Water Softener Maintenance & Troubleshooting Guide

Water Softener Maintenance & Troubleshooting Guide

First, hard water is not so harmful for our health but it can damage your hair, skin, and clothes. Hard water can build-up scales and clogs the pipe. Hard minerals also leave stains on the basin, shower head, bathroom floor, water heater, and other appliances. To solve these problems, most of the families in the USA use a water softener. Water softener is an important home instrument for every family who lives in a medium-hard to very hard water zone in the USA. If you are the owner of a water softener then you need to maintain it regularly for optimal performance. In our water softener maintenance and troubleshooting guide, we will discuss some water softener maintenance and troubleshooting tips that will help you to solve common problems.

Water Softener Maintenance Checklist

Having a water softener is not enough to enjoy soft water uninterruptedly. You have to do some regular checking to work the system seamlessly. In our water softener maintenance checklist, we have discussed some important tips that you should follow. Follow our water softener maintenance and troubleshooting guide to keep the optimal performance of your water softener. 

#Check Salt Level

Checking the salt level is the most important factor to maintain your water softening system. Because, when the salt level decreases, your softening system will not supply soft water and you will get hard water instead of soft water.

You can avoid some common hard water issues by checking the salt levels in the brine tank of your water softener. We recommend checking the salt level every 2-4 weeks though it depends on many factors like hardness level, water softeners age, water usage, etc. 

water softener maintenance salt level

#Remove Salt Bridges

“Salt bridge” is a well-known term for water softener users. It’s not a big problem but you should eliminate salt bridges to enjoy soft water interruptedly. Using low-quality salt can create salt bridges in the brine tank. It also can be due to high temperature and humidity.

water softener maintenance

The presence of salt bridges prevents regeneration of the resin beads and shuts off the soft water supply. To avoid this you should check the brine tank regularly and eliminate salt bridges from it.

#Clean Brine Tank

The brine tank in the modern water softener almost needs no cleaning. But, you should clean the brine tank of your water softener regularly to avoid any problem. We recommend doing it in every 6 months for the better performance. Be careful when cleaning the brine tank and don’t forget to read the user manual of your water softener. The user manual will help you to find out the best way of cleaning the brine tank.

#Use the Right Types of Salt

Using old or wrong types of salt can cause different problems like salt-bridging, musing, etc. To avoid these problems you should use the appropriate salt for your water softening system. Don’t use stored old salt for softening water because it’s one of the big reasons to form salt bridges in the brine tank. 

You can use cube or crystal form for better result though most modern water softener uses cube salt. Read the user manual before buying any salt to ensure the best salt for water softener. All types of salt will not perfect for all softening systems. So, use the right type of salt that goes with your water softener system.

#Add a Pre-filter for the Best Water Softener Maintenance

Adding pre-filter will give you some extra benefits. Whether it is city water or well water, it contains a lot of sediments. These sediments can damage the seals, gaskets, and small parts of your water softener system slowly. That means your softening system will not last long. 

Adding pre-filter will extend the lifetime of your water softener. Pre-filter can remove small sediments and sludge from city or well water. If you are on a city water feed, pre-filter will relieve you from chlorine. 

#Clean the Resin Beads

Resin beads are the center of the salt-based water softening system. Resin beads should clean regularly with a water softener cleaner.

 When the softening process occurs, iron and other metals cover the resin beads. As a result, the resin beads lose efficiency gradually. To maintain the efficiency of your water softener, clean the resin beads.

water softener maintenance resin beads

#Inspect Your Water Softener Regularly

Not only checking the salt level, you should inspect your softening system very closely in every 3 months. Regular inspection can reduce the maximum hampering of any water softener system. With regular inspection, you can find out any issue at the beginning stage and solve it easily.

Water Softener Troubleshooting Guide

In this section of our article, we will discuss some common problems which you may also face. A faulty softening system will never supply soften water properly and it may even reduce the quality of your home water.  

Most water softener problems are easy to identify and troubleshoot. In our water softener maintenance and troubleshooting guide, we are going to tell you the easiest ways to solve the common problems of water softeners. Just scroll down and find out the ways to solve your problems quickly.

Water Softener Maintenance: Common Problems and Troubleshooting

#Brine Tank Full of Water

It’s the most common problem for new users. It can cause by various factors but there are three main reasons. If your water softener system is old or its entry valve is broken then it can happen. This can also occur due to incorrectly setting the float valve.

  • Every system has an expected lifetime. After that, they don’t work fluently. The expected lifetime of a water softener is around 8 years. If your water softener system is too older then it can happen.
  • When the entry valve is broken it cannot stop the flow of water and causes overflow. You can solve this issue by replacing the entry valve.
  • The float valve maintains the water level in the brine tank. If the float valve is set too high it can’t control the water level. You should set the float valve lower to fix the problem.

#Water Softener Salt bridge

Water softeners are designed to reduce or remove hard minerals from water, but this process is subjected to salt. Salt is an important element at softening water. This salt can build up bridges in the brine tank that causes a big problem. These salt bridges prevent water to pass through the brine tank and stop the regeneration cycles.

To solve this problem, you should break the bridges with any metal or hard stick. However, do it very carefully so that your water softener does not get hurt. You can reduce salt bridging by using the best salt for water softener.

#Water Softener Not Using Salt

If you notice an unchanged salt level in the brine tank, it means your water softener is not using salt. You should fix the problem quickly to get soften water uninterruptedly. Using no salt means no ion-exchange occurring and the water is not being softened.

Salt bridges formation in the brine tank is the main reason for this problem. Remove salt bridges as soon as possible to fix this problem. If there is no salt bridge but the softening system still not using salt then contact with your water softener’s manufacturer to troubleshoot it. 

#Water Softener Not Softening

It’s the worst problem of any water softener system and again the main culprit is salt bridge here. However, there may be many other reasons for this. Check the bypass valve of your softener system. If the bypass valve is closed, the flow of water in your system may stop. If so, turn on the valve quickly.

Sometimes we use much water than the capacity of our softening system. It’s another main reason for not getting softened water temporarily. First you should identify the reason and then follow the targeted troubleshooting guide of your user manual.  

#Water Softener Leaking

Water softener leaking is another common but not a big problem. In most cases, leaks are caused due to installation error. It’s not easy to detect the leakage but you have to inspect your system carefully. Once detected, follow the instruction manual to avoid bringing damages to the system. 

#Water Softener Making Noise

You should know that water softeners don’t make much noise. You will hear a little sound only when the regeneration process is running. 

If your system makes much noise, that’s the sign of error. The noises can be caused by the clogged valve or water line, broken air valves, or by a worn-out timer.

Water softener Problems: The Conclusion

Before troubleshooting any problem, make sure that you are handy and have the confidence to do it. If not, please call a professional plumber to fix your problem. Thanks a lot for reading our article on water softener maintenance and troubleshooting. Please share this article with your friends.

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