Water softener install explained
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The piping around a water softener can be confusing. A cold (hard) water branch before the water softener is standard procedure to branch off to supply outdoor hose connections ( as well as to the kitchen sink and refrigerator icemaker if you don't want to drink softened water).
Water for gardens, lawns and animals should not be softened. The main supply line to the rest of the house continues on to the softener. Once the water leaves the softener, it should branch into two lines: a cold line that runs to interior fixtures and faucets, and a line that feeds the water heater. The outgoing line from the water heater then runs to interior fixtures and faucets that dispense hot water. In addition to those lines, there should be a bypass loop with a valve you can open to bypass the softener if you need to disconnect it temporarily without disturbing the water supply to the house.
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