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  • Take The SOFTENER FINDER Quiz

  • September 19, 2022 3 min read

    Sometimes your home plumbing won't support the type of water treatment equipment you think you'd like to purchase. There are a number of different scenarios where this can be true, and we'll outline them below.

    As you can imagine, we get all sorts of inquiries about what pieces of water treatment equipment to buy. Most customers come to us after doing some amount of online research. The research that most people do revolves around figuring out their water problem, and finding the technology that will solve it. Most folks seem to follow some version of the following decision-making process:

    • identification of a water problem (hard water, bad taste, etc)
    • figuring out which water treatment device(s) solve that problem
    • finding brands and retailers of that particular device
    • choosing to buy from a trustworthy retailer that has the product you want, at a price you want to pay

    It's not very often that potential buyers of water treatment equipment ever consider if the products they're looking act can actually be installed in their home and work properly. Sometimes they can't. Here are some common examples:

    No Access To The Main Water Line

    This is a pretty common one. Whole home water treatment equipment is installed on the main water line because homeowners generally want all the water in their home to be treated. Some homeowners though, don't have access to the main line. This can be because the main is hidden behind a wall, or because equipment has been so jammed into a utility room that's there's no way to gain access to the main line. In the case of multi-unit residences (like condos) often the water main water line is shared and there's no access to it for individual units. The same is certainly true for most apartments. The inability to access the main water line creates a difficult decision process for homeowners. In the case of whole home water softeners or backwashing carbon filters homeowners have to decide if they want to partially treat the water being treated. Often, this means treating only the cold water and not the hot. This isn't an ideal situation by any stretch.

    Inability to Bypass Outside Spigots

    This is another really common one that again relates to whole home water filtration units. Customers often don't want purify their outdoor water. This can be for all kinds of different reasons but it's usually that they don't want to "use up" the capacity of the water treatment media for outside utility water. The key to installing water softeners or filters so that they don't treat the outdoor water is obviously to identify where in the plumbing the branch point is that carries water from the main line, to the outdoor spigots. In most cases, it's a single branch point that services all outdoor water locations. Sometimes finding the branch point is tough or impossible. It can be hidden in a finished ceiling or behind wall or again, it could be tangled in a utility room where it just isn't possible to jam in another piece of equipment. In these situations the best outcome is to find the water main - before the branching point to outdoor spigots - and to plumb in the water treatment equipment there. You'll have treated water outside, yes, but you'll also have treated water inside!