06:21AM | 08/14/03
Member Since: 08/13/03
1 lifetime posts
Hello everyone,

Recently, I asked a local water softener company to install a water softener in my small cottage.

This cottage has a well.

The water softener installation person told me after "checking out" the plumbing, that he didn't know how to install a softener as my pressure tank is plumbed at the "end of the run".

He told me that the water entered the home at a location other than the pressure take and went to all of the faucets before finally terminating at the pressure tank.

My pressure tank is the bladder type.

I THOUGHT that when I used water, it was coming from the bottom half of the pressure tank.
When water was used from the pressure tank, pressure fell, the well pump would turn on and replenish the used water and the pressure would then be re-established.

The water softener person tells me.....
1. The only thing the pressure tank is doing is providing pressure.
2. The water that I use is NOT coming from the pressure tank but rather directly from the well.

I'm confused.

Does this information from the water softener person sound reasonable ?

Is there any way to install a water softener with the way my little house is plumbed ?

Thanks in advance for any replies.


06:20AM | 04/18/05
Member Since: 04/17/05
1 lifetime posts
I find it strange the plumber didn't just move the preassure tank to the begining of the system and just add a Water Hammer to the end of the system which would allow you to add the softner. The water hammer would act as a Preassure buffer at the end to stop and hammering which is often the reason that preassure tanks are put at the end of a plumbing system when water preassure isn't constant but varies cause of the well pump having to replensih the water.

Gary Slusser

05:48AM | 04/19/05
Member Since: 02/17/04
112 lifetime posts
The problem is that when you use water, the pressure tank plumbing causes water to flow out of it to/toward the fixtures until the pump comes on. Then the pump causes the water FROM the pressure tank to reverse back into the tank.

Now POE (point of entry) water treatment equipment has a directional inlet and outlet that if reversed makes the water flow backwards in the equipment and in many instances, tha tcauses the pluboing to fill with softener resin. An expensive problem if it occured but... the softener wil not soften water tha tway. So how do we get the water from the well pump to go into the INlet rather than the OUTlet that is serving softened water to the fixtures? You're lucky the guy found the problem and informed you of it. Hopefully you compenstated him for his time and knowledge.

Also, a pressure tank is not a water hammer prevention device. Why the softener installation guy didn't reposition the pressure tank is probably due to there being no place/space/room to do that nor is there any way to reroute the water inlet line from the well pump without digging to below the frost line in many instances.

The fault is on the folks that designed the water system that way. Personally I've found houses plumbed that way by folks not knowing what they are doing. I actually installed a softener in one where the pressure tank was in another building and the plumbing wasn't exposed so I could check the new log home owner's statments as to what water line they were having the softener installed on. He was lucky to not have blown the pump off the drop pipe in the well. He actually had me install the unit on the outlet from the pump before the water got to the pressure tank in the next building. And there was a check valve on the imnlet to the pressure tank so the water couldn't run backwards from the tank as in this case. The softener could only get water when the pump ran but the softener couldn't cause the pump to come on due to the check valve. So it couldn't fully regenerate. It took hours of troubleshooting to find the cause of his "my softener isn't working all the time" complaint. It was a twin tank that usually regenerates when other water is being used, so half the time it operated but the rest of the time it didn't. Had it been a regular softener, I wouldn't have been able to complete installtion without discoverying the problem, but it wasn't. After it was discovered, he said he questioned his dad about him plumbing the line from the well to where they wanted the softener in the laundry room but ... he went along rather than disagree with dad. But he never mentioned it to me during 2 months of guessing (on the phone, he was in the mountains80 miles from me) what was happening with the softener and then only after I stumbled on it after hours on site rebuilding the cntrol valve and tearing the tanks apart to inspect the bottom baskets etc. and then troubleshooting why all that made no difference. That's the worst case I've ever had in 18 years.


Quality Water Associates
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