Water Softener Installation

Quick do-it-yourself tips

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Water softener installation is pretty complicated and not something to be undertaken by the faint-hearted. A professional plumber will install a water softener in around four hours, but if you have a sound DIY knowledge and feel like a challenge, we've outlined below the steps to installing your own water softener.

Before you begin, you need to identify where the main water pipe enters you house, as this will dictate where you install your softener in order to treat all the water that enters your property. The installation position that you choose needs to be near a waste pipe or drain as all the waste materials which build up during the softening process periodically need to be flushed out. You must also ensure that this is near a power socket, as the softener needs a power supply to work. Your water supply will be turned off during the water softener installation, so be sure that you know how to do this.

Most systems come with a bypass valve. This allows the flow of untreated water to your house if the water softener needs repairing or you move house and want to take the softener with you. Some also include a drinking water pipe, which delivers untreated water to your taps and ensures that your drinking water is sodium-free. Your water softener comes with two copper caps to attach the bypass valve to your normal water pipe. Solder 3/4in risers onto the pipes. These act as a casing to prevent warping. Connect one piece of 1/2in plastic tubing to the overflow tank and a similar piece to the drain fitting of the water softener. Feed both to a nearby drain. Next, connect the bypass valve to the inlet and outlet fittings of the softener and secure in place. Place a rubber o-ring over the end of each pipe and feed the pipes into the bypass fittings. Once these are in place, tighten the nuts to hold the pipes in place.

On most properties, the copper water piping acts as grounding for the electrics. By adding the plastic bypass unit, you will have interrupted this path so will need to create a small copper bridge between the two pipes. Your water softener is now ready for action. The manufacturer of your specific softener will provide you with guidelines on starting up your system which will include filling it with water, adding salt, setting the timer and checking that it is operating correctly.




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