water softener install/manifold question

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Old 03-05-13, 09:10 PM
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water softener install/manifold question

I recently installed a Fleck 7000SXT water softener in my home. From the very beginning the water did not soften, and the gallons did not count down on the display. It was as though no water was going through the softener.

I did all of the usual troubleshooting - making sure the unit wasn't in bypass, ensured that the metering cable was plugged correctly, etc... and none of those things were out of order.

Then I made a discovery with the plumbing that I think might be the problem and I was hoping that the community could help me out with my theory. I'll try to explain it as briefly as I can.

Basically, if I detach the softener and the bypass valve, cap the pipe going into the softener, but leave the pipe that water enters upon leaving the softener open and turn on the water to the house, water comes out the second pipe. So somehow water is able to get to the home's plumbing via some other path than through the softener. My home has a manifold plumbing system with a third line coming up to the bottom of the manifold that goes to the kitchen sink and the outside hose bibs. I routed the water through the softener after this branch so the sink and outside water wouldn't be softened, assuming that the manifold was sectioned off internally and water couldn't pass between sections. I must have been wrong in that assumption because that is the only other path that water could be coming from in the above scenario. I have attached a pic of the manifold and a schematic of the piping that will hopefully illustrate what I am describing.

Am I correct in my diagnosis? If I am, how can I re-plumb the softener without softening the kitchen sink water and the outside water?

Thanks in advance for your help!


 

Last edited by climbhigh1119; 03-05-13 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 03-06-13, 06:36 AM
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If the bottom copper line is the inlet, you would have to create a "loop" there. Cut the copper, divert the incomming line into the softener and connect the outgoing "soften water" back into the manifold. In order to get hard water to the hose bibbs, you have to disconnect the lines from the manifold and reconnect them into the copper lines prior to the softener.
 
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Old 03-06-13, 06:46 AM
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What does the label say at the joint between the two sections of manifold?

A clear close-up picture of that area would help.....and perhaps the make and model number at the top.
It could help in determining how the internal routing is set-up and establish the correct connections.

It seems odd but if indeed there is a pass-through and the two sections are connected and there is no way to shut it off.....then you will need to isolate the hard water feeds that go to the kitchen and outdoor lines. One option is to simply connect the 3 lines directly to that lower pipe.....in essence creating its own manifold.....and cap the abandoned feed on the bottom of the existing manifold.


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Old 03-06-13, 05:16 PM
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That makes sense. Thanks for the clear diagram, it helps a lot. Do you know the best way to attach pex to a copper pipe like that? Do I need to buy another mini-manifold (if there is such a thing) or is there another way? Thanks again for your help.

The label is just a company label for Vanguard piping systems with their address and contact info. I will try giving them a call to see if they have any insight. I can not find a model # anywhere on the manifold.
 
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Old 03-06-13, 05:58 PM
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I would make sure before you surge ahead that indeed there is an issue. The bottom section of that manifold is supposed to be separated by a divider plate.....which appears to be the case. Everything actually looks correct the way it is plumbed right now. The hard water comes directly in the
bottom fitting and feeds only the 3 lines....acting as it's own independent manifold.

Going back to the issue of the softener.....are you absolutely 100% sure it is not on by-pass?
Or that there is no issue with the by-pass itself or is it possibly connected backwards?


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