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Water Softener Installation Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Plumbing > Water Softener Installation Guide
Water Softener Installation Guide

Hard water can be a real nuisance. The stains it causes, the deposits it leaves in your pipes and fixtures, and, in some cases, the smell are each annoyances homeowners would rather be without. Fortunately, there are numerous water softeners on the market that will begin alleviating these issues as soon as they are installed.

 
  1. 1.Replacing an Existing Water Softener

    According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, outdated cation water softening units "…can use 25 gallons of water or more per day, or up to 10,000 gallons per year." With new water softener technology now readily available, however, there's every reason to consider ditching your old model water softening unit and installing a new one.

     

    It should be noted that the degree of efficiency can vary considerably from one water softener to the next, so doing research on the various units you're considering is a must. Online resources offer ratings and reviews that would have been difficult (if not impossible) to access years ago, but discussing your options with a certified, experienced professional is never a bad idea.

  2. 2.Installing Your First Water Softener

    In most cases, doing this job yourself may not be the best idea. Though the function of a water softener is relatively simple, installing one to work effectively and efficiently requires knowledge of plumbing that many homeowners do not possess.

    Good quality water that comes right out of the tap is something that many Americans have become accustomed to. If you've recently moved to an area where hard water is common and have never had to deal with this issue before, the installation of a water softener is probably high on your to-do list.

     

    In most cases, doing this job yourself may not be the best idea. Though the function of a water softener is relatively simple, installing one to work effectively and efficiently requires knowledge of plumbing that many homeowners do not possess. Additionally, the warranty on a new water softening unit may require you to have it professionally installed. The good news is, while this task might be somewhat prohibitive for homeowners without experience to perform, it is typically a quick task when performed by a professional.

  3. 3.Issues with Salt and Water Softening Agents

    Many water softeners designed for residential installation use sodium ions to replace calcium and magnesium (two primary culprits in creating hard water). While this does not present a problem for most homeowners, those on strict low-salt diets should definitely be aware of the amount of sodium softened water can contain. In some cases, an additional filter can be installed to remove excess salt from softened water.

  4. 4.Issues with Salt and Water Softening Agents

    Many water softeners designed for residential installation use sodium ions to replace calcium and magnesium (two primary culprits in creating hard water). While this does not present a problem for most homeowners, those on strict low-salt diets should definitely be aware of the amount of sodium softened water can contain. In some cases, an additional filter can be installed to remove excess salt from softened water.

     

    Using sodium to soften water also has an effect on certain other home components. Salt is corrosive, and just as the salt on winter roads can eventually cause the underside of cars to age more quickly, salt in pipes and water heaters can have a similarly adverse effect.

     

    When dealing with very hard water, salt resin is extremely effective. However, for those dealing with water that contains fewer hardening minerals, potassium resins may be used instead of salt resins. Though not an option for every homeowner, having your water tested may show that potassium resins will work for your situation.

  5. 5.Preparing for Softened Water

    Water softeners can make hard water taste better and will remove the calcium and magnesium that leave deposits in your pipes, but salt-softened water has a few foibles that are bound to throw off uninitiated homeowners. Salt causes soap to produce more suds; it also makes things (even hair and skin) more difficult to rinse off. Salt-softened water will have a greatly-reduced amount of hardening minerals, but it will not necessarily be "purified"; some systems that do not use salt to prevent mineral deposits also act as a water purification system, however.

     

    In a nutshell: The number of water softening units on the market today is formidable. With an experienced professional on your side, not only will installation be a snap, you'll also get sound advice on which of these units will best meet your own particular needs.

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