Chemical Injection Tee

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gsmith22

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Background: have low pH well water (~6.5) with an anion ion exchange (for uranium; lowers pH further) and I am installing a soda ash injection system to bring the pH back up after water treatment. Using a Stenner pump drawing from a chemical tank and injecting into the water line.

Problem: I can't seem to figure out what type of plumbing tee I should be using to install the pump injector into. I don't want to use copper (due to the low pH at injection point); CPVC and Pex are the only other building code allowed water supply piping. CPVC isn't big in my area and I can't find any pipe/fittings; Pex has pretty much taken over plumbing but I'll be damned if I can find a Pex tee fitting like what exists in copper or previously in CPVC. PVC tees abound but that pipe is for DWV type piping (or for pools) but not residential drinking water based. What are others using for piping/tee at chemical injection points? Scratching my head over this seemingly overlooked detail for setting the system up. Thanks in advance.
 

gsmith22

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thanks for the suggestion, but they don't have what I need in CPVC. They have tee fittings but the injection point isn't threaded (for the injector) and they don't carry any threaded bushings to glue in. Which mirrors the same problem I have found locally for CPVC on a general absence of fittings. Plus, I don't want a plumbing system where I have to order parts online. These things need to get fixed ASAP when a problem arises and if I can't find the part now locally, what are the chances years from now?

Alternatively, I have found the parts I need in Sch 40 PVC which is pressure rated for cold water. Is this what people are using (ignoring governing building code and code officials)? Am I risking a spectacular failure in a 1' long PVC fitting for injecting soda ash where the entire rest of the plumbing distribution in the house will be code compliant?
 

Reach4

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Plus, I don't want a plumbing system where I have to order parts online.
You want to plan for your tee needing a same-day replacement? I guess you can get the injector locally, because that is a much-more likely failure point IMO.
Alternatively, I have found the parts I need in Sch 40 PVC which is pressure rated for cold water.
I would think that plastic FIP threads should be schedule 80.
https://www.menards.com/main/plumbi...c-tee-schedule-80/cb08600/p-1444449135987.htm
 

Mikey

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What does your injector require? You can go with CPVC down to FPT in 1/2" or 3/4" with SS reinforcing collar, and from there use brass reducing bushings to (e.g.) 1/8". And if you're worried about future replacement, blow the extra $4 and buy 2 now.
 

gsmith22

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injector has both 1/2 and 1/4 MPT. I can't find a CPVC tee that has FPT (only slip ends) so I would have to glue in a short piece of pipe and attach one of the threaded fittings (with SS reinforcing or similar). But if I do that, the injector won't be positioned in the flow path of the other tee ends - the entire point of the injection. And there doesn't seem to be any CPVC threaded bushings that can be glued into the tee's slip end for the injector. Sch 40 PVC meant for pressure has tees with one of the ends threaded and you can also get a glue-in threaded bushing for slip ends on the tee. So long story short, the PVC fittings are the only ones that you can actually use to set up the chemical injection properly. Doing more searching, it seems like all kinds of chemical injection is done for irrigation, agriculture, etc. all with PVC so it makes sense these things are available in PVC. So I'm going with PVC components for the injection. Hot water is nowhere near this fitting so I can't imagine its an issue - we are talking well water that is ~55 degrees year round. Reading more about the history of why PVC is supposedly not allowed for residential water distribution seems like it is entirely related to hot water degradation and not trusting plumbers to mix up the cold water line (which could use pvc) with the hot water line (that needs to be CPVC due to temp).
 

Ryan Symons

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If you don't like schedule 80 tee and bushing you could always go stainless. It's to code, not gonna crack, ph is not an issue, compatible with other metals.
 

Reach4

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So I'm going with PVC components for the injection.
I suspect that inspectors would give the well stuff a pass on that.
If you don't like schedule 80 tee and bushing you could always go stainless. It's to code, not gonna crack, ph is not an issue, compatible with other metals.
I think he was looking to support his use-pvc conclusion.
 

gsmith22

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Reach - not looking to support use of PVC, just can't find an alternative that actually works in the same manner. Which is why I began this post - what are others using? I searched for CPVC stuff high and low (locally and on internet) and no fittings come close to what is available in PVC (locally and on internet) and would position the injector in the flow. So that leads me to believe no one is using CPVC for this. PVC is PVC so I don't understand the Sch 40 vs Sch 80 argument. My pressure and water temp are both lower than the values stamped on the PVC pipe so I don't get what sch 80 would do for me vs sch 40.

Ryan/Reach - I would totally do stainless. Do you have a source?
 

Reach4

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So that leads me to believe no one is using CPVC for this. PVC is PVC so I don't understand the Sch 40 vs Sch 80 argument.
The URL I posted was both CPVC and schedule 80.

There are people who avoid female threads in plastic, because those put the plastic in tension. Schedule 80 is thicker. In wells, some of those who connect their schedule 80 threaded PVC drop pipes use schedule 120 PVC couplings.

I would totally do stainless. Do you have a source?
Source of what? 1 inch stainless tee and 1" x 1/4" Hex Bushing? Not locally.
stainless-steel-fitting-tee-100.jpg

stainless-steel-fitting-hex-bushing-100x025.jpg
 
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gsmith22

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I think we are talking past one another. Let me summarize how I got here.

I was looking for fittings in CPVC because PVC (all schedules, white, grey,etc.) are not allowed by building code to be part of the water distribution system inside a home. I didn't want copper because of the low pH and Pex doesn't have specific fittings for chemical injection into a tee. Copper, Pex, and CPVC are the three allowed options for water distribution inside a home per building codes.

The fittings I could find in CPVC, don't allow the injector to be installed directly into a tee with the injector end positioned in the flow through the other two ends of the tee. Rather, I would have to glue in a short pipe into the tee and then glue in a threaded bushing into the short pipe for the injector to screw into. This would position the injector essentially on its own separate branch off of the tee and not in the flow path through the other two ends of the tee. I can't imagine this would work well for injecting soda ash (or any chemical) you are attempting to mix into the water flow. I was able to find fittings (like the stainless you pictured above) in PVC that would allow screwing the injector directly into the tee and position the injector in the flow path. This is why I asked about what people were using/is anyone using PVC.

The history on PVC not being allowed as part of the interior water distribution system seems to be related to concerns about plumbers using PVC on the hot water side where hot water temps would degrade the pressure rating. As best as I can tell, there wouldn't be an issue on the cold water side but in an abundance of caution, PVC was outlawed on both cold and hot water distribution inside a home. Ironically, outside of the home, PVC is the pipe used for new and replacement buried water service lines almost everywhere. So I know PVC works with cold water because it is everywhere outside the home. Ignoring inspectors, permitting, building code, etc., I am near certain there wouldn't be an actual problem using PVC on cold water lines in a water treatment system inside the home. Hell, most of the parts of the various treatment devices I am installing seem to be constructed of plastics, some of which are likely PVC.

I don't want to run afoul of inspectors, building codes, permitting, etc., so while PVC might invite ire, I can't imagine stainless steel would. I see your stainless steel tee and bushing pictures above - where did you find this? I appreciate the stainless steel suggestion, but if it doesn't exist to be purchased (internet, locally, anywhere) I'm not sure how it helps me.
 

Reach4

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I think we are talking past one another. Let me summarize how I got here.
I understood everything except this:
Plus, I don't want a plumbing system where I have to order parts online. These things need to get fixed ASAP when a problem arises and if I can't find the part now locally, what are the chances years from now?
I see your stainless steel tee and bushing pictures above - where did you find this? I appreciate the stainless steel suggestion, but if it doesn't exist to be purchased (internet, locally, anywhere) I'm not sure how it helps me.
Sounds combative.

Click Inbox, above.
 
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gsmith22

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didn't mean to be combative, just getting frustrated at not finding a solution. Didn't think I was doing anything unique but maybe more unique than I anticipated. The locally availability concern was mainly a plastic pipe thing (PVC or CPVC) as I can see them possibly getting brittle over time and needing to be replaced following a break/split. I'll go the stainless steel route with the online site you recommended. I'm not concerned about a stainless pipe splitting/breaking the same way I would a plastic pipe so I don't mind ordering that from the internet with no local availability. I've come to the conclusion that every component of the water treatment system will have to have a bypass too just in case one part breaks down, I can still have water. My softener/ion exchange/carbon backwashing tank/nano filter all have built-in bypasses but the chem injection and a bulk sediment filter don't so I am going to make plumbing bypasses with ball valve around them just in case. thank you for the website recommendation. I had seen that before in online searching but found it very hard to navigate/find stuff and kind of gave up with them. I'll give it another look
 

Brother Jack

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I inject H2O2 from a Stenner Pump. My well line is 1" copper. For my injection point I used an inline static mixer.
https://www.aquascience.net/johnson-screens-inline-static-mixer-3-25-gpm

The product is a very heavy PVC and I used Sharkbite fittings on each end to connect to my copper. You could attached how ever you needed to.
Great product not sure it would fit you needs. I got confused following the thread so I'm not sure this info is applicable.
 

gsmith22

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Interesting, I hadn't seen an inline static mixer with an injection point prior. I have a static mixer but it is a separate component without an injection point intended to be plumbed in following where you inject. I'm trying to build the injection part that is the front half of your static mixer out of plastic fittings (I couldn't find an already made injection component). Reading the instructions, yours appears to be made of sch 80 PVC. I can't use copper because of my low pH so that is why I was asking what others were using. I'm kind of dumbfounded that all these fittings are PVC intended to be installed inside a home in the water distribution system where PVC is supposedly not allowed. I still think I am going the stainless route - the instructions for your mixed said to inspect the PVC every 6 months and install it over a drain as if they know its going to leak/break. How long have you had it? Any leaking?
 

Brother Jack

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Interesting, I hadn't seen an inline static mixer with an injection point prior. I have a static mixer but it is a separate component without an injection point intended to be plumbed in following where you inject. I'm trying to build the injection part that is the front half of your static mixer out of plastic fittings (I couldn't find an already made injection component). Reading the instructions, yours appears to be made of sch 80 PVC. I can't use copper because of my low pH so that is why I was asking what others were using. I'm kind of dumbfounded that all these fittings are PVC intended to be installed inside a home in the water distribution system where PVC is supposedly not allowed. I still think I am going the stainless route - the instructions for your mixed said to inspect the PVC every 6 months and install it over a drain as if they know its going to leak/break. How long have you had it? Any leaking?

I've had it for three years and not a drop of a leak. The fixture is very stout and I'm not sure where a leak would even develop. How you tie it in toyour line is up to you. Since I have copper, I used the sharkbites for space saving and fairly easy on and off if needed. My system is for irrigation only and my injection for H2O2 in my Iron filter system. The static mixer is to avoid a contact tank and it works very well. The viewing window for me is useless as it stains up from the iron. When I irrigate the system runs for 4 hours straight usually 3-4 days a week. The link I sent you is probably the best price you will find. Great people to work with either locally or online.
static mixer.jpg
 
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