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Water Softener Installation 3: Drain Connection Options

Water Softener Installation 3: Drain Connection Options

It's time to make the connection! In part 3 of our Water Softener Installation blog series, we will be walking you through how to install your water softener drain connection to household plumbing. This is universal so it holds true no matter which type of water softener, iron & sulphur filter, tannin or any other type of back washing filter that you've chosen!

For all the DIY homeowners, plumbers and installers out there, we want to ensure your installation process is smooth and seamless, so let’s jump in together right now.



If you need to start from the beginning of our Water Softener Installation series, you can check out part 1 and 2 first, then jump right in! 

Water Softener Installation 1: Where to Install Aquamaster and Clack Softeners >> SEE PART 1

Water Softener Installation 2: Clack Plumbing >> SEE PART 2




According to most plumbing codes, you cannot connect the drain line from a water softener directly to a waste line from a household plumbing system; you need to maintain an air gap. There are a number of ways of doing that.

  1. The easiest way to do it would be to run it into a laundry sink, ensuring there is
    1.5” air gap above the flood water rim of the laundry sink and you're good to go. PRO TIP: If you do that just be careful you don't soak some clothes in there overnight and then suddenly put a stopper in the sink because you’ll have a flood the next morning!
  2. You can drain it into a sump hole or floor drain.
  3. You can also drain it into a special fitting that maintains an air gap.



If you have a vertical drain line — let's say there's a kitchen above where the water softener is being installed and you've got a line running vertically — then you can cut into that and put in a p-trap. A special fitting air gap would go on the top.

It can also be used for a laundry stack beside a laundry tub and can be used horizontally if you have a horizontal pipe instead of vertical.

If you're connecting a FOC or FOB and air on media type iron or sulphur filter instead of a water softener, this is a better solution than running it with the air gap to the laundry sink. 



In the video below, we show an example of a fitting that you could put together for maintaining the air gap to a floor-type drain or laundry tub and securing it to the wall. Check it out and come back next week for part 4 in our Water Softener Installation series!