The Complete Guide to Water Softener Repair and Maintenance
A water softener is a crucial piece of equipment vital to your home. This device softens “hard” water to be used safely in your home. Water with a high mineral content is not harmful to human health, but its concentrated form can damage plumbing lines and hurt your water heater. The calcium and magnesium deposits also reduce water-soluble cleaning products’ efficiency.
The Importance of Water Softeners and Why They Nee
If you have a water softener in your home, it is vital to understand the importance of maintenance and repair. A softener will release sodium into your water during the ion exchange process, grabbing hold of the minerals that contribute to hardness. While some people are concerned that this may be unhealthy, the amount of sodium water softeners added is relatively low. One quart of softened water will contain about 37 milligrams of sodium, less than 2% of your daily sodium intake. A slice of white bread or a pizza can hold around 640 milligrams of sodium, which is far less than the amount added by a water softener.
While water softeners are essential appliances, they are typically forgotten until an issue occurs. During this time, it is important to schedule maintenance for your water softener, as repair costs are typically higher than the cost of a preventative maintenance plan. A significant appliance repair bill never comes at a convenient time, so it is important to take care of it regularly.
The life of a water softener depends on the volume of water it processes. A family of six with four kids will use more water than a retired couple. Moreover, water softeners will run more often since they process more water. Using a water softener will reduce the risk of malfunctioning appliances. So, when it comes to maintenance, you should always contact a water softener repair company to ensure your system is working correctly.
If you have a water softener, you should know that its salt harms your pipes. The water used to regenerate the softener beads end up in the sewer, which may contribute to elevated levels of copper and lead. Consequently, if your softener fails to function correctly, your water will be full of contaminants and lead, and you will be liable to suffer health problems.
The Basics of a Water Softener
If you plan to install a water softener in your home, you should have basic knowledge about its repair and maintenance. To ensure its smooth functioning, it is crucial to learn how to replace the water softener resin. Replacing the softener resin is easy, but it requires a certain amount of expertise and specialized tools. Once the resin is replaced, you should know how to regenerate the softener. Regeneration occurs when the softener resin beads react with fresh ions. This regeneration process can take 30 to 60 minutes, and the amount of salt added depends on the amount of sodium in the water.
The salt bridge is a crust layer forming in the water softener tank. When this layer of salt forms, it prevents the system from working correctly. You should check the salt level periodically and poke it with a broom handle to break it up. This is a common problem, but it is not tricky to repair. If you’ve installed a high-quality water softener, there shouldn’t be any significant problems.
A water softener should be placed close to the plumbing area. Do not place it outside. If you do, ensure a draining floor and an electrical receptacle. You should also install a drain grate over the softener’s drain line. If you do not want to hire a professional to perform this job, you can read the owner’s manual to learn how to regenerate the softener manually.
How To Take Care of Your Water Softening System
After installing your water softening system, one of the first things to do is to clean it periodically. The salt in your water softener will determine how often you need to clean it. When the tank is nearly empty, it is easier to move. You can also take the tank outside and dispose of it properly. Ensure the float switch moves freely and the tank is empty of salt.
To maintain your water softening system, drain the brine tank regularly. You can also manually empty the tank whenever the salt level is low. After cleaning the brine tank, you can refill it with fresh salt and run a regeneration cycle to restore the system’s balance. Occasionally, you may also have to clean the resin tank manually, and you can use an iron-removing solution to clean it.
Regular cleaning of your water softener also prevents it from clogging. Regularly cleaning the salt and resin beads can avoid sediment buildup, preventing the resin beads from cleaning themselves properly and the water from getting softened. It is also a good idea to periodically check the valves on your water softener to ensure they are working correctly. You should also check for pest damage or rust on the system.
It is imperative to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding water softeners. Some softeners are designed to remove copper, manganese, and radium, and these systems may cost more than regular softeners. The best way to ensure the effectiveness of your plan is to set the water hardness correctly. Otherwise, you’ll waste water and money. Also, you should never run your water softener for a few weeks if your home has new copper pipes. The copper will start to harden and corrode once the mineral layer erodes.
Water Filter Protection for Your Home & Property
If you have water softeners in your home, you should know how to perform periodic maintenance. These tasks include checking the salt level, valves, and shut-offs. It is also essential to inspect the exterior of the water softeners for any signs of rust or pest damage. To maintain the water softeners, you should follow these tips:
The first step in ensuring the health of your water conditioner is to test the pH of the water. You can use an at-home test kit or a laboratory-grade water-testing device to test the pH. If the water is too acidic for water softening, you can boost its pH by adding soda ash. Besides hard water minerals, other water-quality problems may be causing your system to malfunction. Drinking contaminated water can lead to sickness, diarrhea, and even damage your organs.
Lastly, you should always check whether your rental agreement requires water softeners. While many people own their own homes, others choose to rent. Renting can be cost-effective and flexible. In this case, you may need to ask your landlord to allow the installation of a water softener in your home. However, your landlord might be happy to allow you to install a softener in your rental property.
To keep your system in good working condition, you should check the salt level in your water softener tank every month. It would be best if you filled the tank no more than three-quarters full. Alternatively, you can use a sanitizing solution to clean the resin bed and control valve parts. After every regeneration cycle, you should clean your water softener tank thoroughly.
The Best Tips for Regularly Maintaining Your Water
Cleaning the brine tank is a crucial part of regular water softener maintenance, and this process should be done annually or as required. To clean the brine tank, fill two gallons of water with a quarter cup of bleach and pour it into the tank. You should scrub the tank thoroughly to remove dirt and sediments from the brine. To clean the brine tank effectively, you should clean it monthly, bi-monthly, or yearly. This process ensures that your water softener works at its best.
Once the salt level is correct, open the water softener’s venturi valve to remove any debris from it. A dirty venturi valve can cause the water softener to malfunction. You can clean the venturi valve by removing the internal parts. Simply use soapy water to wash the valve and replace it back into the softener. Cleaning the venturi valve will only take a few minutes, and it is important to do it at least twice a year.
If you want to maintain the water softener for a longer period, adding a liquid cleaner to the brine tank once or twice a year is essential. Before regenerating, owners should also add water softener cleaner to the brine tank. The cleaner will help keep the resin bed working efficiently and can also be added automatically when your system regenerates. If you’re unsure how to clean your water softener, consult your owner’s manual to determine the best time.
Check the salt levels regularly. The salt should be checked at least every two months, but more often if you suspect it’s running low. Checking salt levels regularly will help avoid complicated water problems down the line. You should also check the brine tank lid to see if there is enough salt in the tank. It would be best if you regularly opened the brine tank lid to ensure that salt levels are accurate.