibly happening. He said he'd use a Y for the trap connection to that drain line.

    The only way your problem can happen is IF there is a blockage past his trap connection to that drain line. And then only/maybe IF the tub is drained while the softener is in backwash or rinse at 2-3:00 AM.
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