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What is a Water Softener Loop? (See Where to Find It)

Scott Winfield
Written by Scott Winfield
Last Updated on

Water softener loop is a specific pre-plumbed piping arrangement that makes it easy to connect a water softener to the main water line of a house. It is called a loop because a part of the piping comes out of the wall, makes a visible loop, and goes back inside. There’s also an exposed drain tube and a power outlet near this loop.

The loop is often added during the building construction since it provides an established space for installation of the water softener unit and easy access for plumbers. However, despite making installation and de-installation much easier, it’s not a must, and you can still install a water softening unit in your house without a loop.

Water Softener Loop

Benefits of a Water Softener Loop

As we said, water softener loop provides easy access to the piping system of your house. So, when you need to install a softening device, it’s easier and cheaper.

You’ll need a full-line installation if there’s no water softener loop inside your house. A full-line installation requires assessing where the softener should go and, subsequently, drilling holes in the walls and adding a couple of new pipes. In the end, expenses can add up to $400 – $900 depending on the material and labor required.

With a softener loop, there’s no need for such considerations. Where the unit should go is already determined, and all the necessary pipes are in the open, so there’s less need for workmanship. It also makes it easier to deinstall the system once it’s time to move houses or upgrade to a better water softener.

Additionally, a water softener loop ensures that only the water that’s inside the house is softened, but this isn’t a drawback. If you’re using a well water supply and have a garden, this might come in pretty handy.

Hard water might damage your appliances and clothes, but the plants in your garden probably require and enjoy mineral intake. With a piping loop, you can water your garden with hard water directly from the well as it doesn’t soften the water outside.

Springwell Salt Based Water Softener
A Fully Installed Water Softener

Do You Need a Water Softener Loop?

A water softener loop isn’t a must, but if you have a garden that requires hard water or if you’re in the habit of changing softening devices quite frequently, then it might be useful to have one.

That said, most of the recently-built houses in the United States already feature a loop. It’s just a matter of recognizing it.

More often than not, the loop inside the garage or a closet, where the softening device won’t get in anyone’s way. When you move into a new house, inspect such spaces for a looping pipe coming out of the walls. It’s usually placed near the water heater.

Can You Install a Water Softener Loop by Yourself?

If you have professional plumbing experience, you can install a looping pipe into your plumbing system by yourself. Otherwise, we don’t recommend you do so.

Installing a piping loop requires breaking a part of the wall, cutting down the main pipe that runs inside that wall, attaching new pipes to it, and repairing the broken wall. If you’re not experienced, your installation might have leaky attachment points, and you might damage the wall irreparably.

So, it’s better to contact a professional. The expenses of having a loop installed varies depending on the type of wall and the type and length of the piping. However, we can tell you that you should expect to spend at least $600 and at most $2,000.


A water softener loop is a specific type of piping that comes out of a garage or closet wall, makes a “U” shape, and reenters the wall. It provides a predetermined space for water softening units and eases their installation and de-installation. Despite its merits, however, it’s not a must for installing a water softener.

Nowadays, most houses already feature a water softener loop. However, it can easily be installed if you don’t have one, but expect to pay anywhere from $600 – $2,000.

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Scott Winfield
Scott Winfield
My name is Scott Winfield and researching and writing about water filters and other strategies to purify water has become my full time passion in recent years. I'm glad that you found our site and you can look forward to authoritative and well researched content here to help you get the best in water.
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