How To Install A Water Softener

Some of the best water softeners don’t require much work for you to be able to install them yourself. If you consider yourself a handy person and are familiar with installations, you won’t need much professional help for the installation process.

In this post, we share the 9 steps on how to install a standard water softener.

Filtersmart water softener installation

Why You Need A Water Softener

The reason to have a water softener in your house is to prevent hard minerals in natural water from affecting your skin. Hard water similarly has hard minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and chlorine that can irritate your skin. Not only can it be less than kind to your skin but also causes problems in appliances, pipes, etc. Essentially hard water causes buildup because of the minerals in it, which can increase costs for you in replacing appliances or water heating systems.

9 Steps On How To Install A Water Softener

While installing a water softener, it’s necessary to be well versed in what kind of water softener is best for your house. However, the exact steps differ with each water softener system. That’s why it’s necessary to familiarise yourself with the instruction manual first. Most importantly, installations have to comply with plumbing codes first as well. Some homes come equipped with a water loop that stops soft water from reaching pipes outside your house like the garden while retaining it for appliances etc. Before you take on the installation process, make sure to check that your house has a water loop.

Turn Off The Main Water Supply

Find your house’s main water supply and activate the shut-off valve if there is any. You’re more likely to find your water supply valve beside the water meter or outside your house. Another precaution would be to let any remaining water present in the pipes drain out.

Turn Off The Water Heater Electricity

Switch off the circuit breaker if you have an electrical water heater. If you have a gas water heater, shut off the gas valve. Make sure you turn off the water heater’s electric and water supply.

Cutting Into The Water Supply

Many water softeners come with a bypass valve that you need to assemble and attach to the softener using the instructions manual. You need to set up your softener in a way that allows hard water to enter the softener through the main water supply and let out soft water to pipes and faucets. To do this, you need to cut into the pipelines using a pipe cutter to install elbow fittings. This will establish two routes to the outlet and inlet ports to the bypass valve. Most water softeners need a drain connection.  You can do this by connecting the drain hose to the drain valve. To keep the hose intact and in place, use clamps while connecting the hose to the valve. The drain prevents water from flowing backward into the softener.

Overflow Connection To Brine Tank

Securing the second hose valve to the overflow valve with clamps will prevent the brine tank from overflowing. As an added measure, connecting the overflow hose to the drain will stop any overflowing.

Activate The Bypass Valve

After switching the bypass valve to active, turn on the water softener. This will expel any sedimentary buildup and air gaps already present. To make sure the system works properly, check for any leaks on the water softener. This can be done by activating the valves of the water heater and turning their power on for a while.

Partially Opening Inlet Control On The Bypass Valve

This needs to be done to let out any excess air buildup present in the inlet. You know all the air is out once the water drains normally after which you can fully open the inlet and outlet controls.

Check Anywhere For Leaks

Before you plug in the power cord, check the connectors, all valves, and fittings for any leaks.

Plug-In The Water Softener

Once everything is checked, you can plug in your water softener. After this, you can control the softener through the programs.
Water softener installation in the house

Where Should A Water Softener Be Installed?

A basement, utility room, or crawlspace is a good location to install a water softener keeping in all the necessary precautions and requirements stated above. The reasons for this depend on the series of factors mentioned below.

Point Of Entry

Where you place a water softener should be closest to wherever the water enters your house pipes. If you use well water, the entry point would be near the pressure tank. If you use city water, it would be next to the water meter. You want your softener to be by the nearest main water source so that all hard water passes through the softener first.

Near a Power Outlet

To get your water softener to work, you need to install it at the nearest power outlet. Installing it too far will only cost you time and money since you’ll have to reinstall it at a better location.

Choosing a Safe Area

This is crucial for the softener as well as for safety concerns.You need a power outlet to be able to run the water softener, but it’s also equally necessary to plug in the wire in a dry place. Water softeners cannot work in freezing temperatures or extremely hot temperatures. The optimum temperature for a water softener to work would be between 35 to 100 Fahrenheit. Based on this your water softener can go in the basement.


For water softeners to work, you need to dispose of the brine they leave behind. Water softeners work due to regeneration which disposes of the brine. To effectively get rid of the buildup, your softener should be next to a drain on the floor such as the water closet or basement.

Next to The Water Heater

It is generally preferable to install your water softener in the vicinity of your water heater. In doing so all water functions of the house stay in one place. However, you need to make sure that there’s a distance of at least 10 feet between the water softener and the water heater. If you place it too close together, there’s a possibility of the hot water traveling back into any of the water systems and damaging them.

In A Spacious Place

You need to keep in mind the necessary space that might be needed for maintaining the water softener or for repairs. This will make it easy to operate a water softener and comes in handy if you need to reinstall a new one.
Water softener installation

DIY Vs Professional Water Softener Installation

DIY Water Softener Installation

If you are someone that takes care of all the installations and plumbing of your house, this won’t seem like an overly complicated task. Whether you’re well versed or not when it comes to installations, there are some factors you should be aware of. Before you embark on your journey to install a water softener yourself, it’s favorable for you to be aware of what’s required and needed to do so. General factors such as the kind of tools you need, and what kind of pipelines run through your house are necessary to know. Additionally, you need to be aware of where you should install the water softener system and the reasons to install the softener in specific places. You should also have prior knowledge of the kind of softener you would like to purchase. Softeners come in a range of prices, so it’s better that you should end up with a water softener most beneficial to you. Most crucial to know if you’re doing this yourself would be to know the costs you will incur. You should have a clear picture of how much money you are spending or saving. Most of the time, you think you’re saving money in installation costs but end up spending more money on a water softener you don’t need.

Professional Water Softener Installation

Went through the water softener installation process but it felt too overwhelming? Well, that’s okay! It’s completely fine if you don’t want to put yourself through the hassle of installing a softener. That’s why you can hire professionals to do it! Professionals get hired and paid for this because they are well versed and adapted to installing water softeners. They have a ton of prior knowledge which will ensure they complete the process without faults, leakages, or any bad plumbing. To ensure your safety, and avoid plumbing disasters, all you need to do is pay for the installation charges and have a well-installed softener in the end.


Installing a water softener yourself is an efficient way to save money. The steps above will familiarise you with the actions you need to do it yourself! However, it’s still a completely viable option if you’re willing to pay some money to get it professionally done to avoid any accidents.