How to Install a Water Softener: The Ultimate & Complete Steps

How to Install a Water Softener – If you wanna know how to install a water softener, you have come to the right place. Reading the whole article would make you understand the installation steps and get ready to install it on your own.

Having hard water in the pipes flowing through may result in a skyrocketing water bill because of the usage. With hard water, the detergent will have a hard time to suds. It can also stain the sinks and fixtures in the kitchen.

It can also give a bad impact on the pipes. The pipes will get corroded faster and you will need it to be replaced. It’s gonna be a waste of money. Those are the reasons why people need to have water softeners. It would be very useful for the house. Once it’s luxury, but now it’s important.

How much does a water softener cost? It’s according to the size and type. It can be around 500 dollars for the small size to 3,000 dollars for the average size.

It’s important to keep the members of the house healthy and safe from sickness. So, spending a lot of money for water softener will no longer be a consideration, it’s a must.


The Level of Difficulty

One of the preparation steps you have to know is to find out how hard it’s gonna be to install a water softener. There are some distinctive types of water softening system that’s commonly used for home. Each of them has its own level of difficulty.

The variety of difficulty level also depends on the types of pipes and location of installation. So, you have to carefully decide where is the best place to install the water softener. The spot needs to be precise. It can’t be based on the spot you like.

It’s recommended to ask or hire a professional to do it if you don’t have experiences of doing projects related to pipes and other home improvement stuff. This is something you don’t wanna mess with. If there’s a small miscalculation, it can cause a lot of mess.

But, if you have some DIY experiences and you know what you are doing, you can just go for it. Well, here are some water softener systems you should consider according to its difficulty level (easy-medium-hard).

  • Magnetic Systems (EASY). This water softener system can be easily installed by anyone.
  • Salt-free System (MEDIUM). The difficulty could depend on the pipes type and whether it’s electrical or using filter media.
  • Salt-based (MEDIUM). It’s simply based on the way the pipes connect.
  • Reverse Osmosis Systems (HARD). It’s based on the size. It can be less hard to install if it’s not the whole house system. You will need a bunch of professional to do it.

The Location to Install Water Softener

As briefly explained before, you need to have a lot of consideration before you decide where to install the water softener. The decision of the location should be considering the system you have for your home.

Once again, if you are unsure about what you are doing, you may need to hire professionals to do it for you. When comes to something expensive, it would be better to be safe than sorry. But, if you think you’re experienced enough to do it. I’m here for you.

  • Salt-based system

It needs to be placed where it can bypass the entire cold water or it can just bypass the drinking faucets.

  • Reverse Osmosis Systems

It can soften the water it’s removing chlorine, sediment, and rust. You can just install it at your faucet in order to improve the water taste.

  • Magnetic Systems

You can put it nearly anywhere you want. It’s recommended to have it on the main water line and close to the water entrance.

The Installation Process

Before you know how to install a water softener, you need to keep in mind that every system of water softener may come with its own guides or instructions. Remember to always refer to that instructions because sometimes there’s a special step to notice.

Hiring a professional to install the system would require extra money. The good thing is that you can just wait and enjoy your new system. The professionals know how to service a water softener. So, you don’t have to worry about the maintenance.

But, if you think you are experienced enough. Just go for it. All of the mentioned water softener systems have different installation process. Here are the steps based on the system of your choice.

The Installation Steps of Salt-Based System

How much salt in water softener, it depends on the hardness of water, tank size, and the number of people that live. To be exact, you can use about 60 lbs per month but it can still vary based on the quality and quantity of water.

1. Stop the Water Flow

The first thing you need to do is to stop the flow of your water by shutting it off at the main line. Then, you need to drain the pipes by taking off the plug of the lowest valve in the house. It would let the water run out.

2. Turn Off the Water Heater

If you have a water heater used in your house, make sure it’s turned off and the main power of it.

3. Locate the Area

Choose the area before the line feeds into the hot water heater.

4. Cut into Mainline

Using pipe cutter, you can tighten it onto the pipe and rotate it around until it’s cut through. Use a bucket to catch any water from the pipe.

5. Install an Elbow Fitting

Elbow fitting installation in the line will allow you to feed the filter.

6. Measure the Pipes

The pipes that will lead to the value of bypass taking the measurements from the system unit. Then, cut the pipes until it’s fit. Then, you solder it on any fittings and nipples before the bypass valve and the pipe connection.

7. Attach the Pipes

The compression fittings will let you attach the pipes. You can find the fittings inside the box.

8. Clamp the Hose to the Unit

After that, you can feed it to the spot the water will drain. The hose end needs to be at least 2 inches above the hole of the drain. Make sure it’s clamped securely.

9. Connect the Overflow Tube

You need to refer to the instructions manual from the manufacturer to connect the tube to the brine tank.

10. Turn the Valve

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Turning the valve to the position of the bypass will be followed by flushing the water through it in order to remove any debris or sediment.

11. Plug in the Unit

The last step is to plug in the unit. Then, you can set the valve to the backwash position. Slowly open the valve to let the air released inside the pipe.

The Installation Steps of Salt-Free System

There are a bunch of salt-free water softener products on the market. It uses the filter system which is non-salt media. Once again, you need to refer to the instructions from the manufacturer for the installation to get the best result.

1. Setting Up the Components

The first thing you need to do is to prepare the system components in the right area to install them.

2. Stop the Water Flow

After you shut off the flow of your main water into the house, you can start to drain the water out of the pipes. You can do this by opening up the lowest spout to allow the water to run out.

3. Cut the Pipe of Cold Water Supply

Make sure you cut the pipe before it reaches the pre-filter housing. You need to make the cut by tightening the pipe cutter onto it and rotate it around afterward.

4. Attach a Valve to the Pipe

When the shut-off valve, attach it to the pipe. It can be done by gluing and soldering.

5. Install the Carbon Pre-Filter

After the shut-off valve installed greatly, you can begin to install the carbon pre-filter. You need to attach it using compression fittings.

6. Install the Second Valve

After the pre-filter installation, install the second shut-off valve. Then, the pipe needs to be extended to the distribution head of the system of the filter. Once again, a compression fitting is needed.

7. Connect the Outlet to the System

The next step is to connect the downflow outlet back to the pipe of cold water supply. It makes the water flow through the system and it will go back through the house.

8. Close Shut-Off Valves

Both of the shut-off valves you are already installed before can be opened now. Then, you can turn back the main water valve on.

9. Open the Shut-Off Valves

Remember to open them slowly one at a time and make sure that there’s no leaks. If there’s no leak, you’ll be okay to continue starting the system.

The Installation Steps of Magnetic System

This type of water softening system is fairly easy to install. Almost anyone can install it. You won’t need a lot of tools and material to install it. You’ll just need a screwdriver and an adjustable wrench.

1. Locate the Area

The first thing you need to do to install this easy water softener system is to locate the perfect area to install. This magnetic system is not big, it can fit over the pipe. So, you can put it almost anywhere. The magnetic system would be perfect for small spaces where the larger filter wouldn’t.

2. Open the Magnet Box

According to the instructions from the manufacturer, the box needs to be opened. It has to be hinged on one side in order to allow the box to clamp down over the pipe.

3. Fit the Box

Fitting the box around the pipe is the next step to do. The orientation should be according to the direction in order to get the water flows through the box the right way.

4. Close the Box

Make sure the box is closed around the pipe. After that, secure the box with nuts or screws provided.

The Installation Steps of Reverse Osmosis System

This is the smaller water softener system that you can install under the sink to deliver purified water through its tap. If you are dealing it with the faucet water filter, it would be much easier.

1. Close the Water Below the Sink

After it’s shut off, you can turn on the taps on the top in order to drain the water out o the lines.

2. Find the Right Height for Filter Assembly Installation

You can do it by measuring the cabinet walls. Then, mark the area you will install the assembly. After that, screw it to the wall.

3. Unscrew the Cold Water Feed

The next step is to unscrew the valve. Then, continue it by installing the saddle valve that is included with the filter. The fold feed is screwed into the above of the saddle valve.

4. Attach the Water Filter to the Saddle Valve

Next, the one end of the water filter supply needs to be attached to the saddle valve. You can do it by cutting the tubing to length using the utility knife. Then, the other end of the filter needs to be attached too.

5. Attaching to the Faucet

After that, the supply and waste lines should be attached to the faucet that the system has. It’s important to shorten the lines in order to avoid kinks.

6. Attaching Faucet to the Sink

Because it’s about the water softener under the sink, the faucet needs to attach to the sink. Then, you can install the drain line adapter.

7. Set the Storage Tank

The storage tank needs to be set and connected to the supply lines

8. Fill the System

You need to do this based on the instructions from the manufacturer. Then, slowly turn the faucet on and make sure to check for leaks.


Finally, choose the right water softener system for your house. Now, you understand the steps of how to install a water softener. If you think it’s too complicated, you need to have a pro to do the installation for you. Well, you’re gonna need extra money for that.

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