Winterizing a Water Softener

If the softener is installed where it could freeze, likeĀ in a summer cabin, lake home, etc., you must drain all the water from it to stop possible freeze damage. Follow these steps to drain the softener:

  1. Turn off the water to the softener. Locate the main shut-off valve coming into the home and turn it off.
  2. Open a faucet at the kitchen sink or bathroom to vent pressure in the softener.
  3. If a single by-pass valve was used, move the stem to the by-pass.
    • On a 3-valve by-pass system, close the inlet and outlet valves. Open the by-pass valve and turn the water back on if you want water in the rest of the house. If you are unsure about what type of installation is used, contact the installer.
  4. Unplug the transformer at the wall outlet.
  5. Carefully remove the large holding clips at the softener inlet and outlet and separate the softener from the adapters or the by-pass valve.
  6. Remove the brine well cover and disconnect the brine valve tubing at the nozzle and venture lift the brine valve out of the brine well. Tip it upside down to drain out the water.
  7. Lay a piece of 2-inch thick board on the floor near a floor drain. Move the softener close to the floor drain.
  8. Slowly and carefully lay the softener over until the rim of the tank rests on the wood board with the inlet and outlet being over the drain. Do not allow the softener's weight to rest upon the inlet and outlet fittings because you will break them this way.
  9. Gently lift the bottom of the softener up and drain the brine well and tank. Hold it in this position until all the water has drained out.
  10. Leave the softener lying on its side like this until you are ready to use it again. Plug the inlet and outlets with rags to keep dirt, bugs etc...out.