Water Softener Installation
Basic Instructions on Cost, Where and How to Install

For many homeowners, water softener installation is a job best left to the professionals.

water-softener-installationUnless you are very comfortable working with plumbing and pipes, it would be better served by hiring a qualified plumber. Installing a water softener, under normal circumstances, can be completed in about four or five hours.

Below are some tips on how to install water softener systems in homes and offices. However, you should always follow the instructions in owner's manual.

The following are just basic tips and information that are appropriate for the majority of units on the market today.

Basic Water Softener Installation Manual Instructions


DIY Installation at Home - Video Demonstration

The first thing one should do is to locate the main water inlet valve and main water pipe that brings water into the house. The valve is used to turn off the water, which is necessary while doing the work. Locating the main water inlet pipe is necessary as this is the pipe that you will be working with first.

Where to install water softener units? This is an important question to answer. You should place the unit so that it is close to the main water pipe coming into the home (this allows the unit to treat all of the household water) and it is also important to locate the unit near a floor drain. Lastly, it is wise to locate the unit close to an electrical outlet.

When ready to begin the work, turn off the main water valve which shuts off water to the home or office. The majority of modern units will come with a bypass valve which should be installed. This valve allows water to come into the home or office but by-passes the water softener unit when closed.

Some units will also come with another type of by-pass valve that allows owners to deliver untreated water to all of the building's drinking water taps. Occasionally, some homeowners prefer to not soften their drinking water as certain filtering treatments can lead to increased sodium levels in the water.

The unit's installation manual will have instructions on how to properly connect the unit's pipe to the building's plumbing pipes, which may be made of copper. Follow these instructions carefully, using the connectors that come with the unit.

Precautions When Installing a Water Softener

All connectors must be tightened properly in order to avoid leaks. Again, follow the instructions as some connectors may only need to be hand-tight and others may need to be torqued to a specific level. Make sure you use the rubber O rings included with the unit.


A Plumber Expert talks about the Process of Installing

It is very important that homeowners understand that their copper piping is also used as the home's electrical grounding system. For some water softener installations, cutting the copper pipes may be necessary in order to install certain connectors. If this is the case, always ensure that you make a copper bridge connection between the pipes (over or around the new plastic connector) to ensure continuity for grounding purposes.

Once all the connections are made, testing is in order. Turn on the water, plug in the unit, and follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to charge the unit and test it. As you can see, water softener installation work is not for everyone. For some, the cost to install water softener by hired professionals is a good investment in both time and effort.

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Updated December 14, 2010