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How To Turn Off Water Softener? Easy Steps in No Time

Fact checked by Stephen Conklin

How to Turn Off Water Softener

Living in an area with hard water will make you grateful for appliances that make your life easier. The water softener, a wise investment for homeowners, is an effective and efficient way of having soft and quality water at home.

Even if you want to keep your softener running all the time, there will be instances where you need to give it a shut off — when you’re on a getaway or traveling for work, among other reasons. Consider these helpful steps on how to turn off water softener safely.

Table of Contents

What You Will Need to Turn Off Your Water Softener Correctly

Before getting into the things you will need to turn the water softener off correctly, it is essential to know that your machine has three modes. It runs under service, regeneration, and bypass modes. If you want to turn your water softener off, you would wish the bypass mode to happen.

Under the bypass mode, water running through the pipes does not pass through the water softener. This mode means hard water will come out of your faucets. If you wonder how a bypass mechanism works, you can check out this video.

In turning off the water softener or removing it, you will need the following materials:

  1. Towel – you will need an old set of towels to turn the system off. When you loosen the hoses, there’s a chance of water spillage. This towel is commonly placed near the water softener tank itself or directly under where the water pipes are placed.
  2. Grips – a pair of grips is an essential plumbing tool that will help you loosen or tighten water valves. It is widely available in home improvement stores or online. It would be best if you take note that most grips come in different sizes.

Having one will save you time and effort in adjusting the valves. A pair of grips will let you twist valves with ease, so these will come in very handy when turning the water softener system off.

If you want to turn the softener off and remove it at the same time, you might need a removal kit.

  1. Removal Kit – water softener removal kits are available depending on the pipes you use. These kits contain the essentials in disconnecting the water softener entirely. In this way, you are sealing off the connections so water won’t leak through pipes. It usually contains fittings of different sizes to cap off drains, inlets, and outlets.

Step-by-Step Instructions


You can turn off your softener, with or without removing it.

If you plan to disconnect your water softener completely, you can read the steps below.

Turn Off Your Softener by Removing It

Step 1: Prepare your Tools

Start by preparing the tools above. This step will save you time as you won’t be heading back and forth to get tools. Having them beforehand will also ensure a smooth process of turning the softener off.

Step 2: Trace your Pipes

Before you start unplugging or closing valves, determine which pipes are connected to the water softener. You usually have an inlet, outlet, and drain. Bypass the softener at this point. Open the water softener system to know where some hoses are connected.

Step 3: Disconnect the Hoses

Place the towel under the pipes. Some water will tend to leak once you remove the connections. Using your grip, loosen the set of hoses that are connected to the water softener.

Once the inlet and outlet are off, disconnect the drain and the overflow. You can usually pull the overflow out or cut it with a knife. Pulling also works with the drain.

Once all the connections are pulled out, you now have a water softener system that is completely turned off.

Step 4: Seal the Valve.

Using the fittings in the removal kit, place them onto the valves to seal them off. These fittings will prevent accidental water leakages when the knobs are turned.

Put a plug into the drain’s end, and you’re done.

Turn Your Water Softener Off Without Completely Removing It

You won’t need a lot to do this process, and the steps are easy to follow:

Step 1: Trace the Pipes

Check out the connection of the water softener system from the main inlet and the outlet. You will know which pipes to turn off if you know their basic structure and if you were present during the installation process.

One line will deliver water into the system, while the other pipe will send soft water to your home. These pipes are usually bridged together and will have valves or knobs that you can turn on or off.

Step 2: Turn the Pipes Off

Depending on the initial orientation, turn the knobs of the pipes to close for both the inlet and outlet, and switch it to open on the bypass. Turning the knobs will prevent water from passing through the water softener and instead make it go directly into the pipe for your home. Water is bypassed at this point, and your water softener unit is turned off.

Step 3: Check the Water Softener

The last step is to check for running water. Consider checking the pipe towards the water softener; at this point, it should have no access to hard water.

You can also disconnect the electrical supply of the water softener. Finally, you can check the water in your home. If you have used both hard and soft water, you can note the difference.


Part of maintaining your water softeners’ efficiency is knowing how to turn off water softeners safely. There will be instances when you’re not home, so letting your softener will ensure that this appliance will still have the same power and efficiency when you come back.

Disconnecting the water softener and properly turning it off is an easy task, especially when you have a step-by-step guide on doing it safely and correctly. What do you think of the detailed steps? Comment your thoughts and share them with your friends.

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