Draining a Softner Outside in Cold Climates?

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This forum has been a lifesaver for me do far and I hope I can pick your brains one more time!

I have an iron filter (10"x44") that I'm hoping to discharge to the outside here in northern Wisconsin. The filter uses about 75 gallons each backwash about once every 3 days.

Where the discharge would exit the rim joist is exposed to the elements. I planned on having it immediately bend down and drain into a 2" to 4" PVC pipe where it would run downhill with a significant pitch. The PVC would be buried for about 25' before opening to daylight on a steep hill.

Although the PVC wouldn't be buried below our 48" frost line, it'll be about 24" deep but I can also insulate it.

Is this a viable option? I'm limited to this option, or running it to an elector pit which empties into the septic system (no basement drain here) or running it to a washing machine stand pipe upstairs but I'd be pushing the max 8' recommended head height.

Thoughts? Thanks!
 

WorthFlorida

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A simpler solution. Use a utility or sump pump with a float switch With 25' of head and bring the drain hose to the washer. You can place the pump inside a 5 gallon pail.


I'm doing this for an air conditioner condensate drain where it is outside over a hard surface. I buried the pail with a sump Pump. Drilled a hold through the lid of the pail and I discharge it with a flexible hose to the grass area.
 

Reach4

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I would put a vacuum breaker at the high part of the piping.

Another option would be to let it land on the ground, and produce an ice sheet. Guess that would not appeal to you.
 
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I would put a vacuum breaker at the high part of the piping.

Another option would be to let it land on the ground, and produce an ice sheet. Guess that would not appeal to you.
Thanks Reach4. Would this freeze guard be similar to a vacuum breaker? I would place it where it first exits the rim joist/siding before directing it into a pitched 4" PVC pipe that'll be run underground. .

Discharging right to daylight could also be an option as that side of the cottage isn't utilized for foot traffic or anything.
 

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A simpler solution. Use a utility or sump pump with a float switch With 25' of head and bring the drain hose to the washer. You can place the pump inside a 5 gallon pail.


I'm doing this for an air conditioner condensate drain where it is outside over a hard surface. I buried the pail with a sump Pump. Drilled a hold through the lid of the pail and I discharge it with a flexible hose to the grass area.
Thanks for the suggestion WorthFlorida. My only concern would be of some type of pump failure while I'm gone where I'd stand a chsnce of getting 75 gallons of backwashwater every 3 days. It's a cottage we'd like to use periodically in the winter and I'd keep the cottage heated over the winter.

I'd really love to get the backwash water outside the home if I can make my first option work.
 

bingow

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...Where the discharge would exit the rim joist is exposed to the elements. I planned on having it immediately bend down and drain into a 2" to 4" PVC pipe where it would run downhill with a significant pitch. The PVC would be buried for about 25' before opening to daylight on a steep hill.

Although the PVC wouldn't be buried below our 48" frost line, it'll be about 24" deep but I can also insulate it....
DIYer here, not Wisconsin but 7,000 elev. sub zero 'teens. I fed our softener's discharge line into 1½" pvc, 12" deep (frost line 22") and ran it 75' at a minimum drain slope to join the septic's leach leg start point. That was 10 years ago, no problems. The drainage being salty doesn't hurt of course.
 

Reach4

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Thanks Reach4. Would this freeze guard be similar to a vacuum breaker? I would place it where it first exits the rim joist/siding before directing it into a pitched 4" PVC pipe that'll be run underground. .

I would put the vacuum breaker at the high part of the pipe, but if we presume the pipe thru the rim joist is horizontal for a ways, I am not sure which end of the horizontal I would put it in. You want a siphon to empty the pipe, so I am thinking more interior. I am not a pro.

Example of what I was thinking:

I don't know how strong the vacuum has to be to open it.

An AAV could work too, but I am not sure how much pressure they are able to take.

Your freeze guard gadget does not seem so good to me. I would like the pipe to be able to flow, even if there is some initial backpressure.
 

Fitter30

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As cold as it gets in Wi other than heat tracing any line not below the frost line will freeze. Starts with a thin coating of ice that doesn't drain out and builds from there. When the filter is in backwash isn't the pressure close to line pressure? Guess this is a manual backwash? Could put a check valve between the backwash valve and the riser with a manual drain valve between the two when done open manual drain that will take any pressure off the backwash valve.
 

Reach4

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Backwash is normally timed. Two or 3 AM would be typical.

During backwash, at least 5 gpm, but maybe even 20 gpm or more with some systems, of water flows out of the drain line. The water is well above freezing. Now if it hits a cold pipe, there could be some initial freezing, but I think the following water would tend to melt some of the initial freezing.

Flowing water tends not to freeze, at least if the water coming is non-freezing . So if you can keep the water flowing, I don't expect freezing. So if you can keep the water flowing to daylight or to a non-freezing place (like a dry well), then things should be fine. What you want to avoid is water retained.

A frozen drain line is not catastrophic. You miss that backwash, but no damage is done.

What I could envision is a tee in the drain line, and a pipe up a ways, with a vacuum breaker at the top, and another tee feeding water to a the septic via an air gap, such as emptying above a laundry sink. Thus if the main path is open, water flows that way. But the septic tank serves as a backup in case things get frozen solid.

Water wells sometimes have a drain back system. The pipe goes thru an area that is above the frost line, but when the pump shuts down, a check valve stops the pressure tank water from going backwards. A special valve called a snifter valve admits air in the face of a vacuum. A hole or a drain-back valve in the drop pipe puts the upper piping back into the well.
 
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Backwash is normally timed. Two or 3 AM would be typical.

During backwash, at least 5 gpm, but maybe even 20 gpm or more with some systems, of water flows out of the drain line. The water is well above freezing. Now if it hits a cold pipe, there could be some initial freezing, but I think the following water would tend to melt some of the initial freezing.

Flowing water tends not to freeze, at least if the water coming is non-freezing . So if you can keep the water flowing, I don't expect freezing. So if you can keep the water flowing to daylight or to a non-freezing place (like a dry well), then things should be fine. What you want to avoid is water retained.

A frozen drain line is not catastrophic. You miss that backwash, but no damage is done.

What I could envision is a tee in the drain line, and a pipe up a ways, with a vacuum breaker at the top, and another tee feeding water to a the septic via an air gap, such as emptying above a laundry sink. Thus if the main path is open, water flows that way. But the septic tank serves as a backup in case things get frozen solid.

Water wells sometimes have a drain back system. The pipe goes thru an area that is above the frost line, but when the pump shuts down, a check valve stops the pressure tank water from going backwards. A special valve called a snifter valve admits air in the face of a vacuum. A hole or a drain-back valve in the drop pipe puts the upper piping back into the well.
I like the idea of a back up for if the exterior drain ever freezes. Your idea of a secondary pipe running to the septic makes sense. I may not be able to yet this fall, but I'll need an ejector pit in the basement to eventually discharge the kitchen sink and tankless water heater condensate during my remodel.
 

WorthFlorida

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If the pipe is large enough, heat from the septic tank by the bacteria and warm to hot water entering the tank, could keep the pipe from freezing when buried.
 

Reach4

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Is that typical?? Seems like a lot of water over so short a period.

John
7.5 gpm for 10 minutes would not be unusual for a backwashing iron filter. Flows well over 10 gpm are used with some media.
 

JohnCT

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7.5 gpm for 10 minutes would not be unusual for a backwashing iron filter. Flows well over 10 gpm are used with some media.

Thanks. It still seems 75 gallons every three days is excessive, but I've never had an iron filter (thank God).

John
 

Reach4

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Thanks. It still seems 75 gallons every three days is excessive, but I've never had an iron filter (thank God).
You pretty much never have an iron filter with city water.
 
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