Installing a water softener outside is a good option for folks who don’t have the space indoors for a big, bulky water treatment unit.
However, you probably don’t want your outdoor water softener on show for your friends, neighbors, and thieves to see.
In this quick guide, we’ve suggested the best ways to hide a softener outside with an outdoor water softener enclosure.
📌 Key Takeaways:
- An outdoor water softener enclosure hides your water softener from view.
- It also insulates the softener and prevents it from being damaged by rain, snow, and direct sunlight.
- You can buy a pre-made softener enclosure or make one yourself.
Table of Contents
🧱 What Is A Water Softener Enclosure?
A water softener enclosure is housing designed to cover salt-based water softeners. This type of enclosure looks like a rectangular box and is usually made from metal or wood.
There are a couple of purposes for a water softener enclosure. It hides the softener from view, which means it won’t be an eyesore on the side of your property, and you shouldn’t attract thieves with an expensive unit in plain sight.
Plus, a softener enclosure protects the brine tank and media tank from the elements, preventing damage from freezing temperatures and direct sunlight.
🆚 Water Softener Enclosures Vs Covers
Water softener enclosures aren’t always the same as water softener covers, although they serve largely the same purpose.
There are a couple of different types of softener covers:
- Tank jackets – Most water softeners come with an optional cover, called a neoprene tank jacket, that can be used to protect the contents of the media tank from humidity and sunlight. The softener cover is usually intended for the resin (media) tank, since the brine tank (containing the softener salt) is less susceptible to damage.
- Two-tank covers – Some softener covers, made from waterproof material, are large enough to cover both tanks and offer protection against rain and sun damage. These covers are best suited to regions that don’t have very hot summers or very harsh winters. You can find a two-tank cover in various sizes, and some manufacturers custom-design them to your measurements. A good two-tank cover should have air pockets for ventilation.
While a softener cover is somewhat insulating and prevents damage from UV rays, it doesn’t usually offer the same weatherproofing as an enclosure.
👨🔧 If you’re considering outdoor installation and you want to protect the two tanks in your unit as much as possible, we recommend installing both a softener cover and an enclosure for the system.
📊 Water Softener Enclosure Options
There are a couple of different water softener enclosure options to consider.
Pre-Made Water Softener Enclosures
If you don’t want to put in the effort of making your own softener enclosure, you can buy a pre-made enclosure from your local home improvement store or an online store.
Stores like US Water Systems, Home Depot, and a number of water softener manufacturers, as well as online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, usually sell pre-made enclosures for water softeners. The average cost of a pre-made enclosure is $160-$300.
Check the dimensions carefully to make sure an enclosure is the right size for your water softener before you spend your money.
👨🔧 You don’t necessarily have to buy an enclosure designed for holding water softeners. Even a small storage shed would do – you might have to tailor the design to suit your needs, though.
You can also save money by making a cabinet yourself, although you’ll spend more time and effort in the process.
DIY Water Softener Enclosures
You could also make your own water softener enclosure out of wood, metal, or other robust materials.
The advantage of making your own outdoor enclosure is that you have full control over what the enclosure looks like, how much space it takes up, and which materials are used to insulate the enclosure.
📑 Alternatives To Water Softener Enclosures
If you don’t fancy building or buying a water softener enclosure, there are a couple of alternative options to consider:
Burying The Water Softener
One option is to bury your water softener in the ground.
Burying the softener hides most of it from view and should deter thieves from stealing the unit, since they’d have to dig it out of the ground first.
The ground also acts as natural insulation, so it’s a good way to prevent freezing during the winter months.
The only downside is that you’ll have to dig the tank out whenever you want to perform maintenance.
Make sure to bury the softener away from trees and bushes to prevent their roots from damaging the system.
Installing The Softener In a Shed Or Outbuilding
Another alternative option for outdoor installation is to install the unit in a shed or outbuilding.
This should be close enough to your property’s water supply that you won’t need to do any major plumbing work to install your softening system.
The advantage of shed or outbuilding installation is that you won’t need to build or buy anything new. In most regions, even a thin-walled outbuilding should be insulating enough to protect the softener from the elements.
Plus, a shed or outbuilding will do a perfect job at hiding a softening system, and it won’t look as obvious as a custom-built enclosure.
📝 Final Word
If you simply don’t have room for indoor installation of your softening machine, you can still find an ideal location outdoors to install the unit.
And your softener certainly doesn’t have to be on show, either – you can cover it with an enclosure of your choice. Keeping your softener covered will also protect it from wind, rain, snow, sun, and other weather elements in your area.
Regardless of how you plan to hide your softener, make sure it’s installed in the right location: at your water supply’s POE, near your water meter (or your pressure tank, if you’re on a well water supply).
❔ Outdoor Water Softener Enclosure: FAQ
How do I protect my outside water softener?
You can protect your outside water softening machine by using covers or enclosures to prevent high levels of moisture, sunlight and cold, and other weather elements, from damaging the resin.
Should I cover my water softener?
You don’t need to cover your softener unit, but it’s recommended if the softener is outside. Covers and enclosures prevent weather damage in the machine, which could affect its ability to remove hardness minerals and shorten its lifespan.
How much does a water softener cover cost?
The cost of a fabric softener cover is about $20-$150, depending on the cover size and whether or not it’s custom-made to fit your machine. Covers made from a material like metal cost $160-$300. Or, you could make your own cover for about $30-$70, depending on your choice of materials and their cost.