Making room for your water softener

While you’re gaining a useful new appliance, it’s not one that you’ll typically show off to your houseguests. The reason? Where a water softener goesIn most cases, water softeners are placed in a home’s basement or garage, away from your living space. For homes without a basement, the next best place is near the water heater—again, not exactly a main focus of the home. While these locations don’t necessarily put the spotlight on your new money-saving addition, there’s a good reason for that. Here’s why:

  • Location, location, location. When scouting for your water softener’s location, one of the key requirements is that it be close to the main water line. This will ensure all water for daily household use gets directed to the softener for treatment before it flows through your taps, showerheads and pipes.Keep in mind that softened water is not ideal for outside use (like watering plants) so it’s important that the softener be connected at a place that won’t be plumbed externally.
  • Drain nearby. Another necessity is locating your water softener near a drain. This will facilitate easy disposal of the brine solution after regeneration. (Regeneration is the process that washes the resin beads with a highly concentrated brine solution. Since the beads act as a sponge and absorb the hardness minerals from your water, they eventually get “full” and need to be cleaned. After regeneration, the resin is able to soften water again.)
  • Important extras. The location should be level and dry and near an outlet so it can be plugged in. Additionally, there should be at least 10 feet of piping between your water heater and water softener. This distance will prevent the possibility of hot water migrating backward into the softener during its regeneration cycle. If hot water gets into your softener, it could damage some of the tubing inside.

Depending on the style of your house and where you live, finding the perfect place for your water softener may be a breeze or it may require a little extra investigation. With these key elements in mind, you’ll be able to select the best spot and get your softener installed in no time.