Water softener with no drain questions

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by WisJim, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm thinking of putting in a water softener, but it needs to go in the basement, and there are no drains in the basement. It seems that it might be possible to just run the drain line to a drain about 5 to 8 feet higher than the softener, IF the household water pressure is forcing the water through the system. Actually, this was suggested on a household questions forum that I stumbled upon, but the fellow offering the solution just thought it would work, but he hadn't tried it or actually seen it work.

    Anyone here have a water softener in a basement without a drain, and does it have enough pressure to force the waste water up a floor, or did you put in a sump and sump pump??

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Jackpine Savage

    Jackpine Savage Well-Known Member

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    Jim, I am getting ready to do the same thing. Actually we do have the softener already and it's currently running to a floor drain, but I am going to move it to another location in the basement and run the drain up to the ceiling and then over to a "P" trap located on the basement ceiling under the kitchen. The brand we have is a Waterboss, and the manual says that it is OK to do this, with some provisions on the size of the pipe if it's a long distance. There could be one gotcha though. There is an overflow drain for the salt chamber that gravity flow. If something goes wrong with the softener and it puts too much water in the brine chamber you could have a mess. My BIL the plumber says its unlikely, but he has seen it happen once. In our case it's an unfinished basement and it will flow to the floor drain, so I don't care. If you have a sump that could be a solution.
     

  3. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks. We plan to get a Waterboss, so hopefully the same will apply to us. I'm not too concerned about the overflow, if it happens it happens, and won't ruin anything, so I guess I will give it a try. Been a long project--replaced the old forced air wood furnace with a new Charmaster Chalet, which has a built in water heating coil, so got a 50 gallon electric water heater to use as a hot water storage tank, and decided it all would last longer if we got a water softener because we have such hard nasty water.
     
  4. Columbia,SC.

    Columbia,SC. Thats MR. Redneck to you

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    lets hear it for Water Boss, ours is 2 years old and saved our clothes from the clear water iron. our iron is 2.2 ppm. This is not a hijack by any means!
     
  5. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    They reccomend a valve where you hook to a drain line to prevent backflow into your softener drain.
     
  6. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, an update on the water softener:
    It is a Water Boss, and has been in and operating for 3 weeks. Yesterday it finally had enough water through it to need to regenerate, so I hit the button so it would run through the cycle while I was watching instead of sometime later when I might not be around. I had run the drain line into a trap that I installed in a nearby drain serving the first floor of the house--the water softener is in the basement. The drain is about 5 feet above the hose attachment on the softener. It went through the cycle, and the house water pressure pushed all the water to the higher drain. I had been a bit concerned that perhaps there was a part of the cycle depending on gravity drainage, but apparently not.

    So, I don't have to fix up a drain barrel and sump pump to pump the waste water up to a drain, works fine without an extra pump.

    A comment on our new Charmaster Chalet forced air wood furnace: I am amazed and pleased at how much hot water we are getting with the simple loop water heating coil in the side of the firebox--It is hooked up to a 55 gallon electric water heater tank for storage (electric elements not connected), and we haven't had a good continuous fire in the furnace, just a small one a couple of days when it got cold out, and the storage tank quickly got to 95 to 120 degrees. If we get lots of hotter water when it is actually cold out, and the furnace is burning around the clock, I will be adding a small circulation pump and use some of the water to heat the in-floor radiant heat coils that I put in the floor of the sun room/greenhouse addition.
     
  7. Jackpine Savage

    Jackpine Savage Well-Known Member

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    Jim, I'm glad to hear that it worked. I still haven't gotten around to moving ours. Right now I'm in the process of building an attached greenhouse, before the snow flies.

    We did however just have a problem with our Waterboss, it's actually a BigBoss. The brine valve stuck and it kept pumping water into the brine tank, just like I mentioned above, guess I should have knocked on wood. I pulled the valve apart and cleaned it up, but on the next cycle it stuck again and kept pumping brine into the filter, almost had saltwater coffee.

    The BIL is checking on parts today.