Normally a water softener is needed only on the supply to the water heater.
Unless you have objectionable odors or taste in your water I would have it
connected that way.
And perhaps it is. Furthermore, despite what the softener sellers claim,
backwash salt remains in the system so you are watering with very slightly
salted water. Or drinking it.
I would use untreated water for watering.
I just purchased a house in July with a water softener.
The 3 outside hose faucets feed off the water line BEFORE the softener,
so the outside water is always untreated. I imagine if the softener
was planned when the home was constructed, that's how they do it. You
may want to see if this is the case in your home as well.
They say that using potassium chloride pellets instead of sodium
chloride is slightly more expensive, but better for plants.
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