How to Install a Water Softener
Things You Will Need: • Standard 115 volt grounded outlet (not regulated by a switch) • Drain line (each product link tells you how much is provided) • Brine line (each product link tells you how much is provided) • Masking tape • Funnel (unless unit has come pre-assembled) • Pipe and pipe fittings • Service manual • Silicone lubricant • Softener sodium chloride or potassium chloride salt • Eye Protection
Prepare to Install a Water Softener
Step 1 Assemble your tools and plumbing materials required to install the system. Step 2 Turn off the water at the main shutoff valve. Also turn off the electricity and the inlet supply valve to your hot water heater. Remember to turn the water back on and do not turn the electric back on until you are sure that the water heater is completely full. Verify that the shutoff valves work properly by turning on a faucet. Step 3 Drain your water lines by opening all the plumbing fixtures, even those that are outdoors. If you are soldering copper piping, you should consider having a bucket of water available for cooling off soldiered connections or for emergency use. Step 4 Situate your water softener in an area that is easily accessed and level. The tank base is adjustable on units smaller than 12" diameter. Just tap the tank/unit on the floor to reposition the tank base if you are installing on a slightly pitched surface. Leveling legs are available. Position the brine and the resin tanks where you want them keeping in mind that you have to pour salt into the salt tank from time to time.
Install the Water Softener
Step 1 If the tank has come pre filled with the control valve off, then first remove the cap in the tank opening and skip to step 4. If the unit has come assembled with the valve installed, skip to step 5. Otherwise, insert the distributor tube into the mineral tank. Flush the open end (top) with the tank and rest the screen intake on the bottom's center point. Step 2 Cover the end of the distributor tube with masking tape to prevent the tiny resin beads or media from entering the inside of distributor tube. Step 3 Add softener resin to fill the tank (typically two-thirds to three-quarters full. Remove all excess resin from the tank threads and then take the tape off the distributor tube. Step 4 Affix the top basket (if supplied) to the control valve's underside. Lubricate the valve to tank o-ring prior to attaching the head to the tank. The hole in the middle of the valve should fit over the distributor tube. Tighten the valve by hand in a clockwise motion. Step 5 If the brine/salt tank was shipped with the brine well assembly not attached inside, simply align the two pre drilled holes in the side wall of the tank and the white 4” brine well assembly. Use the supplied white two-piece overflow elbow fitting to mount the well to the tank using the lowest of the two holes.
Connect the water
Step 1 Attach the bypass valve to the control valve by aligning their in and out arrows. If you have a bypass built into the plumbing system, then you may not have ordered a bypass. Step 2 Join the softener's water connections to the bypass. When screwing pipe fittings together, make sure you use an appropriate amount of teflon tape and/or teflon pipe compound. Make sure that you do not install the water softener backwards. Step 3 Connect the drain line from the valve to an appropriate drain receptacle making sure it is anchored properly. The connection at the brine tank may be inside the brine well or outside of the tank. Use the supplied cylindrical tubing insert provided at the control valve. It goes inside the tubing for support. Step 4 Connect the brine line from the control valve to the brine/salt tank. The connection at the brine tank may be inside the brine well or outside of the tank. Use the supplied cylindrical tubing insert provided at the control valve. It goes inside the tubing for support. Step 5 Fill the brine tank with three gallons of water and plug in the control valve. Add water softener sodium chloride or potassium chloride salt. Step 6 Set your softener to the backwash stage and the bypass valve into the service position. Open the water supply valve one-quarter of the way to permit air to run off from the drain line. If you do not do this slowly, you may run the risk of pushing the resin into the valve and down the drain. Step 7 Open the water supply valve completely once a steady flow of water from the drain appears. Step 8 Run the softener through each cycle manually and observe operation. Pull up on the brine tank float during the refill cycle to test your installation for leaks. Step 9 Examine your softener and piping and tubing for leaks.
Note: When running water into the house after installing a water softener, turn on the bathtub cold water (not the shower). That way if any iron or other material has been jarred loose by having the water off and back on, you will not plug up any screens, faucets or toilet valves.