One of the most important decisions while buying a water softener happens to be the location of the appliance.
Although it might not come to your mind straight away, water softeners have a few different parts like the brine tank and media tank that require some thought when choosing the installation location. Add that to the occasional maintenance and salt refilling, and we have a genuine problem in our hands.
But where do you install your water softener? Can a water softener be installed outside? If yes, what are the things that you should look out for?
This article will discuss all these questions and give you an overall thorough knowledge about water softener installation. Let’s begin:
Where To Install A Water Softener?
The ideal location to install a water softener needs to be near the point of entry of water. The place also needs to be level, flat, and easily accessible. All of which are pretty obvious.
As long as there are a few things taken care of, the installation place of the water softener does not matter. These are power sources, access to proper plumbing, a sound drainage system, and physical space. As long as these things are maintained, your water softener can go anywhere your heart desires.
Having said that, people still typically choose one of few places to put a water softener. The most common is the basement due to having adequate access to all of the factors mentioned above.
If the device has a small footprint, it is pretty common for installation to take place in crawl spaces and utility rooms. But with the space-saving challenges these two places bring forth, the installer might need to get a little creative with the installation.
Finally, for houses without a basement, a garage is the most commonplace for a water softener. A garage provides all of the benefits of a basement but sometimes, depending on the house, a garage might need specific plumbing work done to fit a water softener.
Whichever the case might be, you can trust the professional installer to find the best place for your home.
Can A Water Softener Be Installed Outside?
Since you did not see outside listed as one of the abovementioned possible places, it is normal to wonder if this can be done. Well, we bring you good news. Yes, it absolutely can be done.
However, it is not ideal in all cases. Even if your place of choice outside of your house has all four factors taken care of, deciding to install this appliance outside has its own challenges.
That is why we ask you to take our answer of “yes” with a grain of salt and read till the end of this article to see what challenges you need to overcome.
5 Things To Keep In Mind When Installing Your Water Softener Outside
Below are the five factors that you need to take care of if you want to install a water softener outside of your house:
This heavily depends on the general geolocation of your residence. The resin tank of a water softener cannot withstand sub-zero temperatures very well. In most commercially available water softeners, this tank is made of fiberglass.
Fiberglass is a material that does not provide good enough insulation against freezing or even cold temperatures. For this reason, if the temperature goes below the freezing point of water, or if you encounter a hailstorm, coldwave, or freezing rain, the fiberglass will freeze and crack.
A cracked fiberglass shell will lead to resin beads floating around the tank and going through the plumbing of your house. This is indisputably an awful thing and can even cause further damage to the entire plumbing system.
The distribution tube will also be prone to severe damage if exposed to temperatures this cold for a sustained amount of time.
A water softener will work best in a temperature range of 35 to 100 degrees F or 2 to 40 degrees C. Somewhere along the middle of the scale is the perfect atmosphere for a water softener to thrive for years.
Even if you live in a particularly warm part of the world, you might have problems. Direct sunlight will not suddenly or immediately cause any issues but make no mistake; over time, direct exposure to sunlight will chew through your fancy water softener.
The culprit is not necessarily the heat of the sun here. Sunlight comprises a lot of different rays of different wavelengths, and one of these rays is called UV rays or Ultraviolet Rays.
Over time UV rays damage the structural integrity of the fiberglass. Reactions happen at a molecular level, and the fiberglass deteriorates to the point of breaking or shattering. We already discussed how that is not only a death sentence for your water softener but can also damage your overall home.
So, if you are installing your water softener outside, provide it with enough shade and do not let direct sunlight hit it.
You don’t just install an appliance like a water softener and forget about it. It needs regular maintenance. Namely, refiling the brine tank with new salt pellets monthly and cleaning out the tank yearly.
Other than that, you might still face some other issues, and to troubleshoot or fix them, you will need easy accessibility to the water softener. So, do keep that in mind while choosing a place for the water softener.
Being Near The Main Entry Point Of Water
Your water softener needs to be directly connected to the water supply that goes into your house. It will be a door for all the other water in your home to enter through. So, keep the water softener near this “entry point.”
Access To Power Source
This one is a no-brainer as your water softener will need a connection to a power line for it to do its magic on hard water. The regeneration cycle operates entirely on electricity, and sometimes even the valves need some power to regulate water flow.
Know the wiring of your house and choose accordingly.
If you find the solution to these five challenges, you can easily and safely install a water softener anywhere your heart desires. So, the answer to the question “can a water softener be installed outside” is yes with some asterisks.
In case of any other confusion or problems, we highly recommend you reach out to a trained professional since they will already be there to do the initial installation for you more often than not.