How to Install Water Softener Drain Line

“Hard Water” is a term used to describe an aqueous water source with a high concentration of minerals that are dissolved in the water. Most of them are magnesium and calcium.

The excessively hard water can cause damage to appliances and plumbing pipes and cause issues in washing clothes or bathing and can alter the taste of the water used to cook and drink.

The majority of mildly hard water is not a concern that requires an answer, however with extremely hard water the installation of a water softener is the most comprehensive and popular solution.

When Does Hard Water Require Softening?

At one time water softener firms successfully persuaded homeowners that they required water softeners. This has changed over the last few years and the state health departments are now recommending that softeners for water be considered only when tests reveal there is a mineral level in the water is greater than 7 grams per gallon. 

If you’re suffering from soft water, using a softener can enhance the taste, decrease the presence of spots on dishes and stop the buildup of scale on pipes and enhance the power of soap to wash dishes and clothing.

Be mindful that softening the water could cause negative consequences. In certain instances softened water could damage pipes, leading to an increase in copper and lead levels within drinking water. Water softeners can increase the levels of sodium in water.

Furthermore, the auto-recharge cycle of a water softener triggers sodium to enter the atmosphere via in the system of sewerage. The process through which water softeners regenerate can also waste significant amounts of water.

Before you install a water softener, be sure you really need one and take into account the negatives that could be a result. If your water test indicates the hardness to be around 7 grams in a gallon, or lower then there most likely is no reason for you to think about a water softener.

Preliminary Steps

Before you install a water softener, make sure to have the hardness of the potable water supply checked. Knowing the hardness of your water before you install it will allow you to determine the appropriate setting for the softener and will aid you in choosing the best water softener that is the best for your needs.

The information on water hardness could already be available through the water utility department of your community that should provide exact measurements regarding the minerals hardness in the supply. 

In certain areas, particularly those where water is drawn from rivers and lakes, the water supply could be soft enough that homes do not require water softeners. In other areas, particularly those where wells are the source of water the hardness could be so high that all homes would benefit from softened water.

There are DIY test kits that are available similar to the ones used for testing the quality of water in swimming pools. These tests for water quality are available at any home or at a hardware shop, or online retailers.

Before starting installation, you’ll have to choose a place to install the device. The water softener should be placed in a place that will regulate the indoor potable water supply however not the pipes that connect to outdoor water lines. Softened water could harm or kill plants, therefore, you must install the softener in a way that water that has not been conditioned is able to flow through outdoor spigots and the lawn’s irrigation system. 

Review the instructions of the unit for the best uses of softened water.

Choose a flat, well-lit location to install the water softener. It should be that is accessible from all sides. The water softeners are comprised of two tanks one of which is the mineral tank (sometimes known as the resin tank) which is comprised of plastic resin beads that absorb hard minerals using an ion-attraction process as well as brine tanks containing potassium chloride solution or salt that pumps water regularly throughout the mineral tank in order to wash and rejuvenate the plastic resin beads. 

In certain models the two tanks are integrated in a single unit. It is important to ensure that the location you select has the ability to connect for an outlet for electricity, as well as an outlet for water drainage.

Installing a Water Softener

The chemical process through which water softeners remove minerals from water is difficult to comprehend and it’s easy to think that the process of installing the water softener can be complex. The truth is that the installation is quite simple, provided that you’ve got the plumbing expertise necessary to create the different water connections to the supply. 

This is considered to be an advanced task for this reason. You’ll likely have to cut into plumbing pipes to install an water softener in the system for water distribution and it may be necessary to use the propane torch to join plumbing fittings made of copper. If you’re unfamiliar with this kind of work it’s best to get the water softener installed by a professional plumber or water softener company that is specialized in this type of work.

Installing a water conditioner will be simpler if you understand exactly how the water softener operates. Doing some research about the various types of water softeners as well as their functions is recommended.

The example shown here demonstrates how to set up the most well-known type of water softener. It’s an ion-exchange device that employs brine tanks that contain potassium or salt pellets to supply the solution for backwash. The description of the project gives an outline of the process as well as the manufacturer’s directions for more specific information about how to set up your specific water softener.


It requires more basic DIY skills. The project can be up to 10,000 due to the multiple trades to be done. If a project requires this type of investment, delegating the project to a professional is typically the best choice.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Adjustable wrench Channel-lock pliers Hacksaw (if needed)Propane torch (if needed)Screwdriver


  • Water softener using bypass valve, pipe fittings that are plumbing (as needed)Flexible supply tubes, solder, along with the flux (if needed)1/2-inch wide flexible drain tubing clamps Flexible drain pipe fitting (if necessary)

Instructions on How to Install Water Softener Drain Line

Install the Bypass Valve

  1. If you wish, you may add a bypass valve to the unit that softens water. Some softeners come with bypass valves that permit users to cut off the flow of water through the water softener in case that repairs or a the need for a temporary shut-off occurs.
  2. Place the bypass valve in its place at the rear side of the machine. Secure the valve using the clips supplied.
  3. Tie Into the Water Supply
  4. A water softener may be connected via a hard pipe to the supply of water or tied into the supply system using flexible tubes in the same water heaters in the way they are normally connected. The flexible supply tube is typically preferred because they allow you to take out or avoid the system at any time in the future.
  5. For connecting the heater to water to flexible supply tubes first turn off the water to your residence and then take the pipes out. Cut off a portion of the supply line for water and put in adapters to accommodate the flexible tube fittings. The type of adapters that you choose will be contingent on the kind of pipes for your water being used in your house. For traditional copper pipes, adapter fittings are typically soldered to the pipe or you may use the push-fit fitting which don’t require soldering.
  6. Attach the flexible lines to water supply pipes, and then to at the bottom of the unit for water softening according to the instructions of the manufacturer. Make sure that the supply-side pipe has been connected to port for inlet of the water softener. Connect the pipe for the house is connected connects to connect to the outlet port. Fittings should be tightened using an adjustable wrench, or channel lock pliers.

Connect Tubing Between Tanks

  1. In the event that your softener comes with two tanks that are from one another connecting the brine tank and mineral tank by using the tubing that comes in your water softener. In the majority of water softeners, the tubes are secured using clamps for the hose.

Connect the Drain Tubes

  1. The majority of water softeners need the use of two drain pipes. One drain tube joins the valve to control, and is used to eliminate backwash water from the regeneration process. A second drain tube is connected with the brine tank and functions for an overflow drain. Both lines eventually connect through the home drain, however, they shouldn’t be connected.
  2. There are many alternatives to fulfill the draining needs. The drain lines run through a floor drain, however, you could run the drain lines to the standpipe which runs through a washing machine or even into a utility sink and sump pit.
  3. In many communities, it is not legal to connect the drain of the water softener directly to the drain line with no air gaps. Like the requirements for dishwashers the drain line also requires the air gap connector to stop back-siphoning of the contaminated drain water back into the water softener. There are fittings for air gaps that permit users to join the drain pipes directly to a standpipe or drainpipe.
  4. In this instance the owner has installed an individual drain pipe that has traps into which they’ve run two drain tubes to an water softener. A small gap between the drain tubes and drain pipe creates the needed air gap.
  5. In order to connect drain tubing to the brine tank, connect a length 1/8-inch (inside size) elastic tubing that is connected to drain elbows located on the control valve as well as the brine tank with hose clamps. Then, take the tubing to the drain location you want. Connect the tubing to an air gap connector, if you have one, or secure them with a secure anchor to a drain on the floor or in a sink.

Start the System

  1. Switch on the water supply by closing the shutoff valve for the primary shutoff. Water supply system filtration must be done gradually because sudden pressure could harm fittings. Make sure you open a cold water faucet inside the house to let air be released as you refill the pipes.
  2. Then, follow the initial instructions for your water softener that includes plugging in the appliance, and then setting the date of day and water hardness. The last stage is to put in sodium (or potassium chloride) and then start the system. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the type and amount of potassium chloride or salt to choose.

Run a Backwash Cycle

  1. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer to run the reversewash (regeneration) cycle through your water softener. The process removes air out of the system, and then removes the plastic resin beads inside the mineral tank. This ensures that the system is running smoothly. Examine for leaks during the backwash process. Once the cycle is completed examine the level of water within the tank, and adjust as needed by the manufacturer.


No you know how to install a water softener drain line as well as a water softener system. Hopefully, you’ve learned a lot of useful tips about waste line, water heater, water treatment equipment, air gap, water pressure, laundry tray, drain line size, water softener drain line, and water treatment system.

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