If you think that installing a water softener system in your home is too expensive or too hard, you should think again. Not only will a water softener pay for itself in almost no time at all, but you can install one yourself if you have average mechanical and plumbing ability and just a few spare hours to do the job. While you cannot tell whether your water needs softening by tasting, smelling or looking at it, you can usually see the results of hard water. If you have noticed that your dishes, silverware and clothing are not as clean as they should be after washing, it may be because of hard water. Garments and dishes that are cleaned in soft water have noticeably fewer spots and residual soap on them. They look better, last longer and save you money by not needing to be cleaned as frequently. Even water-using appliances such as your washing machine, dishwasher, water heater and iron are affected by hard water. In only a short time period, mineral deposits build up in crucial areas of these devices and shorten their lifespans. Installing a water softener system helps extend the time between expensive repairs and replacements. While it is better to have a water softener expertly installed by a professional plumbing service committed to high-quality work, you can do the job yourself by following these steps. 1. Have your water tested to determine its hardness. 2. Determine your daily water requirements. 3. Choose a high-quality water softener system that can handle your needs. 4. Select a location for installation. The ideal spot is level, dry, out of direct sunlight and near an existing electrical outlet. It should also be close to the main water supply line and a drain pipe. Try to install the water softener so that at least 10 feet of piping is between it and the water heater. 5. When you are ready to begin, turn off the main water supply to the house at the curb, and drain all the water lines by turning on at least one faucet on each level of your home. 6. Close the supply valve to the water heater, and cut the power to it. If you use a gas water heater, move the control to the pilot position. 7. Carefully loosen the union on the water supply line using a pair of pipe wrenches. 8. Add the new water supply line. 9. Install the remote bypass. This allows water to enter your water softener or bypass it completely. Use a short pipe to connect the feed-line pipe to the water supply line to create the by-pass. 10. Put a male adaptor into the tank’s female adaptor. 11. Add a union to the back of the male adaptor. 12. Add flux to all the joints, and connect all the fittings. 13. Use a propane torch to heat the pipes, and solder the joints. 14. Reconnect the water supply line, and turn the water back on at the curb. 15. Restore power to the water heater, and open the water heater valve. 16. Inspect all lines for leaks. 17. Install the drain line by attaching a one-half inch drain line to the barbed fitting. 18. Run the drain line to the drain. To prevent a backflow, allow a four-inch gap between the open drain and the end of the line. 19. Install the brine line. Remove the brine tank lid, and push the small tube through the side hole. 20. Add a compression fitting to the tube end, and attach it to the safety valve. 21. Run the line to the softener resin tank. 22. Put a compression fitting on the end of the tube, and attach it to the intake. 23. Put the lid back on. 24. Add a drain line from the drain to the overflow valve. 25. Plug the water softener in. 26. Open the bypass valve to allow water to flow into the system. 27. Add salt to the brine tank, set the system timer, and put the cover on. If you have difficulty installing your water softener and need professional help, give ABC Plumbing and Rooter Company a call. A licensed, bonded, insured and trusted plumbing service, they have been in the business of installing and repairing water softener systems and other plumbing fixtures in the greater Phoenix area since 1968.