When you realised you have a household choked full of hard water, the only thing on your mind would be how to soften the water. And if you are reading this, then it means you are ready to review the best water softeners, buy one, then install it.
Hard water is a total nuisance. This becomes even clearer when know it can cause build up in your faucet, reduce the cleaning power of your detergents, and even stain your sinks. It can be difficult to have to repair all these things. Because these problems can make your life a little more difficult than before, it is necessary to get a water softener into your house.
When buying water softener systems, you have two options. You can rent one or buy and maintain one. Many homeowners prefer the second option because it gives them total control over the unit and they don't have to worry about meeting up with monthly subscriptions. In the following paragraphs, you will learn when and how to install a water softener in your home.
Things You Should Know Before Installing A Water Softener
Many types of water softeners are available and each one comes with a level of difficult. This means certain skill may be required in installing any unit and you need to be aware of the difficulty level of the unit you are installing. Although all the various types follow similar pattern of installation, you will do better if you know the procedures for a particular system before attempting its installation.
If you don't have a prior experience working with pipes, you may want to hire a professional. This will save you from wasting your energy, effort, and messing around with your plumbing system. But if your DIY skills is bubbling and you believe you have what it takes to take on a handyman's job, then you can try your hands on water softener installation.
1. The most difficult to install water softener is the reverse osmosis system.
You need very large pumps with delicate balance membranes and probably 300 gallon holding tanks. If you are scared by the prospects of handling all these by yourself, go hire a qualified technician in your neighborhood.
2. Moderately difficult and easier than the above is salt-based systems.
The way the wire connects makes it easier to install by the DIYer. However, it may be wiser to leave this to a professional too, especially if you are installing GE systems.
3. Salt-free systems can be handled by average homeowners.
Having a prior experience of the installation procedure will help here. If you are going to install yourself, consider the types of pipes you have and whether you have an electrical or filter media.
4. The easiest of these four are the magnetic systems.
Almost anyone can install them.
Where To Install Your Water Softener
If you are replacing an older water softener, the best place to install the new one is the site of the unit you are replacing. If you have never used one before, follow these steps:
1. General Location
Install the water softener system in a free space, which it should be out of the way. Make sure this area is close to the plumbing system so that connection can be stress-free. You can use your basement, garage, or near your water heater. Just make sure there is enough space around the unit so that it can be easy to service in future. Beware that the unit should be free from freezing because this can damage it and void your warranty.
2. The Hookups
The water softener unit needs an electrical receptacle for handling the amperage and a drain such as a utility sink for draining water.
3. Connecting Pipes
If you are going to soften your entire household water, you need to install this water softener ahead of your water heater to help you eliminate sediment buildup in your water heater. Since soften water contains sodium, it may be harmful to your drinking water. It is recommended that you exempt some faucets where you obtain your drinking water or soften only hot water to be on the safe side.
How To Install Your Water Softener
Now that you have an idea when and where to install your water softener system, how do you install it?
The following paragraphs will guide you on how to do this.
Before installing your water softener, please refer to the included instructions in your package - if there is any. Most likely, the system will come with instructions especially if you buy new, directly from a company.
The first thing you need to do is to identify the location for the installation. Ensure that the location you choose allows the unit to go directly into the water supply that supplies cold water into your house. It should not be through the outside hose because softened water can kill your plants (https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/environmental/softened-water-and-plants.htm). It is important to have electrical outlet for power and space for a drain to discharge water from the unit at the installation location. Finally, test the hardness level of the water to help you determine the kind of softener you need. Knowing the hardness level of the water will help you get accurate settings too.
The bypass valve should go into the water softener system. If the bypass valve is already installed in the unit, you don't need to bother with this step. If not, then you need to follow through. With this item, you can easily shut off the water softener system when you need to redirect water to other avenues for other purposes. Most likely, it will come with your packaging, if not, you should get one. You also need clips, which should come with the unit too. You will use this to secure the valve in place.
Connect To Your Water Supply
You can use hard pipe or flex lines to fix your softener to the water supply. If you use a flex lines, it will allow you to bypass the system in the future and it is easier to remove than hard pipes. Install adapters and cut your water cooper line so that the flex line can screw in. (You can easily get the adapter in your neighborhood if you don't have). Use push fit fittings for the fittings - because it is the easiest of all plumbing fittings to use (http://www.ultimatehandyman.co.uk/how-to/joining-pipes/use-push-fit-fittings). Finally, ensure the flex lines go into the back of the softener unit and connected to the water supply.
During regeneration cycle, the water softener normally uses a drain for discharging water. Make sure the floor drain, standpipe, utility sink, and the small drain tubing go into the water softener valve drain fitting. The overflow drain hose should also be connected at the drain elbow on the salt tank. Because these two work together in draining water to the drain, you need to ensure they are well positioned and above the drain stand pipe. A trap for all the drain lines is also needed for discharging water out of the softener system. If you already have a capped drain line out of your wall, you can install your trap there.
Add Salt And Salt The System
This is the final step in this article. You need to add salt before powering up the system. Check your manufacturer recommendations, they should tell you what salt to use and in what quantity. Using a faucet, turn on your cold water. You can turn on the water supply at this stage, but you need to be steady. Doing that rapidly can trigger sudden pressure from the pipes and this can result in damaged fittings.