This article explains how to use repair the water softener or water conditioner system bypass valve. We explain what is the bypass valve on a water softener where to find it, and we describe when how to position the valve to take the water softener/conditioner in or out of service. We detail how to shut down or turn off a water softener - avoid leaks, wasted water when not in use and we answer the frequent question of Which way do I push or turn the water softener bypass valve? Examples are given of various water softener bypass valve types including Autotrol, Culligan Kinetico water conditioner bypass valve operation as well as standard plumbing valve arrangements. Green links show where you are. Com, All Rights Reserved. The water softener bypass valve is normally included as part of the control valve assembly on top of the water softener media tank (the smaller tank that handles the actual ion exchange that is the real work of a water softener). When the water softener is on bypass water used in the building is not passing through the water softener - the unit will not be treating the building water supply.
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To restore the water softener bypass valve back to its prior position (such as restoring the water softener to in-use) simply push on the now protruding knob found on the other end or other side of the bypass valve. In our experience these manual bypass valves work pretty well on most water softeners, but on occasion we find one that is leaking. Usually the valve was just fine (not leaky) until we disturbed it. You may need to ask for bypass valve repair assistance from a water conditioner service company, but a few repair details below may help. Lubricate the water softener bypass valve? The bypass valve on a Culligan water softener (and probably most others) connects to the back of the main control valve assembly with two screws. If the valve is difficult to operate it may need lubrication. Inside are o-rings that permit the valve to operate without leaking. If these parts appear to need lubrication, use a silicone-based lubricant, not a petroleum-based lubricant which could damage the control. Leaky Water Softener Bypass Valve? The bypass valve shown in this sketch from a Culligan water softener installation manual includes replaceable o-rings that may be needed if your bypass valve is leaky. Some water conditioners such as the Autotrol Series 755 use a different (and optional) bypass valve that has two individual knobs that must be turned to switch between in-service and bypass modes - shown at below-left. The sketch at above left shows the optional Autotrol Series 755 Valve / 965i bypass valve. The second sketch (above right) shows the position of the Autotrol bypass valve handles when the water softener is placed in service Not in Bypass and out of service In Bypass. Remember that if an additional external manual bypass valve is open (on bypass or in bypass) you will need to also close that valve when the water softener is returned to service ( off bypass ). In the Culligan sketch at above left and in our photograph at left the water conditioner bypass valve is that horizontal tube at the left side of the sketch. (Other water softener brand bypass valves are discussed in the article below.
)Culligan calls this the Cul-Flo-Valve and suggest that when you are using the valve it should be pushed slowly. Usually there is a blue (on) or red (off) or a green (on) black (off) knob on this control. Some however use black knobs but mark them as ON (in = on) or OFF (in = off). Pushing in the blue knob on the valve is turning the water conditioner on and allows water to enter and fill the media tank - thus putting the unit in use. The Culligan bypass valve shown above is operated simply by pushing in on the valve end whose valve stem is visible - or in the out position. Our pen is pointing to the valve stem. When you push horizontally on this bypass valve end (the black knob in our photo) the valve slides - in this case from right to left. You will see that a corresponding valve or knob on the other end of the bypass valve will move outwards at the same time. Most water softener models using this push-push style of bypass valve include colored knobs on each end of the valve as well as text on the knob that indicates whether or not the valve is in on position or bypass position. These photographs illustrate the in-service and out-of-service or bypass positions of a lever type water softener bypass control valve on a Fleck water softener. The installation of this water softener is also illustrated at SOFTENER RESIN REPLACEMENT and it is discussed further also at. Above, the bypass control valve for a Fleck water softener, before installation. The arrows and the pointer on the bypass valve handle indicate the positions of the control handle to put the water softener into service (in use) or into bypass mode (out of use). Below: the Fleck brand water softener bypass valve set to SERVICE, meaning that the softener is in use. Note that I've coloured the arrow on the bypass valve handle with black magic marker to make clear that it is pointing to the SERVICE mode on the valve body. If you have to make an adjustment like this be sure to first remove the handle from the valve, then complete your bend.
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Otherwise you may damage or even ruin the bypass valve's internal parts. Oops! See that white arrow to the right of the valve handle (the handle is in a vertical position)? The tiny green arrow showing in the window pointed-to by the white arrow shows that this unit is in operation. If the bypass valve is turned until the yellow arrow is showing in the indicator window, this water softener is in bypass position. The water softener shown above, installed in a Surprise Arizona home, was placed by Pro-Tec Water Softeners (Pro-TecWater. Com). You'll see a similar bypass valve on Fleck and Pentair water softeners too. This bypass control valve is plainly marked as Service and Bypass - just turn the red handle to point to bypass to take the water conditioner out of service. Our photo of the water softeners control dial shown below also includes an In-Service indication on its control dial. The Outlet valve and Inlet valve are both closed (turned clockwise) and the bypass valve is opened to achieve this condition. Watch out: do not leave off the water softener indefinitely. As we explained at SOFTENER ADJUSTMENT CONTROLS, a water softener is not there just for fun. In that case you might no longer need the water conditioner. ]What's the difference between using the water softener bypass valve and simply pulling the (electrical) plug to turn off power to a water conditioner? Functionally either step is might or might not be the same, depending on the brand and model of your water softener.
Some water softeners do not use any electricity so turning off electrical power is moot: use the bypass valve, Luke. So, for example, if your water softener is leaky and needs repair, or if you are shutting down the system in order to clean it, you might be better off using the bypass valve to stop water from flowing through the system. Use the bypass valve, Luke. Also see our advice on using the water conditioner bypass valve during winterizing or de-winterizing a water softener when taking steps to protect building plumbing from freezing. See these details on water softener bypass valve use at WATER SOFTENER / TREATMENT TURN OFF and at WATER SOFTENER / TREATMENT TURN-ON. Continue reading at SOFTENER ADJUSTMENT CONTROLS or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below. BYPASS VALVE on WATER SOFTENERS at Inspect A pedia. Com - online encyclopedia of building environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice. If you leaving the cold line alone (RAW WATER) and only use hot line will your house still have hard water mixed in when cold and hot are on? Anon6: your bypass valve may be clogged, damaged, or not fully switching over to bypass mode. Anon7: yes you restore the green position of the bypass valve when you are restoring the water softener to service. Use the Click to Show or Hide FAQs link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly. Well Bucket. 97 inches long.
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