Can Water Softeners be Installed in the Garage?

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Can a water softener be installed in a garage? What do you need to consider when choosing a garage as your install location?

We’ve discussed everything you should know in this guide.

📌 Key Takeaways:

  • Yes, a water softening system can be installed in the garage.
  • Before you install a softener in your garage, make sure to consider the following things:
    • The proximity to your water’s POE
    • The garage temperature
    • The available install space
    • Access to electricity
    • Drain requirements

🤔 Can You Install A Water Softener In A Garage?

Yes, you can install a water softener in a garage. For many homeowners, a garage is the best location to install water treatment equipment like water softeners.

There are a few reasons why installing a water softener in a garage is often a good idea:

  • You don’t have to find a cupboard or another dedicated spot in your living space that could have otherwise been used for other purposes.
  • There’s often more space in a garage to install water softeners and other water treatment equipment.
  • You won’t have the eyesore of a large tank-based system in your home – you can store it out of sight in your garage.

With that said, there are still a few things that might affect the suitability of your garage as the install location for your softener. Keep reading to learn more.

Water softener system installed in garage

📝 What To Consider When Installing A Water Softener In A Garage

Here are the five key things to consider before you install a water softener system in your garage:

Proximity To POE

First, determine the proximity of your garage to your water pipe’s point of entry into your home.

For many homes, the garage is the entry point for the main water line. That’s the best-case scenario because water softeners should be installed as close as possible to this entry point, upstream of your hot water heater.

If the water pipe in your garage is downstream of the water heater, we don’t recommend installing a water softening system in this location. You won’t get the full benefits of soft water around your home because you’ll only be protecting a specific section of your plumbing, rather than all your appliances and your entire hot and cold water supply.

Temperature

Also consider the temperature of the garage throughout the seasons.

Unless you’ve converted your garage into another living space, you probably don’t heat it during the winter months.

If your winters aren’t too bad, your garage should stay warm enough due to the residual heat from your home. However, if you live in a region with long winters with freezing temperatures, your garage may become too cold to house a water softener during certain times of the year.

In this case, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t install a water softener or any other water treatment systems in your garage. What it does mean is that you should consider using a space heater in your garage during the winter. You’ll need to keep the softener tanks warm enough that the resin and salt won’t freeze.

Alternatively, you can insulate your water softener and pipes with insulating material to help keep the heat in.

Protective insulation on water softener

Available Install Space

You’ll also need to make sure you have enough space at the install location for your water softener to fit comfortably.

Remember, you won’t only need enough space for both softener tanks – you’ll also need a bit of extra room to allow for easy access to the system when you’re topping up the salt or performing other maintenance tasks.

Before you buy a water softener, measure the available space in your chosen install location in your garage. Compare this to the water softener’s dimensions to determine whether or not it’ll fit in this space. It’s better to do this before you spend your money – you don’t want to deal with the hassle of having to send the system back because you tried installing it and realized it didn’t fit.

Access To Electricity

Most water softeners use electricity. This enables them to keep track of your water usage and perform a regeneration cycle whenever needed.

When choosing your install location in your garage, make sure the spot is near a power outlet.

If you don’t have a power supply in your garage, you’ll either have to look at a non-electric water softener, consider paying for an electrician to extend your power supply to your garage, or install your water softener elsewhere.

The average length of a water softener power cable is around 3 to 6 feet. So, your water softener doesn’t need to be installed directly next to a power outlet – but it does need to be in close proximity to one.

Drain Requirements

Finally, consider your water softener’s drain requirements when determining the suitability of your garage as an install location.

All water softeners have a drain line that sends salty wastewater from the regeneration process into your drain system.

There are a few different options for draining a water softener, including:

  • A floor drain
  • A laundry tub
  • A sump
  • A drain pipe
  • A utility sink

Ideally, your garage should already have some sort of drain system, so you can tap into this system when draining the water softener from within your garage.

If not, you’ll need to install a dedicated drain pipe connecting the softener drain to the nearest drain system in another part of your home.

connect overflow drain hose

🔀 Alternatives To Garages As Water Softener Install Locations

Decided that your garage isn’t the best place to install a water softener, or just wondering where else you can install the system?

Lots of people choose to get a water softener installed in the following locations:

  • A basement
  • A crawl space
  • A utility room
  • Outside (in the right conditions*)
  • A large cupboard
  • Any other location near the main water pipe’s point of entry

Essentially, as long as a water softener is installed in a location that’s away from direct sunlight and won’t freeze, it can be installed anywhere that makes the most sense in your home.

*Outdoor installations are possible, but you may need to take extra steps to protect the softener from direct sunlight and freezing temperatures, such as building an insulating box to install the softener inside.

Ion exchange water softener in basement

📑 Final Word

A garage is a great place to install your water softener. Just check that the install location has drain and electricity access, and make sure your softener’s tanks don’t freeze when the temperature drops outdoors.

Got any more questions about installing a water softener in a garage? We might have answered them in our FAQ section below.

❔ FAQ

Can you put a water softener in an unheated garage?

Yes, water softeners can be installed in an unheated garage. However, if temperatures in your garage drop below freezing in the winter months, you’ll need to set up a space heater that you can use to heat the room and prevent the softener from freezing. This is essential if you want to continue to enjoy softened water throughout the year without damaging the system.

What happens if you don’t have room for a water softener?

If you don’t have room for a water softener in your home, you can consider installing the softener away from your living space, such as in a garage, crawl space, basement, or utility room. You could also consider an outdoor installation (as long as you protect the softener from the elements). Or, look into buying a smaller system, such as a cabinet-style softener, that takes up less room.

Can I put my brine tank in the garage?

Yes, you can put your water softener brine tank in the garage. Just make sure you have enough piping to connect the brine tank with the resin tank if you plan to install this tank in another room. Also make sure the garage is suitably heated in the winter to prevent the brine from freezing.

Can my water softener drain outside?

Yes, your water softener can drain outside. In fact, this is one of the easiest drainage solutions for a water softener that’s installed in an indoor location, like a garage. However, keep in mind that water softener brine discharge has a lot of salt, which could damage your lawn. Your local area might also have regulations and restrictions on this method of water softener drainage.

  • Brian Campbell
    President & CEO, CWS, CWR

    Brian Campbell, a WQA Certified Water Specialist (CWS) and Certified Water Treatment Representative (CWR) with 5+ years of experience, helps homeowners navigate the world of water treatment. After honing his skills at Hach Company, he founded his business to empower homeowners with the knowledge and tools to achieve safe, healthy water. Brian's tested countless devices, from simple pitchers to complex systems, helping his readers find the perfect fit for their unique needs.

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