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How To Bypass The Water Softener? 4 Easy Steps

How-To-Bypass-The-Water-SoftenerWater softeners are a great help especially when you want clean and pure water that you can consume within the four walls of your house but what about the indoor chores such as watering the plants which do not require hard water at all times?

Well, there is an easy solution to that and it is to bypass your water softener so that you can use the hard water for other purposes outside of your house.

So what exactly is a bypass valve? It is a valve that you can shut off the supply of soft water when you need hard water for other purposes. It is simple to use and does not interrupt the flow of water for your indoor consumption.

What Is a Bypass System?

When you look into the setup of your water softener system, you will notice three pipes; one is for the inlet system that provides water so that it can be softened, and the outlet pipe is connected to your house’s water supply and provides you with the final softened water and lastly, the third pipe is the bypass valve.

Usually, the bypass valve has a handle or a valve that you can rotate to access the bypass process. When you switch the bypass system on, you will need to switch off both the inlet and outlet water pipes so that the water softener can easily be bypassed.

Why Do You Need To Bypass?

You will also wonder why I need to do so in the first place? The first reason is the most important one when your water softener unit is in need of some repairs, the trick is to run the bypass valve on instead of figuring out the main water supply system.

That means you will be able to fix your unit without disrupting the water flow to your house. If your water softener is causing problems for you, it is better to use it on bypass mode so that there are no leakage problems.

Additionally, the bypass mode lets you save on the cost of your water softener salt by allowing its users only when it is needed. It is a commonly known fact that you don’t have to maintain your backyard plantation with soft water so you can always bypass your water softener when you are outdoors. This will ensure that soft water is saved solely for indoor purposes.

How To Bypass The Water Softener? – 4 Easy Steps

Following are some ways to bypass a water softener;

Locate The Bypass Valve

All the water softeners come with a bypass valve and you should be able to easily identify it and locate it by looking behind the control head of the system which is marked by a box with a timer and is located itself on top of the resin tank.

Many water softeners have two options present on them; one is the turn and the second is the push-to bypass option. The bypass valve allows you to easily bypass the hard water supply for your outdoor use.

Push Option

Push Option

When you have your water softener pipeline system in front of you, you should be able to see the red button or the push-to-bypass option in front of you.

Gently push on the red button until you see it align with the copper housing of the unit. If it has been a long time since you last bypassed your softener, then you might need to exert a bit of pressure to align the button to the housing.

If you are still not able to push the red button, try turning it in the clockwise direction. This method will ensure that the button is loosened and if there is any dirt around it, it will fall off and make the process smoother.

Another way to ease up the pressure on the red valve is to turn a large tap in the house such as the one in the bath, this will allow the water pressure to decrease, easing up the rotation of the valve. You can also use a rubber hammer to gently tap on the red button.

When you are done using the bypass system, you can press the blue button to reset your water softener system back to default settings.

Turn Option

A turn to bypass operation valve can be also found around the control head and is usually bright blue in colour. Its location depends on the direction in which it was installed so look out at both sides. When you need to change it into a bypass, just rotate it clockwise until you feel that it cannot be turned any further.

Again, if you have problems with turning this blue valve, use the handle of the screwdriver as a support lever to move it. When you are done with the turn operation, simply turn the knob in a counterclockwise direction and your softener will be back in service again.

Valve Operation

Valve Operation

This is the third type of bypass system which is usually used in commercial setups and is extremely rarely handled in regular housing systems. This system as shown in the picture has a total of three valves, two of which are open at all times while the one in the middle is turned off.

To bypass the water softener in this system, you need to first turn off the two valves on each side by rotating them in a clockwise direction. To switch the bypass valve on, turn it in the clockwise direction.

To go back to the default settings, turn the bypass valve in the clockwise direction and the other two valves in a counter-clockwise direction.


Does using the water softener on bypass mode save salt and water?

Yes, if you use the bypass method, you will only keep the water and softening salt when it is actually needed while you can use the hard water to wash your car, water your backyard plants or refill your swimming pool.

Final Thoughts

It is important that you know how to switch between the bypass and unbypass situations when using a water softener specifically if you want to use your time, money, and energy, especially during seasonal events.