Can Water Softener be Installed outside?

You have decided to buy a water softener to deal with the hard water issue. But now, you want to know what is the ideal location for its installation?

I am sure there are many other important things that a consumer has to face when buying a softener, such as the right type, size, and many others.

The location of the installation in your home is among one of the vitally important things. Because, it comes with two tanks, a brine tank, and a beads tank, you have to account for both the tanks and the space they will take.

As per the experts’ recommendations, an ideal location for a water softener in your home should be a flat, easy to access, and near to entry point of your home’s water supply.

The ideal location is an insulated basement, a peripheral storage room, or a heated space. But for many homes, such a location does not exist.

If you can’t find an ideal location, the location experts recommend, and you find that the only accessible and suitable space for installation is outside, can you install your water softener outside?

This guide will put this question in the discussion and will try to answer it in detail so that users could read and learn to deal with the issue.

Can Water Softener be Installed outside? Things To Consider

What is the Ideal Location for Installing a Water Softener?

Installation of a water softener becomes important if you live in a small home.

Even if you have a tiny space to live in, if you take care of a few things that we are going to mention, you would not have any issues with installation.

First thing is, the location should be near to point of entry of water to your home.

If you install a water softener in a place far from the entry, maybe the plumbing system could not cover many important areas of your home where water consumes.

The place should be easily accessible so that if there is leaking, overflowing or your water softener is malfunctioning and not working properly, you could fix it easily.

The power source comes into play when it comes to the right installation place. If the power source is away from the water system, you will have to set up a power wire setup first before installing it.

A proper drainage system should also be there, so that if the water softener leaks and overflows, the water could not accumulate there and drain properly.

Not only that, consumers have to clean and maintain their water softeners, and for that too, you require proper water drainage.

So, These were some important points for the installation, now comes to the point where people usually install a water softener.

The most common place is a basement because in the basement you get enough space to play with anything you like, and get a setup you desire.

Here, you can install two tanks, can set up electric wires the way you like. So, If you live in a house that has a basement, don’t refrain from installing the softener there.

If you have a small home, and the water softener is compact, you can use utility rooms. Many mention, a garage is a good place for installing a water softener, but I don’t like the idea.

In the garage, you have your vehicles, and the softeners come with a salt tank which can lead to corrosion.

Now, the point is, you don’t have a basement, nor do you have a utility room, you got an only outdoor option for the installation of the water softener.

Can I install a water softener Outside?

I would not say that outside is the ideal place to install a water softener.

But when there is no option left, what can we do, can we install a water softener outside, if this can be done?

Yes, you can do that. But it would not be the most suitable or recommended place.

If you have a basement, utility room, or any other empty room that can take two tanks in it, you should go with other option than this.

Even if you go with the outside option, many points need to be taken care of, not only to prevent your system from rotting but making it function properly, for the purpose your system is designed for.

Things to Keep in Mind While installing a Water Softener Outside

These are a few considerations you should keep in mind when installing a water softener outside.


Climate plays a vital role in making or breaking a water softener installation outside.

If your weather is too cold or too hot, maybe it will be hard for you to get things rolled smoothly outside.

In cold weather, the water in the softener or the tanks will freeze, which can lead to stopping the water softening capability.

If your climate is neither too hot nor too cold, you can easily install the softener outside, except for a few points to keep in mind.

It does not mean that if the weather in the place where you live is unpredictable, then you can’t install a water softener outside.

The first thing you should do is visit your nearby hardware store. And check which water softeners are popular in your area, you will get the idea of top softeners you can buy for your area.

If it is hot around you, for installing an outside water softener, you can prepare in advance and set up some shade or protection, such as an overhead cover or underground where soil could keep the temperature away from the softener.

If it is icing cold around you, buy a water softener with an insulated cover, or cabin that could look after your water softener in chilly weather.

Installation Location

The ideal outside location of the water softener should be near your main water supply line.

Keep in mind, you don’t have any shady place near about, nor do you have an extra room for indoor installation, then you should pick the location near to your water supply line.

Keep in mind that along with the water supply line you also require a sewer line for the drainage of the water.

When the regeneration initiates, it takes lots of water, and you will have to dispel lots of water.

So, you should make sure that there is enough room outside for installing a water softener.

Power Supply

Along with the installation of a water softener near to your supply line, one more important point is access to the electricity.

You also need an electric outlet that connects your water softener to electricity, after all, it runs on electricity.

Plus, you also make sure that the place where you are installing your softener is also suitable for electrical components. I mean if there is any leakage or overflow, it should not be dangerous for you.


A water softener is not something you install once and then forget about it. It requires regular maintenance and cleaning.

Plus, you also require filling the brine tank with salt, and many households do store the salt nearby the water softener so that they could easily get it for the next regeneration.

You also require space for troubleshooting if, if there is something not going well with the softener.

So, the space where you are installing it should be accessible. Keep the accessibility factor in your mind, and pick a space easier to access.

Installation & Maintenance Cost

Once more, if you have a place inside for water softener installation, don’t install it outside.

It requires a whole new setup for the installation of a softener outside, plus the installation, and maintenance cost to go double.

Because here, you also consider things like protection of the unit, elements, electricity, drain pipe, and many others.

You can get it all done, no issue but the cost would accumulate more than you expected.

If a plumber costs for installation indoors around $150, he/she can easily cost you $250 for outside installation.

Where are you going to store the water softener salt?

For the regeneration process to initiate, you require salt. Usually, if it is a regular inside water softener, you store the salts nearby.

But in our case, we are installing it outside, where would we be going to store the salt?

Well, we would not like the salt bags lugging around us, for that, you must install a water softener outside in a covered space, where you could protect your things from elements.

A simple utility shed would work fine here, it will protect your water softener as well as an electrical appliance from the elements.

Do I have to use an outdoor water softener all the time?

Well, if you are going to install your water softener outside, and you want softened water all the time, then you will have to use an outdoor water softener all the time for softened water.

But, if there is a regeneration process happening, and you still want water, maybe hard water, then you can use the bypass valve to bypass the water softener and get the water direct from the supply line.

Do you have to bury your water softener if it is installed outside?

It is a common practice to bury the softener in the ground to protect it from the elements.

Where the weather is too cold, water softener components would not be working efficiently, and water inside them can freeze. To protect them against the cold, you can install and bury them in the ground.

Plus, it also protects your softener and its components from potential theft. As you are installing it outside, you can’t be there around all the time, and if a thief comes and take it away, you would not know unless you feel it is hard water all over again.

But when you install it in the ground it is not like 50-feet in the ground, it is more like 4-5 feet in the ground.


If you can’t find a suitable inside location for the installation of a water softener, you can go with an outside location.

Outside installation though is not the ideal location, but when there is no option left, you go with the possible options.

For installation outside, you should keep in mind that elements will be your biggest challenge.

Here, if it is cold weather outside, the softener water inside can freeze, and stops functioning. If it is hot outside, it can melt the electrical components.

Still, if you follow the mentioned guidelines for outside water softener installation, I am sure you will get the desired results.

Emily Davis

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