Plumbing softener drain line to sewer clean out

bigsmooth469October 8, 2009

Hi All,

Just curious is this is an acceptable practice? I have a plumber who wants to run a drain line out of my garage into the sewer clean out, says it will require a new P-trap. Is it better to go directly to the drain or will the clean out be just fine? I figure since the clean out is hooked up to the sewer, it's the same thing, right?

Thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

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You cannot hamper the function of the clean out, however you may install a Sanitary Tee and put the clean out cap on the top of the Tee, then connect your new drain line into the side opening of the Tee.

Also, you cannot directly connect the water softener drain line to the DWV system. The water softener drain line requires an "indirect waste" connection, which means you could either install a sink with a trap that connects to that tee, then discharge the water softener drain into the sink, or you can install a standpipe with a trap in the same manner as a washing machine standpipe and discharge the water softener drain into the standpipe.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 11:10AM
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lazypup, understand your first statement which is he can tie into the clean out by going undeneath the exposed area...he would dig and T into the white pipe coming up from the ground and not alter the cap.

Don't understand the second paragraph though, the clean out goes to the drain, if he plumbs the p-trap into the bottom part of the clean out, it would empty into the sewer right?

Sorry, I'm obviously not up on my plumbing lingo! :)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 2:59PM
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You can drain the softener to the cleanout provided:

1. The softener drains to a trap
2. The softener drains to the trap by way of an "air gap"
3. The trap is connected so that the connection can still be used as a 'cleanout'.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 9:05PM
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Well, the work is done, now that I saw what they did and how they did it I kind of wish I would have tried it myself but it would have likely taken me twice as long, so oh well, live and learn.

They did exactly what's described by manhattan42, works great.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 12:27PM
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Hi all,

This is what the water softener installer did at my house today. Can anyone tell me if this drain connection to the garage clean out is up to code? I have a feeling it is not since there is no air gap. Let me know. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2015 at 9:39PM
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That is not according to code. If that standpipe backs up there will be cross contamination between the sewer line and the softener. In many locales softener installs must be done by a licensed plumber. Is you installer a licensed plumber? I ask because he obviously does not know what an air gap to drain is

The softener drain line must have an air gap to the drain. The way it is configured, If he had simply run the drain line up a couple inches then 90's it and 90'd it again so the line was in fee air above the standpipe he'd have had an air gap.

Call him back and make him do it according to code or make him buy a nifty air gap from

    Bookmark   January 22, 2015 at 10:39PM
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Thanks, justalurker. The installer is from one of the big water softener companies. I will ask them to correct it.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2015 at 1:32PM
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If they give you the rope-a-dope and say "that's how we do it all the time" tell them you'll call the plumbing inspectors and have them take a look. Then they'll correct it cause the plumbing inspectors will look to see if they pulled a permit and they didn't cause there was no inspection.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2015 at 2:17PM
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The other problem with that install is that you have eliminated the cleanout port.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2015 at 4:49PM
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is that a 3/4 against a 2in? If so, OK.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2015 at 4:51PM
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