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Old 10-31-2011, 05:14 PM   #1
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Do I need to insulate my water softener?


I got a water softener installed a few months ago and I did not have a loop in the house so it had to be installed outside in line.. My question is how if needed do I insulate this thing?


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Old 10-31-2011, 06:40 PM   #2
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Do I need to insulate my water softener?


Where do you live ?
If you NEVER EVER get below freezing, I wouldn't worry about it.
If you do live in an area that gets cold, who ever did this job should be Tared and Feathered !

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Old 10-31-2011, 07:40 PM   #3
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Do I need to insulate my water softener?


I'll second what AlbacoreShuffle said and also add that it appears that you have a digital control, which probably isn't going to last long out in the weather.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:45 AM   #4
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Do I need to insulate my water softener?


I live in central Texas.. It doesn't get below freezing much but it does get pretty low sometimes.. The control is analog it just has a cover on it
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:31 AM   #5
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Do I need to insulate my water softener?


The brine line and brine control in the tank will freeze before the tank. Valve parts, also, may be affected by freezing.

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Old 11-10-2011, 07:34 PM   #6
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Do I need to insulate my water softener?


So I obviously need to insulate this thing..

I was thinking of building a box I could slip on during the winter months.. Just out of 1x4 and plywood.. Then line it with rigid foam insulation.. Do you guys think this will work?
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:17 AM   #7
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Do I need to insulate my water softener?


I also can't quite figure out why the heck someone would install like this. When you say 'loop' what do you mean exactly? You just go from the supply to the softener and then from the softener to the house. Is there not a main supply shutoff inside? Never have I seen something like this and I can't think of a single good reason for an installation of this sort.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:26 AM   #8
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Do I need to insulate my water softener?


I have not seen a shutoff inside my house.. There is one on the street and one right next to the water softener.. Then when the water softener was installed there is on on there also.

I got the term "Water softener Loop" from a friend at work and it makes sense.. If you google it you will see what it is.. It is basically a loop, more often in the garage / laundry room area.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:38 AM   #9
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Do I need to insulate my water softener?


i have never seen a water softener installed outside like that, even in texas. it almost got to freezing last night here in san antonio, so yeah, it gets below freezing enough nights during the winter to where having a water softener outside would be a problem. we usually have a couple of nights every winter where it drops into the teens.

the "loop" that you are referring to needs to be built, since obviously your house was not plumbed for a softener, meaning they did not build the loop inside the house for you somewhere (typically the garage). my house was also not plumbed for a water softener, so the softener was installed in the laundry room since that is the point of entry of the main water line and easiest to find and tap into.

whoever installed the softener should have figured out where the water lines ran into the house and tapped into that from the inside. yeah, you usually have to open up a wall but that is the right way to do it.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:57 AM   #10
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Do I need to insulate my water softener?


Ahhhhh.... ok. The 'loop'. Never heard it described this way, but then again I'm not a plumber by trade, but I agree with what's been said. If opening the wall was the only option to get to the incoming line then it should have been done that way. I'd look into getting it moved inside. You could insulate, but why tempt fate. It's not unheard of to have below freezing weather in TX and while the larger components may not freeze, there are the lines and little passages and such in the thing that could freeze very easily. Not sure of the construction of that unit, but I have a Kinetico that has a ton of small ports, passages, diaphrams, etc. The brine tank would probably be ok unless it was really cold for a long time, but the rest I'd worry about.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:01 AM   #11
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Do I need to insulate my water softener?


We added the water softener since we got a new tankless water heater and the warranty required a lower level of softness then the city provided..

During this time when the water was capped from the old water heater , and the water main at that location we still had cold water on the other side of the house. This tells me the cold water (the main) branches off to that side of the house before it gets to the water heater / laundry room area. I assume they did this to save money since the main is on one side of the house and the water heater is on the other. If the cold water went to the water heater location first then back to the other side of the house we would have installed the softener in the garage.. but this was not the case..

edit.. just in case it what i was explaining what i said..
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Last edited by mchipser; 11-11-2011 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:17 AM   #12
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Do I need to insulate my water softener?


the bottom line is you put it where the main water line enters the house, if you can. every house should have a main water shut off somewhere inside and that is where you put it. typically it is a garage or utility room of some sort.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:36 AM   #13
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Do I need to insulate my water softener?


Is your home on slab or a raised foundation ?
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:39 AM   #14
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Do I need to insulate my water softener?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbacoreShuffle View Post
Is your home on slab or a raised foundation ?

Slab.. We had to open the slab in the laundry room when we removed the old water heater to move the pipes into the wall nearest the new water heater.. This is when we found the water main branched off to the front faucet and guest bath..
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:55 AM   #15
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Do I need to insulate my water softener?


Build a small enclosure around it (think shed), insulate the enclosure and install a 60 watt light bulb for supplemental heat. Build the enclosure a little bigger and have a storage shed.

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