Water Softner Install


My Mom and Dad Just bought a new house. It is on a slab. What are the options for installing a water softner. The would like it in the garage. The main shut off is in a hall closet.
Any help would be great.
Thanks, Shane
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shane wrote:

What you want to do can be complicated, depending on where the hall closet is in relation to the garage. Here's what needs to be accomplished...you need to get the main water feed to the garage and then back to the hall closet to feed the system.
You also must run the cold in such a way that the lawn faucets and the kitchen sink and the ice maker do NOT get soft water.
Lastly, you must have a drain available in the garage. Do not run the discharge outside on the lawn, as the soft water will damage the grass.
On top of all this, you must guard against your water pipes freezing (so, depending on the weather, you can't do the easy thing and run the pipes in the attic).
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I had exactly the same situation at my house and here's what I did...
Found where the main water service entered the house. Dug that up and intercepted it. Ran the service into the garage up through the floor. Made the softener loop and ran it back through the floor back out to the water service entrance to the house. At the same time I had a drain with p-trap installed and run through the floor into a french drain on the outside of the wall (away from the house of course). Plumber also installed a 3 ball valve bypass in the softener loop. Yea, I know, some softeners come with a bypass but how do you bypass a softener bypass when that leaks or needs service? Three 1/4 turn ball valves and solder and cutting costs little while the plumber is already there.
All the digging was done by a "backhoe pro" who only charged me the $75 minimum. He was VERY FAST and good. The plumber cost about $400 plus materials, which was more than fair. All the pipe runs were copper and burried at code depth so freezing was not a problem.
While you're at it, check that the main shutoff valve in the hall closet is NOT a gate valve. If it is it will fail. While the plumber is there get him/her to replace that gate valve with a 1/4 turn ball valve.
You do want the whole house softened. There is no downside and it makes for simpler plumbing. If you buy an efficent softener and it is correctly sized for the SFR, water usage and conditions, and set up properly softening the whole house won't cost much in water or salt.
Don't run hard water to the icemaker it will kill it.
Depending on the water conditions you might consider installing an RO under the kitchen sink for drinking, cooking, and icemaker water.

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On Mar 30, 8:23 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Three way manual by pass valves are being outlawed by some codes because they cause dead ends which are not a good thing. They allow for bacteria growth in the stagnant water that is not/can not be sanitized.
Also, control valve by-pass valves rarely leak and when the do, they seep a small amount of water that is easily managed until you repair the by-pass valve. That usually involves the replacement of an o-ring or two. All control valve by-pass valves today are ball valves that are easily repaired... that's been the norm for about ten years now. There are some Fleck by-pass valves that a have a booty in them but work as a ball valve. It takes 20 minutes to replace the booty and the by-pass stays connected to the control and plumbing.
To repair a by-pass you simply shut off the water to the house and open/close a faucet to relieve pressure and take the by-pass apart, replace the parts, close it up and turn on your water. It takes all of 15-30 minutes for a novice type DIYer.
All households can go without water for much more time than it takes to repalce a part in a by-pass valve. Today a three way by-pass costs from $30 to $50+ just for 3/4" brass/SS ball valves without the tees, tubing and installation.... Many houses have 1" plumbing today plus... many/most softeners today have full ported 1" control valves.
That's unless the person takes justalurker's advice on many forums telling people to buy a Fleck 5600, a 3/4" control good on only up to and including a 2.0 cuft softener and a 1.5 cuft filter... so people don't buy from me. He has a 1.0 cuft Clack WS-1 purchased from me in July 2004. He says it works despite me.... LOL He has had 10+ years of problems with Braswell dealers and the manufacturer, and like a dumb ass and against my wif's advice, I sold him a softener after talking to him for 9 months trying to help him get his Braswell and a used one working.
BTW, hello Mike, it's been awhile.
Gary Quality Water Associates
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Code here says they are just fine and using that narrow minded logic an unused hose bib is a dead end too.

IF the parts are available locally and IF it isn't a long drive to the store that doesn't have the parts you need BUT that is still less time than it will take to call your internet softener huckster and have them call their regional distributer drop-shipper and have them SEND you the part(s) you need.

How gracious of Gary to decide how long anyone else's house can be withour water. Why spend a little money and plan for the worst when Gary says not to. If Gary sold 3 ball valve bypasses then they would be absolutely necessary and a wise decision.

And again and again and again... YES, I bought a water softener from Gary Slusser. It's not the last mistake I'll make and I learned a lot from doing business with Gary, mostly never to spend money with him again. There are too many other places to spend water treatment money and get polite and professional treatment at the same or better prices than Gary without the arrogance and attitude that Gary includes, although at no extra charge.
My softener worked well DESPITE Gary not because of him. And Gary, my softener is no longer in service. You can buy it back any time.
While I post trying to help others benefit from my mistakes Gary is "keyboarding for dollars" and takes every opportunity to launch a personal attack at anyone who disagrees with him in any way.
Gary Slusser is the one true and all-knowing water softener god, just ask him and he'll tell you. no one else on the planet knows anything about water treatment except Gary Slusser and Gary makes friends whereever he posts... especially in the forums from which he has been banned.
Now, back to the OP's post... you can spend a few bucks and add a 3 ball valve bypass or not. If your softener's bypass never leaks then you wasted a little money, but if it does leak then the money will have been well spent.
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Gary,

It's been too long. Let me use this occasion to announce that my wife and I are moving out of the country in August for one year. We'll live in Kosovo where my wife will teach, and I will help a church.
The plumbing there is sort of funny, and I'll continue to check in on this board with many interesting piping stories.
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Good luck with that Mike. Keep us up on the latest Kosovian plumbing technology.
Eric
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Mike Grooms wrote:

Best of luck, Mike.
Mark M.
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That should be a great experience, like a working vacation.
Gary Quality Water Associates
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If there is any concern, no matter how remote or unlikely or unfounded that a three ball valve bypass will "allow for bacteria growth in the stagnant water that is not/can not be sanitized" as Gary Slusser has posted then it takes all of 2 seconds to open the bypass and let the system water flow through. Then the bypass will be every bit as bacteria free and unstagnant as the rest of the plumbing and the softener itself.
EVERY valve in a plumbing system that is closed is a "dead end" until the valve is opened.
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First of all, get a complete water analysis from a competent, perhaps local, water professional. Sometime a home visit is the only way to resolve plumbing issues as verbal explanations are all too often unclear or confusing. Garages can be handy (for loading salt and maintenance) for installation but you need to consider drainage very carefully as far as convenience, local codes and possible mishaps.
I wouldn't run hard water to the fridge... I have seen way too many problems with the hoses and fixtures to make that advice. Also, an RO can be used to supply water to the fridge to give better tasting water and clearer ice cubes. This can make a big differnene in beverages.
Working on water systems in houses with slabs as their foundation can be very challenging as the architect and builder might not have considered water treatment as an after-thought. Sometimes water lines are branched out and finding a universal line can be hard. Sometimes you can't have the choice of keeping outside bibs hard, or soem outlets you would like to be treated may not be reachable.
3-ways by-passes are not out-lawed any place I have worked. I suppose there may be some truth in their dangers. Check with codes in your area. Even so, they can be easily disinfected if an owner puts a mind to it.
Do your research and your water a favor, Andy Christensen, CWS
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