There is no reason why you can’t have your water softener installed outside your home if you are limited on available space inside. Before installing a water softener outside you should consider the following basic requirements:
1) The enclosure must protect the water softener from freezing, particularly on those frosty nights like we have been having recently. Insulation should be on the base, sides and lid to keep the water softener frost free. The amount of insulation depends on where you are in the country, we suggest a minimum of 50mm for Gloucestershire.
2) Sealing around the enclosure is a must to prevent ingress of dirt but more importantly insects, slugs, snails, rats & mice and anything else outside your house that likes a nice safe dark place to call home.
A common cause of water softener failure is often due to ingress of foreign objects. This machine was installed outside, protected by a basic cover with no insulation and no effort to prevent ingress of dirt and garden wildlife. Failure was inevitable due to ingress of foreign objects. The sequence of pictures show the water softener with the internal tanks in place. You can see spiders webs and feces (white spots) all over. With the tanks removed and the water drained it becomes clear how many creatures have fallen into the brine tank and died. There is quite an array of dead creatures in here including wood lice, spiders, ants, flies, earwigs and a few snails which I removed.
Not only will this block your machine, the bigger worry is hygiene. Bear in mind the brine in this tank is used to rinse the inside of your water softener where it will come into contact with the water you drink !
We build custom enclosures for our water softeners when they are installed outside. Often disguised as everyday objects like a wood store or kennel etc. This enclosure has 50mm of insulation all round, plus an additional foil layer as it was in an exposed location. The lid is also insulated. There is a seal around the top of the cabinet to prevent anything getting inside.