Water Softener

  Its December 2013 and cold. Keeps me inside. So I use a lot of dishes. Those dishes need to be washed cause I eat dirty. So then the dishwasher cakes them with chalky minerals. That's cause the water is full of microscopic rocks and iron and minerals and other things that make water taste good and clean bad. Seems the water softener is not doing to well. So I replaced it.

  Here is the original Kenmore water softener. It went in in 1999 when the house was built. At that time, the cheap ass plumber used these plastic water pipes called PEX. They are OK and better than the ones from the 70's and 80's that made lawyers rich. The new water softner is a Kenmore also, but has its in and out holes about 3 1/2 inches higher than this one. So I have to raise those horizontal pipes. I want to keep as much as possible so I can plumb as little as possible. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image The old one is out. Here you can see the little copper header pipes and the nuts that screw down on the Kenmore holes - I think they are called "ports."

  I cut off the important parts of the old ones. There they are laid down on the floor. So how do you cut PEX pipe when its against the wall? I have no idea. So I used my angle grinder. That was quite exciting, watching the angle grinder wheel skip out of the pipe and drive along the wall and almost into my hand. I already lost about 0.1 square inch of one of my knuckles with this thing on the Ancient Columns project. I finally figured I needed to be higher so that when the wheel bounces off the wall and hurtles uncontrollably my way, it wouldn't take out both my eyes. So I stood on the salt bag. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here, I've added the extension on the lower pipe (water-from-well-filter) and shortened the upper pipe (water-to-rest-of-house). I crimped everything except for the final 90 degree joints. I figured I would wait to have the new softener positioned before finalizing the position of the pipes and then have to twist them around to make them fit. I rented a crimper tool for $9 for two days instead of buying a homowner multipurpose/good-at-none tool for $89.

  After connecting a bunch of drain hoses and routing them to the drain, I was ready to slide this thing into place. Smartly, I did not fill it with salt before I positioned it. I did leave the drain lines too long. When I was shortening up one of them (about 4" at a time to be safe), I dropped a piece of hose into the drain. Its still there.. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image All done and crimped. I only had to use one of the $4 fittings I bought, having reused teh 90 degree things. And I only used a 6" piece of new pipe. The new water softener has a light that shines down on the sparkling salt when the lid lifts. Pretty sparkley.

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