Is your tap water hard? Looking to get rid of the chemicals and minerals that can clog your plumping, ruin your machine washing appliances, stain your clothing, and worst of all, irritate your skin? Then the only viable solution to this hard water dilemma is water softener installation. While the mere thought of installing a softener, such as the popular ion exchange system which uses salt to rid your tap water of unhealthy byproducts, can be downright daunting, it’s not as difficult a task as you might assume (although if you are convinced you cannot possibly install a water regeneration system on your own, it pays to hire a licensed plumper). Installing your own system will not only save you lots of money, it will familiarize you with your water softener system in a more intimate way, making its upkeep all the easier.
According to home maintenance expert and writer, Joseph Wirth, a soft water system self-installation is a budget conscious investment that the whole family will enjoy and appreciate for decades. But before you head on over to your local Lowes or Home Depot, there are some important guidelines to consider when it comes to installing your own soft water system that will ensure its optimal performance.
Here’s just a few:
Location, Location, Location
Says Wirth, location is the first thing you must consider when it comes to installing your own water softener. You don’t want to choose any old room, but instead a space where the system will function best. It should also be a place where you won’t mind looking at a bulky machine, nor be bothered by its noisy mechanical cycles.
Tools of the Trade
Again, installing your own home soft water system is not always advised, but if for budgetary reasons, you feel you have no other choice, than you are going to need some basic tools to get the job done properly. These include but are not limited to a power drill, various drill bits, clamps, heavy-duty glue, power cords, socket wrench set, and more.
Don’t just Wing your Water Softener Installation
Like anything else that requires home assembly, your new water softener system will come accompanied by a manufacturer’s manual. Your best bet it to follow the manual step by step rather than just wing it and attempt to assemble the machine on your own. Following the manual will ensure a precise installation. If you require additional advice and expertise, it doesn’t hurt to look up the installation process on YouTube. It’s also recommended that you ask a helping hand to assist you with the install, especially if that person is knowledgeable about plumbing.
Now that you’ve installed your brand new soft water system, what are some upkeep best practices to ensure years and years of uninterrupted soft water?
Soft water is All About the Salt
It’s not uncommon for some budget conscious individuals to use rock salt when maintaining their water softener as a cost saving alternative. But if you want to properly maintain your soft water system for the purist H2O possible, it’s a far better idea to go with pure salt. Pure salt is said to be much more efficient when it comes to removing iron from hard water. Rock salt will more than likely result in sediment buildup which could potentially lead to costly repairs.
Iron-Out your Soft Water System Stains
Again, according to Wirth, it’s a good idea for you to purchase a product called Iron-Out, which is said to remove stains from the system even pure salt can’t handle. The addition of this product will ensure your soft water system upkeep is the best it can be.
Routinely Clean your Brine Tank
Experts agree that even the purest salt is going to contain certain contaminates and impurities which can collect inside the brine tank after a while. You’ll want to drain the system on a regular basis (usually around once per year), and clean the brine tank thoroughly. This task will ensure the purest water possible for you and your family.
There’s nothing quite like pure, soft water that cleans as well as it tastes. Hard water is hard on your health and your wallet. That’s why having a soft water system in your home is so important. In an ideal world, you should consider leaving the mechanics of the install up to a licensed plumber. But if you’re on a strict budget, and handy around the house, it’s perfectly reasonable to attempt the installation of a soft water system on your own. Just make sure to follow the proper procedures outlined in your manufacturer’s manual.