How to Pre-Plumb for a Water Softener


When you are unsure about the future of your new residence, you can put a few of those luxury add-ons on hold. A water softener qualifies as a luxury item; costing thousands of dollars plus installation cost, not just anybody can afford one. If you are building a new house and are not certain that you want a water softener, you can pre-plumb for one. Agree upon pre-plumbing the softener before groundwork construction begins. Even better, have your architect design the connections into the blueprints before you begin gathering bids. This will ensure that everyone knows what’s installed where or at least plumbed in.

Things You'll Need

  • Pipe
  • Fittings
  • Ball valves
  • Find the optimum location for your water softener. The location should be readily accessible and in a location that will not be exposed to freezing conditions.

  • Run the main water service line directly to the location you have chosen to pre-plumb for your water softener.

  • Turn the main water service line out of the wall and cut it off at 12 inches. Continue to run the main the water service leaving 12 inches of pipe sticking out of the wall; leave 8 inches in between the two pipes.

  • Install a tee fitting on each pipe 6 inches away from the wall. Connect the two tees with a ball valve in the middle. This will be your water softener bypass.

  • Install a ball valve on each end of the inlet and outlet pipe 2 inches from the tees. Open the bypass valve and close the inlet and outlet valves until you are ready to install your water softener.

Tips & Warnings

  • Over sizing the main water line will ensure the proper volume and help retain optimum water pressure.
  • Cap the ends of the inlet and outlet ball valves if it is going to be some time before you install your softener.

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  • Photo Credit Water treatment plant image by Andrei Merkulov from
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