Performing A Water Softener Installation.
How to install a water softener?
You are considering doing a water softener installation in your home but, you are unsure of what comes first?
That’s understandable, even though most people believe that installing a water softener is an easy thing to be done by anyone; the reality is that most professionals take about 2 to 4 hours to complete a standard installation.
What to do first?
Before beginning a water softener installation, one must first do a plumbing inspection at the location where the softener will be installed.
A proper plumbing inspection will help you determine where the main water line comes in, what kind of piping is made of, the condition of the piping, the material and tools that will be needed to complete the task.
Why do you need to know all this? Well, wherever the water line comes in is where the water softener installation will likely be done. Why? Because the softener needs to be installed on a location where allows it to treat the water supply for the whole place.
Also, the softener must be installed close to a drain pipe or a floor drain because the needs to discharge hundreds of gallons of waters once a week and, if you don’t have a proper place to drain the water, guess what will happen?
The water softener installation must also be near of a power source; otherwise, you will have to have done some electrical work before hand.
Before Cutting Any Pipe:
You have done your homework and you are ready to begin the water softener installation, just a few more things to be done.
1 – Shut the water off at your main shut off valve, usually located inside or outside. Open faucets or any other fixtures at the lowest points of your home and wait until completely drained.
2 – Now that the water has drained is time to cut the water pipe as closest to the point of entrance as possible but after the PRV (pressure regular valve) inside the house.
p.s.: Make sure that the outside faucet (hose bib) is left out of the softener installation, you don’t want salt water to water your lawn, car etc.
3 – Before starting the water softener installation, you must build a bypass valve system right before connecting to the softener.
P.s.: A bypass valve system consists of a 3-valves being installed in the supply lines, one valve in the inlet, one valve in outlet and one valve between the two pipes.
The bypass system will facilitate the removal of the softener, in case you ever change your mind about keeping it or if you move out of the place and want to carry the system with you.
The bypass will prevent you from redoing the plumbing later and, it will be ready for a future softener system or any other water filtration system.
4 – Once the whole plumbing is done, it is time to connect it with the softener.
Making the Installation:
If the existing plumbing is copper or you want to use copper, do the following:
1 – You need to solder the two risers the in and outlet to the copper connections, for that you will be using sweat couplings and lead free solder. (Be careful don’t burn yourself).
2 – Connect the ½” tube plastic to the valve drain that serves the discharge hose.
3 – Connect the tube to the overflow fitting on the tank and run the drain hose to the drain where the water will be discharged once a week.
4 – Insert the newly done bypass valve system inside the inlet and outlet fittings on the top of the water softener connections and secure them appropriately.
5 – Just follow your instruction manual to complete the process of tightening all fittings with the softener including the riser nuts with pliers. Do not over tighten the O-rings, it might damage them.
6- It is time to cut the section of the water main pipe (cold side). Make sure to cut just enough to allow the proper alignment of the in and outlet between the softener and the water line.
P.s.: The type of fittings to turn the pipe direction toward the softener will depend on how the existing water line is positioning toward the equipment, usually if the piping is above the system, the likely fitting to be used is the 90 degree fittings.
7 – To make sure that your fridge ice-maker and kitchen sink on the cold side won’t receive softened water, cut a tee into the softener’s inlet pipe to serve the hard-water to those locations and complete all the connections overhead.