FAQ for Do-It-Yourself
Frequently Asked Questions for Do-It-Your-Self Water Softener Installers
Is it easy to install a water softener?
If you have basic plumbing skills you can install your own softener or reverse osmosis.
Clack softeners come with very easy to use Shark Bite connectors. Fleck has a threaded connector but this can be adapted to use with a Speed Fit. Autotrol has a copper stem, but you can connect with either a Shark Bite, a Speed Fit, or of course you can solder it to your copper plumbing if you are comfortable with that.
Otherwise, it's basically, one line in, one line out, a drain-line and you are done.
If you are replacing an existing softener you may have to adjust to the height of your new unit so you may need a piece of plastic pipe and a few more Speed Fits. Or you can use a flex hose, but you must make sure your softener is positioned so that it will not tip over. We don't recommend this option, but in some cases it is required, such as a tight space.
Of course, if you prefer to use copper, you will need a few more tools and basic soldering skills. Likewise, if you don’t want to use Speed-fits and prefer to use crimpers on plastic, you will need rings and crimpers. But you have all that in your garage already, right?
I have a small space so should I buy a cabinet (all-in-one) model?
No. We don't recommend a cabinet model. They have short warranties and for good reason. They are almost all manufactured off-shore and contain off-shore resin. They are difficult to repair and difficult to clean. If you have a small space, opt for a smaller salt tank 11x11 inch footprint and a smaller resin tank 8 inch diameter. You can still have a North American 2 piece softener, even in a very small space.
How can I get rid of my old softener?
That depends on where you live. In some cities, they will pick them up from the curb. In some cities, they will not. Call your local landfill site and inquire before you put your old unit on the street. In any case, try to scoop any clean salt out and put it into your new softener. That will reduce waste and weight! Some people use the old salt tanks for rain barrels. Just a thought!
What if I start the installation, then discover that I can’t do it?
No problem. Our service area is roughly 100 kms in any direction from Kitchener, Ontario. If you choose this option the entire installation is $250. No surprises, no extra material to purchase and you will receive a professional installation, and free removal of your old softener.
I have a brand new house that has never had a softener. Is there anything I should know?
A couple of things. First, depending on your builder, you may or may not have bypassing to the outside garden lines. This should be done so you aren’t using softened water outside. Also, if you aren’t installing a reverse osmosis unit you should run a bypass line to the kitchen for hard water. That’s so you don’t drink water that has gone through the softener as it picks up some salt.
The builder may have asked you to pay extra for this and called it a third line or a rough in. If it is done, great, you are good to go. If it isn’t, prepare yourself for a little extra work. Or, let us do the installation and we will run the lines for you as part of our regular installation. Of course, you can always just turn the bypass valve on the softener if you want to water the lawn!
Second, you may have 1 inch plumbing coming in from your water main instead of the older ¾ inch. In this case, contact us before you purchase the unit and we will substitute 1 inch connectors. Or, because your inside lines will be 3/4 inch, you have the option of reducing to 3/4. John Guest Speed-fits come in all sizes.