Water Softener Installation
How to Prepare and Install a Home Water Softener
A professional often performs water softener installation, but depending on the model and circumstances, many homeowners are taking this task into their own hands.
Installing a water softener solves many different issues that occur in the home, including dishes with water spots, tarnished faucets, scaly showerheads, and dingy clothing.
When you learn how to install a water softener on your own, you can save the money others use to hire another to complete the job.
Sometimes, all it takes is reading the directions to gain a decent understanding on how the process works.
Preparing For a Water Softener Installation
Some basic plumbing tools will be essential if you plan to install your own home water softener system
As you learn how to install a water softener, it is important to know what the procedure entails.
Some water softeners are programmable, while others are metered. Some softeners require salt while others do not.
Preparation is the key to accomplishing the installation and if you possess some sort of mechanical inclination coupled with a little bit of experience, then water softener installation shouldn’t become a difficult task.
It is quite possible to achieve "professional" results when carefully reading instructions before tackling the job and then following directions in a step-by-step manner.
Walking You Through a Typical Water Softener Installation
This video will give you a good idea of what you're up against. Once you've watched it, follow our detailed step-by-step guide below.
To get an idea of how to install water softener systems, you will learn how to attach your unit to the pipes connected to your home, as well as connect the water to your softener.
Most water softeners come with two copper stubs that are used to connect the bypass valve to the copper plumbing system of your home.
In order to prevent the warping of plastic bypass fitting, it is suggested to solder 3/4-inch copper risers onto the stubs located furthest from the softener.
3/4-inch sweat couplings and lead-free solder is recommended.
Next, the attachment of 1/2-inch flexible plastic tubing to the valve drain fitting will take place. This will become what is known as the "purge pipe."
The same plastic tubing is then attached to the overflow fitting located on the side of the brine tank. To a nearby floor drain, run both tubes and set to the drain screen.
When the drain lines are installed, connect the bypass valve to the softener head and push the O-ring-fitted stubs into the inlet and outlet fittings.
As the slots align, snap the plastic clips into place. Lastly, attach the riser stubs, tightening the nuts with pliers. It is also important not to over tighten the nuts.
With most households, the copper water system creates a partial path that grounds the electrical system.
If you splice a plastic bypass valve into the system, you will disrupt this path, meaning you will need to install a wire bridge to continue this grounded atmosphere. Hose clamps are used to secure this wire.
Once complete, you should slide the water softener into a selected location against the wall. It is not required to provide a lot of space on each side of the softener.
In order to ensure easy access to the unit, at least 36 inches of space left in front is necessary.
Before connecting water to the unit, you must shut off the water at the meter or pressure tank, draining as much of the piping system as possible.
After selecting a handy place situated before the first branch line, cut into the cold-water trunk line – removing a section measuring about 5 inches long.
Next, you will route the resulting pipe ends toward the softener using 3/4 –inch copper. New piping is also secured to the wall at least every 4 feet.
Before you allow the supply pipe to reach the softener, install a 3/4-inch tee in the hard water line, continuing onto the softener inlet.
Next, extend a 3/4-inch riser from the branch of the tee to reach the ceiling, which will service faucets and fixtures that require untreated water.
The remaining line is then joined to the softener's outlet riser, followed by a soldering of the fittings. A heat shield is then placed behind the fittings to avoid burning the wall.
After completing the overhead piping, turn on the water to test its connection. The last step is to follow the manufacturer's directions and sanitize the unit.
Depending on your model, the last step of your water softener installation will be to program the water softener and/or add several bags of salt.
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