How Hard Is It To Install A Water Softener DIY?

Published by 
Al Roberts
Last updated: 
December 13, 2023

A water softener system can be installed in a few hours if you have some experience in home improvement projects and plumbing. If you follow the manufacturer-supplied installation instructions exactly as they are laid out you should have no problems installing a water softener system yourself.

Armed with your manufacturers guide and a step-by-step installation guide (optional), you should have no problems providing you have the correct tools and hardware on hand.

There are a few types of water softener systems, which may affect the task at hand:

  • Timer Regenerated- The softener regenerates based on a timer.
  • Meter Regenerated- This water softener regenerates by using a meter that keeps track of how much water is used.
  • Manually Regenerated- This type of water softener has a lever that allows you to regenerate the system whenever you want.

Considerations When Installing Your Water Softener:

  • You might need to purchase some piping components and solder to hold them in place because they will not be supplied with the water softener. You may also need to purchase some other plumbing tools that are required for the installation process.
  • A drain is needed for the recharge process of the water softener system. A standpipe, floor drain, or a utility sink could all be used as a drain for your water softener system. A drain should not be located more than 30 feet from the softener system and the line should not be higher than 8 feet above the floor.
  • Some of the major manufacturers of water softeners systems will not honor a warranty request if you do the installation yourself. You should check with your manufacturer before installing it to make sure this will not be an issue for you.
  • Make sure that all of the parts are included in the box with your water softener system and all of the tools that are required before you get started. Make sure you read the instruction manual carefully and that you understand the instructions, some manufacturers will write their manual in a very technical way making it a little difficult to complete a DIY installation. A great resource to ask questions if you're stuck is
  • You will have to turn off your main water supply which could be near the road. Always make sure your gas or electric is turned off to your water heater before you start the installation process. When you have attached your pipes to your water softener turn the water on just a little bit to make sure all of the fittings are not leaking and are secure. Make sure all of your pipes are working correctly by turning on all of the faucets in your house.

  • Your water softening system should be installed in an accessible place close to the brine tank so that it can be refilled on a regular basis. It should be protected on a level that it will not freeze or get damp. Most softeners come with a 10 foot power cord but you will need access to a standard 120v, three prong, and grounded outlet.

Note: some larger, hole whose systems will be more complex and may require a local plumber for installation; the best advice here is to call around and get a few quotes before committing to a contractor.

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