DIY Water Softener Installation Tips

By Alex Williams | Water Softeners

May 10
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Got hard water in your home and finally decided to do something about it? Well, if you’re ready to install a home water softener system, then you’ve probably already noticed that it is a lot cheaper to install the system on your own instead of paying a plumber to do it for you. Of course, if you are not really the handyman-type, then it might be in your best interest to pay a professional to take care of this one. Otherwise, we can give you some tips to point you in the right direction. And between our tips and a few Youtube videos, you should be able to get it installed and working properly. So, let’s get started!

1. Pick a System

Obviously, the first thing that you need to do is pick out a good whole house water softener system for your home. We’ve done the research and given you a list of the systems that we think are the best on the market, if you’re still out there shopping for something. So, if you don’t already have one picked out, this is the perfect time to do that.

2. Choose a Location

Once you know which unit that you will be installing, you need to find a place for it to go in the home. Some of these water softeners are a bit on the large size, so make sure that it will fit in the planned space.

A good rule of thumb is a location that is level, that is dry and doesn’t sit in the sunlight or have any extreme temperature. You can put it in a basement where it gets cold, as long as it doesn’t get below freezing – cause you definitely don’t want this thing to freeze in the winter. Keep in mind that most of the water softener systems have two tanks, which means you need space for both of them to sit side by side.

And you’ll probably need an electrical outlet nearby since most units need electricity. Additionally, access to a drain is also needed since most water softeners create some water waste that needs drained.  When you’ve think you’ve found the perfect spot, make sure that you are able to leave about 10 inches of piping between the home’s hot water heater and the water softener system. Check out the tips below on preparing the location.

3. Install the Bypass Valve

Once you get the water softener system in the perfect spot in your home, it’s time to install the bypass valve. Start by turning off the water line and cutting the power of the home’s water heater. This is a safety issue as well as a preventing a mess issue, so don’t skip it.

Next, you’ll want to turn on all the faucets in the home so that you can clear all of the home’s water lines. Once this is done, you can install the bypass valve, which is used to divert water flow from the water softener if needed. This is a pretty simple process that basically involves pushing it into place and securing it with the clips. The video below can tell you more about bypass valves.

4. Connect the Water Supply

Now you’re ready to connect the water softener to the home’s water supply. This can be done either with a flex line or a hard pipe. The benefit of the flex line is that it’s easier to remove, if you need to do so in the future. To get a better idea of installing the water softener, check out the video below.

5. Connect the Drainage

After each regeneration cycle, your water softener will need to drain the waste water. You can have it drain in a utility sink, a floor drain or standpipe. How is drains is really up to your preference.

Take the valve drain fitting that came with your water softener and connect it to the small drain tubing. Then you’ll need to take the drain elbow from the salt tank and connect it to the overflow drain hose. The two hoses will need an air gap and need to be positioned to be drained properly into the drainage. And don’t forget that you’ll need a trap for the discharge.

6. Start It Up

After all this, it’s time to power up the water softener and make sure it starts working properly. You’ll need to put the salt in the unit before you start it up. Once you have the salt in, slowly put the water supply back on to avoid any sudden pressure damage. Then, consult the user manual for your specific water softener system and follow the steps to start it up for the first time. Before you know it, your family will have that soft water that you’ve been missing!