What is the Suitable Place to Put a Water Softener?
Does your home have a water softener you want to replace? All you have to do is get the new one and install it in place of the old one. However, if you do not have one, consider these locations:
When installing, make sure that you leave enough space for hustle free servicing.
Do not install your unit in areas where freezing is likely to occur. It shall cause irreversible damage and render your warranty useless. If temperatures are likely to go below 4 degrees centigrade, protect the device by draining it and removing the pressure. You also want to avoid direct sunshine. Therefore, outdoor installation is not an option.
Your water softener requires a drain, for example, a utility sink or a floor drain. Besides that, it needs a power outlet nearby that is not switch controlled. It should have the ability to handle the necessary amperage.
To soften all the water used by the house, install the unit before the water heater. That helps in reducing mineral buildup inside the heater as well. In homes where drinking sodium treated water may lead to a health hazard, it is wise to bypass the faucets that are for drinking water like the kitchen sink. You may also soften only the hot side of the water system leaving the cold water untouched. That means that your cold water shall remain hard.
You could also go for a salt-free softening device. With this one, do not put the softening device after the water heater. That is because temperatures above 43 degrees centigrade could damage the unit rendering your warranty useless.
- Clean the area
Ensure that the area where you are placing the softener is thoroughly clean and leveled. Put the unit where you desire it to be so that you can measure for the pipes for connection. Pay close attention to the unit’s orientation; INLET must get attached to your water supply pipe; OUTLET must go towards the heater.
- Stop the supply of water to the house
Stop any water or power from getting to the heater. After that, open up some of the bottom-floor fixtures to drain water out of the plumbing.
- Cut into the water supply plumbing
You could do that with the help of a pipe cutter. Then install the L-fittings so that you run two pipes to the outlet and inlet ports of the bypass valve. Once again, pay close attention to the piping direction: hard water coming from the water supply shall flow into the softener inlet. Then the soft water shall flow into the house water supply (faucets and fixtures). If you need an outlet to carry hard water, you must add a T-fitting to the plumbing before the softener unit and then run it to the outlet.
- Pipe installation
Cut and then install the plumbing leading to the bypass valve. Using solder, join all the nipples and fittings before connecting them to the plastic bypass valve. That is to prevent any damages to the valve due to the heat. If your pipes are large, employ a reducing fitting to lay pipes of the right size. Connect the pipes to the softener using the compression fittings that come with the unit.
Note: Does your household electrical system relay on the plumbing for secure grounding? Then you should install a jumper across the unit installation pipes for proper grounding.
- Using a clamp, join the draining hose to the softener and then run it to a utility sink or drain. The hose’s end should not be less than 2” above the drain hole. That is to stop any waste water from running back. You should clamp it securely.
Note: the draining hose size should be in accordance with its run distance and the height in relation to the inlet. For example, a line whose diameter is ½” can go for 15 ft if the outlet is at a lower elevation than the inlet. The drain line must not be over ten ft above the ground.
- Following the manufacturer’s directions, connect the tank’s overflow tubing and any other needed assembling.
- Put the bypass valve in a ‘bypass’ position. Turn on the water so it can run through the unit for some minutes. That is to flush out any buildup and remove air from the pipes. You also need to turn on the water supply to the water heater and switch on the power. Now is the time to check for leakages.
- After plugging the softener to a power outlet, put the valve in ‘backwash’ position. Press and hold the ‘regenerate’ button for the valve to go to backwash.
- Open the inlet control on the bypass valve slowly. That is to expel any air buildup. The moment the water starts flowing steadily to the drain the soft explosive sounds stop, you can open the outlet and inlet bypass controls completely. You can now fill the tank with water and salt according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Get the power cord back into power, press the ‘regenerate’ button once again. Then let the unit move to the next step. Repeat this until you get to the ‘service’ setting. Now you can program all the controls.
I believe that with these detailed steps, installation just got easier.