A water softener is an essential mechanism used and stored in your household.
Without the removal of hard minerals from groundwater to your faucet, there would be a slew of problems affecting your drinking water as well as the water you use to bathe, clean your dishes, surfaces, and your laundry. You’d also be at risk of pipe breakage. The importance of having a supply of soft water is one that we often forget about, despite the fact of knowing the necessity of water.
If your water softener has broken down, or worse, your home is completely without one, then having the knowledge of how to install one is invaluable. Because of the technical aspects of installation, it’s better to research how to install one properly before attempting.
There are also different types of water softeners, and then finding the best one for your household will take a bit of research to accomplish. Make sure you know how to properly install a water softener before doing so.
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What You Should Know
Before getting started, it should be noted that one can install a water softener in their home by themselves and in a few short hours. Therefore, it isn’t a costly installation or a long process if you don’t want it to be.
Installing the softener yourself means that you’ll be in control of the technical details, but it won’t be too difficult to manage once you have the knowledge of what to do.
Still, based on the size of the project and the specific water softener you decide on, it might be best to hire a professional, so keep that in mind before getting started.
If you’ve never done a home improvement project or other technical or mechanical repairs around your home, it’s not best to start with this project. However, a water softener installation is less costly than other mechanical installations, so don’t fret too much about the extra cost.
Flooding your house is not worth the money you’ll save on doing it yourself. Depending on the system you choose, you may also need a permit to install it and make sure that the system and where it is placed is up to your city zone’s building code.
Here’s how to get started.
Types of Water Softener
There are generally four types of water softeners on the market: salt-based systems, salt-free systems, magnetic systems, and reverse osmosis systems. Depending on the size of your home and your needs, one of the four will probably be best for you and knowing which one is by identifying what you don’t want.
A salt-based system keeps a constant store of soft water in its tank, making it one of the easiest and most convenient methods to use. The only real maintenance that comes with a salt-based system is refilling the salt, and checking the timer to know when the salt levels are low, or a regeneration needs to happen within the tank to provide more soft water.
The more advanced versions make sure that you are never without a soft water supply either. There is also the option to adjust the levels of hard and soft water depending on preference. Salt-based systems will need to be put near a drain for them to properly be set up and function.
A salt-free system is very similar to a salt-based system with one crucial difference. Ridding your system of the salt means that you won’t have to refill it, or keep a store of salt with your softener. They can be a bit easier to install than the salt-based system also.
Magnetic systems, which really on electricity, are easy to install yourself, with a practically foolproof system of doing so. Magnetic systems are generally more cost-effective, especially up front, and can be more compact as well.
The last type of water softening system, the reverse osmosis system, comes in a variety of sizes. Reverse osmosis systems, however, are quite large (though there are some compact models), and will most likely need a professional installation. These systems are usually more self-sufficient, but also the most costly.
Alternatively, some of the reverse osmosis systems also come as a general filter to be attached to a fixture, which allows them to filter out a number of harmful chemicals from your drinking water and improve its taste. A reverse osmosis system will need to be placed near a drain as well.
Costs of the Individual Water Softener
Costs vary when it comes to water softeners, so knowing what your budget can cover is essential.
For example, salt and non-salt based systems will end up costing about the same, except that salt-based systems’ cost should also be factored with the price of additional salt that is needed to keep the system running correctly.
Magnetic systems are a little more difficult to gauge when it comes to cost. Because there are a variety of sizes that magnetic systems come in, prices are more based on size than function.
You also must factor in the type of piping the magnetic system will be connected to, as it may need to be modified to fit. The best part of magnetic systems, or rather the most budgetary, is that they can be installed by the homeowner regardless of their experience level.
Where You Should You Put Your Softener
Any of these systems should be kept out of the way if they can be. The best places to store your softener, according to its draining needs, should be in basements, cupboards, or places that are secluded.
Whether or Not to Hire a Pro
Installing a water softener is not a job meant for anyone, especially if the water softener is large and advanced. Rather than mess up your water supply, it’s worth it to spend the extra money to hire someone. If you decide to install yourself, however, it’s better to choose a magnetic system.
Otherwise, there are tutorials that will help those who feel confident but don’t yet have all the knowledge they need.