Have you decided to buy a water softener? One crucial thing to think about is where to install it. Some systems are, and can, take up a lot of space - space you may not have in your home.An outdoor installation may seem preferablee.
However, remember that you need oneOutdoor water softener housing, or at least a cover if you plan to install it outside your home. Let's find out more about it.
Can a water softener be installed outdoors?
It's complicated.Technically you can.However, exposure to elements is not conducive to longevity. While most manufacturers recommend that the ideal location for a water softener is at ground level near the point of water entry into the home, they also advise you to avoid installing it outdoors if possible.
Under ideal conditions, you should install the system in a shed or basement where it will be protected from sun, rain, wind and adverse temperatures.
Is there a law
Although there are no laws preventing you from installing a water softener outside of your home, there are some statesuse is prohibitedof salt-based water softeners. For example, water softeners that use sodium or potassium salts and discharge saline solutions into sewers are banned in California and Texas.
The reason these systems are illegal in some parts of the country is because the brine resulting from the regeneration cycle can have a negative impact on the environment. Additionally, water softeners also waste gallons of water, an aspect that could worry authorities.
However, you may still be able to install one in these stateswater conditioneror some other kind ofSalt-free water softener.
Consider outdoor conditions
Salt or saltless, there is no such thing as an outdoor water softener. In fact, most manufacturers would advise against it, and in some cases placing the system outdoors may void the warranty.
However, if you have little or no indoor space, here are a few important things to consider.
Before deciding where to place your water softener, you should consider the temperatures in your area. Mostwater softenerare made of sturdy materials that can withstand most temperatures, but sudden changes in temperature can affect durability.
danger of frost
The primary temperature consideration is the risk of freezing. If you live in a colder climate area, consider building an insulated water softener housing for outdoor use if you cannot install the system in a basement or garage.
Remember that water softener resin tanks are generally made of fiberglass, a material with poor insulating properties. Low temperatures can cause the water to freeze, causing temporary blockages at best and damaging the entire water softener at worst.
If you don't want to build an enclosure, you should buy oneNeoprene water softener coverand check the system regularly during the winter.
exposure to sunlight
Sunlight is another element to consider before installing your outdoor water softener. Exposure to UV rays can damage the resin bed and weaken any plastic or composite components. Over time, they become brittle and break easily.
Where should you install a home water softener?
You should install a home water softener at ground level, as close as possible to where water enters the home.
If you want to install one tooWater filtration system for the whole house, you should install the softener after the filter in the pipe - removing chlorine and other impurities before softening the water can increase water consumptionlifetime of the plasticizer.
Although the softener should be installed near the point of water entry, you can also place it indoors, in the basement or in the garage.
If an outdoor installation is the only possible solution, you can:
- Install the water softener underground: Burying the water softener is a common practice. This procedure reduces exposure to elements, protects the system from freezing, and you can protect expensive equipment from theft. The main disadvantage is that you have toRecord is ausfor maintenance. Tree or bush roots can also damage the system or make access difficult.
- Use an outdoor water softener housing: These are essentially cabinets designed to protect your system from the elements. Some enclosures are insulated, some are not. However, they are all waterproof. If you are looking to buy an outdoor enclosure, the options vary from plastic to metal cabinets. Alternatively, you can build it yourself.
- Use a water softener cover: If you live in a warmer climate and sub-zero temperatures are not a risk, you can install a water softener outdoors and protect it from the elements with a special cover. These covers are generally made of canvas or polyurethane fabric and are waterproof. You may also find neoprene covers that might be a more appropriate solution in winter.
How do you winterize a water softener?
If you live in a milder climate where the weather doesn't get extremely cold, you may not need to winterize your water softener. It is enough to insulate the pipes and tank with a water softening cover or to install the system in an enclosure.
However, if the softener is installed in an area where it could freeze, you will need to winterize it to protect it from potential damage.
If you live in a cold climate and intend to use your water softener all winter long, install it indoors or in a very well insulated enclosure.
To winterize your fabric softener, follow these steps:
- Locate the main water valve and close it to turn off the water supply to the softener.
- Open a faucet in your home to release the pressure in the system.
- Move the step to the bypass valve or close the inlet and outlet valves (depending on the water softener model). You can now turn the water back on if you want to water the rest of the house.
- Unplug the water softener transformer from the electrical outlet.
- Disconnect the softener from the bypass valve or adapters, then remove the brine and separate well.
- Tip the brine well upside down to drain the water, then carefully place the softener on the wooden base or floor to drain the brine tank and other system parts.
- After draining all the water from the system, cover it with a water softener cover and store it indoors over the winter.
What is the best outdoor water softener cover?
Whether you want a cover to protect the system from the elements or to keep it in pristine condition during the winter, the Covers & All Store has the best water softener cover you can get. The product is made of durable synthetic fabric. It is water and snow resistant and offers 100% protection against UV light.
Suitable for protecting your water softener during use, the cover is breathable and designed with side air pockets that promote ventilation.
This water softener cover is available in different sizes to fit most water softeners on the market. If your system is not a standard size, you can order a custom cover. Cleaning and maintenance is easy and the handles allow for seamless adjustment.
Most water softener brands recommend installing their products indoors. Some may void the warranty if you don't follow this recommendation.
However, installing your water softener outdoors is possible as long as you live in a milder climate or take every measure to winterize your system during the colder months. If you choose to install outdoors, a water softener cover can help you extend the life of your product.
Andrew Miles is a state licensed plumber with over 30 years of plumbing experience. Andrew has done residential and commercial plumbing jobs across the state and currently works for one of NYC's largest plumbing companies. When he's not working, Andrew enjoys spending time with his daughter.
Is it OK to install water softener outside? ›
To the question, “Can a water softener be installed outside,” the answer is yes.Can a water softener be installed anywhere? ›
As long as there's access to plumbing, piping, a drain, and power, a water softener can go wherever a homeowner wants, as long as it's within code restrictions and equipment performance requirements, such as the temperature. Water softeners won't work in unheated areas where the temperature can get below freezing.Can a Rheem water softener be installed outside? ›
Our units can be installed outdoors, but we recommend the following: When installing your softener, be sure to construct a shelter or covering to block the unit from sun, wind, rain, and other environmental elements.How do I protect my outside water softener? ›
- Keep it warm. If you use your water softener year-round and keep it in a relatively warm area, it may just need extra heat to get through the winter. ...
- Drain the tank. ...
- Keep the water running. ...
- Install insulation. ...
- Monitor daily. ...
- Unplug the system. ...
- Keep garage doors shut.
Protect Your Softener with an Insulated Cover
The combination of sun, wind and rain is not conducive to the longevity of water softener. To prevent a water softener from freezing in winters, it is best to keep it protected inside an insulated cover. Outdoor water softener enclosures are designed to protect your system.
Softened water provided to the outside faucets
Any time a water softener is installed, the water supply pipes for the outside faucets should be connected upstream of the water softener. It's also standard practice to connect the cold water for the kitchen sink upstream of the water softener.