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Old 01-09-2015, 01:26 PM   #1
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Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?


All,
I don't have many locations for the drain line on my water softener I am preparing to install. I have a 3/4" PVC line leaving the softener. It needs to be this big (normal is 1/2") because I am sending the drained saltwater more than 20 feet from the softener, and the manual recommended 3/4" if that is the case. I need to tie this drain line into a 2" auxiliary vent stack in our house for a sewer connection. The stack is currently only for a bathroom's tub/toilet/sink drain. I'd like for what I'm doing to meet code. I am in Texas, if that matters.

In below's picture, I have highlighted yellow the section that would be new.

As far as I know from initial internet research, there are 3 requirements for this:
  • The tie-in line must be 2.5X the drain line entering the system. So for a 3/4" drain line, 3/4 x 2.5=1.875 or 2 in line. (I drew this in as 1.5" in the attached picture, as I was originally planning on a 1/2" drain line into the stack.
  • Tied-in line requires a P-trap.
  • Tied-in line requires an air gap.

Please see attached picture of my plan. Can I just connect the 3/4" line into a 2" (currently drawn as 1.5") standpipe that has a P-trap? The standpipe would be open to the surroundings to act as the air gap in the event of a sewer line plug.

Thanks all!
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:37 PM   #2
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Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?


No. And you do not understand at all what an air gap is. The drain line has to have at least a 1" gap of air between the end of it and the drain it is emptying in to. You can not connect directly to any type of pipe, drain or vent.

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Old 01-09-2015, 03:19 PM   #3
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Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?


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Originally Posted by SHR Plumber View Post
No. And you do not understand at all what an air gap is. The drain line has to have at least a 1" gap of air between the end of it and the drain it is emptying in to. You can not connect directly to any type of pipe, drain or vent.
That was a bit of an abrasive response.

Regardless, yes, I did not draw that air gap right. Fortunately, I understand what an air gap is, as it is one of many concepts we had to learn in my fluid mechanics class. Unfortunately I had a brain fart. But I am having a hard time knowing what is code and what isn't. Would you be able to provide some suggestions on how to make the connection if my design doesn't meet a certain requirement?

I have attached the change you discussed, but I am a bit confused about your last sentence.

Your last sentence, " You can not connect directly to any type of pipe, drain or vent," does this mean I cannot use a stack as a drain for another flow? How would I get into my sewer system if I cannot use any current drains?
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:07 PM   #4
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Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?


You can not tie that into a vent from the floor below. You will need to get that to an existing floor drain. Or pipe it out to your storm with an air gap. Or you can open the walls below and re-vent what ever that vent is venting.
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:44 AM   #5
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Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?


Ghostmaker and SHR Plumber, thank you very much for your responses. You have helped me from committing a stupid mistake.

It sounds like I cannot tie a drain into a vent, although a quick google search brought some things up like it being alright to create a wet vent in bathroom vent systems, such as the one I was planning, as long as you increase the diameter of the vent stack piping one size up to account for water flow potentially blocking some air flow. Not sure how this code applies.

Well, maybe I can tie in closer to the drain. Please see attached pictures of the drain system in that bathroom. The water softener would be on the other side of the OSB wall in the pictures. I could cut into the wall and modify the drainage if that is allowed.

Is this still not kosher, even with something like a sanitary cross?
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Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?-bathroom-drain-system1.jpg   Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?-bathroom-drain-system2.jpg  
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:27 AM   #6
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Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?


I owned at least one house where the softener drained directly to the outside, onto a sloped, wooded area. Do you have enough property to do that? It really isn't a lot of water.
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Old 01-10-2015, 11:00 AM   #7
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Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?


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Originally Posted by md2lgyk View Post
I owned at least one house where the softener drained directly to the outside, onto a sloped, wooded area. Do you have enough property to do that? It really isn't a lot of water.
md2lgyk,
I'm starting to think I may do that for now, and if it has issues, buck up and pay (probably a lot of money to) a plummer to figure out a solution. Internet research seems to give a 50/50 split with people's success with draining to yard being good/bad results. Some say no issues for years, some say killed vegetation. Sounds like 50 gals per regen is not uncommon for this stream, every 10 days or so. Also, people mention using the potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride to minimize impact of the salts on the vegetation. Only down side is $6 per 50 lb bag for sodium, and $30 per 50 lb bag for potassium. Over time, that's a significant difference.

I have attached pics of the immediate vicinity outdoors, and potential options. I would thoroughly appreciate 2 cents from anyone about whether any of these are worth pursuing.

option 1:
tubing from softener to drain freely in immediate bed of bark with plants. I read about a buried sloped 2 or 3" PVC pipe (red in picture#2), possibly 10 feet in length, with holes drilled in the bottom to spread out the drainage in the soil. Would this be better than just a point source drain from the tubing right onto the bark? also, would 50 gallons once every 10 days be enough to erode/hydro-excavate the soil under the driveway? Would hate to have a sunk driveway.

option 2:
route tubing to PVC along the house and then route the PVC into the yard drain (red circle, pictures#2 and 3).

option 3:
tie in to the 1/2 or 3/4" PVC drains on the hot water heaters. These drain to the ground (orange circle, pictures#2 and 3). just dump the regeneration water onto the ground here, and it will hopefully drain to the yard drain (red circle)? possible killing of grass if the water is very salty.

option 4:
there is a drain near the other garage door opposite of where the softener will be installed. Route a 3/4" polyethylene or reinforced tubing (light blue, picture#4) across the bottom of the garage doors, out the other garage door side, and into a drilled hole. About 20 feet of tubing to drain. Don't think it would empty very well since it is flat across the garage.

option 5: (no picture)
tubing to middle of garage doors, and drain the salt water onto the driveway and into the street. I read water softener discharge doesn't have enough salt content to leave white streaks like other brine services do, so this shouldn't be a big red flag to neighbors.

Note: I live in the Houston area. freezing temperatures occur 1-3 days per year, as far as I understand from people here. I'm new to the area. Freezing of drain lines is not a major concern is it relates to the design. I can manage working with the design 1-3 days a year if it presents a potential freezing hazard.
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Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?-option-1.jpg   Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?-option-2-3-1.jpg   Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?-option-2-3-2.jpg   Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?-option-4.jpg  

Last edited by klip; 01-10-2015 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 01-10-2015, 11:51 AM   #8
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Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?


Option 2 just bury it across the grass. Also salt water has a lower freeze point then fresh water.
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:25 PM   #9
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Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?


Do you know the GPM output? If it's low enough, you could possibly tie into the WC wet vent near the floor.
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Old 01-10-2015, 01:05 PM   #10
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Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?


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Do you know the GPM output? If it's low enough, you could possibly tie into the WC wet vent near the floor.
The spec is 7 gpm backwash max @ 25 psi differential. Browsing forums for similar softener discussions (Fleck 5600sxt) people state theirs back washes at 2-3 gpm. Since I haven't installed mine yet, I'm not sure what it'll operate at. My incoming water pressure is about 65 psig, so pretty decent supply pressure.

The backwash rate is 2-3 gpm, and this only occurs for 10-15 mins every 10 days or so depending on water quality. The brine rinse is immediately after, and a much lower flow rate, approx 0.5 gpm and that lasts 50-80 mins for a total fluid output of 50-60 gals. Are these flow rates small enough to be able to wet vent?

Last edited by klip; 01-10-2015 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:17 PM   #11
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Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?


Looking at your pictures, I don't think draining on the ground would be a great option for you. My house was located on many acres of fully wooded land with a slope away from the house and no neighbors anywhere nearby. I wasn't worried about hurting any vegetation.
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:45 PM   #12
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Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?


Not under IPC which is currently the code in Texas.
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:34 AM   #13
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Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?


Ok thanks md2lgyk and ghostmaker.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:20 AM   #14
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Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?


if no other alternative we've been allowed to drain them into a side inlet tail piece under the sink just like you would drain your dishwasher. under a lav, as long as it was a 2 inch waste arm.
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:23 AM   #15
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Tie-in water softener drain into bathroom vent stack - meets code?


just to add the my previous post the discharge line must be looped above rim line.

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