Hard Water and Water Softener Drain Outside

Homeowners may have concerns about the water softener drain outside. Sometimes, making your house as comfy as possible has its challenges. Some people have issues with hard water, while others believe don’t think of it as an issue whatsoever. Hard water may seem unimportant, but it can create problems and chaos in the longer term. That’s why homeowners would install the water softening system.

It sounds like the problem is solved, right? Not really. Now, the question is: How can you drain the system correctly? And this is the concern about the water softener drain outside. 

Understanding Hard Water

Regardless of your living area, there is a certain level of hard water. It is typically measured in grains, and it ranges from around 3 grains to 15 grains. If the water is super hard, it would be more than 15. The U.S. southeastern and the northeast areas have a hard water issue, while the northern Midwest areas have been ‘plagued’ with the complex water issue. What about other places, like Hawaii or Alaska? Well, they somehow have the hard water level in between. 

So, what is hard water? Hard water refers to water having too much magnesium and calcium. For some people, this isn’t an issue. But over time, hard water can cause severe damage to your house. It can damages the appliances, fades the clothes, blocks the pipes, stains your tubs and sinks. Aside from increasing the water bills, the water would lead to frequent (plumbing) repairs. It can leave a nasty film on the dishes even after you scrub them hard. It even dries out your skin and hair.

Before you get a headache about the water softener drain outside, it’s crucial to understand the water softener concept. Do you even need it? How should it work? How to deal with sewage removal?

Dealing with Water Hardness

So, if you find out that you have issues with a high level of water hardness, it’s time to take action. As mentioned before, the longer you keep the point stands, the costlier it will be. One way to tackle the problem is to boil the water so it would be safer to use or consume. Another option is to add extra cleaning agents to washing machines and dishwashers.

However, these options are perfect for localized implementation. If you want to improve the water quality of the entire house, installing the water softening system would be good. 

Water Softener System and Its Operation

water softener drain outside
Credit by tackexchange.com

Hard water may not pose a health risk, but it’s undoubtedly a threat to your wallet. If you suffer from limescale buildup, it will cause the water to run exceptionally sluggishly. You will have to repair the pipes for this matter. So, does it mean that installing the water softener system would be cheaper? Well, not really.

You will have to spend money upfront, but it can save up more in the longer term. You can enjoy less buildup (on the dishes), clear pipes, brighter clothes, healthy skin and hair, fewer issues with your appliances, and lower monthly bills. 

The water softener system has two tanks. The shorter but wider tank is referred to as the brine. Its function is to store the salt (for the system). The taller and slender tank is named the media tank, and it’s where the control valve is located. Within the media tank, you can find tiny beads charged with salt. When hard water passes through this tank, the magnesium and calcium are attached to the beads. 

After the tank finally reaches its capacity, it will undergo the so-called regeneration process. It takes the salt from another tank to help wash and clean away the excess magnesium and calcium from the bead. The water (from this process) will need to be removed from the system. This cycle would continue going on. It would help if you refilled the brine tank with salt quite regularly. 

Outside Drainage

When you want to install the water softening system, be sure that an air gap prevents your drain water from reaching out to the freshwater supply. There is a plumbing standard concerning the air gaps, and it says that you aren’t allowed to connect a draining line from the (water) softener to the waste line of the house directly. That’s why the air gap is a must. Moreover, it would help to ensure that the installation was done correctly.

If not, it can poison the drinking water because there would be raw sewage backing up to your house’s clean water source. 

Some people may install the drainage system inside a garage or a basement. Some, however, prefer installing the system outside. The best way is to consult an expert and discuss the best practice related to water softener drain. Your plumber should know the best solution for this. After all, he is the one that knows the matter. Don’t forget to check the rules in your state. You don’t want to violate the regulation or perform any illegal actions.

It’s best to talk to your plumber while checking the rules altogether. 


What should I do if I want to be sure about the water hardness level?

Get as much information from different sources. Aside from contacting your water utility company, you can also ask your plumber. Using the water strips also help, and data from other authorities should be valid. 

Where can I buy the water strips?

They are relatively easy to find and buy, and you can go to the hardware stores or online stores. 

What should I do when I only have a low water hardness level?

It’s up to you. Whether you want to install the air softener system, it goes back to your preferences and how you want to address the issue. 

Won’t the water softener system would add (minute) sodium traces to the water? Does it mean that the water would be salty?

Yes, it does. But it won’t affect the taste, and you can try and see that it isn’t salty as you may have suspected. 

As you can see, it doesn’t have to be challenging to deal with water softener drain outside as long as you know what you are doing. 

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Jack Robert

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