Yesterday's Tractor Co.
Shop Now View Cart
   Allis Chalmers Case Farmall IH Ford 9N,2N,8N Ford
   Ferguson John Deere Massey Ferguson Minn. Moline Oliver
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   Traditional YT Forum ViewClassic View   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile    Log inLog in 

floor drain/septic tank/water softener issue

Goto page 1, 2  Next

 
Post new topic    
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Bob in SD
Long Time User


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 992


Report to Moderator

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:20 am    Post subject: floor drain/septic tank/water softener issue Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Long story, but looking for advice.

When we bought this place the water softener discharged into basement floor drains that were routed around the septic tank and into a leach pit. I had a real drain field put in 10 or so years ago by a company that made several mistakes. I found out this summer that they made one more, and they cut the pipe from the floor drains, so those floor drains now just go into the dirt under the house.

Despite the water softener dumping 50 gallons into them 2-3 times a week, no problems were noticed. Until this very wet year. The water table (at least the local level under the house) got slightly above the basement floor so water is coming in at the foundation and up through the hole where the well water comes in and the yard faucet water goes out (just a hole in the cement floor with dirt packed around the pipes and conduit). About a month ago I verified that the floor drains go nowhere.

What to do?

1) Put it back like it was? It's a bit deep for a rental mini-ex (and I'm nervous digging that close to the foundation and the old septic tank), so it would cost $2-3K to get the floor drains hooked up to go into the new drainfield. It wouldn't be a lot of water, but I'd be putting more water in the drainfield at the exact times its likely to be saturated.

2) Just leave it, but try to run the water softener somewhere else? I'm guessing a sump pump won't last too long pumping salty brine? Also guessing there are pumps that can handle this. What are my options here?

3) Maybe along with #2. There are floor drains in only about 1/3 of the basement. The newer parts don't have drains, but have sump pumps with drain tile running outside of a foundation and into one sump and drain tile running under the original basement and also outside of the original foundation but under an addition feeding another. This tile is pretty OK (but if I have a backhoe out for # 1 I'll also fix a portion of the outside drain tile--this one I can reach with a mini-ex so I'll fix it either way). These sumps are dry year round most years, needed in the spring only about 1/3 of the time, and running constantly this year.

So, option 3 would be do do something similar on the problem 3rd of the basement. Rent a concrete saw and install a sump and pump with several tile/pea rock ditches under the cement floor so I can pump under that part of the basement and not put it into the drain field. Since it's lasted disconnected for so long, I'm not sure I need drains there if I reroute the softener discharge.

First, thanks for reading all of that. Second, thanks for any and all suggestions.

Bob
 
Back to top
View user's profile
showcrop
Tractor Guru


Joined: 13 Dec 2000
Posts: 26983
Location: Chester NH

Report to Moderator

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:40 am    Post subject: Re: floor drain/septic tank/water softener issue Reply to specific post Reply with quote

CVPost-Bob in SD wrote:
(quoted from post at 06:20:06 09/13/19) Long story, but looking for advice.

When we bought this place the water softener discharged into basement floor drains that were routed around the septic tank and into a leach pit. I had a real drain field put in 10 or so years ago by a company that made several mistakes. I found out this summer that they made one more, and they cut the pipe from the floor drains, so those floor drains now just go into the dirt under the house.

Despite the water softener dumping 50 gallons into them 2-3 times a week, no problems were noticed. Until this very wet year. The water table (at least the local level under the house) got slightly above the basement floor so water is coming in at the foundation and up through the hole where the well water comes in and the yard faucet water goes out (just a hole in the cement floor with dirt packed around the pipes and conduit). About a month ago I verified that the floor drains go nowhere.

What to do?

1) Put it back like it was? It's a bit deep for a rental mini-ex (and I'm nervous digging that close to the foundation and the old septic tank), so it would cost $2-3K to get the floor drains hooked up to go into the new drainfield. It wouldn't be a lot of water, but I'd be putting more water in the drainfield at the exact times its likely to be saturated.

2) Just leave it, but try to run the water softener somewhere else? I'm guessing a sump pump won't last too long pumping salty brine? Also guessing there are pumps that can handle this. What are my options here?

3) Maybe along with #2. There are floor drains in only about 1/3 of the basement. The newer parts don't have drains, but have sump pumps with drain tile running outside of a foundation and into one sump and drain tile running under the original basement and also outside of the original foundation but under an addition feeding another. This tile is pretty OK (but if I have a backhoe out for # 1 I'll also fix a portion of the outside drain tile--this one I can reach with a mini-ex so I'll fix it either way). These sumps are dry year round most years, needed in the spring only about 1/3 of the time, and running constantly this year.

So, option 3 would be do do something similar on the problem 3rd of the basement. Rent a concrete saw and install a sump and pump with several tile/pea rock ditches under the cement floor so I can pump under that part of the basement and not put it into the drain field. Since it's lasted disconnected for so long, I'm not sure I need drains there if I reroute the softener discharge.

First, thanks for reading all of that. Second, thanks for any and all suggestions.

Bob



Is this a multi family home with large families? or do you have ten kids? If not your softener should be regenerating only every two weeks max, probably three to four weeks. It needs to be reprogrammed. It is most likely softening all of your water when you could get by with doing only your hot. Mine softens all but the outdoor faucet and the kitchen cold water. Most people think that softeners rinse all of the salt out but a water test reveals how much they leave. I go through about ten bags of salt a year and the hardness is six grains. Fixing the softener will probably take care of your problem, unless the ground all around your house is so sandy that the water table is elevated for hundreds of yards all around.
 
Back to top
View user's profile
Determined
Tractor Expert


Joined: 26 Dec 2012
Posts: 2070


Report to Moderator

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:46 am    Post subject: Re: floor drain/septic tank/water softener issue Reply to specific post Reply with quote

As far as the flush water from the softener goes I would just plumb it into a line going to your septic tank.

Ours has been this way forever and no problems with the salty brine in the septic system nor has the pump been damaged.

A softener basically uses water pressure to push the flush brine out so you do not need gravity on your side.

Sons house the softener discharge is tee-d into the vent stack 4 feet above the softener and it works just fine.
 
Back to top
View user's profile
Bob in SD
Long Time User


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 992


Report to Moderator

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:54 am    Post subject: Re: floor drain/septic tank/water softener issue Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I can dig up a little floor and maybe T into the drain stack (which is probably 100 year old cast, so maybe not), or come across about 20 feet of basement and up a couple of feet to go into the clean out. If I go under the floor I could put a sink in the basement also, which would be nice. Definitely something to look into.
 
Back to top
View user's profile
Bob in SD
Long Time User


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 992


Report to Moderator

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:01 am    Post subject: Re: floor drain/septic tank/water softener issue Reply to specific post Reply with quote

That did seem like a lot when I typed it, but that is what's happening now. We do have pretty hard water, but I should get the hardness of the well water checked. That's the input to the softener program that I probably have wrong.

Right now it's plumbed into both hot and cold, and I have had issues with calcium (?) build up in valves and on the spigots in the past. I think it'd be fairly straight forward to just soften the water going to the water heater. The water heater is only about 15 feet from the softener (and I got a new MAP torch this summer, so there's that).

The best part about all of these suggestions is that I can do them after the snow flies. As a chronic procrastinator, "later" is one of my favorite words.
 
Back to top
View user's profile
paul
Tractor Guru


Joined: 25 Dec 1997
Posts: 26072


Report to Moderator

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:16 am    Post subject: Re: floor drain/septic tank/water softener issue Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If you avoid the cold water, your toilets will stain up pretty quickly, typically.

Given a choice, I would prefer returning the lines as they were, letting the grey water from your softener draining to the separate French drain as I understand it.

Legally, in many states you need to,plumb everything tot he septic.

Practically, I would end up doing whatever is easiest for now.....

Paul
 
Back to top
View user's profile
Mark in Upstate
Regular


Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 296


Report to Moderator

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:03 am    Post subject: Re: floor drain/septic tank/water softener issue Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Never plumb a water softener into a residential sanitary disposal system, for any reason. The brine kills the bacteria that is treating the effluent!
Plumb it outside and let it dump on the lawn or put another drain line,1.0", by gravity, to a downstream location and daylight.
 
Back to top
View user's profile
Spook
Tractor Guru


Joined: 19 Mar 2005
Posts: 9285
Location: Howell, Michigan

Report to Moderator

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:37 am    Post subject: Re: floor drain/septic tank/water softener issue Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Mine is plumb into the septic. My water I hard, the softener regens every 400 gallons. That?s at least once a week, probably more. No septic problems.
 
Back to top
View user's profile
Bob in SD
Long Time User


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 992


Report to Moderator

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:09 am    Post subject: Re: floor drain/septic tank/water softener issue Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I would much rather have it on my barnyard to keep the weeds down. I'm just not sure how to route it there without killing a tree that's in between, or what happens at 30 below if I'm running a hose across the ground. I figure the brine isn't wonderful for grass. I'd also heard to not put it in the septic, but the septic guy and the water softener sales people claim it's not an issue. Of course, the sales guy just wants me to buy one.
 
Back to top
View user's profile
buickanddeere
Tractor Guru


Joined: 31 May 2003
Posts: 34941
Location: in front of computer

Report to Moderator

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:27 am    Post subject: Re: floor drain/septic tank/water softener issue Reply to specific post Reply with quote


In an ideal world the floor drains , water softener , washing machine , dishwasher , kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks and bathtubs/Showers would have their own grey water drain system.
 
Back to top
View user's profile
kcm.MN
Tractor Guru


Joined: 20 Feb 2017
Posts: 12861


Report to Moderator

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: floor drain/septic tank/water softener issue Reply to specific post Reply with quote

CVPost-Mark in Upstate wrote:
(quoted from post at 08:03:12 09/13/19) Never plumb a water softener into a residential sanitary disposal system, for any reason. The brine kills the bacteria that is treating the effluent!
Plumb it outside and let it dump on the lawn or put another drain line,1.0", by gravity, to a downstream location and daylight.


I agree with Mark's post. To add to it a bit (OK, a lot), it has been my belief that homes with conventional water softeners should have 2 separate waste water drains; one for sewage and the other for grey water, which "could" go directly onto the lawn, or could go to a grey water drainage pit. That way you have less problems all around. However, that is the more expensive option as well.

According to the OP, there is one more thing I would want to do. Given that salty brine has been drained into the basement for that many years, I would try to find an inspector that specializes in testing the quality of your concrete floor. It's "possible" that salt may have weakened the floor a bit -- not a problem if it's just resting on earth/gravel and no open spaces, but could possibly present a problem if covering a non-reinforced area. It helps that your water table has not historically backflowed into the basement, but that doesn't mean the water table didn't get close enough for salt solution to come into contact with the concrete.

Lots to think about, but the choice is ultimately yours. Depending on the amount of headroom in the basement and whether or not it's even used for anything else, it might even be less costly to simply do what work needs to be done down there, then have another 3" or 4" of concrete poured over the original floor.

As for a pump that can get the brine up and out of the basement, another possibility would be to use a venturi to move the brine. Would add some amount to the water bill, but for this you could even use from a rain water catchment, if you wanted. If there is any way to move the softener to a higher position, that would make ejecting the brine solution all the easier.

Lastly, there's another type of softener system I heard about years ago but have NO experience with. Rather than using large amounts of salt, it uses smaller amounts of peroxide. Mixing the peroxide with water would render any ejection water safe for pumps, concrete, yard & plants, etc. It would simply be grey water.
 
Back to top
View user's profile
K Effective
Tractor Expert


Joined: 04 Feb 2015
Posts: 2052
Location: Below the pinky finger of the Mitten

Report to Moderator

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:35 am    Post subject: Re: floor drain/septic tank/water softener issue Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Move.



Bob in SD wrote:
Second, thanks for any and all suggestions.

Bob





You're welcome.
 
Back to top
View user's profile
K Effective
Tractor Expert


Joined: 04 Feb 2015
Posts: 2052
Location: Below the pinky finger of the Mitten

Report to Moderator

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:56 am    Post subject: Re: floor drain/septic tank/water softener issue Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Seriously this time, I agree that I'd rather not mix the brine with my septic. I'm also not a fan of bringing the water outside the foundation into the house for a pump to pump it back out. This accentuates the need for backup pumps/power sources.

My outside foundation drains go to a catch basin which drains to the ditch by gravity. I also direct my inside sump pump to this basin, separately. Yours could go to the leach pit it sounds, so I would make use of that and reconnect the floor drains. If you want to improve the drainage inside and cut the floor and add a sump, the pump could also pump to that leach pit.

During our remodel, I jack-hammered the entire basement floor out, replaced the clay tile with perforated plastic and added a sump pit/pump. We re-graded the dirt and put in a four-inch layer of pea gravel prior to pouring a new concrete floor. At the same time, I added plumbing and pit for a sewage ejector pump to provide a bathroom in the basement to connect to the septic tank.

I also dug up the foundation footings outside and replaced the clay there with perforated PVC, clean outs at each corner, new rock/fabric/foundation waterproofing. I added check valves in the outside drain lines to the basin to keep from having water back up into the foundation drains from the basin if there was flooding at the ditch. This spring was a real test of the system, but we never had water enter the living space. The sump pump ran every couple of minutes, but kept up.

That said, that project was a ton of work when I was 35 years old. Not sure I want to do it again at 55. Work all day, jack hammer for three hours until the rental store closes, then back to pick up the chunks and throw them out the window into the loader bucket to the dump trailer. Dad would take the chunks to a local contractor who grinds them down, and I'd start all over again after work the next day.

You thought of getting the water tested is spot on- rather than using the softener to filter sediment and iron out, you need a robust filtration system before the resin beds. Then the resin only needs to remove the soluable ions, and the filters catch the suspended stuff. More to keep up on, but less regeneration waste.
 
Back to top
View user's profile
showcrop
Tractor Guru


Joined: 13 Dec 2000
Posts: 26983
Location: Chester NH

Report to Moderator

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:12 am    Post subject: Re: floor drain/septic tank/water softener issue Reply to specific post Reply with quote


My softener brine goes into a disused stone well. At the church I buried a 30 gal poly drum with a bunch of holes in the bottom. I wouldn't put it into my leach field if I could avoid it. At any given time probably 20% of the leach fields in the country are on their way to failure due to mistreatment or lack of maintenance. People just don't know it until the smelly water starts running out the side.
 
Back to top
View user's profile
Bob in SD
Long Time User


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 992


Report to Moderator

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:45 am    Post subject: Re: floor drain/septic tank/water softener issue Reply to specific post Reply with quote

K Effective said: I agree that I'd rather not mix the brine with my septic. I'm also not a fan of bringing the water outside the foundation into the house for a pump to pump it back out. This accentuates the need for backup pumps/power sources.

and

kcm.MN said: I agree with Mark's post. To add to it a bit (OK, a lot), it has been my belief that homes with conventional water softeners should have 2 separate waste water drains; one for sewage and the other for grey water, which "could" go directly onto the lawn, or could go to a grey water drainage pit. That way you have less problems all around. However, that is the more expensive option as well.

Agree with all of this. I also didn't realize the sumps were being fed from outside until late August this year. I've got just about enough drop to (almost?) daylight additional tile running from the floor drains and also from the outside tile that goes into the sump about 100 feet away, over where the old leach pit used to be. I was thinking of a drywell out there to drain both, which would be more on the order of $4-5000 by the time it's all done. I can do that if I have to, but looking for alternatives (and possible downsides of that plan).
 
Back to top
View user's profile
:   
Post new topic    Yesterday's Tractors Forum Index -> Tractor Talk All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  

TRACTOR PARTS TRACTOR MANUALS
We sell tractor parts!  We have the parts you need to repair your tractor - the right parts. Our low prices and years of research make us your best choice when you need parts. Shop Online Today. [ About Us ]

YT Home  |  Forums

Modern View Forum powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of any part of this website, including design and content, without written permission is strictly prohibited. Trade Marks and Trade Names contained and used in this Website are those of others, and are used in this Website in a descriptive sense to refer to the products of others. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy

TRADEMARK DISCLAIMER: Tradenames and Trademarks referred to within Yesterday's Tractor Co. products and within the Yesterday's Tractor Co. websites are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with Yesterday's Tractor Co., our products, or our website nor are we sponsored by them. John Deere and its logos are the registered trademarks of the John Deere Corporation. Agco, Agco Allis, White, Massey Ferguson and their logos are the registered trademarks of AGCO Corporation. Case, Case-IH, Farmall, International Harvester, New Holland and their logos are registered trademarks of CNH Global N.V.

Yesterday's Tractors - Antique Tractor Headquarters