If you have installed a water softener in your home, you may assume that all of the water associated with your home is soft. In reality, that is not necessarily the case. Some sources of water in your house will provide you with soft water but not every water dispensing faucet in your home will necessarily provide you with soft water.
Does hose water go through the water softener? Generally, a water softener is going to be installed at the point where your main water supply enters the house. As a result, all of the water tied to your house should provide you with soft water, including your outdoor faucets. However, that is not always the case, so there is no guarantee that the water coming out of your hose is soft.
For example, there are some situations where the water softener might only be installed to the water pipes that feed the inside of your house, and there are other situations where you might only have soft water if you are using hot water. What do you need to know, and how can you make sure you are using soft water?
Outdoor Hoses Usually Provide Softened Water, But It Is Not Universal
First, understand that the vast majority of houses that have a water softener installed usually have a softener that will soften all of the water in the house, including outdoor faucets. For example, if the water in your house comes from the city, a water softener should soften all of the water associated with your house.
On the other hand, if your house is supplied by a private well that has hard water, it is not unusual for your outdoor faucets to be bypassed during the installation process. If you did not install the water softener yourself, you may want to check the hardness level of the outdoor well. There are some situations where people will intentionally install a water softener to bypass the outdoor well in an effort to reduce the frequency with which they have to regenerate the water softener.
Why Would You Not Want Soft Water for Your Outdoor Hoses?
As alluded to above, there may be some situations where people will intentionally install a water softener to avoid the outdoor hoses. In addition to helping you save money on water softener regeneration, there is a chance that this could be better for your plants.
If you use an outdoor hose to water your lawn or flowers, you may want to keep the calcium and magnesium in the water supply. There are some cases where calcium and magnesium may be better for your lawn, flowers, and plants, so you may want to avoid your outdoor spigots when installing a water softener to provide them with a bit of extra nutrition. Of course, it depends on the type of grass and flowers you have, so you may want to take a closer look at their nutritional requirements before you decide to bypass your outdoor faucets with your water softener.
How Can You Tell if Your Hose Water is Still Hard?
Of course, there are plenty of other people who would like the water softener to catch their outdoor faucets, so how can you tell if your hoses have hard water or not? The easiest way to answer this question is to test the water in the pipe traveling from your water supply to your hose. You may even want to simply turn on the outdoor faucet, dump the water into a test kit, and take a look at the results.
If the test kit tells you that the water is soft, then you have your answer. On the other hand, if the water coming out of the faucet is hard, then the water softener could be bypassing your outdoor hoses, or you may need to look for other signs your water softener is working.
Why Do You Want To Soften Your Outdoor Water?
Even though we have already covered a few general reasons why someone may want hard water coming out of the outdoor faucet, there are plenty of reasons why you should soften the water coming through your outdoor hose as well.
A few of the biggest reasons include:
If your house has a swimming pool, you might want to use soft water to fill some portion of the swimming pool. When people go swimming, you want them to be comfortable, and there is a chance that excessive hard water could make someone uncomfortable when they are using your swimming pool. For example, the excess calcium and magnesium could cause their skin to dry out, and people might be itching and scratching as they lay in the sun.
Cars, Boats, and RVs
Do you wash your vehicles yourself? If so, you may want to use soft water. Regardless of whether you wash your car, boat, or RV, if you use an outdoor hose to spray your vehicles, you might want to use soft water.
If you do not use softened water, you could end up with some unsightly spots on the exterior of your vehicle. As your vehicles begin to dry, you might notice some white scaly deposits and drops forming on the exterior. If you want your vehicles to look as beautiful as possible when you are done washing them, consider using soft water.
Can You Choose When To Bypass The Water Softener?
Clearly, there are some situations when you might want to bypass the water softener, and there are other situations where you might want soft water going through your outdoor hose. So, can you choose when to bypass the water softener?
One of the way to do so is to run a separate water line to the outdoor faucet. You can install a T connector on the water line that feeds your water softener. Then, you can choose when you want to activate and deactivate the water softener with respect to your outdoor water supply by choosing which end to connect the hose to or when to divert water through the specific direction in the T connector.
If you are unsure of how to install a 3-way bypass or “T” connector, you need to reach out to an expert who can help you. Then, you are in total control of when you open and close the bypass valve, which also determines whether you have soft water going through your outdoor hose or not.
An easier way to do this is with DROP. DROP Smart Water Softener’s can be put into bypass mode via the DROP app. This can even be done remotely, giving you untreated water instead of softened water for the whole house for however long you need it.
This way, you can make sure you use soft water with your swimming pool and vehicles, but you can also conserve your water softener and provide your lawn with the nutrition it needs. If you are looking for the best water softener on the market today, it would be our pleasure to help you.
Use Soft Water When You Need It: Count on DROP
You need to make sure you understand when you are using soft water and when you are not. There are plenty of reasons why you might want soft water outside your house, but there are also situations where you might want hard water.
At DROP, we offer a wide selection of smart water softeners and water filters. If you want treated water going through your outside faucets and irrigation system, we can help you. Take a look at the selection we have available, and take control of your home’s water supply. An expert from our team would be happy to help you.