Water Softener Bypass using a Check Valve


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Old 08-01-23, 03:55 PM
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Water Softener Bypass using a Check Valve

Currently I am using the typical plunger style bypass at the Water Softener itself. For 'reasons' I am thinking about using ball valves for the bypass when I change Water Softeners in the near future.
The diagrams I see (online and in the manuals) show 3 valves like this:


Is there any reason I couldn't instead using a 3 way valve and a check valve?
My text below is a little hard to read but the ball valve flow options would be this:



Realizing the chance of a failure for a check valve while in bypass mode would be higher than that of a ball valve, I am putting the chance of either at pretty slim.
 
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Old 08-01-23, 04:58 PM
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K-

I’m no expert for sure but one thing about regular 2-way ball valves, I’m pretty sure you can get all different sizes in full port. Thus three 2-way full port ball valves should have no impact on water flow.

But I don’t know whether you could get the 3-way valves in 3/4 full port. But I’ve seen them in 1/2 full port. So, if the piping into your softener is 3/4 then maybe you would take a slight hit on water flow. Also, I think you would also take a slight hit on water flow through a check valve.

Maybe none of it enough to worry about but I think technically there would be a difference.

So, your choice would be 3 simple valves with full water flow, vs. 2 valves but each more complex and some restricted water flow – although the restriction may be negligible.

At least that’s the way it seems to me. Could be wrong. I wonder if any of the plumbing gurus around her could explain why we never see the configuration you are talking about- because it does seem reasonable.
 
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Old 08-01-23, 05:24 PM
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Ah, good point on the restricted flow. Hadn't thought about that. Wonder if upsizing to 1" on the valve and then reducing would be needed. I'll need to check out options and IDs.
 

Last edited by kramttocs; 08-01-23 at 07:15 PM. Reason: spelling on phone
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Old 08-01-23, 11:57 PM
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A check valve is not an isolation valve so you would not be able to assure the flow is physically stopped.
 
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Old 08-02-23, 07:34 AM
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Makes sense but I assume that is a bigger deal with more critical applications?

My reason for thinking of doing this is so I can automate the 3 way valve when I run the sprinklers (due to layout, running a line that splits off before the softener isn't feasible). Automating a single valve is much easier than three

Been watering with softened water for years so not a huge concern.​
 
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Old 08-02-23, 08:30 AM
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Been watering with softened water for years so not a huge concern.​
That's a big waste of softener capacity and salt, definitely want to isolate that.

But you don't need a valve for that just tee off after the pump to the sprinklers!
 
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Old 08-02-23, 08:47 AM
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Agreed but that's the "isn't feasible" problem - while I have two spigots on the well house that are before the softener, trying to run a new line to the house so I could remove the exterior house spigots (sprinklers are hooked to these) from the main line and hook them to the pre-softener line would be a massive undertaking. My hands fit a shovel so it's not that but it's all the large obstructions between the wellhouse and house built after that are a problem.
This automated bypass that would trigger when the sprinklers are running is the least intrusive option I could come up with.
It's not without downsides I know.
 
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Old 08-02-23, 08:50 AM
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Also, I have done some years where I just ran long waterhoses to the different sprinklers directly from the wellhouse. That's doable for sure but not without it's problems as well (like driveways)
 
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Old 08-02-23, 10:38 AM
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For your application, I don't see why the 3-way valve wouldn't work. I have the same concerns everyone else brought up, but for changing between softened and unsoftened water, I don't see any real risk or code issue.
 
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Old 08-02-23, 10:48 AM
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Thanks
Don't hear me saying that running a separate line isn't possible, it is and I would love to have it that way, but man it would be a massive undertaking!
I should also clarify that this isn't a true sprinkler system - this is just some BHyve units I setup during the dry spells (basically all summer anymore). I don't know that our well could handle a true sprinkler system but that's a project to research for another day.

Also, I will still have the plunger bypass at the water softener itself for maintenance.

Appreciate everyone's input - still need to do some research on the 3 way valve options.
 
 

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