Leaking Air Gap fitting -- help needed

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by Matt in PA, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. Matt in PA

    Matt in PA New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2019
    Location:
    PA
    Hi all,
    First off, this Forum is a tremendous resource. I've spent more hours than I'd care to admit over the last couple of months learning everything a DIYer can about water softeners and their installation and maintenance. I recently purchased a Fleck 5600SXT and, thanks to the wisdom found here, I was able to install the new equipment entirely on my own. I was most concerned with finding an appropriate place to install the drain tubing. I initially used my basement's sump pit but for various reasons never considered that a long-term solution.

    So, against my better judgment (and wife's wishes), I cut into my 4" PVC sewer line and installed a Wye and P-Trap topped off by a standpipe. Last night I picked up a plastic Air Gap adapter manufactured by Keeney. I ran my drain line (1/2" ID clear vinyl tubing) into the top of the Air Gap Adapter and manually regenerated the water softener. This tubing fits relatively snugly into the Air Gap Adapter -- meaning that it doesn't come loose on its own but it isn't difficult to move it either. I don't trust that it will remain in position for many years without some more permanent way to join the two.

    But here's the real question: Water sprays out of the "open" sides of the Air Gap Adapter unless the tubing is perfectly oriented (pushed all the way in and not at an angle). I found 1 review of the fitting online (below in italics) that seems to describe my problem and offer a solution. Is a barbed fitting that will go from 1/2" to 3/8" the answer?

    "The air gap did the job but I had to add a barbed fitting in order to connect my 1/2" ID hose. The product description makes it sound like a 1/2" hose will connect without any additional parts. This is not the case. Also the connector end of the airgap is not a 1/2" through hole. It is restricted to about 3/8". I assume this was done to reinforce the nipple. May be significant if your water softener requires 1/2" unrestricted hose path to drain."

    TL;DR ...

    The plastic air gap device I'm using to "connect" my softener's drain tubing and the sewer line is spraying water everywhere. My drain line is 1/2" ID and I think the air gap's insert is 3/8" ID. Is a barbed connector (1/2" ID to 3'8" ID) the answer here? See this pic for my current setup (minus any barbed connector).

    Drain to Air Gap to Sewer Line.jpg

    Thanks for any insight you folks can offer.
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    1. A trap should have a vent on the trap arm. Yours does not. The purpose of the vent is to keep the p-trap from siphoning dry, letting sewer gasses enter the air. It may be that with the cycle ending with a slower flow, the trap in practice refills.

    2. That air gap can be installed deeper if you like, and if you have a 2 inch pipe-- but it may be limited by the joist. If you could loosen a clamp on each side, maybe you could rotate the standpipe toward the camera. That would clear the joist, and let the air gap device sit down farther. That change mounting may not buy you anything. If you rotated some, you could extend the standpipe if you like.

    That looks like a Mr Drain air gap. https://airgap.com/product/ag100-001/
    https://airgap.com/product/ag170-008-air-gap-fitting/
    is the fitting they sell, but it is likely a standard product available at a suitable hardware store. So using a barbed 1/2 x 5/8 ID elbow may be the thing you need to keep the tubing from coming out.

    That tubing you are using looks like it is kinking. Some better 5/8 OD tubing might be worthwhile for you.
     
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  4. Matt in PA

    Matt in PA New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2019
    Location:
    PA
    Thanks, Reach. I am embarrassed to say it never occurred to me to install the air gap deeper into the 2 inch pipe. DUH! There is enough flex that I should be able to squeeze it past the joist. However, the spray is coming out of the two air gaps in the plastic, as well as some backwash spray from the mouth of the fitting as well. See my very detailed sketch. I assume the elbow fitting you linked to is designed to ensure the water gets deeper into the air gap and would minimize spray. However, the insert of my air gap (which otherwise looks identical to the Mr. Drain one you linked to) is 3/8", not 5/8th. It does look like I need to find an elbow or slip coupling to secure the tubing into the air gap.

    Re: the kinky tubing, I just unboxed it and installed it last night. Will those kinky areas work themselves out over time or should I replace it with heavier duty tubing like the braided vinyl or PVC?
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Are you saying that you shove the tubing into a 0.375 inch ID hole? That sounds odd.
     
  6. Matt in PA

    Matt in PA New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2019
    Location:
    PA
    What I'm trying (unsuccessfully) to say is that the mouth (top) of the air gap is too loose to keep the tubing in securely enough, but that the "neck" (a little further down the hole) is smaller in diameter than the ID of the tubing. I think the neck is 3/8". So I'd need a reducer fitting of some sort to get down there.
     
  7. Matt in PA

    Matt in PA New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2019
    Location:
    PA
    On second thought, the fitting you linked to that is 5/8” would snug my drain line into the mouth of the air gap, I think. Not further don like I was mistakenly trying for. Ok — I think I got it now. Thanks.
     
  8. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
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