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A drain line is an essential component of a water softener system. It allows for the proper disposal of spent water during the regeneration process. There are different options for the drain line, including connecting it to the control valve or the brine tank. The drain line can also be elevated up to 8 feet above the floor that houses the system. It is important to connect the drain line properly to avoid issues with discharge and overflow. You can find water softener connectors and drain hoses at hardware stores like Lowe’s.

If you have a water softener in your home, you likely know how important it is to maintain the unit for optimal performance. One aspect of water softener maintenance that is often overlooked is the drain line. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the drain line for your water softener.

What is a Drain Line?

A drain line is a pipe that connects your water softener unit to a drain or sewer line. The purpose of the drain line is to remove excess water and salt brine from the water softener during the regeneration cycle.

Why is the Drain Line Important?

The drain line is an essential component of your water softener system. Without a properly functioning drain line, your water softener won’t be able to remove hard water minerals effectively. Over time, this can lead to damage to your plumbing fixtures and appliances, as well as increased energy costs.

Additionally, a malfunctioning drain line can cause your water softener to overflow, which can result in a messy and potentially costly cleanup.

How to Install a Drain Line for Your Water Softener

If you’re installing a new water softener, it’s important to ensure that the drain line is installed correctly. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Locate the drain or sewer line: The first step is to locate the drain or sewer line that you’ll be connecting the drain line to. This is typically located in your basement or crawlspace.
  2. Install the air gap: An air gap is a device that prevents backflow of wastewater into your water supply. Install an air gap fitting onto the drain or sewer line.
  3. Connect the drain line: Connect the drain line from your water softener to the air gap fitting.
  4. Test the drain line: Once the drain line is installed, run a regeneration cycle to ensure that the excess water and salt brine are being properly removed through the drain line.

How to Maintain Your Drain Line

Maintaining your drain line is essential to ensure that your water softener is functioning correctly. Here are some tips for drain line maintenance:

  • Regularly check the drain line for clogs or blockages. If you notice any, clear them immediately to prevent overflow.
  • Ensure that the air gap is functioning properly. If it’s not, it may need to be replaced.
  • Clean the drain line periodically to remove any buildup or debris that may be obstructing the flow of water.


The drain line is a critical component of your water softener system, and it’s important to ensure that it’s installed correctly and maintained regularly. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can keep your water softener functioning properly and avoid costly repairs and replacements.