We think installing our filter is very easy (if you are somewhat mechanically inclined and have a little experience doing basic plumbing). There are a lot of instructions here. We think "overkill" but we are doing so because we want satisfied customers. Much is probably obvious to many people.
Note: If you have an electric water heater we recommend that you turn off the electricity to the heater while installing softener. Once you are satisfied with the installation, turn on a few hot and cold water faucets, and let them run. Once you are certain that there is no more air in your pipes, then turn the electricity back on to the water heater.
Step 1: Location of your filter is important. It should be in a level and non freezing area (34-120 degrees F). It can be installed outdoors – see manual for more information.
Step 2: You will need a standard outlet that is not controlled by a switch, which can be 50 feet from your filter.
Step 3: You will need a drain for the backwashing cycles. This should be no longer than 20 feet from the softener. You will need to purchase this flexible 1/2 i.d. plastic pipe (can be vinyl, polyethylene polybutylene, etc. and same size will be used in step 8). This backwashing drain line will be under pressure when the backwash cycle is working. Make sure the drain line is secured. The drain line will need to drain into a drain, which should be a minimum of 1 1/2” size, and ideally be below the top of the head of your softener. Local codes should be adhered to.
Note: Never connect the drain line directly into a drain. Allow an airgap between the drainline and waste line to prevent possibility of back- siphonage.
Step 4: Once you have determined the exact location of your filter, it is time to fill the media/mineral tank with the furnished media.
The distributor tube should be in the mineral tank - screen intake will be at the bottom, open end will be at the top. The open end should be sticking 1 1/4" out of the mineral tank. The screen intake should be resting on the bottom, centered.
There should be a plug in the open end of the distributor tube. This is to keep any media from falling into the distributor tube while pouring the media into the mineral tank. A piece of duct tape may be used if the plug is missing.
Place the funnel (provided) into the mineral tank, and begin to put the media into the mineral tank. Note: some filters require a gravel underbed. If gravel is included with your unit, pour this media in FIRST. Be careful to keep the distributor tube centered as best you can, while filling. There should only be enough media to fill the tank about ½ to 2/3 full. The mineral tank should not be filled to the top. It is necessary for the media to have room to move during the backwash cycle. An easy (but slower) way to fill the mineral tank is to take a small scoop and pour the media into the funnel.
Once the filling of the mineral tank is completed, carefully remove the plug from the distributor tube. Do not pull upwards on the distributor tube.
The control valve (head) now must be screwed onto the mineral tank. Be sure the large O-ring is in place. As you start to screw the control valve onto the tank, make sure the hole in the center of the control valve fits over the distributor tube. NO pipe dope should be used on the threads. The control valve should be hand tightened, snugly, clockwise.
Step 5: You are now ready to install the bypass valve to the control valve. Follow the instructions in the box. The in and out arrows on the bypass valve should be pointing the same direction as the in/out arrows on the outside of the control valve. The arrows are molded into the plastic on both the bypass valve and the control valve.
Step 6: Water connections to and from filter will now be connected to the bypass 1 1/4"IPS male threads by using the two 1 1/4" Female nuts provided. Slip one 1 1/4" female nut over one of the flanged tailpieces, so that the tube is sticking through the nut and the flanged piece is resting on the inside of the female threaded part of the nut. Use one 1 3/4" o.d. rubber washer to fit into the female part of the nut on top of the flanged tailpiece and screw the nut onto the 1 1/4" IPS male threads on the control valve. Do the same for the other side. Now connect your water source to the tailpieces.
Now follow the instructions in the Autotrol manual for putting the filter into service. For most applications, every 3rd day backwash is recommended.
Other Notes: If using copper pipe, we recommend using type L copper. Type L is thicker than type M copper.
Caution: A common problem for beginners when soldering onto the copper tailpieces is overheating them, melting the plastic nuts that connect to the bypass valve. We recommend that you wrap a wet rag around the nuts and tailpieces to keep the heat away. Important: Be sure you double-check the inlet and outlet arrows on your filter before soldering!
For most applications, set your timer for every 3rd day backwashing.
Remember to check with local code officials and install per local code.
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