Media Tank Expansion and Copper Plumbing

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by shanec, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. shanec

    shanec New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2017
    Location:
    Illinois
    Does direct copper plumbing to the water softener valve provide enough movement for media tank expansion? My plumber direct plumbed my Fleck 5810 with copper and said that is how he installs all of them. But, I was just reading the Fleck install manual and it says the following:

    When pressurized, any composite tank will expand both vertically and circumferential. In order to compensate the vertical expansion, the piping connections to the valve must be flexible enough to avoid overstress on the valve and tank.
    In addition, the valve and tank should not be supporting any part of the piping weight. This is hence compulsory to have the piping fixed to a rigid structure (e.g. frame, skid, wall...) so that the weight of it is not applying any stress on the valve and tank.
    Do I need to add a short flex line between the copper and the valve to properly allow for this expansion or should I be fine?

    Pictures of the current connections are shown below.

    0D770B66-2B24-49EA-8155-F0D958AF6022.jpeg
    ECDFCA2A-4AFE-405E-996C-E65F1DC104F7.jpeg
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Interesting. New stuff for me. It is not in the service manual. I had never read the Installer Manual, and I still have not found one for the 5800SXT.

    It is not listed here, where you would expect it: http://waterpurification.pentair.com/ru-RU/product/5800-valve/5810-valve/
    I find it here for the XTR version: http://petersonsalt.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/FLECK-5800-XTR-INSTALLER-MANUAL.pdf
    I find it in French. https://www.pentairaquaeurope.com/s...terals/installer_manual_fleck_5810-sxt_en.pdf

    So new to me. I wonder if it is a new development.

    Looks like a nice installation. I don't have advice for you. It seems to me that with the bypass assembly, which has some flex, sticking out like that, thermal expansion would not be a problem. As it turns out, my installation uses PEX with enough flex. The flex lines can make for much easier installation.

    I really doubt you would have a problem. The temperature excursions in your basement are not all that big compared the people in Pheonix who mount these things outdoors under a sun shield cover.
     
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  4. Treeman

    Treeman Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Michigan
    Subscribed to this thread! As a DIYer, this stuff drives me nuts. You pay good money to have a professional do the install, then read in the owners manual that it is "wrong". The professional will say "I've been installing it like this for 20 years with no problems" vs. the manual stating your warranty will is voided if you don't follow instructions.

    In the pictures, I don't see the copper piping attached anywhere to the wall, so maybe there is flex available. But still, there seems to be a fair amount of weight supported by the valve. FYI, my Clack valved softener is hard plumbed with copper and there hasn't been any issues...I just went down and very gently wiggled things a bit to see that there is some "flex" available.

    What say you, professional plumbers???

    EDIT: Reach4's second link has very explicit photos insisting use of horizontal flexible connectors (page 34).
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  5. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The 5810/12, 5800 and Clack valves all have considerable flex built into the bypasses and plumbing connections. I always recommend a flexible installation but from 30 years of installing and maintaining Fleck and Clack valve, hard plumbed residential is fine so long as the plumbing is not supported by the valve. Tanks will expand and contract considerably during pressurization and depressurization. I have a video list in th works, that is on it. A demonstration of how much tanks "breathe". If you are concerned I can send you a link for flex lines that are reasonably priced, and you could easily install them yourselves. They are direct connect to the valve and the other side is Quick Connect John Guest. https://view.publitas.com/impact-water-products/2018-catalog-final/page/120-121
     
  6. Reader90

    Reader90 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2018
    Location:
    Dallas TX
    Agree with reach4 - nice install!!. For my 5810 valve installs, I used Falcon Flex FIP connectors -- for 2 reasons. Copper softener loop has 1 inch MIP fittings. 1. Easy removal/movement of tanks in future if I want to take them with me if I move, or more importantly (and probable) in case of need to disconnect/move/perform maintenance on valve/tank or media. 2. For the reason of this post outlined in installer manual. Even if the manual did not list the above statement, I wanted the type of configuration I installed for my reason #1.

    As for as my observed behavior of my tanks/valve, I have not witnessed any "meaningful" movement of the tanks. I do see the valves/tanks move/shake momentarily during a regen-cycle. Personally, I think you will be fine.
     

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  7. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    The supplied bypass valve assembly's are designed to be disconnected from each control valve, thereby maintaining continual water flow to the house fixtures downstream while the softener or filter is removed for repairs.
     
  8. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    They move more than you would suspect, it is quite neat to see but you are correct, the valves typically allow for enough flex that you should be fine. As to the Falcon FIP x 5810, I also agree, that is the best way to do it but we sell more of the JG x 5810 style. Many plumbers really like the speed. When I was installing regularly I always looked at the future. The O-ring will eventually leak, the flat seals can be tightened 10-20 years later.
     
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    JG has the O-Ring I presume.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  10. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Correct, the O-ring is easy to replace 10-20 years later... so not a real concern, just a thought. :)
     
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