Question on plumbing

Several years ago, I bought and self-installed a home water softener. The unit has two output hoses. One is for the discharge during the cleaning cycle and the other is a gravity feed overflow hose incase something goes wrong and the unit starts to fill with water.
Undoubtedly not in the best plumbing practice, I cut a couple of holes in a nearby plumbing vent pipe and used that as a drain for both hoses. I sealed the hoses where they entered the vent pipe. Everything works great with absolutely no problem. I've never had an overflow, so I can't speak for that particular hose.
Now, I'm getting ready to sell the house and I'm wondering if I'm going to run into a problem with inspectors.
If so, how can I correct the situation?
There is a nearby laundry drain that drains into the same vent via a "P" trap, but it is higher than the water softener, so the gravity feed overflow hose wouldn't work there. If I tried to connect the discharge hose to the laundry drain, it would require some type of fitting so the laundry water wouldn't come out place where the softener hose goes in.
I really hate plumbing. LOL
Any suggestions/advice?
Thanks,
Ron
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rradliff wrote:

Hi, Mine is instralled by a plumber in the basement years ago. OF drain goes to drain hole on the floor, Rinse drain goes to washer drain stack.
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You have a classic plumbing cross connection hazard and no inspector should approve it. There is a definite possibility of sewage gases, bacteria, and liquid getting into your water supply. Proper plumbing will make that not just unlikely, but impossible. You need those lines to empty into a trap with an air gap between the line and any possible water level from a backed-up sewer. Above the laundry tub would be good for the main drain and the overflow could go onto the floor near a drain.
If you can't figure out a way to fix it, you should have a plumber check it out.
Don Young
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wrote:

You need a trap to stop sewer gas and an air gap of some sort to prevent siphoning water back. The way they did the stack pipe for your washing machine should work. You put a "P" trap in the line that goes to the vent stack then a vertical pipe from that, open at the top and stick your drain lines in there. Be sure they are not sealed and that the pipe can breathe around your drain hoses.
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wrote:

Others have given good advice. I'll add that you can raise the softener up on a 6 or 8 inch platform if that helps get enough height for the gravity overflow connection to work. I did this to mine in a previous house and ran the overflow (with an air gap) into a pvc pipe that ran along the wall and emptied into the floor drain under the laundry sink.
HTH,
Paul F.
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ask the inspector
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On Wed, 04 Jun 2008 19:06:38 -0700, rradliff wrote:

Contact local building inspector and ask for an opinion based on a visual inspection of your situation. BI's are pretty good with their advice. Then fix the problem based o what he/she says. Homeowners can do their own plumbing/electrical usually. If you need a permit, it's a small price to pay because you know it will be inspected and approved. Still cheaper than hiring a plumber. You might even be able to fix the problem without a permit but this depends on how reasonable the inspector.
Yours sounds like a very minor issue that would take very little time/ materials to fix. Don't even admit to the inspector that you did the work. Say that it's always been this way and now you are prepping the home for sale.
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The actual drain line from the control valve of the softener/filter can go up from its connector on the control valve 5-7' depending on the brand/model of control valve, then sideways 10-30', again depending on the control valve, it can go farther sideways IF the line comes back down.
Any line from the elbow overflow fitting (EOF) on the side of the salt/ brine tank can not go uphill. It can not be connected to the softener/ filter drain line or the salt tank will fill with the discharge water form the softener. That line must run downhill only. The vast majority of people do not install a line on the EOF.
Yes hard plumbed no air gap drain line connections create a cross connection between potable and gray or black sewer water and should not be done. And there has to be a trap to prevent sewer gas escape. Washing machine drains are an ideal place for a softener/filter drain line, just make sure that adding the drain line along side the machine's hose will not kink or close the softener drain line. In many cases you can get a reducer fitting and a piece of larger pvc and get both lines in the larger pipe. I.E. a 2" stand pipe with a 2.5" x 2" fitting and 6" of 2.5" pvc.
BTW, vent lines are usually not allowed to be used.
Gary Slusser Quality Water Associates
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Thanks to one and all for the suggestions, advice, and recommendations.
To clarify things a little, we have no basement so the softener is located in a hall closet. Within the back wall of the closet is a plumbing manifold that provides for turn-offs for every faucet and tap in the house. That's where the vent pipe is also located. No floor drain. On the opposite side of the wall is the laundry room with the usual drain that connects (properly) to the vent pipe. Since the drain is behind the manifold and it's many connections, I'd have to cut out the drywall in the laundry room to make any connections to the laundry drain. Since that is still higher than the overflow tube on the softener, I'd still be confronted with that little problem.
My wife and I discussed the matter last night and have decided to call a plumber (to get the job done right) and just remove the softener completely and reconnect the water line in a straight through manner like it was before I started playing handy man. He'd also have to plug/repair the spots where I've entered the hoses into the vent pipe.
The next owner can fend for himself as I don't want to butcher up any more walls with trap doors and access panels. As it is, I'll have a bit of a drywall job on my hands.
Thanks again,
Ron
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IMO that is a big mistake. Especially if you have a signed sales contract and the prospective buyer has seen the softener in place and now you remove the softener but if not...
Selling a house with hard water and no softener is harder than if there was a softener, and you have one! And all you have to do is drill a 5/8" hole through the wall into the laundry room and run the drain line through it. Any hardware or big box stores or a softener dealer sells the drain line. You don't have to cut holes and do access doors etc.. And you do not have to connect a drain to the salt tank; especially if there is a float in the salt tank. I'm telling you this after spending 21 years selling, installing and servicing softeners and other water treatment equipment. if the new owner doesn't like your drain line installation, s/he can change it easily, if there is no softener, they will have the same problems you see now but, there will be no evidence of a previous install and they will not be happy. You can also ask any real estate agent about what I'm telling you and see if they don't agree.
Normally a washing machine drain does not connect to a vent line, it goes to a regular sewer drain line.
Gary Slusser Quality Water Associates
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Gary,
Thanks for the advice. I hadn't really considered just running the hose straight through the wall and dumping into laundry drain. I was thinking I'd have to add a "Y" to the existing laundry drain PVC and entering that way. Maybe I need to rethink this a bit more.
As far as the overflow, there is no float or anything of that nature. The softener unit is a fairly cheap one. I believe it's called a Water Boss (I'm at work right now and don't have access to it). It only stands a couple of feet tall at most and is setting on a 6" platform that I made to get it off the ground. I've never been even close to having an overflow problem. My main concern in this whole thing is the overflow drain since it's totally gravity feed and must dump into drain etc which is lower than itself. If you think I'd be OK by just plugging the overflow at it's source, I could easily proceed along those lines.
I haven't sold the house yet, so there's no problem with bait and switch with a buyer. We won't be selling until early next year when I retire. I fully agree that that an installed softener, of any size or quality, would be a definite selling point. I just don't want to end up where the hastle/expense out weighs the gains.
Ron
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You may be able to drill a hole through the wall to the outdoors at the floor etc. for the salt tank drain line. Just plug or cover the end of it with screening so water can get out but insects etc. can't get in. Over flowing of the salt tank happens but not very frequently but, it can cause a real mess when it happens; it depends on how soon it is found.
Gary Slusser Quality Water Associates
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Unfortunately, there is no outside wall where the unit is located. I'm considering one of two things: 1. Build some kind of stand so the unit will be high enough to utilize the drain in the laundry room.
2. Buy a taller unit and install it at the same location.
Obviously, I'd prefer the first option to keep the costs down.
Ron
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