A process known as regeneration refreshes the resin beads which in turn soften the water. Standard rock salt may be less expensive, but it is not the best choice because it contains more insoluble minerals that can result in not only decreased softening capabilities but a muddy tank that you will need to clean more often than you like. If it is too heavy, you may need to either scoop out existing salt or use a wet/dry vacuum to remove it. This can vary. Vacuum the bottom of the softener with a wet/dry vacuum to remove the water from the tank. Your manual will let you know what type of salt to use, how often to clean your system, and provide you with the information you should know in keeping your water softener well maintained. To maintain your water softening system, you’ll need to routinely check its salt levels, flush it with a cleaner, and clean the tank. Learn more... Abrasive 'hard' water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium, causing lime scale buildup and interfering with soap's ability to clean. The sodium ions “swap” with magnesium and calcium through the ion exchange process. If you have repeated problems with bridging, use less salt, and let the salt drop lower between refills. Once the tank is empty, disassemble the tank to clean it. If you notice signs of hard water, like cloudy films on your glassware or soap that won’t lather, that may mean your salt level has fallen too low. Double check that the bypass valve is open, the regeneration timer is set, and that there are no kinks in the hoses. Consult your water softener’s manual for the recommended salt for your specific product. Most water softener experts recommend cleaning your brine tank once per year. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 167,556 times. Explore other popular Home Services near you from over 7 million businesses with over 142 million reviews and opinions from Yelpers. Use a screwdriver to start the manual regeneration and purge the wastewater. Video Corrections: 1) Use salt pellets and not rock salt as shown in this video. Cleaning your tank takes some time, but the process is simple once you know what to do, and it will save you money on expensive repairs in the long run. However, to compensate for the pressure drop, fixtures typically have inlet and outlet diameters than the supply line, to minimize the pressure needed to function properly. There are some simple reasons why a water softener malfunctions, but before getting into the fixes, first let’s briefly review how it works. 1.1 Pre-Tip: Read your Water Softener’s Manual; 1.2 Tip #1: Check your System’s Salt Levels; 1.3 Tip# 2: Clean your Brine Tank Yearly; 1.4 Tip #3 Break up Salt Bridges; 1.5 Tip #4 Dissolve Mush; 1.6 Tip #5: Add a Pre-filter if You Don’t Have One; 1.7 Tip #6: Know How to Clean Your Resin Tank Every four to six weeks, checking inside the brine tank with the rule of thumb is an effective one to do. Keep the waste away from your garden, as salt kills plants. Check the brine tank and salt level to maintain the balance between the minerals used in the water softening process. If it’s not easily breaking, find something sharper and heavier to use. Most problems that lead to repairs are ones that you can prevent with regular maintenance: an empty brine tank, a jammed valve, or parts that need cleaned. You may need to clean out your resin tank if you notice that your water softener is turning your water brown. Our water softener's intake once clogged with sand when our well had a "collapse event", which reduced pressure dramatically. Don’t rely on Google or Siri, as they can’t tell you what your manual can. Following these seven water maintenance tips will ensure that you boost the performance and extend the life of your water softener. These are all effects of hard water, meaning that your water softener is not doing its job by removing the minerals that cause these issues. To clean your brine tank, you will need a place to dump the brine from the tank, like a pit or gravel bed in your yard. As such, it’s important to treat it well. Take the system out of “bypass mode,” add five gallons of clean water, and fill the tank with at least two 50-lb bags of salt. When it comes to maintenance water softeners tend to be very low key. Water softener manufacturers, predictably, claim that it is a serious problem to have any trace of mineral hardness in water, and they argue that even"slightly hard" and "moderately hard" water should also be softened. Check salt levels at least once per month. Almost all well water in the US contains sulfur. If all else fails, have a plumber investigate your resin tank. Drew. Over time, you will need to rinse the iron out. Following the cleaner’s labeling instructions for specific details. Adding salt is really easy, too. Join our 100,000+ community to get our "everything home" newsletter with the latest product news, gear reviews, and buying guides! Over the average 10-to-15-year life cycle of your salt-based water softener you will also incur three primary expenses: salt bags, routine maintenance, and the additional cost of paying for your water twice (once as it enters your home and once as it exits). They will argue that any water hardness over 1 ppg requires softening. Conceivably, yours could even be clogged with hard-water deposits. This article has been viewed 167,556 times. These substances can cause clogs or damages. Some water softeners regenerate on a timed schedule. Don’t overfill your water softeners salt tank. Water softener resins typically need to be replaced every 10-15 years, although those that are exposed to high levels of chlorine, iron, or water hardness will need to be replaced sooner. 1. This can cause you hard water spots or serious damage but don't replace it yet. Some can taste the difference between softened and unsoftened water and in fact, thus choose to leave cold/drinking water untreated, using it for houseplants and such. (The farther away from the source, the lower the pressure will be.) This is also the time to talk about quality salt. After entering in your water hardness levels, setting the timing parameters for regeneration and making sure the salt is properly refilled, there really isn’t much else for you to do. To remain in optimal condition, a water softener requires regular maintenance. If you notice a solid layer of salt or mush at the bottom of the brine tank, use a broom handle to break up the salt. This would usually be done with a normal cleaning solution. If your salt level is too low, your softener won’t be able to soften water, so this is an important tip. You can follow the steps for cleaning the brine tank for cleaning mush. Water softener maintenance is simple and could save a lot of time and money on possible repairs later. Share this post: Twitter Facebook Pinterest LinkedIn Email. However, it’s still a good idea to check more frequently than that. When you clean out the tank of a traditional electric softener, make sure you allow all the salt in the system to dissolve before scrubbing thoroughly with soapy water and filling it back up again. Your manual may provide instructions for how to check it yourself, but attempt it only if you are comfortable working with plumbing and electricity. Salt-based systems – Salt-based water softeners use sodium to replace hard water ions to soften the water. With only a few steps, you can maximize the lifespan of your system and keep your water safe and soft for years to come. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. Can using a water softener change water pressure? If your household's water use has increased or your water has become harder, set the timer to regenerate more often. Salt is an essential part of the water softening process, as it regenerates the resin beads to prepare them for more softening. Pre-Tip: Read your Water Softener’s Manual, Tip #5: Add a Pre-filter if You Don’t Have One, Tip #6: Know How to Clean Your Resin Tank, Tip #7: Schedule a Professional to Service Your Softener. If your system begins regenerating on an unusual schedule, something may be wrong. When you consider all of the complexities of average water softeners, it’s easy to see why most people put off cleaning their systems. Everything You Need to Know About Renting a Water Softener, Best Water Softener System – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide, Pelican NaturSoft Salt Free Water Softener, Quality Water Treatment SoftPro Elite Water Softener, How Does Water Softener Work? I have a well water softener and replaced the system two months ago but I'm still getting a rotten egg smell with light yellowish water, what could be causing this problem? Water softener repairs, depending on the issue, can cost between $150-$600 on average. Water softener suppliers usually offer maintenance packages with reasonable annual fees for regular servicing that makes having a top-performing, long-lasting water softener system effortless for the homeowner. Clean the venturi valve The venturi and nozzle create the suction to move brine from the brine tank into the resin tank during the regeneration cycle. Check out Do Water Softeners Need Regular Maintenance? Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. June 15, 2020. When you opt to purchase a salt-based water softener you aren’t simply going to pay for the unit. Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium, which causes limescale buildup in pipes and appliances and interfere with soap’s ability to clean. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Solar salt is 99.6% pure and more soluble than rock salt, meaning it will dissolve faster. Put the system in bypass mode, then unplug the softener and disconnect the brine tank from the valve assembly. My softener uses 80 lbs of salt a month. This should only need to be an annual occasion unless you notice buildup, and then you should clean it as needed. Water softener salt prices range from $5 to $35 per 40-bag bag. One can be traced to the inlet and the other would be softened water flowing to the rest of the house. Some people can replace the resin tank on their own, and others prefer to hire a water softening professional. Remove the loose salt pellets from the top by scooping them up with a plastic container. In addition, if you notice low water pressure, leaking around the tank, loud noises from the system, or that the system runs constantly or not at all, it’s time to start troubleshooting, because something is not working right. How do I set up the clock on my SPWTPRTS control head replacement? At the same time as you check the brine tank, close and open the bypass valve that cuts off the softener from your water supply to prevent it from getting stiff. How to Maintain Your Water Softening System, http://blog.watertech.com/how-to-maintain-a-water-softener-brine-tank/, http://blog.watertech.com/what-type-of-salt-should-i-use-with-my-water-softener/, http://blog.watertech.com/how-to-clean-a-water-softener-brine-tank/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb1j-JVpNVk, darle mantenimiento a un sistema suavizador de agua, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Evaporated salt is the highest-quality option, but also the most expensive. Your water softener has to work harder to soften this water and may require more frequent maintenance … For more tips, including how to choose salt for your brine tank, read on! We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. About once a year, empty your water tank and scrub it with soapy water. A salt bridge occurs when a hard crust forms in the brine tank, creating an empty space between the water and salt, which prevents the water from dissolving into the water to make the brine. Here are some signs that something is amiss: crusty pipes, discolored or brown water, soap that doesn’t lather, and/or a change in your water’s taste. Paul Burkhardt. Our mobile service team provides preventative maintenance and performance checkups to keep your cooler, softener, and drinking or filtration systems operating at peak performance.