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Guide to Install Salt-Based and Salt-Free Water Softeners

Updated on March 11, 2022

How to Install a Salt-Free Water Softener with a Well

Salt-free water softeners use electric or magnetic rays to change the behavior of water. They don’t remove hardness causing elements from water but alter the way these elements interact with different surfaces. Salt-free water softeners are best for small families or appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters.

As far as their installation is concerned, it is very easy. All you have to do is read the user manual and wrap the electric wire around the water pipes. You also have to plug in the device, so make sure you have an electric socket nearby.

Electric water softeners require minimum maintenance. If their components start to malfunction, you may have to replace the device.

Recommended Salt-Free Water Softener: SpringWell’s FutureSoft® Salt-Free Water Softener

SpringWell’s FutureSoft® Salt-Free Water Softener

SpringWell’s softener is the most powerful salt-free water softener on the market. The unit gives almost same results as a salt-based water softener. It comes in 3 different variants so you can pick the one as per your home size. You can even enjoy up to 20 gallons per minute flow rate for 7+ washrooms.

The unit comes with a sediment filter and a control head to tune the softener’s settings. It is a maintenance-free system with no brine discharge, salt replacement or water wastage.

How to Install a Salt-Based Water Softener?

A salt-based water softener uses a softening salt and resin to remove calcium and magnesium from water in an ion exchange process.

Time Needed: 6-8 Hours

Plumbing Skill and Knowledge Level: Medium

Tools Needed:

  • Pipe cutter
  • Plumbing wrench
  • Teflon tape
  • Check and bypass valves
  • Tape measure
  • Gate valves
  • Compression fittings (2)
  • Tubing or copper pipe
  • Flexible tubing
  • Union fittings (2)
  • PVC solvent
  • Torch and solder

Place Selection

According to Massachusetts’ Government, the ideal place to install a water softener is after a sediment filter and before other filtration units. It ensures that water treatment units get soft water. Make sure you install the softener under shade with an electric outlet nearby.

Steps Needed to Complete the Installation

  • Turn off the water supply to your home and drain off all the water from the pipes.
  • Please turn off the water heater and shut off the water supply going towards it.
  • Now head to the spot where the water softener is to be installed. You must select the installation place according to the guidelines mentioned above.
  • Read all the instructions on the user’s manual.
  • Cut the water pipe with a pipe cutter. Place a bucket underneath to catch the water from the pipe.
  • Install an elbow joint at the cut you just made. An elbow joint allows you to attach a bypass valve for bypassing the water softener.
  • You need to connect the bypass valve before connecting the water softener. Measure the pipe from the machine to the bypass valve. Cut the pipes according to the measurement and solder any rough edges and fittings before making the connections.
  • Connect the water softener with the help of compression fittings.
  • Attach the drainage pipe to the unit. Make sure you follow the local laws while dealing with the discharge mechanism.
  • Next up is connecting the overflow tube to the brine tank. This process is different for every model. We suggest that you check the installation manual for this.
  • Turn the softener on and slowly open the water. Don’t open the water at once. Opening the valves slowly will allow you to release the trapped air and put less pressure on the newly installed softener.
  • Get your water tested after the installation process is complete. The best way to do this is to wait for a week and then test your water.

Recommended Salt-Based Water Softener: SpringWell’s Salt-Based Water Softener 

SpringWell’s Salt-Based Water Softener

SpringWell’s salt-based water softener is an ideal machine to make well water soft. The unit can handle high hardness levels in well water and deliver soft water at a continuous flow rate. SpringWell offers 3 different variants, so you can select the one based on your needs.

The system comes with two tanks, a control head, a lifetime warranty, and an installation kit for DIY installation.

What is a water softener and what does it do for well water?

A water softener is used to remove hardness from your water. Hard water is not harmful to your health but it damages your skin, hair, your home’s plumbing system and appliances. A water softener makes water fit for daily use.

Water hardness levels are measured in milligrams per liter or grams per gallons. The following table mentions the category of water according to the calcium and magnesium levels found in water.

Category Amount in mg/L Amount in grains/Gallon
Soft Water 0 – 17 0-1
Slightly Hard 17.1 – 60 1-3.5
Moderately Hard 61 – 120 3.5-7.0
Hard 121 – 180 7.0-10.5
Very Hard More than 180 10.5 and above

Effects of Hard Water

  • Dry skin and hair
  • Stains and scale buildup on plumbing fixtures increased plumbing repairs.
  • Lack of lather formation from soaps and shampoos
  • Stained laundry
  • Stained and weak crockery
  • Stained washroom fixtures
  • A high water bill (for city water users)

Final Words

Make sure you check the local laws before installing a water softener. Some states don’t allow using salt-based water softeners due to environmental concerns.


  • Earl Rojo

    Earl Rojo has been a senior mechanic in well drilling and maintenance firms for 3 years. He is from Longview, Texas, and he loves sharing his experience with others. He frequently writes on various well water issues with a special focus on well maintenance and drinking water quality.

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