Awhile back I had asked where I might have a water shutoff on my
property. Looking at the hints, the only one I can find is the
municipal one undera manhole cover just off of my property. Of course,
the city doesn't want me to play with it. The only way for me to do
some plumbing improvements is to have the city shut it off, and have
them turn it on a few hours later--and hope everything is OK.
I don't like this idea and was thinking about the work required to
install a shutoff. It sounds like a PITA that isn't cheap to do.
Recently, I had thought about the work that goes into installing a water
softener, and I wonder if I could exploit that to add a shutoff. I
assume I could keep a water main shutoff inside the garage this way,
next to a water softener. It seems like the most convenient way to go
about it, but I wondered if there are some perils in doing this.
OK there's one caveat. While it might be possible to get this in the
main before the external faucets, I figured this would cover the inside
of the house just fine--and that is what matters to me right now.
That's where I have to do the improvements anyways.
After the street meter/shut off, the water main enters my garage via
the foundation. It's easily accessible and has a pressure relief
valve, then a shut off valve. This shuts down the house without going
to the street. At the water heater I added a shut off just for
immediate emergency, since I was in changing out the heater. At the
water softener there is a faucet for soft water to wash the car, but
no shut off valve.
"My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland
and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore
excused from saving Universes."
Isn't it against code not having whole house shut off valve inside the
Every house I had built and lived in had shut off valve right after the
main pipe enters the house thru basement floor. Of course there was shut
off for cold water line going to water heater. Our softenoer has bypass
valve but no shut off.
Logical way to do things. I have a shutoff just ahead of my water softener
that can shut off all water to the house. Really convenient. I use it to
turn water off for repairs, new faucets, etc. It also permits me to turn
off the house water if I am gone for a week or two. Outside water for lawn
sprinklers and hose taps remains on since they branch off the line ahead of
Many softeners (I have a Culligan) have a bypass valve installed.
You just copper into the inlet and outlet lines.
Be aware that softeners must have air-gapped discharges. It
is against Code to run lines or hoses into ANY drain such
as your washer or a floor drain.
The GE softener I installed as a replacement two years ago specifically
suggested use of the floor drain stating --
"Locate the other end of the hose at a suitable drain point (floor drain,
sump, laundry tub, etc.) that terminates at the sewer. Check and comply
with local codes."
An associated sketch shows that the end of the hose should discharge into
the floor drain but not be physically connected (air gap to provide
It MUST be air-gapped as the sketch shows. You are not supposed
to run a hose down any drain, though many homeowners and
unfortunately, water softener companies, do it. A licensed plumber
can only install as an air gap. In addition, the code in my city insists
that the water softener must be air gapped on its own drain and
cannot be shared.
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