Hard water—that is, water with lots of minerals— is more than a nuisance. It can stain sinks, reduce the cleaning power of detergent, cause build up in faucets and pipes, and shorten the life of a water heater.
How to Install Water Softener?
A water softener is the appliance that removes minerals from water. If there is no existing water softener in your home, consider the following advice for locating your new softener.
LOCATION: For starters, a new water softener should be located out of the way but where it is easy to tie it into the plumbing system—in most cases, this is in a basement, garage, or utility room, often near the water heater. Allow enough space around the equipment for easy servicing.
PREREQUISITE: A water softener will need a drain such as a floor drain or utility sink. In addition, the water softener will need a nearby electrical receptacle that can handle the needed amperage.
The installation steps are as under:
PLUMBING A WATER SOFTENER
Most water softeners come with a bypass valve that you must assemble and attach to the unit. In addition, some local plumbing codes require that you install shutoff valves to the pipes that lead to and from this valve so the water to and from the softener can be turned off easily. If your softener has such a bypass valve, attach it to the softener, following manufacturer’s instructions.
CLEAR AND SWEEP THE AREA
Position the water softener where it belongs so you can easily measure for the connecting pipes. Pay attention to orientation of the unit—the INLET should be attached to the water supply pipe and the OUTLET should go towards the water heater.
SHUT OFF THE HOUSE WATER SUPPLY VALVES
Turn off the water heater’s water supply and the power to the water heater (the circuit breaker for an electric water heater or the gas valve for a gas water heater). Then open a couple of bottom-floor faucets or hose bibbs to drain the water from the pipes.
CUT INTO THE WATER SUPPLY LINE
Use a pipe cutter, and install elbow fittings so you can run two lines to the inlet and the outlet ports of the bypass valve. Again, pay attention to orientation: Hard water from the water supply will run into the softener’s inlet, and soft water will run out to supply the house’s fixtures and faucets. If you want an outlet, such as a hose bibs, to carry hard water, install a T-fitting prior to the softener and run it to the outlet.
CUT AND INSTALL
The pipes that lead to the bypass valve. Solder all the fittings and nipples before attaching them to the plastic bypass valve (the heat from soldering could damage the plastic).
CLAMP THE DRAIN HOSE TO THE SOFTENER
Run it to a drain or utility sink. The end of the hose must be at least 2 inches above a drain hole to prevent back siphoning of waste water, and it should be securely clamped.
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