Proper Drainage of a Water Softener


A water softener must not drain directly into a waste system because of the possibility of waste water flowing backward up the line. If this occurs, contaminated water could enter the water supply lines.

Air Gap

  • An air gap, which is essential to prevent backflow, is created by having the water softener empty into a floor drain, laundry sink or an outlet with a trap. The air gap should be two or more times the diameter of the drain line and at least 1.5 inches above the top of the receptacle.

Drain Pipe

  • The drain pipe can consists of either flexible or rigid material, as long as the end is secured in such a way to prevent it from becoming moved, dislodged or immersed in waste fluids.

Other Information

  • Long garden hose is not recommended for a drain pipe because it may develop kinks or restrictions. If the drain empties into a sink, the sink should not be stoppered while the softener is regenerating.


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