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Best location for a water softener


hendriQ
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My understanding is that most people put their water softener on the ground floor under the kitchen sink. I'm not sure why that is, but my plumber has suggested that as the unit is quite big and as the kitchen sink cold feed won't be softened water so that we can drink it, we might as well put it where there is more space, which is by the UVC on the second floor. This is also very close to all three bathrooms, though further away from the guest WC which will be the only cold outlet on ground floor to have softened water.

Can anyone see any downside of siting the water softener on the second floor? The only possible negatives I can see are:

  1. Cold water pipe length to the two bathrooms on first floor will be a bit longer as cold water would have to go up from the stop cock on ground floor to second floor and then back down to first, instead of straight up to first;
  2. cold water feed to guest WC on ground floor will also be longer for the same reason,

but presumably this isn't really an issue because the pipe run would be no longer than the hot water as that needs to go up to the cylinder first anyway, and as hot and cold will be balanced I shouldn't lose any additional pressure. Have I got that right? Or will there be some pressure loss?

 

Our pressure is about 3 bar (sometimes falls slightly below this) but flow rate should make up for that as Thames Water is currently digging up our road to do our upgrade to a wider pipe that should give us plenty of flow.

 

The only upside is that we gain quite a bit of space under the kitchen sink and make it easier for the plumber to install, so if there is a loss of pressure, perhaps it's better not to do this.

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4 hours ago, hendriQ said:

My understanding is that most people put their water softener on the ground floor under the kitchen sink

That's only how they are advertised, probably on the assumption that it is the easiest to find a spare space there (by moving all the bottles, sponges etc away), also most likely kitchen is on the ground floor and water enters somewhere nearby. The device could not care less where it sits. The closer you can get it to the stop cock, the more outlets (all but drinking tap in perfect scenario) can benefit.

 

4 hours ago, hendriQ said:

Can anyone see any downside of siting the water softener on the second floor?

I don't, that was my original plan until I had to repurpose room in airing cupboard for heating manifold. Cold mains will still go all the way up to the ceiling and now back down to the ground level, and then up again before heading to all the outlets. 

 

Length of cold water runs won't make much of a difference, it does not suffer 'dead leg' issue as hot water. If you prefer, you might want to insulate them so the extra volume of cold water does not suck heat out of inside (in Winter) and gets condensation on the surface (in Summer) - it is simply easier to warm up small volume to ignore such nuances.

Edited by Olf
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In previous houses we did fit the water softeners under the kitchen sink but in the new build we fitted it in the utility room where the mains water entered the house. We found it much easier to access sitting on the floor. It was all a bit tight for space but better than under the sink.

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Thanks

1 hour ago, Olf said:

Length of cold water runs won't make much of a difference, it does not suffer 'dead leg' issue as hot water.

But re pressure loss, isn’t the concern  that presumably the longer the pipe the more pressure wasted travelling along the pipe.

Edited by Adsibob
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2 minutes ago, Adsibob said:

Thanks

But re pressure loss, isn’t the concern  that presumably the longer the pipe the more pressure wasted travelling along the pipe.

But if my plumber is going to balance the pressure of the hot and cold, any pressure lost in the cold going up to the softener on second floor won’t matter because the hot water has to do the same journey to get to the UVC which will be next to the softener. Or am I misunderstanding this?

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Exactly my silent assumption too: PRV after the softener and all balanced from then on. Also softener is on 22mm pipes, all domestic water on 15mm

To help a bit I'm trying to figure out if supplying the toilets before balancing would help at all.

One aspect I can't comment on yet is any noises generated by the softener - I'm assuming only regeneration is something to worry about, but the time of the day of this event can be set.

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2 minutes ago, Olf said:

Exactly my silent assumption too: PRV after the softener and all balanced from then on. Also softener is on 22mm pipes, all domestic water on 15mm

Actually plumber recommended me to upgrade to the next size up softener because we were already on the limit for the size we had gone for and by upgrading the inlet and outlet on the softener would be 28mm instead of 22mm, so he thought this would eliminate any restriction to flow that the 22mm would have caused. We're paying a fortune to upgrade the TW connection so a bit more money for a larger capacity softener makes sense, although still shocked how much these things cost. I've been looking at Harveys and Kinetico. Any other brands worth considering? 

2 minutes ago, Olf said:

To help a bit I'm trying to figure out if supplying the toilets before balancing would help at all.

Interesting thread. I've contributed to it with my twopence - which is probably not worth very much.

2 minutes ago, Olf said:

One aspect I can't comment on yet is any noises generated by the softener - I'm assuming only regeneration is something to worry about, but the time of the day of this event can be set.

Not too worried about this as there are no bedrooms adjoining the pump room it is going in, as in the loft space it will just be the softener, the MVHR and the UVC. If it is noisy, I guess i can always box it in, but I doubt it will be. 

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10 hours ago, Olf said:

One aspect I can't comment on yet is any noises generated by the softener - I'm assuming only regeneration is something to worry about, but the time of the day of this event can be set.

Twin cylinder softeners such as Harveys regenerate when one cylinder is "used up" and it switches to the other cylinder, so can be any time of the day when water is being used. Single cylinder softeners, that I have used, have had a timer that can be set but generally regenerated at night. They are relatively noisy, not something I have measured, but ok with door shut.

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