We source all our water from the ground where it picks up soluble bits of anything it passes through. The implication of this is that water collects contaminants that make it unfit for human consumption. This problem is easily solved by the purification process the water goes through before it gets to your home. Water also collects minerals found in the earth such as magnesium and calcium that are not eliminated during purification. Water containing magnesium and calcium is what is referred to as hard water. Hard water makes it harder for detergent to foam, stains your sinks and fixtures, and destroys your pipes. You might be required to replace your pipes every now and then due to degradation by hard water.
That’s not all, hard water can also make your water smell or taste bad. It is for this reason that people install water softeners in their homes. A water softener is a mechanical device that is installed into your plumbing to help get rid of the calcium and magnesium in your water. If you’re struggling with hard water in your home, here is how to install a water softener in pre-plumbed house in a few steps.
Step 1: Drain Out the Pipes
Shut off all water to your house from the main line. Make sure all pipes are drained out by opening the tap at the lowest level and letting the water run out. For example, if you have a tap in your basement, then that would probably be the tap at the lowest level.
Step 2: Cut Power to Water Heater
Turn off your water heater and make sure all power leading to it is turned off.
Step 3: Locate Where to Install
You should install the water softener along the main line. This should be before the line feeding into your hot water heater.
Step 4: Cut the Main Line
Using a pipe cutter, cut the main line. Make sure to use a bucket to catch any water that comes through.
Step 5: Install an Elbow Fitting
Installing an elbow fitting in the main line will allow you to feed the water softener. You should have a bypass valve to allow you to feed water around the softener if you need to.
Step 6: Attach Pipes
Take measurements of the pipes leading to the bypass valve and cut to fit. Solder all nipples and fittings, and then connect the pipe to the bypass valve. Use the compression fittings that came with the unit to attach the pipes.
Step 7: Fix the drainage
You can have the unit drain into a utility sink, floor drain or a sump pump. Clamp the hose of the water softener and feed to whatever drainage option you’re using. Make sure the hose is 2 inches above the drain hole. This will help prevent back siphoning of water. You can now connect the overflow tube to the brine tank.
You’re now ready to start using the water softener. Turn the valve to bypass and let water flush through to get rid of debris and sediment. Plug in the unit into a power outlet and set the valve to the backwash position. Open the valve gradually to let the water in while releasing the air trapped in the pipes. Use to manufacturers manual to set up the flashing schedule and to add salt to the tanks. You can always consult a plumber if you encounter any challenges.