Written By: A writer for all her life Marti King Young escaped the womb with stories to tell Her work has not only been featured in magazines but also used to create motion pictures She lives with her family in Nashville Tennessee
When water softeners are not soft anymore, the fix doesn’t have to cost an outrageous amount.
How water softeners work: Fresh water enters and exits through the resin tank. As it does this, the hardness is removed by the mineral content within the water, bonding to countless resin beads. When the fresh water is stopped, the softener recharges, and the salty water from the brine tank is dragged down into the resin tank. From there, the salty water dissolves the collected minerals and they are flushed away.
When this does not happen, problems arise. But again, the cleaning does not have to utilize a stranger.
Note: Make sure to have a bucket and screwdriver handy.
- Check the settings. The timer must show the correct time so the resin tank cleans and recharges when there is no water usage. Also, ensure the water hardness is at the appropriate setting as well.
- Set water supply to “bypass”.
- Check the brine tank. Rock salt contains impurities that clog softeners, so that could be the culprit. Using rock salt is not recommended and is terrible for water softeners.
- Look for salt domes or bridges. They block salt from getting to the tank bottom, which results in the resin bed not being cleaned, so the water doesn’t get softened. Use a tool to break up these salt patches.
- Search for a paste of salt sludge at the brine bottom. This compromises the salinity of the brine solution due to its aversion to dissolving. Remove the sludge. On a good note, this mush usually occurs once a year, or when salt levels are particularly low.
- Locate the brine well tube and dilute the resin cleaner per the instructions on its package.
- Pour the cleaner carefully into the tube.
- Remove the brine valve assembly or air check valve, depending on the make and model of the water softener.
- Thoroughly cleanse it with warm water. (Check and cleanse resin beds bi-annually with a good resin bed cleaner, an easy purchase from any water softener dealer.)
- Identify the venturi assembly and filter screen.
- Remove the cap covering the assembly and remove the parts.
- Check the screen carefully for sediment clogs. Because the salt water flows from the brine tank through these parts to the resin tank, if the nozzle or screen gets clogged, the water will remain hard due to the resin bed being unable to clean the water effectively.
Once the brine valve assemply or air check valve has been cleaned, and all sediment has been removed and the nozzles are clear, replace everything and turn the water softener back on. In order to flush out any remaining hard water in the system, run hot water for five minutes.
To ensure that the softener is working properly, take a small sample to a water softener dealer to test the water hardness levels. Then, check the softener settings against their findings. If the results match, the cleaning has been successful and money has been saved.
However, if the water softener is over twenty years old, and these fixes do not work, the answer may very well be to purchase a replacement. Replacements can cost anywhere from $525 and higher.