We are planning on installing a water softener. The main water source is located outside, about 20 feet from the backyard. The water heater is located in the garage. We are wondering if we have to install the water softener next to the water heater in the garage or if we can install it outside by the main source. The reason we are asking is because it would take significant work to install it next to the water heater. What would be wise to do in terms of installation and preservation of the water softener?


  • Around my area of SoCal, water softeners installed outside as you describe are not uncommon. Jan 9, 2015 at 0:30
  • In any case, install it after some faucet, because softened water is not always desirable. For example, water from mine used to kill plants. Having a place where you can get easily unsoftened water is very important.
    – FarO
    Sep 8, 2015 at 11:29
  • Read the installation instructions. Many will say that they should not be installed outside.
    – Mattman944
    May 10, 2020 at 19:38

2 Answers 2


Presumably you are in a non-freezing climate?

I believe that virtually all water softeners will at minimum require a shed for protection from the elements - you can't just stick one out in the weather. If that's easier than putting it in the garage, and the climate is indeed not freezing, then put up a shed and put it there. While it's remotely possible that someone makes a model designed for outside installation, it's doubtful that there would be enough volume of sales to make it economical .vs. the more ordinary inside-installation type.

  • In my neighborhood, a lot of houses have buried water softeners connected to the water main right after the meter or before it enters the house.
    – iLikeDirt
    Dec 10, 2014 at 0:18
  • 4
    How do you add salt (pellets or block) to a buried water softener? Mar 11, 2015 at 17:07

If your adding after house was built, garage is probably going to be your best option. You don't have to worry as much about the unit freezing there, your hot water heater is likely there and thus your main water line into the house and drain to sewer or septic

  • 2
    Can you elaborate on this? Maybe describe why the garage is the best option.
    – Tester101
    Feb 9, 2015 at 12:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.