Harold & Joe

09:05AM | 05/26/02
Member Since: 05/25/02
1 lifetime posts
I'm in the process of buying a new home and have been offered the option of buying a soft water loop. I've had a soft water system for 12 yrs from Ecowater and Culligan, but have never heard of this loop. The description is it keeps soft water from going to your outside hose bibs-- which makes entire sense--but it also keeps soft water from "the cold side in your kitchen." How can this be so specific? Wouldn't it also be so in bathroom, shower, etc.? And why would you want hard water on the cold side? I also have RO for drinking, so no reason to get a "cold glass of tap water." Can anyone help make this clearer?

Thank you.


02:08AM | 05/28/02
Member Since: 10/19/98
223 lifetime posts
1. Don't use softened water on outside bibs - why waste softened water?

2. Many people have the mistaken belief that softened water has a high salt content and/or that softened water has a disagreeable taste.

3. Why softened water on the cold side? Have you ever seen a toilet with hard water stains? If you have really hard water you want the cold side softened to get all the benefits of softened water.

4. I've never heard of a soft water loop, but it sounds like nothing more than extra plumbing. Its easy to keep the softened water out of the cold side.


01:27AM | 11/25/07
Member Since: 11/24/07
7 lifetime posts
I am unclear as to exactly how a plumbing loop might be needed for a water softener? Perhaps if you could explain what occurs with or without one, I might better understand. Including a plumbing flowchart for both scenarios would aid me to better understand the big picture. Hurry back. Thanks T


11:25AM | 11/27/07
Member Since: 04/01/05
32 lifetime posts
What is meant by a 'softwater loop' is where the water softener is installed.

The primary reason for this type of plumbing is found on slab foundations where a softener as an 'after-thought' is very difficult mostly due to the plumbing arrangement where some water will be treated, say in a kitchen and laundry, but remote baths and showers may not fall into that loop.

Are you on a slab foundation?

In other houses with basements or crawl spaces, it a loop is included just to make a softener hook-up easier.

Loops are often found in garages or outside in warmer climates. Where is yours located?

Andy Christensen, CWS-II

Often the outside bibs are by-passed and not treated.


10:16PM | 11/28/07
Member Since: 11/24/07
7 lifetime posts
Thanks for the reply A.C.

here's the lowdown: Yes my brand new home is on a slab. The builder did not install "a preplumb loop" in the house. So, when I went to my nearby home improvment store to purchase a h2o softener system, their first question was if my home had a loop? Since it did not, I was only offered the pricey option to have one installed during the h2o softener install. Did I have a choice?

So my question is this? What exactly is a soft water plumbing loop? Why is it neccessary? Can a soft water system be installed without one?

I was quoted a price to have a plumbing loop installed by the same reputable nationwide home improvement

store. Please describe what plumbing lines are added/ reconfigured when an aftermarket install occurs (slab foundation)?

Thanks y'all tommy


07:23AM | 11/29/07
Member Since: 04/01/05
32 lifetime posts
Simply put, it is a location in the water line--before the water heater--where all water that you want to be treated has to pass through. Do you have a pressure tank (well) or a water meter (city)?

These spots noramlly offer the best location.



04:46AM | 12/02/07
Member Since: 11/24/07
7 lifetime posts
Thanks 4 your aid, Andy. Basically this is the scenario. 1980's era ranch style block home on slab. City water (75 psi)with a water hardness rating of 28gpg. Being that their is no 'plumbing loop' pre installed, I am unclear as to how a 'loop' can be added later on and what it actual purpose is. I believe a H2o softener can be installed without a loop present. So paint me your best picture of the water flow chart with vs. without the loop. Thanks Buddy Tom


02:30AM | 12/08/07
Member Since: 11/24/07
7 lifetime posts
As helpful as Andy~qwerty999 has tried to be in explaining what a soft water loop is, it's apparent that he does not know the answer.

So, for the last time, if anyone can honestly explain to me in basic english

Q#1)how a softwater loop is configured?

Q#2)Why it might be needed & how it should look after a non-preplumbed installation!??

Please and Thank You Tom

ps>Where the heck is Bob Vila and his help?


05:45AM | 12/08/07
Member Since: 04/01/05
32 lifetime posts

"As helpful as Andy~qwerty999 has tried to be in explaining what a soft water loop is, it's apparent that he does not know the answer."

Well, that was pretty decent of you. I mean I gave you the Reader's Digest" versaion but let me try to make it even simplier.

This was my response:

"Simply put, it is a location in the water line--before the water heater--where all water that you want to be treated has to pass through."


Your water softener should intersect the plumbing--those are the pipe things--between where your water comes into the house--that building you live in-- and all other faucets, baths, showers, dishwashers, laundry units and water heaters (I could go on but I think you are following me, right?)

Of course the actual location is impossible for me to tell you as you are not providing builder blueprints.

If you are in warm weather climate, you may have to dig a hole in your yard to meet the pipe before it comes into the house.

I cold climates a leanto may be added to your construction to house and keep the equipment warm. Occasionally the plumbing in your house may be such as to allow an indoor installation, which would typically be near the water heater.

The plumbing would look like a striaght pipe with two tees and two elbow forming a D shape in the plumbing with valves between each tee and elbow and between each tee as well. The middle valve would be your by-pass and usually stays shut when the softener is on and open when no equipment is installed.


You need one so that all your plumbing can be treated. As I said before, many slab foundation constuction plans didn't take into consideration loops for water treatment so you may have to do some major repiping.

Boy, I am not sure I can make it any planer than that. Hope that helped.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II


10:33AM | 12/08/07
Member Since: 11/24/07
7 lifetime posts
Yo Mr. qwerty999. As much as I enjoy a witty back and forth mud-slinging dialog, I'll take off the gloves after I get my answers. As much as I've enjoyed your responses, perhaps I could get you to re-read the thread from the begining before your next response. All obvious factors aside, if you can explain the actual water flow path with vs. without a loop, I promise to read it. So before you click on that [reply to post] link, please go back and read our entire thread from the start. See your reply soon buddy! Tom
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