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Does your Water Softener make Noises?

Is your water softener keeping you up at night? Does your child think there is a monster in the water closet? Water Softener noise can come from a water softener, including knocks and squeals. Some noises are completely normal while others may require a licensed technician to take a look and see if something is wrong.

What is a water softener?

In order to determine why the softener is making a noise, let’s first learn what it does. If you have hard water you know how valuable a water softener can be. This simple appliance essentially removes mineral deposits from water bearing certain minerals, otherwise known as hard water. It consists of a pump, a filter and a tank that contains salt or resin pellets that are designed to attract negatively charged ions out of the water. After a while, the resin in the softener becomes saturated by calcium and other mineral particles. For the appliance to continue to diminish water hardness, the pellets must be rinsed clean. This requires the machine to regenerate or recharge the resin bed.

Is that noise normal?

The water softener has several moving parts, such as a mechanical motor, that can make noises. Many people mistake the noise during the regeneration cycle for some sort of mechanical problem when, in fact, the softener is simply doing its job. That doesn’t mean, however, that the machine can’t make strange noises that might indicate an issue. Here are some things that could happen and create noise:

  • Build up of calcium or magnesium on the intake valves
  • Trying to use water while it’s regenerating can cause the softener to vibrate and knock loudly
  • Problem with the air check mechanism (the floating ball)
  • Timer motor can cause squealing when belts slip, grinding between gears, or knocking if something is loose
  • May not be the softener at all – could be your water heater or other appliance

Regeneration schedule

Often, the softener is set to regenerate at nighttime. If this wakes you at night you can adjust the regeneration schedule to run during the day. This will help from waking you up at night. You may also want to change the timer so it doesn’t regenerate while you’re making dinner, taking a shower or using the bathroom.

What can I do?

Sometimes there may be so much mineral build up or salt separation the softener can’t run correctly. You can manually backwash it before manually regenerating it a few times. For a more in depth look at what the issue may be, or to schedule a licensed technician to work on your softener, call Carter’s My Plumber at (317) 859-9999 today!

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