If you use a water softener, it’s easy to take it for granted!
Other than occasionally topping it off with fresh salt, you probably give it little or no thought at all. When something goes wrong though, you’re apt to wonder what you could have done to keep it from happening.
While water softeners are low-maintenance types of equipment, there are a few things you can do to not only keep the softener in good shape but to keep it operating at peak efficiency too.
Water softener maintenance is simple enough, and most of it can be handled by homeowners.
Water Softener Maintenance – The 6 Must Do’s
1.) Check the Salt Level Every 4-6 Weeks – Don’t wait until you start noticing the telltale signs of hard water before checking the salt level in your brine tank. By occasionally peeking inside it, you can ward off annoying issues like cloudy glasses and water that won’t get bubbly and soapy while showering or doing the dishes.
A good rule of thumb is to check inside every four to six weeks, but the frequency will vary depending on the type of equipment you have, the hardness of your water and other variables. If necessary, set a reminder on your phone. After all, it’s all too easy to forget all about the softener.
Leave your salt level at half full or less, this will allow you to monitor level of salt to be noticeably dropping and keep a salt bridge from happening.
2.) Use the Right Kind of Salt – Contrary to popular belief, any old type of salt won’t work in a softener. It obviously needs to be salt that’s designed for water softeners, but the options are further split up into two types: cubes or crystal.
The vast majority of modern softeners use cubes but don’t assume yours does. Consult the manual to ensure that you’re using the right type of salt. If you no longer have the manual, find out the model number of the equipment and perform a quick online search, or check with the professionals at Idaho Water Solutions.
3.) Inspect Your Equipment Every Few Months – In addition to periodically checking the salt level of your water softener, make a point of inspecting it more closely every two or three months. You’re mostly going to be looking for a solid buildup of salt in the brine tank. This phenomenon is known as bridging, and it can prevent the salt from making contact with the water. In turn, this prevents the resin beads from being cleaned as needed, and the water fails to get properly softened.
4.) Eliminate Bridges – One benefit to keeping brine tank at a lower level (half full) is less chance of salt crusting because of moisture. If you discover a bridge in your brine tank, use something like a broom handle to break it up. Once one has developed, though, it will recur quickly.
5.) Clean the Brine Tank – Although modern softeners rarely need to be cleaned, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Refer to the owner’s manual to find out the best way to clean your brine tank. Plan on doing this every six to 12 months.
6.) Add a pre-filter – Whether you are on a city or well water feed, there are sediments and “sludge” in the water. Water treatment systems have seals, gaskets and very small ports that can be harmed by particles in the water and can affect the life of your system. We have found that you can add many years to your system and protect the sanitation by adding pre-filtration. This will also benefit chlorine removal inside your home.
In addition to the steps outlined above, it’s never a bad idea to occasionally have your water softener looked at and maintained by the professionals. Is your water softener in need of repair or professional service? Would you like to add a pre-filter?
The experts at Idaho Water Solutions are ready to assist you.