Could I locate my brine tank 40 ft from my softener?

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Dwassner

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And if I were to do this, are there any settings that would have to be changed to compensate?

I have been hauling bags of salt into my basement for 8 years... and it just occurred to me that maybe I could just move the brine tank into the garage?
 

Reach4

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How about freezing?

Salt brine freezes at a significantly lower temperature than water, but Rochester can get pretty cold I think. Plus, when you fill the brine tank back up, the brine line will contain water rather than brine.
 

ditttohead

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40' should be no problem at all. Worst case you might need to increase your injector 1 size to accommodate the frictional losses, but I doubt that will be necessary. We have been successful going over 200' in length. Height is the real issue.
 

Dwassner

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How would I know if I need to increase the injector size?

Would I need to increase the brine fill and brine draw settings to compensate for the time it takes to get from brine tank to the softener unit?

I was thinking of putting a heated element at the bottom of the tank and along the 1ft of tubing outside the tank before it entered a heated space.

thank you
 

Dwassner

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the basement is lower than the garage. The height difference between the valve and the brine tank inlet would be about 5-6 ft
 

Reach4

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the basement is lower than the garage. The height difference between the valve and the brine tank inlet would be about 5-6 ft
My guess is that no injector change would be needed, since gravity is assisting the brine draw.

If you are curious and motivated enough, time how much time elapses during the BD cycle before the brine is sucked down. Typical is about 15 minutes. Try before and after the change for the best assessment of the longer brine line.

I guess you will want to make the move with the brine sucked out (to save weight), so will stop the regen before the brine fill occurs. Then you will move the brine tank, and add water in the garage to provide brine for the next regen.

If you have had this in service for a while, you may decide this is a good time to clean the brine tank. Leading up to the move or cleaning, you will want to reduce the salt in the tank; less weight to carry, and less weight to discard if cleaning. Since some salt should be above water before each regen, you can scoop the salt over to one side to leave some out of water as the salt is being reduce in the tank in prpe for the move. That bit above water is enough to prevent stratification.
 

Dwassner

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thats really helpful. which leads to another question, now that my mind is thinking in this direction...

Can I relocate my under-the-sink 3 stage RO to the basement? I guess the only real concern I would have here is if I would need to replace the thin plastic tubing that runs from the RO outlet to the spigeot with something like 1/4" pex, and if the RO pressure tank would be capable of the height and distance change. It would be roughly 5 ft height difference and total tubing length of roughly 25 ft. thanks!!
 

Reach4

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thats really helpful. which leads to another question, now that my mind is thinking in this direction...

Can I relocate my under-the-sink 3 stage RO to the basement? I guess the only real concern I would have here is if I would need to replace the thin plastic tubing that runs from the RO outlet to the spigeot with something like 1/4" pex, and if the RO pressure tank would be capable of the height and distance change. It would be roughly 5 ft height difference and total tubing length of roughly 25 ft. thanks!!
The pressure drop with altitude is almost 0.5 psi per foot.

1/4 inch pex is 3/8 OD and 0.233 ID, 25 ft at 1 gpm would drop about 18 psi from the dynamic drop . That seems considerable. http://www.pressure-drop.com/Online-Calculator/ At 0.5 gpm, you would lose about 5 psi. 3/8 pex (1/2 inch OD) would lose a lot less.

Total drop is the sum. So depending on how many PSI your water charges up to and maintains as you draw water, that would determine how much effect you would have.

I think you would want to sanitize after making your plumbing changes. Remember to use no metal pex fittings with RO. Metal crimp rings or clamps are OK, since those do not contact the water.
 

Bannerman

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Our RO is located in the basement laundry room below our kitchen. I use a 3/8" polyline to feed both a faucet and refrigerator ice maker in the kitchen.

Without a permeate pump installed on the RO, the RO's automatic shutoff valve will stop production when the storage tank pressure reaches 60% of the incoming water pressure. As your water source is a private well, I seem to recall your pump pressure may be 30/50 so your RO pressure will likely be only about 18 psi. Even if you do not relocate your RO unit, you may want to consider adding an electric pressure pump to the RO feedline to boost the pressure through the membrane so it will work more efficiently and consistantly with the added benefit of increasing the amount of water in storage at higher pressure.

A permeate pump is a nonelectric pump which is powered by the RO waste flow which flows to drain. A PP will also allow the membrane to operate more efficiently as the pump will remove all back pressure on the membrane from the storage tank. Without back pressure, the membrane will produce more water, more quickly, thereby reducing the amount of waste water and also, provides the ability to increase the storage tank pressure to 90% of the incoming pressure.
 
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Dwassner

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that is really helpful. thank you. How would I size the PP that I should buy? Also, I see some offer a shutoff valve - would I need one with this?

I think I will relocate it to the basement, plumb it to the faucet with 3/8" tubing, and if it is less than desirable pressure, I will add the PP.

thanks so much again for the help guys, I appreciate it a lot.

DW
 

Reach4

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I think I will relocate it to the basement, plumb it to the faucet with 3/8" tubing, and if it is less than desirable pressure, I will add the PP.
Consider leaving the pressure tank upstairs, and relocating the rest downstairs. That way the tank could fill your water glass without having to take the long route.
 

Bannerman

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I would recommend 1st adding an electric pressure pump. Your home's plumbing pressure is too low and inconsistent for proper membrane operation. Membranes best operate with a high differential pressure across them so 70 psi+ incoming pressure is often preferred.

There are 2 sizes of PP which are based on the membrane's rated output. The majority of RO membranes for undersink units are 50 gallons/day or less.
 
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Dwassner

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OK. If I leave the tank upstairs, I would have a line running from the tank to the system in the basement, and then another line running back up to the spigot. How would this help??

Our pressure is set to 60/40. The RO output is 50 GPD.
 

Bannerman

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That way the tank could fill your water glass without having to take the long route.
That is likely to increase the travel distance as many RO units are configured with the final carbon filter mounted on the RO unit. Water from the membrane is typically sent directly to the storage tank, and final filtration is performed when the permeate water flows from the storage tank to the faucet. On my unit, after my carbon polishing filter, I then have a remineralizing filter mounted directly to the RO unit.
 
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Reach4

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OK. If I leave the tank upstairs, I would have a line running from the tank to the system in the basement, and then another line running back up to the spigot. How would this help??
It would help by giving you more flow rate at the spigot. That may or may not be worth it. You would tee at the tank, coming up from the basement on one leg, and up to the spigot on the other leg of the tee.

Disadvantage of tank up top is that you still consume that pressure tank space under the sink, and only save the space of the filter parts.

You may have enough flow with the tank and all downstairs.
 

Bannerman

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Our pressure is set to 60/40. The RO output is 50 GPD.
Your RO storage tank pressure will then likely be 24 psi.

The rated 50 gpd is only under ideal conditions which are not achievable in actual practice. Conditions include water temperature, TDS levels, pH, incoming pressure, pressure differential across the membrane, etc. A permeate pump after the membrane will increase the pressure differential across the membrane which helps considerably, but a booster pump would be an ideal starting point.
 

LLigetfa

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WRT the brine tank, YMMV depending on how well the float valve in the brine tank seals preventing the long line from ending up full of air. It may also depend on the softener head as to whether it has its own float stop. If the softener relies on the air check at the head, the long run could end up full or air which then needs to be all sucked out on the next cycle.
 

Bannerman

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LLigetfa, if your RO unit is mounted lower than the tank, the flow from the tank will usually drop back down to the RO unit before flowing to the kitchen faucet regardless.

Your booster pump I expect will have boosted the storage tank pressure considerably. Ultimately, it is the storage tank pressure and line diameter that will dictate the pressure and flow rate to the faucet.

RO faucets typically restrict the flow rate as lower flow will mean longer contact time with the carbon media to remove contaminants and to polish the water, not that there should be contaminants in the permeate water in storage.
 
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