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Old 09-21-2010, 04:14 PM
 
363 posts, read 567,385 times
Reputation: 236
Default Installing water softener, no loop available

I have a bit of a weird situation - I would like to get a water softener, and I can sweat pipes as well as the next DIY amateur but there's no loop in my garage.

I have a main shutoff valve in the garage which interestingly shuts off not only house water but irrigation/back yard/pool - basically all property water as well. From what I understand, typically there's a separate shut off for the yard water, but anyways...

This shut off valve is on one side of the garage, the water heater is on the other side. From what I understand, I basically need to open the dry wall and cut in after the split to kitchen and outside water, and pull this over toward the water heater and in that area allow for the softener to be installed before the water heater.

This sounds very complex, and I am surprised there seems to be no straightforward way to add a softener, especially since the house was built 2001. And the area has always had hard water.

Or am I basically missing something? Looking in wrong places, etc.?

Thanks in advance for advice!


A couple of pics of current plumbing in the garage here - the shut off valve is on the left hand side close to the garage door, and the heater is in the far back right corner.
http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/a...g/P1010119.jpg
http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/a...g/P1010120.jpg
http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/a...g/P1010121.jpg
http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/a...g/P1010122.jpg
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,737 posts, read 20,561,569 times
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Do you want to soften just the hot water or the whole house? If you want to do the whole house you want to put the softener downstream of where the pool and yard tap in but just. If you just want to do hot water put it just ahead of the heater.

Might help if you said where you live. In the South you can get away with exposed plumbing in your garage but in the North Central regions you'll have freezing concerns.
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:05 AM
 
363 posts, read 567,385 times
Reputation: 236
I want to soften the whole house except for cold water in kitchen as I think is the norm - sodium drinking water and all that bs, not that I care but future owners might... and that's what makes it (seemingly) be complicated.
I live in Vegas, freezing shouldn't be too much of a concern here, especially if it is in the garage.
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Old 09-22-2010, 05:20 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
732 posts, read 2,646,825 times
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This doesn't answer your question, but I want to see if my epiphany is correct. Keep in mind that nobody around here worries about "warm up" time with hot water from the tap.

That said, I've been looking at your pictures and trying to figure out what the heck the line with the pump is doing there connected up to the bottom drain. Then it dawned on me - is that a recirculator that moves hot water through the lines all the time so there's no "warm up" time when you open a hot water spigot?

Tell me if I'm right - then I'll have learned something new!

Now, one more question. What's with the relief valve being turned upwards and a flexible line running into the wall? I understand that any line on a relief valve is supposed to be straight and as short as possible - to deliver the relieved hot water straight out without the possibility of back pressure or failure. Can you explain that one?

Thanks.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:27 PM
 
363 posts, read 567,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windtimber View Post
This doesn't answer your question, but I want to see if my epiphany is correct. Keep in mind that nobody around here worries about "warm up" time with hot water from the tap.

That said, I've been looking at your pictures and trying to figure out what the heck the line with the pump is doing there connected up to the bottom drain. Then it dawned on me - is that a recirculator that moves hot water through the lines all the time so there's no "warm up" time when you open a hot water spigot?

Tell me if I'm right - then I'll have learned something new!

Now, one more question. What's with the relief valve being turned upwards and a flexible line running into the wall? I understand that any line on a relief valve is supposed to be straight and as short as possible - to deliver the relieved hot water straight out without the possibility of back pressure or failure. Can you explain that one?

Thanks.
You are right on both counts It is a recirculator, for quick hot water at the tap.

Also, just as you mentioned, the relief pipe going upwards is not according to code - I am not sure what kind of plumber the previous owner hired... It's on my to do list! My guess is they screwed in the elbow connector and it happened to tighten up in the upwards direction. I'll go for a straight joint instead.

Now, if anyone has any knowledge on the softener questions... Cause now it seems I have to find where the kitchen and yard splits are after the main valve and then cut in after that. From there pull fresh plumbing over to the right side of the garage and connect the softener and lead on from there to the heater and the rest of the house for the cold water. Sigh... sounds like quite a bit of drywall will be torn down.
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:42 PM
 
1 posts, read 5,936 times
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Crazy_bd,
I too live in Las Vegas and have the same issue. I looked at your pictures and it is almost identical to my setup in my garage. I do have one other valve on the opposite side of my garage but that looks like it's for the sprinkler system. Were you able to resolve this issue? Is there any way to do it without tearing down drywall? I really want to get a water softener added to my house and water supply but I don't know if i can do it without that loop.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
3,225 posts, read 9,667,683 times
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Just noticed in your third photo, that the TPR discharge pipe is going UP before it goes out. TPR discharge pipes can not go UP, they always have to go down.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:58 AM
 
Location: New Port Richey
217 posts, read 599,613 times
Reputation: 375
Based on what I see, I would start by locating where the outside irrigation lines tie in. They should not be tied into the main line especially after the 3/4 pressure regulating valve to the left of the ball valve. The outdoor line(s) should be tied in before the house main and have a backflow device on them to prevent anything from the ground coming back into the drinking water.

You should be able to cut the 3/4 copper line to the left of the pressure regulator and make a loop there. Can the softner be installed near the main(do you have room for it)? It would be the easiest area to place it. Also, you will need to have a location for the drain..

Here is something you may want to look into
nuvoH2O Saltless Water Softener System
I am not a rep, just a plumbing contractor here in Florida, people seem to like this better than the softner

Also, you may want to take care of the relief line on the heater. The problem with it in the up position is water will sit again the spring in the relief valve itself and cause it to fail..
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