Conventional water softeners use ion exchange to swap hard water minerals for sodium ions. There are many reasons why this is necessary. The first step of the flushing process is to remove the minerals that have built up inside the resin.
On removing nasty build-ups, check out our guide on how to get rid of sulfur to prevent smells in well water.
This requires a drain connection. In this guide, I’ll be sharing everything you should know about drain lines, including how drain lines work, where to connect them, and how to install a water softener drain pipe.
Why Does a Water Softener System Need a Drain Line?
An ion exchange water softener needs to regenerate to keep up with its water softening performance. If your water is soft, it can be regenerated through ion exchange. The process exchanges the calcium and magnesium with sodium. This removes the hardness.
If your water softener tastes salty, here’s why on another separate article.
Eventually, the resin becomes saturated with calcium and magnesium. The softener must regenerate to remove these minerals and replenish the softening tank with sodium. The system is purged during regeneration.
This water will help to reduce the hardness in the water and carry out hardness ions out of your system. You should install a drain line to ensure that this water doesn’t get back into your home’s water supply.
Where Can You Drain Your Water Softener?
Most people don’t install their water softener’s drain line until they have had the unit for at least six months. This ensures that you are not wasting money on softening water when it could be used.
If you live in a remote area, your access to a sewer system may be limited, so you may not have access to a sewage treatment plant to treat your waste. Even if you are allowed to discharge backwash into your sewer system, there could be restrictions about how much and what kind of material you can discharge.
Importance of Understanding Local Regulations
It is essential to read up on any rules and regulations that your local authority might have about water softener drainage before you purchase a system. These regulations could limit the type of systems that are available for purchase, and whether a regenerating water softener is right for you at all.
Drain water softener backwash as many times as you can until you have used up all the water, then use this trick to get rid of the residual magnesium sulfate. If the town doesn’t use ground water for its public water supply, you can use your water softener as a wastewater system and drain it into the ground. In this case, you should hook your water softener’s drain pipe to your sewage connection.
Some local authorities might also prohibit you from sending dirty laundry directly into your sewage line. In this case, you could flush your water softener outside, since it’s usually located in a different room.
Can I Drain My Water Softener Outside?
If you don’t want the hassle of hooking your water system up to your sewer line, one of the easiest solutions is to drain your water into the ground. There are many reasons to avoid printing your own labels.
Backwash contains sodium, so it might not be right for your local ecosystem. If you don’t have a well or septic tank, or you live in an apartment, the best type of water softener you could purchase is a gravity-flow system.
Backwash Drain Options for the Basement
The best option to drain your softener backwash from your basement is listed below. These are the best options for your basement. Some of them are more effective than others.
If the sink doesn’t have a floor drain, or if you want to reduce the size of the drainhole, you can install a sump pump. If your water softener doesn’t offer enough water pressure to send water up a sewage drain, you can use one of the two pumps discussed below.
A sump pump sends water away from the system when the water level reaches a certain height. These types of pumps are usually installed in sump basins. You can drain your water softener’s drain directly into a sump basin. This will raise the water level to the required height.
Once it’s filled, you’ll take the plug out and drain it into your preferred type of drainage, such as a sewer. You could combine a sump pump and a dry well in your basement, which means that the sump pump would only be needed if the well’s soil was unable to take up the backwash.
Sewage Ejector Pump
An alternative to a vacuum sewer pump is an ejector sewage pump. These can be placed anywhere you want, and they will automatically send water up from the lowest part of the sink or basin to the required height.
There are many benefits to sewage ejector pumps. One of the biggest benefits is that they eject water straight into a sewage system. These pumps use a vent, which prevents raw sewage from flowing back into your drain line. There are some gases which may be in the piping of your house or home which will also be vented out.
A pump is an excellent way to help clear your drain, and it should be of the right kind, which will not be damaged by the waste water from your softener. You should look for a plastic or stainless steel pump. Make sure that the pump isn’t submerged in water for extended periods of time, which would likely short-change its lifespan.
An all-in-one filter and sump for softeners and RO systems has become a popular choice for those who want a convenient alternative to an expensive softener sump. It’s a deep hole that allows for backwash to slowly seep into the ground.
It’s important that a dry well needs to be constructed well above the water table so that it can hold large quantities of waste water and slowly allow it to travel into the ground around the well. Drying wells are a good way to keep the level of hardness and salt in your water treatment tank low, which will help your local ecosystem by not bringing in too much hard water into it.
Septic Drain Field
An example of a septic tank in conjunction with a drain field is one that is used to disperse water softener from the brine tank onto a large surface. It’s worth noting that there is debate about the safety of using a septic system as a source of water for your garden. But, there isn’t enough conclusive evidence to determine if this drainage method is unsafe.
You could choose to use an old septic tank as a dry well if you prefer. To solve the problems above you have to find out the grammar for these sentences. You’d just need to clean out the water tank and insert holes into the bottom of the tank, and attach the softener’s drain line. Then, use pea stone or similar material to fill the tank.
A french drain is similar to a dry well. You can create them with PVC piping and plastic drainage pipe (sold separately). The difference is that this well is a lot wider horizontally than it is deeper vertically. To install a french drain, you’ll need to place a pipe along a ditch.
The pipe should feature a hole for backwash to seep into the soil. When your ditch is longer, it spreads out more, which lets more water get across it. This means you should avoid a buildup of pollutants in one area, which can prevent damage to the environment.
If you’re going to install an outdoor drainage option for your water softener, you’ll want to first do your research and check if you need any permits or regulations in advance. A Google search will turn up the answer to your question. However, your local municipality will be able to provide you with more information if you can’t find what you’re looking for online.
How to Install a Water Softener Drain Line
The exact process of installing a drain line depends on the type of water softener you have. Typically, however, you’ll have two drain lines, which can be installed using the following process: Install the first drain line at the system’s control valve, allowing backwash water to be drained out when the water softener regenerates.
To install the second drain line, you must add a valve between it and the brine tank, then connect the line to the same drain you’re already using for the water softener. The overflow drain is not in your irrigation system and will not use this line as an overflow.
This will save you money if you install these drain lines separately. After all, there wouldn’t be much point in installing them separately in the first place. If your water softener has instructions, you should read them to learn what steps you need to follow to install your water softener’s drain lines.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my water softener regenerate so frequently?
A leaky water softener may cause your water system to continuously drain. Don’t let the issue go unnoticed – it could potentially cause serious damage to your home. If your air conditioning system is having trouble, check for leaks in your system’s connectors, hoses, and seals.
Also check for leaks in your water outlets, your plumbing and your faucets.
Is it important for your water softener’s drain pipe to have an air gap?
Yes, your home’s plumbing code requires an air gap in your drain. The purpose of an air gap is to ensure that water can only travel one way through the drain: out. This is the easiest way to keep your home from getting contaminated.
How often should my water softener drain?
There are several factors that will affect how often a water softener will drain, including the system’s tank capacity, your daily average water usage, and the hardness of your water supply. You can expect an ion exchange water treatment softener to need to be regenerated once every three days to once per week.
Because there’s no need to wash your sheets in a wash cycle during this time, you should consider using only softener and rinse cycles to keep your clothes and linens looking their best! If your water softener is older, it’s already started to lose its efficiency and the resins’ capacity has decreased.
As a result, the system will need to regenerate (and therefore drain) more frequently. It’s wise to replace your laundry detergent every 10-15 years to minimize water use.
What happens if my drain line becomes blocked?
Your water softener should have plenty of surface area in the drain pipe so that when water is regenerating it can adequately flow out of the system.
If you have a clogged drain pipe, the softened water in the resin can cause the resin to swell. A resin that becomes cracked or worn can affect the look of your room. To avoid this situation, make sure to take good care of your resin and change it when needed.
The water will still flow, but it’s going to be hard. The solution is simple. Make sure your drain line is always free of blockages. Blockages in the plumbing system are dangerous and need to be investigated and cleared out immediately.