How to Install a Water Softener With a Well
Want to know how to install a water softener with a well? A well produces hard water which can make water usage in your home quite difficult and costly. The hard water from your well makes it hard for detergents to suds, stain your sinks and plumbing fixtures. Hard water can also corrode your plumbing pipes thus causing them to degrade and damage and eventually require replacement.
The hard water from your well is mixed with minerals that are responsible for making your water smell or taste bad. Moreover, well water doesn’t undergo any treatment as municipal water does. It comes straight from the ground to your water pipes.
For these reasons, you will need to install a suitable water softener for well water to make your household water supply safe for cooking, drinking, and washing. However, before buying and installing a water softener in your house, you will require to test your well-water for hardness.
How Can I Test My Well Water for Hardness?
Before doing any form of well water treatment, you need to test its water hardness levels. so, upon buying your water softener, be sure to purchase a test kit as well. Ideally, a water softener specialist can test your well water since you have to hire one for the professional installation of your water softener.
If you find your well-water measures between 60 to 120 grains per gallon (GPG), it means that you need to install a water softener to remove hardness. However, if your well-water measures are less than or equal to 1 GPG of calcium carbonate, it means your water is soft and there is no need to install a water softener.
Although you can use other processes such as descaling and filtration, they are not as effective as water softeners in fighting against water hardness.
Benefits of Installing a Water Softener for Well-Water Treatment
Removal of Iron
A water softener is capable of removing iron, which usually has the largest concentration in well water. It can also remove calcium and magnesium ions. High amounts of iron in your water can be dangerous since it causes damage to human organs such as the liver, pancreas, skin cells, stomach, and heart.
Apart from health concerns, iron also causes staining on utensils, sinks, washing machine, bathtub, bathroom floor as well as clog your plumbing fixtures and pipes. Therefore, a water softener for the home can be reliable at removing iron from your well water making it safe for household use.
Often, when well water passes through the pipes, the mineral causing water hardness accumulates and binds on the interior of these pipes. As such, the pipes will damage sooner to occasion their replacement.
A water softener de-clogs the residue by removing these minerals before the water flows into your plumbing system. With reduced clogging, the lifespan of your plumbing system is greatly extended. Moreover, your household fixtures will not be affected thus saving on accelerated tears and wear.
Makes Well-Water Safe for Drinking
Every homeowner wants their water to drinking water safe and without any impurities. Water impurities can be a source of waterborne diseases. However, a water softener is designed to remove any excess harmful well-water minerals thus improving the taste and quality of water. That way, making it safe for drinking.
Water Heats Faster
Well-water is hard and when heated, it takes a while to reach boiling point than soft water. A water softener will soften your well-water thus making it reach boiling point faster. Therefore, installing a water softener for well water in your home will significantly lower your electricity bill as your hot water heater will consume less energy.
Reduces Accumulation of Soapy Scum
Since most minerals are removed by the water softener from your well-water, detergents and soap products you use in your home will lather easily and will no longer create soapy scum which is difficult to eliminate from surfaces. As such, you will save up on your soap products.
What are the Best Places to Install a Water Softener?
The specific place to place your water softener should be a major consideration because it will be dependent on its size and type. Ideally, water softener installation requires a level surface, more importantly, close to the entry of your well-water source.
Because the well is your main source of water, the entry point should be adjacent to the pressure tank. This is not the case with municipal water as the water softer is placed near the water meter. The power source to your plumbing system and the drain should be around while leaving a larger area for your water softener to fit in.
If your power source, drains, pipework is all nearby, you can install your water softener anywhere in your house. However, ensure it is not installed in direct sunlight since it requires to be installed in an area with at most 35 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
For these reasons, you can install your water softener in the following areas:
- Utility room
- Crawl space
How to Install a Water Softener with a Well: A Step-by-Step Guide
The water softener system you buy will come with its own set of installation instructions. So, when installing your water softener unit, make sure to always refer to the included instructions. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to install some of the common water softeners for well-water.
Installing a Salt-Based Water Softener
Installing salt-based systems to soften well water requires you to first confirm with your local town hall that you are conforming to building codes in your installation process. Some municipal codes require a bypass or shut-off valve to be installed with the water softener unit. Regardless, most salt-based water softeners come with a bypass valve pre-installed.
Tools and Materials Required
To successfully install your salt-based water softener unit, you will require the following tools and materials.
- Pipe cutters
- Tape measure
- 2 compression fittings
- Tee valves
- Pipe wrench
- Teflon tape
- Torch and solder
- PVC solvent or flux
- 2 union fittings
- Tubing or copper pipe
- Gate valves
Steps to Follow
- Shut off the water to your home at the main pipe. Proceed to drain your water pipes by opening the lowest valve in your home and letting the water in the pipes run out.
- Shut off your hot water heater and switch off its power
- Find a suitable location along the main pipe that supplies well water into your house. Bear in mind that the unit needs to be installed before the line that leads water into the hot water heater.
- Cut into the main pipe supplying water using a pipe cutter. Tighten the cutter onto the pipe and rotate it around to cut through the pipe. Use a bucket to hold any water that comes out of the pipe.
- Once the pipe is cut, install an elbow fitting in the line. By doing so, it will allow you to install a filter as well as the bypass valve that will ensure water passes through the filter if necessary.
- Measure the pipes that will feed water to the bypass valve taking the measurements from the water softener unit. with the correct measurements, cut the pipes to fit and solder on any nipples and fittings as required before connecting the pipe to the bypass valve.
- Using the compression fittings, attach the pipes to the water softener. The compression fittings should come with the unit.
- Clamp the hose to the water softener before feeding it to where it will drain to. The drain options will include a floor drain, sump pump, or utility sink. Make the end of the hose to be at least 2 inches above the drain hole to prevent the back siphoning of water. Besides, ensure the hose is securely fastened.
- Connect the overflow tube to the brine tank. This, you can refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and height.
- Turn the valve to the bypass position to flush water through it to get rid of any debris or sediment.
- Plugin the unit and set the valve to the backwash position. Proceed to open the valve up slowly to let water enter the unit while releasing any air in the pipes. With the manufacturer’s instruction, you can keep the schedule of flushing and adding salt to the tanks.
How to Install a Salt-Free Water Softener
There are several different types of salt-free water softener systems on the market. So, in this guide, we describe the installation of a filter water system that uses non-salt media to filter water. Also, we will show you how a water softener is installed.
We always advise that you read the installation manual of the water softener you purchase when installing to guarantee the best results.
Tools and Materials Needed
- Compression fittings
- Pipe cutters
- Teflon tape
- Tubing or copper pipe
Steps to Follow
- Set up all the components of the water softener system in the location you want to install
- Shut off the main water supply to your house and drain all the water in the pipes by opening the lowest faucet in the house to allow the water to drain out.
- Cut into the pipe on the cold water line before the pipe reaches the pre-filter housing. Tighten the pipe cutter onto the pipe where you made the cut and rotate it until the pipe is cut.
- Attach a shut-off valve to the cut pipe by either glueing it to PVC or soldering it to copper.
- Install the carbon pre-filter right after the shut-off valve.
- Install by attaching it using the compression fittings.
- Install the second shut-off valve after the pre-filter and extend the pipe to the distribution head of the water filter system. Install it with a compression fitting.
- Connect the downflow outlet of the system to the cold water supply line for the filtered and softened water to flow through your house plumbing system for use.
- Close both shut-off valves and turn the main water valve. Slowly turn the shut-off valves one at a time while checking for any leaks. If there is none, open the valves all the way to allow water to flow through.
How to Install a Magnetic Water Softener System
Most magnetic water softener systems are pretty easy to install and can be installed by most homeowners with basic plumbing skills.
Tools and Material Required
- Adjustable wrench
Steps to Follow
- Establish an ideal location where you want to install the magnetic water softening system. Magnetic systems are not as big as other water softener units and thus can easily fit over your water pipe anywhere along the main water supply pipe even in the small spaces where large filters won’t install.
- Unbox the magnetic box as per the installation manual. Ideally, it should hinge on one side while allowing it to clamp down over the main water supply pipe.
- Fit the magnetic box around the pipe and orient it according to the direction so that water flows through the box in the right direction.
- Close the box around the pipe and secure it with screws or nuts supplied with the magnetic system.
How to Install a Reverse Osmosis Water Softener System
Most reverse osmosis systems for whole house water softening purposes must be installed and well-sized directly to the house. However, in this installation guide, we look at how to install the smaller under-the-sink units that only deliver softened and purified water for use in the kitchen or a designated place rather than whole-house use.
Tools and Materials Required
- Measuring tape
- Adjustable pipe wrench
- Utility knife
Steps to Follow
- Shut off the water below the sink and turn on the taps above to drain out the water remaining in the pipes.
- Find a suitable height to install the filter assembly, measure your cabined walls and mark the places where you want the assembly to install. Fit in the filter assembly and screw it to the wall.
- Unscrew the cold water pipe from the valve and install a saddle valve and the filter. Screw back the cold water pipe on top of a saddle valve.
- Connect the supply and wastewater lines to the faucet that comes with the system. Ideally, shorten the pipes if necessary to prevent kinks after you have installed them and the system running.
- Connect the drain line adapter by cutting a tiny hole into the waste pipe and connect the valve and line allowing it to run from the fitting on the valve to the faucet.
- Set up the storage tank into position and connect the water supply pipes.
- Fill the resin tank as per the manufacturer’s manual. Turn on the faucet while the cabinet doors are open to check for any leaks.
With a water softener system in place, your previously hard well-water won’t be damaging your plumbing systems, staining your sink and kitchenware, or even making your water smell and taste bad.
With a water softener installed in your home, you can confidently use your will water for drinking, cooking and washing without the fear of any damages or harmful impurities.