Running PEX for Water Softener Tie-in


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Old 08-23-16, 09:03 AM
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Running PEX for Water Softener Tie-in

Our house did not come set-up for a water softener. The previous owner installed a water softener. They cut into the cold water line running into the hot water heater. All of our hot water is soft water but none of our cold water is soft water. I want to run by-pass lines from the main water shut-off to the utility room and back to the main water shut-off valve. This will allow the cold water to run to the water softener and back. This will soften all the hot and cold water thru-out the house.
To run lines from the shut-off valve to the utility room, I have to go up a wall and thru ceilings to get to the utility room. I want to run PEX because I'll be able to route it easily thru these areas. I'll cut two holes in my drywall. I'll cut a hole in the wall above the shut-off valve access door and cut a hole in the bulk head that ties into the utility room. These access holes will allow me to pull and terminate the PEX lines.
I'm concerned about not being able to attach & secure the PEX lines to floor joist or any other structural member. I don't want the PEX lines to vibrate or move over time and develop a leak in the basement ceiling or wall. Should I be concerned with this? Will the PEX lines move that much? Is there a sleeve or protector that I can put on the PEX for insurance against abrasion?
Thanks for any help & advice.
 
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Old 08-23-16, 09:49 AM
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So the PEX will just be sitting on top of the ceilings? How far is the unsupported run? Will you be running 1" PEX?

Pex does move, both from temperature related expansion and contraction, and as a result of water moving through it if not properly supported. So you have two concerns...the movement can cause it to rub against something and wear through the tubing, and it may cause noise as the pipe moves.

Two suggestions if you really cannot support it along the run (which would be best). You could slip pipe insulation tubes over the PEX as you pull it, securing each piece with tie-wraps or foil tape so it stays in place. That has added benefit of reducing chance of condensation. Second option would be to run the PEX inside another piece of larger size PEX or other flex plastic pipe, like Poly pipe.

[Edit]: Also, make sure your softener is big enough to handle the extra volume of water without having to regen too often and that it won't drop too much pressure due to higher flow.]
 
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Old 08-24-16, 07:14 AM
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Good idea to check the current water softener capacity. The current water softener doesn't have any labels or identification. The control valve is a GE Autotrol 460i unit. Using a calculator I found online & based upon the resin tank size (0.75 cu ft), the softener is a 25000 grain unit with 5.4 gpm. Using a calculator from USwatersystems.com, I need a unit with 10gpm capacity & 35000 grain capacity.

I'll be running 3/4" PEX from the water main shut-off to the water softener. The current main water supply line is 3/4" copper.
 
 

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