The basic by-laws for the installation of a water softener requires that you have:
- A by-pass mechanism (to allow for the water softener to be switched off without cutting off the water supply)
- A non-return or check valve (to prevent the back flow of water into the main water supply.)
- A 1″(28mm) air gap on the connection to the drain, (to prevent back siphoning from the drain into the water supply)
A recommended by-law is that an untreated tap should be made available for testing and drinking, This is because the water supply companies cannot recommend that you drink anything that is not supplied by them and not in their control. 14 towns in the UK are supplied with artificially softened water using ion exchange; they do not supply hard water to drink. They cannot recommend that you drink softened, filtered, bottled, stored or any other water other than the water direct from the mains supply.
Where’s the best place to install a water softener?
To a large extent this depends on where the mains water enters the property. As the latest domestic water softeners are highly compact, they can fit under a typical kitchen work top. The ideal position is tucked under the kitchen sink where it can work quietly softening your water. A visitor would never know it was there. If space is an absolute premium, a softener can be placed outside in a special insulated housing.
Our diagram shows how a softener fits into a typical domestic plumbing system. As you can see, you can always fit a hard water tap to give you the option of a hard water supply, either to the outside or at the kitchen sink (should you want it). Bypass valves are always fitted too, should you at any time want to turn off the softener and revert to hard mains water throughout…. or indeed, take the softener with you if you move house.
Water softeners can be installed by the DIY enthusiast, or even your own plumber. We can supply an installation kit to make this easier.