Deciding the right location for your water softener depends on many factors. Homeowners commonly install their water softener in the attic, but some experts advise against it. In this article, we’ll discuss whether or not you should install your water softener in the attic.
Water softeners can sometimes be installed in attics, although the size of the system may be constrained by the available space. Installing a water softener in the attic may require installing an electric receptacle or doing some plumbing to connect the unit to your existing piping.
Moreover, many homeowners who put their water softeners in the attic complain that the softeners eventually leak and damage the house. Keep reading below to learn about some things you should consider before installing a water softener at any location.
Read my ultimate guide to water softeners.
Considerations Before Installing Water Softener
Knowing what’s in your water and considering your family’s requirements should come before installation enters the picture. Having this information is crucial to choosing the right softener size and model to treat your water.
The amount of installation space required depends on the softener’s physical dimensions. The flow rate, the quantity of water your home uses, and the quality of your water are just a few of the variables that water treatment professionals consider when determining the proper size.
It is crucial to consider the flow rate to ensure that your home does not run out of softened water. To calculate the flow rate, which is measured in gallons per minute (GPM), it is necessary to consider all of the fixtures and appliances in your home that might be used continuously.
When choosing a system, the flow rate should be considered because if it isn’t, and your softener ends up being too small, you will notice a drop in the pressure and some hardness passing through the system.
Water use is another important factor. The average human uses 80–100 gallons of water each day, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). While that number might seem high, remember that it includes every time the shower, bath, or sink is used, along with every toilet flush and laundry load.
Multiply the number of gallons each household member uses by the total number of persons residing in your house to determine the proper softener size.
The hardness of your water must be examined by professionals in water treatment. Grains per gallon (GPG) measures the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in your water. This helps determine how much material your water softener will require to eliminate hardness.
The more material a system can retain and the harder it can eliminate, the larger it is. Your water may also contain iron in addition to hardness, prompting the need for a separate filter or a device that removes both iron and hardness.
You should work with a water treatment expert to perform a thorough water test to precisely identify what is in your water, including any potential toxins. They will then suggest the best tools to treat your water appropriately. The location of the softener can be easily decided after getting more evident knowledge of the appropriate equipment needed.
You can also test hard water at home. Check out this video below to learn how this is done:
Read my related article: Can a Water Softener Be Installed in the Garage?
Can I Install Water Softener in the Attic?
A water softener can be installed anywhere a homeowner chooses, provided there is access to plumbing, piping, a drain, and power. The location must also comply with all applicable building codes and performance conditions required by the softener, including temperature.
In unheated places where the temperature can drop below freezing, water softeners won’t function. Also, avoid placing the softener under direct sunlight. Between 35 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit should be the ideal temperature for the area.
One consideration is access and convenience, especially when it comes to performing maintenance on your water softener. You’re going to have to carry salt up a flight of stairs every month or two. You’ll also have to deal with spent resin and rinse water when you clean the brine tank.
Limitations of Installing Water Softener in Attic
Salt is typically needed to top off a softener and is available in 25 kg bags. You will have to haul a 25kg bag up to the attic several times a year.
Wastewater from the softener’s regeneration needs to be removed. The plumber might have to pipe the drain through the attic to the nearest toilet.
If you choose an electric model, you might have to add a receptacle in the attic.
Water Softener Loop
Buying a water softener is the best solution for any home situated in a region with a high water-hardness level. Make sure your home is prepared before you purchase a new water softener. You should first examine whether you have a plumbing loop for a water softener.
The water used inside your home and the water used outside are separated by a water softener plumbing loop. Since the water you use to irrigate your plants or lawn won’t be softened, this has unlimited advantages. Plus, there is no need to be concerned because plants can tolerate these hard minerals and will not be harmed by hard water.
A plumbing loop for a water softener makes sure that all incoming water passes through the softener. Additionally, this loop will shield all of your faucets and appliances from the harm that hard water could cause.
If you don’t already have one, you should consider installing a water softener loop. Before doing this, make sure you don’t already have one in your house. You can go to the garage or the mechanical room to see if your home already has a loop in case you’re unsure. There is no chance it will be hidden in another area of your home if you can’t locate it there.
You need to search the garage for what appears to be a pipe in the shape of a “U.” These loops could emerge from the floor or a wall. If you don’t reside in an area with consistently warm weather, you might be able to locate the loop on your house’s exterior.
Most newer homes include a water-softener plumbing loop, so you likely won’t have to bother installing one. It is crucial to request a water softener loop installation from the contractors if you plan on building your own home.
You could install a water softener if your home does not have a loop, but it is not advised. A loop promotes water conservation, which benefits the environment and extends the life of your water softener.
Technically, you can get your water softener installed in the attic. But it comes at the risk of leaking and causing damage to your house. Furthermore, you might have to install a socket or get some plumbing work done before installation.
If you still find this option worth it, it might be a good idea to go ahead.