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How to turn a Softener on or off. By-passing a Softener

If your softener malfunctions, you may need to turn it off, you may also need to  Isolate the electricity to an electric softener. If your water softener is in by-pass or has the by-pass valve open, you will not receive soft water. We regularly see bypass valves left open after a boiler service or other plumbing works. Follow the hoses from the water softener back to the plumbing and check that the bypass valves are in the correct position. For installations carried out by us in the last 15 years or so we have used these type of valves:-

Water Softener On

The inlet and outlet are (Blue levers) OPEN

The By-pass (Grey Lever) is CLOSED.

Switch on transformer. (if applicable)


Water Softener Off

The inlet and outlet are (Blue levers) CLOSED

The By-pass (Grey Lever) is OPEN.

Switch on transformer. (if applicable)


15+ years old Installations

For Installations over 15 years old you may have valve set that look like this.

If they do, we strongly recommend getting these replaced!

Water Softener On

The Inlet and outlet valves are open  (the black line is inline with the pipe)

The by pass is shut  (the black line is across the pipe)


Water Softener Off

The Inlet and outlet valves are shut. (The black line is across the pipe)

The By Pass is open. (The Black line is in line with the pipe)


We have seen by-pass arrangements in all sorts of different types of plumbing valves, but the basic principle remains the same. Likewise, your electric softener maybe 240v, so it may be just on a plug or fused spur. If the softener had been off, you may need to reset the time clock so it regenerates at the correct time of day. If you have an EcoWater Evolution, it'll reconnect to the internet and update automatically.  If you are in anyway unsure or would just like a refresher on how to, please do not hesitate to contact us.   

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