How to install a Water softener – 4 most important technical requirements


In this blog post you will find detailed guidelines on how to install a water softener, and all the requirements for an easy installation.

Key takeaways

4 most important requirements for how to install a water softener:

  1. Inlet water connection
  2. Outlet water connection
  3. Drain connection
  4. Electrical supply

You can learn more about water softeners and regeneration phases in the HOW DO WATER SOFTENERS WORK blog post.

Connections for a water softener installation

For the installing a water softener, it is necessary to provide the 4 following connections: water softener inlet (hard) water connection, water softener outlet (softened) water connection, drain line connection, electrical supply.

It is highly recommended that each water softener or other water purification device is connected the the plumbing over the so-called bypass.

Bypass ensures that, in the event of an intervention or any problem with the water softener, raw water can be directly passed into the installation, without interruption in the water supply.

water softener bypass
Recommended bypass for a water softener installation

The bypass should be installed in a convenient place on the main pipeline. It provides the necessary connections for the installation of a water softener. Redirecting the water flow is done by ball 3 valves, which are the main parts of a bypass.

Bypass valve on a control valve

Depending on a control valve manufacturer, you can get a bypass valve mounted directly on the water softener control valve.

Below is a picture of an Autotrol 255 bypass valve.

How to install a water softener
How to install a water softener with a bypass

Most important things on installing a water softener

Here are some recommendations on that can help about installing a water softener:

  • Install a pre filter to protect the control valve from mechanical impurities.
  • Install a post filter to protect the installation from broken resin beads.
  • A water softener should be installed on the main water inlet, so it covers the whole object.
  • It should be installed on level platform or floor.
  • Enough space should be leaved to access the equipment for maintenance and salt replenishment.
  • Ambient temperature that will not allow the water softener to freeze at any time.
  • Permanent power supply to operate the control valve.
  • Drain connection as close as possible.
  • Water line connection with a bypass is recommended.
water softener installations
Examples on how to install a water softener

How to install a water softener – Main installation steps

First of all, always read the water softener user manual.

1. Inlet and outlet connections

The inlet connection provides hard water to the softener. The outlet connection provides soft water from the softener.

In domestic applications these connections are usually 3/4″. In case you have different size connection, you should take care when choosing a water softener.

Choose an adequate place for the water softener according to the connections. Leave some space so the bypass valves can be operated.

Watch out to not make any tension on the water softener connections.

2. Drain connection

The drain connection should be as close as possible. The manual should be checked to make the optimal drain connection.

3. Brine tank connection

Connect the brine tank to the valve. Make the connection and take care to use the fittings accordingly.

Make sure the regenerant line is tight and free of air leaks. Even a small leak can cause a leak in the brine tank connection line and prevent the conditioner from drawing regenerant from the tank. This can cause air to enter the valve and cause problems with valve operation and regeneration.

When the brine tank is connected to the valve, pour salt tablets in the brine tank. You can fill the entire tank with salt.

Only this time you should fill the brine tank with water too. Most common is to fill it with 2/3 of the tank height, when it is filled with salt.

During the first regular regeneration cycle the water softener will adjust the quantity of water in the tank.

4. Water softener electrical requirements

Most commonly automatic valve controllers operate on 12 volt alternating current power supply.

whole house water softener

Whole House Water Softener with Pre/Post Filters

Automatic whole house water softener

  • 20” sediment cartridge that removes sediment, silt, sand, and dirt
  • Ion exchange water softener, 48,000-grain capacity, service flow: 9-11 GPM
  • 20” solid carbon cartridge for removing volatile organic carbon compounds (VOCs), insecticides, pesticides and industrial solvents

Crystal Quest has been in the water filtration industry for over 30 years. The company manufactures water filtration and softeners products to a worldwide market for residential, industrial, or commercial use.

The company makes reverse osmosis solutions, water conditioning, water treatment, industrial water filters that can be used in beauty salons, apartments, clubs, government complexes, etc.

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