11/16/2015 03:46 pm ET Updated Nov 16, 2016

The Right Way to Install Water Softeners

Daily use of hard water has its demerits. You will realize as time goes by that your skin gets affected and your clothes become rough from constant use of hard water. Fortunately, a water softener will come in handy - but only if you install it properly. Here's how.

Read the instructions on the softener: Every softener comes with an instruction manual. It is always a good idea to read the manual to understand how you need to install it properly. There is a possibility that a slight variation between brands could make a significant difference when installing the softener. The last thing you want is to invest in the best water softener but make a mistake because of your ignorance.

Water should be shut when installing: Safety should come first when installing a softener system. This means that all sources of water should be shut. In addition, switch off power sources especially those that are linked to the hot water system. You do not want to cause any accidents especially if they are avoidable.

Drain all water away: It is advisable to turn on all faucets and hoses. This will help you drain water from the lines and make it easy for you to install the softener system. Installation with water in the reservoir can be cumbersome and ineffective.

Position is crucial: Ensure that the water conditioner is in a level place that is dry and safe. Usually, a good number of water softeners have two tanks that must be set side by side. This means that you must prioritize positioning if you are to get it right.

Get the lengths right: Using a measuring tape, get the distance between the cold water line and bypass ports right on the water softener tank. Cut out copper tubing that fits the length and solder its ends together. Remember that water softener installations require soldering work.

Always stick to the manufacturer's instructions: This is with regard to the discharge tube installation. There are specific instructions on how you are supposed to install this tube on the softeners head. Any deviation would mean getting the whole process wrong.

Running the overflow tube: This is attached to the side of the water conditioner tank. Be careful when installing the softener system. It is important to provide a drainage if the system is to function as it should.

Put the bypass valve on the conditioner's head: Using screwdrivers, adjust the clamps to seat on the valve. Always have the necessary tools ready every time you consider installing a softener system.

Copper tubing to bypass connection: Supply tube nuts must be tightened using a wrench. Avoid wrenching the tubes too tight when you put water into the softener.

Copper tubing attachment to the water lines: This is another crucial connection that must be made when instating a softener. You need to scrub the fittings with steel wool and solder the fittings to the pipe. This you can do by applying flux melted with a propane torch.

Switch on the lights and heater: If you have followed the above steps correctly then it is safe to bring back the power on. Plug in the control valve and pour in it 15 liters of water. The brine tank setting is part of the water softeners installation process. To set the tan property you will need to have at least 18kg of potassium chloride salt. A sodium chloride unit will also work as an alternative.

Set the bypass valve in position: This calls for you to put the conditioner into the backwash stage and set the bypass valve to a service station. Open the water supply valve about a quarter to allow oxygen to run from the drain line. This will allow you to put in the water softener as well.

Turn on the water supply valve: A steady stream of water on the drain is important at this point. Allow the conditioner to run. This allows for a complete backwash cycle that is important when installing a water softener system. Once you are satisfied with the system installation you should test for leaks. Watch out for any leaks and water escaping through vents. This could indicate that there is a problem with your bolts or soldering that need to be fixed. You may need to re-soldier and tighten nuts to prevent any leaks.

The bottom line is that when installing a water softener system the secret lies in following manufacturer's instructions to the letter. A slight mistake could cost you an entire system, which is not something that you want. Take your time to choose the right system and install it appropriately. It is always advisable to bring in an expert if you are not confident with DIY systems.