Water softener diagnosis FAQs © Daniel Friedman Water Softener Plumbing Trouble
Diagnostic FAQs about plumbing connections, supply, drainage & vents for water conditioners & water softeners
     


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Water softener plumbing water supply & drainage troubleshooting FAQs.

This article series describes procedures for diagnosing and repairing water softener or water conditioner problems including water conditioner control settings and adjustment or repair, brine tank and brine tank float cleaning and repair, and the proper amount of water softening or conditioning that is needed.

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Water Softener Plumbing Problems & Questions

Question: Where should I dispose of water softener drainage?

I am required to put a barrel filled with stone for my softener drain, I will only be 2' from my basement wall (concrete poured wall). Will I have problems with this? What should be a safe distance. The soil is sand. I have absolutely no other place to put it. Thanks for any information. - Joe 11/23/11

Reply:

Joe,

First, a solid barrel filled with stone won't work as a water softener drain destination; once the barrel has filled it'll just overflow. If you mean that you are trying to construct a drywell or seepage pit to accept water softener drainage, that might make sense. But you need to keep the drywell far enough from the foundation wall so that water from it doesn't leak back into the building, nor into the septic system.

While a concrete foundation wall is somewhat leak resistant, cracks, seams at the footing, and even direct moisture penetration mean that putting a drywell right next to your house is asking for an eventual water entry problem. With sandy soil it's an engraved invitation for water entry. If your foundation is a really tight one the water may not appear immediately, but eventually I expect it'll find its way inside. I'm sorry but I am doubtful that this will be a usable long term or even intermediate term solution. You'd be better off finding a more distant location (with sandy soils, 20 feet or more away) even if you have to use a pump to move the wastewater.

Question: water pressure now seems worse than before we installed a water softener

We recently installed a water softener in our home. Before we installed it, our water pressure was fine. Now that we have filled it with salt and recharged it, we have very little water pressure. Why is this? If I hit bypass, the water pressure goes back to normal. - Angela 10/16/12

Reply:

Angela

If the water pressure problem has been present since the softener was installed, I suspect an installation error, such as a copper pipe joint partly blocked by solder.

If the problem is not since new but has just occurred, perhaps the bypass valve is not opening fully when in softener mode.

You DID put the salt in the right tank, yes?

Ps in links at page top see our article on the Bypass Valve for repair instructions.

Question: bubbles at toilet when water softener is operating

Commode and kitchen sink gurgles/bubbles and water drains from commode bowl while neutralizer/softener operates.

What is the problem, please? - Linda Kennedy 12/7/12

Reply: building drain waste vent DWV system problems

Linda,

If a kitchen sink drain and toilet are bubbling that suggests that the plumbing vent system that should be serving those appliances is absent, blocked, clogged, missing, or improperly installed;

You may be noticing the noises when the water softener is in backwash/regeneration mode more than at other times because of the added water volume passing down the drain line or because of the point at which water softener drainage is being connected to your plumbing drain system.

 

Continue reading at SOFTENER ADJUSTMENT & CONTROLS or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.

or see DIAGNOSE WATER SOFTENER PROBLEMS

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SOFTENER PLUMBING PROBLEMS at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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