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Water Softner Discharge

Posted by mayflower1032 (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 17, 09 at 8:29

In my furnace room where the water sofner would need to be installed has no drains. The gas forced hot air unit uses a condensate pump for its drain...can I drain the water softner into this same condensate pump (which pumps the water across the finished sheetrock ceiling basement into a slop sink about 20 feet away. And I also assume I cannot pump outside due to freezing issues. Do these pump out a lot of water?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Water Softner Discharge

I seriously doubt that your condensate pump could come anywhere close to handling the flow rate from your water softner. You need a separate 1/2" drain line. It could drain outside as long as it was installed so that the drain line in unheated areas would contain no residual water.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

A water softener can use 50 gallons of water to regenerate.

While you decide where to drain consider that the water will have a significant salt concentration during brining and will kill most vegetation.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

Seems my options are limited to none...if the condensate pump cannot handle the volume, and discharging through the block basement wall outside will kill the lawn. And ripping the basement ceiling from one end to the other to get a 1/2" line to the slop sink is not doable. I guess I may need to live with hard water.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

Have you discussed this situation with a licensed plumber?


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

Can't you dump it into an area where there is no grass. In my old home, it went into a rock bed landscaped area.

I am sure he is looking for advice to avoid hiring a plumber...ie - do it yourself.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

"I am sure he is looking for advice to avoid hiring a plumber...ie - do it yourself"

Seems like the OP exhausted the simple, easy, and obvious solutions and now may require professional assistance.

There are solutions to this problem that rise above the DIY level.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

We will get you solutions on this post, that is what we are here for.

A dry well works. Bury a can with holes in it, fill will rocks, and discharge into it.

You can also bury 10 or 20 feet of preforated pipe in stone and let it drain that way.

The landscaping stone suggestion works too.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

Can't the water freeze in the discharge lines rendering it unworkable?


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

Forgot to add...some towns do not allow discharge into the septic fields I believe.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

I think the salt would kill the bacteria required in the septic system so natural decomposition can take place.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

There have been numerous studies done and still there is no definitive answer. Softener discharge (effluent) may harm bacteria in a septic tank and it may not. AFAIK no study has proven that softener discharge into a septic system harms the system in any way.

One negative, for sure, is the volume of water regularly discharged by a softener into a septic system. The less water sent through a septic system the longer the service life of the leach field.

Some local regs prohibit softener discharge into an on-site septic system or a municipal sewer system and require that discharge be directed to a (separate) french drain.

If your softener discharges to open ground and you use NaCl as a regenerant then you'll kill the vegetation.

Regardless, the softener drain line MUST be prevented from freezing shut.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

Will the salt content keep it from freezing? When they installed my heating system, they could not discharge it outside because of freezing issues.


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RE: Softner Discharge

There isn't a high salt content in the softener effluent during the entire regeneration. There's only salt in the effluent during the brining and rinse stages of regeneration. Before and after those stages just plain service water and it will freeze. There can also be some standing water in parts of the softener drain line which can freeze.

I wouldn't take a chance cause if it freezes there will be quite a mess.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

Don't they make a heavy duty condensate pump. Your issue I would think is a common one, no? I would think most of these units are located in a utility room with the heating system and no drains available. My condensate has a clear 3/8" hose on it. Could you have it go to a holding tank first, then to the condensate pump to allow some wiggle room in case the condensate pump cannot keep up.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

Mine goes into the sump pump pit....


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

Would this unit work? Has no discharge

Here is a link that might be useful: Not sure...??


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

"Would this unit work? Has no discharge"

If the OP doesn't want soft water that will do the job nicely.

Could get the same effect just wrapping crisp new twenties around the pipes though.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

There is a reason why some on-line dealers are successful: when thre product doesn't work, they don't have to be accommodating in satisfying the customer. There is no office that you can go into and demand service. There is an easy way to push off complaints and ignore dissatisfied customers.
http://www.my3cents.com/showReview.cgi?id=15902
http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/vitasalus-c241840.html
http://www.bbb.org/eastern-michigan/business-reviews/water-filtration-and-purification-equipment/vitasalus-inc-in-troy-mi-36019847/

Try to get a return on your products' guarantee. Try to get a refund. Try to get personal service. Most consumers are told they need a bigger unit and actually fall for it and spend more money after bad.

These companies depend on attrition to wear you down until you give up.

This is not to say that there are internet companies that DO do good work and honor their ads' promises. Buyer be aware.

Andy Christensen


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

That system looks like a sham.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

Look for a high quality pump to replace the run of the mill condensate pump.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

I think you are out of luck. You need to discharge somewhere. You need to tear down your sheetrock and put a drain in.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

What about opening a small hole on each side of the basement and pushing pex across the ceiling? Or even 12" to 16" lengths of PVC coupled together as they are put into the hole? The hole size would be minimal and could easily be repaired. Now if you have to go through the joists, I'd say your out of luck.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

I would need to go through joists. I guess I am out of luck then. Everyone at work says theirs just dumps on the lawn. But I do not really want to experiment with that in case it does not work, I just wasted money.

A local plumber said I could pump into a large drum, then the condensate pump can have the time to pump it down. But I am starting to not like that idea being the line is only 3/8" and I can envision that getting scaled up from the salt, then my air conditioner and furnace will not have a condensate discharge.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

That sounds like it may not pass code. Where would you put a drum of water? The condensate pump would burn up overworking.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

A drum? Please elaborate. I am thinking an open metal drum?


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

Just dump it outside. That is the only choice you have...or just do not have one. Just angle the pipe outside the wall so you do not have freestanding water in the pipe that will freeze.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

The drum he referred to was a plastic storage tank to allow the softner to discharge to allowing the condensate pump to pump it out. It was not necessarily an open metal drum.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

Mine dumps outside. My grass is fine. I think a drum of water would be OK. I asked some people at work and they said that would not be a code violation.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

There are systems that have no discharge, not sure how they work though.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

Why would a storage tank be a code violation?


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

I had Sears come to our house a year ago for a softner system estimate. Have a similar issue. I belive they were going to run a pipe to our driveway and have it run into the grass. What is this drum system all about? Who makes it?


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

Perhaps I'm stating the obvious here (and I haven't read through all of the previous responses), but why don't you just plumb your softener discharge over to the slop sink? This would be easy and would not overtax your condensate pump.The line could be run along or through the wall. Alternately, a plumber could install a drain for you. Which way do the joists run in your ceiling? Possibly only a couple of relatively small holes would be necessary to run pex through the ceiling. This is just not a huge issue.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

Walls and ceiling are sheetrocked and joists run the wrong way, which is why the existing condensate discussion started. Slop sink and drains are on the opposite side of the room.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

I believe they have other systems that do not discharge. There are other posts called, no salt softners.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

From what I have read, those systems have not been proven.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

They have coils that wrap around the pipe. Check your code.


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RE: Water Softner Discharge

Anyone have any info on the drum system?


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