General procedures for water softener installation
Water softeners are important devices for removing hardening ions from the water supplied to homes. These ions are dissolved in the water as it travels through the atmosphere and soil on its way to municipal collection facilities. Because these ions are harmless, most municipalities do not remove them before delivering the water to residential areas.
Once water enters a home, it is exposed to heat and oxygen, which precipitates ions that cause hardness and form limescale on bathroom fixtures and pans. These calcium deposits can damage appliances and are not easily removed in the home. As a result, many people choose to purchase and install a water softener with the goal of removing the ions before they enter the home’s main water supply. Those planning to install a water softener are advised to familiarize themselves with it prior to purchase.
The complexity of the installation process depends on the type of water softener used. If you choose a salt-based system, it will need to be connected to the pipes that lead the water into the home. This will allow the water to pass through the softener before it enters the mains water supply. It is very important to turn off the power to the water heater, allow the water to pass through the pipes, and push out any air that is present before beginning the installation.
Systems using salt usually have two tanks and must be installed in a dry, level, frost-free area. Heated garages, basements, and crawl spaces are common locations for water softeners, as long as there is a drain to allow the salt water to flow away from the system.
The most important thing to remember about installing a salt softener is that the salt needs to be replenished every few months, and the tank should be located in an easily accessible location. Salt bags are very heavy and you don’t want to spend time going up and down several flights of stairs or through narrow overheads.
In addition, softeners generally need to be plugged into a three-hole (120 volts) outlet to work. Many systems come with a 10-meter cord that can be extended if necessary, but it is important to check the location of the outlet when choosing a location. Likewise, it is important to install the fabric softener close to the drain so that the liquid is directed to the drainage system and backwashed after each regeneration cycle. Improper connections to the drainage system can cause flooding and result in serious water damage.
Once the softener is in place and the drain is located, install a bypass valve on the header pipe, connect the water to the softener, make sure the overflow pipe is in place, program the microprocessor, and get the system running. Details of each program should be found in the operating instructions provided with the system. It is very important to read the instructions in the manual before beginning the installation process. The program will vary depending on the system purchased, and what is required for one type of software may not be required for another.
It is possible for someone with plumbing knowledge to install the water softener system themselves, but it is generally recommended that a plumber or water softener installation technician be allowed to do the work. This may be necessary to ensure that the product is set up correctly and that the manufacturer’s warranty is in effect should anything happen to the softener in the future. To learn more about the manufacturer’s installation standards, contact your local professional or contact the company directly.
If you are considering purchasing a water softener and would like to learn more about the products currently available and how to install them, visit the Water Logic website for in-depth product reviews and information on how to remove the ions that cause hardness. Reviewing this information carefully before you buy will give you a better understanding of your water softening system and help you make an informed purchase decision.