How to Install a Water Softener

Ground water that is filled with excessive minerals is referred to as hard water. That said, hard water cannot dissolve detergents and soaps very well, and leave behind scales that stain sinks and toilets. By installing a water softener, you can reduce the amount of minerals in your water, and provide your household with soft water. Here are some easy-to-follow steps to help you with your water softener installation.

Things You’ll Need

In order to properly complete your water softener installation, you will need the following tools and supplies:
·         Water softener
·         Measuring tape
·         Fittings
·         Copper tubing
·         Soldering iron
·         Screwdriver
·         Wrench
·         Steel wool
·         Flux
·         Propane torch
·         Potassium chloride salt or sodium chloride

Prep Work

First, shut off the water to your house and turn off the power to your hot water heater. You will then turn on all of the faucets and outside houses to quickly drain your water lines. You water lines must be drained prior to installing your water softener. Next, position your water conditioner in a dry, safe, level area. Most water softeners consist of two tanks that will need to be set next to one another.
After placing your water conditioner in a sufficient space, measure the length between the cold water line and the bypass ports on your water softener tank. You’ll need to cut a piece of copper tubing the length you measure, soldering fittings on the ends of the tubing. In order to properly install the water conditioner, you may need to do some additional soldering work. Then, read the manufacturer’s directions to install the discharge tube on the water softener head.


Upon reading the provided instructions to install the water softener’s discharge tube, run the overflow tube that is attached to the side of the water conditioner tank, along with the discharge tube, to a drain. In order to assure proper function, you must provide drainage for your water softener. Next, put the bypass valve on the water conditioner’s head valve. Adjust the screws on the clamps with a screwdriver to seal the valve. Make sure to have all of your tools readily available when you begin your water softener installation.
Next, connect the copper tubing that delivers water to the bypass valve. Use a wrench to tighten the supply tube nuts, but do not tighten the nuts too tightly. Follow by attaching the copper tubing from the water conditioner to the water lines. To prepare, scrub all of the fittings and the pipes with steel wool. You will need to solder the fittings to the pipes, so make sure you scrub the fittings and pipes well prior to soldering. When soldering the fittings together, apply flux and melt it with a propane torch.
At that point, you can then turn your electric heater and the water to the house back on. Then plug the control valve in and put approximately four gallons of water into the softener’s brine tank. In order to properly set up your water softener, you’ll also need to add forty pounds of potassium chloride or sodium chloride to the brine tank.
Then, put your water conditioner into the backwash stage and set the bypass valve to the “service” position. Open the water supply valve to the ¼ position to allow oxygen to escape from the drain line. After you’ve allowed the oxygen to escape the drain line, turn the water supply valve so it is as open as possible until a steady stream of water appears at the drain. Then allow the conditioner to run through a complete backwash cycle. Once you’ve done that, all that’s left is to test your system for leaks. If any water is escaping from your unit, check your soldering and the supply tube nuts. Tighten any loose nuts and re-solder as necessary to complete your water softener installation.

About the author:
Rachael Jones is a Staff Writer for DIYMother.

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