How to Install a Salt-Based Water Softening System

For the first time and hopefully the last!

TypicalSoftenerSystemBearing in mind once again that you need to check the instructions carefully as this guide is designed to give you an idea of the work involved.

Building codes can insist on bypass or shut-off valves to be installed, so first check your local town hall for this.

Some units will come with a pre-installed bypass valve.

Tools & Materials needed

  • 54c80145b9d28_-_tb_9808hihwa-deTape measure
  • Pipe cutters
  • Pipe wrench
  • Tee valves
  • 2 compression fittings
  • Tubing or copper pipe
  • Flexible tubing
  • 2 union fittings
  • PVC solvent or flux
  • Teflon tape
  • Torch and solder

Ready, steady, go;

  1. first_rosys_clip_image004Shut off the mains water to the property. Drain the pipes by opening the lowest valve.
  2. Shut off the hot water heater and turn of the power
  3. Locate the area along the main line where you are going to install the water softener, this needs to be before the line feeds into the water heater
  4. Cut into the main line using a pipe cutter. Grip the cutter onto the pipe; rotate it around until the pipe is cut.  Keep a bucket close for any water coming from the pipe
  5. Install an elbow fitting in the line. This will allow for feed to the filter and have a bypass valve that will let you feed water around the filter if need be
  6. Measure the unit and measure the pipes that will lead to the bypass valve. Cut the pipes to fit, solder on any nipples and fittings before you connect the pipe to the bypass valve.
  7. water_softener_systemAttach the pipes to the unit using the compression fittings which should come with your unit
  8. Clamp the hose to the unit and feed it to where it will drain. This could be a floor drain, utility sink or sump pump. The end of the hose should be at least two inches above the drain hole to prevent any back siphoning of water and make sure the hose is well and truly clamped.
  9. Connect the overflow tube to the brine tank. Check your unit instructions for the height and placement
  10. Turn the valve to the bypass position and flush water through to remove any debris
  11. Plug in the unit and set the valve to the backwash position. Open the valve very slowly to let water in while releasing any air in the pipes.
  12. Follow the instructions with your unit to set up the flushing schedule, cycle of adding salt to the tanks and so on.

N.B Any water pressure problems should be addressed before you install your system.

A few tips regarding cutting, joining and soldering pipes

RidION-HD-SoftenerMeasure, measure and measure again making sure you leave room for connectors, elbows, tees and any other fittings.

Work in sections, measuring, cutting, dry-fitting first

  1. Use a tubing cutter, different types are available but all involve clamping the pipe and rotation until pipe is cut through
  2. Use a round file, then steel wool to smooth and roughen the end of the pipe fitting
  3. A wire brush is an excellent tool for scouring inside the fitting from the end to shoulder
  4. Use gloves! Use a small stiff brush to apply soldering flux to outside of the pipe end. Place fitting onto the end of the pipe, turn the two parts back and forth to spread the flux, position the fitting, when they are ready you can solder them together


  1. Su-Yumusatma-Uniteleri-598Turn on the control valve of the gas torch, light the nozzle with a match, BE CAREFUL, if it does not light immediately, turn it off and let the air clear. Take care of flammables; if necessary use a flame guard.
  2. Adjust the flame so it is strong and steady, and READY.
  3. Apply the heat all the way round the pipe. When a solder wire melts on contact it is hot enough and ready, keep applying heat all the way round until it is completely molten.
  4. Keep the nozzle 4 inches from the fitting, moving back and forth for even distribution of heat.
  5. It needs to be hot but not so hot as to burn off the flux!
  6. It will take a few seconds to cool, use a damp rag to wipe the flux.
  7. Do NOT touch the pipe with bare hands, use your soldering gloves
  8. Wait a couple of hours for the solder to completely harden before making the connections.

If I lost you somewhere in the first paragraph then I guess you know you need professional help, Water Softeners Now has the experts in-house to assist you with that!  If nothing else you know what to expect when the time comes for your water softener installation.