How to Install a Water Softener

While you may know you need a water softener after testing your water’s hardness, the thought of installing a system can be daunting. Whirlpool softeners can be installed by a DIY-er familiar with principles of plumbing or leverage our professional installation network for an affordable hands-off experience.

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Installation

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Installing a water softener yourself allows you to work on the project at your own pace and without spending extra money on a plumber. If you’re simply replacing an old water softener, this can be done in under an hour. A new installation does require some additional plumbing knowledge, but can be tackled in a few hours. You’ll want to make sure you have all the necessary supplies and tools before you begin, as you may need to cut some pipes to align your water softener and water supply lines. Creating a detailed checklist before you begin, will ensure you don’t miss any steps.

Whirlpool® Water Softeners come with everything to install and hook up to 1” NPT (National Pipe Thread). ). If your plumbing is smaller or larger than 1”…

You will need:

  • Two 1” NPT female connectors and enough tubing to connect from the water softener to your existing plumbing. You may have copper, PVC, CPVC, steel or PEX plumbing. Each of these plumbing types may require different materials and different tools for installation.
  • A drain is necessary for the regeneration or recharge process. 12 feet of drain tubing is supplied but if your drain is further then 5 feet away, you will need to purchase enough ½” tubing to reach your drain. The drain should not be more than 30 feet away from the softener and the drain line should not be elevated more than 8 feet above the floor.
  • The power cord (transformer) needs to be plugged into a 110V continuous live outlet. The unit comes with a 10 foot power cord.

Typical Basement Installation


Typical Slab Foundation Installation


Quick Installation Checklist – see installation manual for details

  1. Turn off water supply at main
  2. Drain water lines
  3. Make proper connections (Optional: install remote bypass)
  4. Fill brine tank half-full with salt
  5. Ensure bypass is shut, slowly turn on water, check for leaks
  6. Complete start-up procedure

Professional Installation

Water Softening Made Easy

Work with a sales associate at a major retailer to plan your install project and select the right water softener for your home and budget.

Schedule Your Installation Today

Professional installation through major retailers is provided by screened, licensed, independent contractors who will provide you with quality service and a worry-free experience.

Professional Installations offer water softener delivery, installation, and removal of residential water softeners in most areas.

Basic Installation Includes:*

  • Delivery of new water softener within 20 miles (one-way) of the store
  • Replacement of an existing residential water softener in the same location within the home
  • Set-up and programming of softener unit
  • Removal and haul-away of old water softener.
  • Testing to ensure proper operation
  • Clean up of job site.

*Additional installation service available. See store for details.

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