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We all love our water softeners, they keep our clothes, hair, and skin looking great and healthy! If you are a lucky water softener owner or in the market for one, water softener maintenance 101 is for you. Water softeners, of all appliances, are easy to maintain with just a few simple steps.  These steps will keep your water softener working efficiently and last you longer.

Avoid Salt Bridges

A few common causes of bridging include high humidity, temperature changes around the water softener or even using the wrong kind of salt.  A sign you may have a salt bridge, your water softener is full but your water is not soft.  Take a broom handle and push on top of the salt and break up the solidified salt, this is a quick easy trick. Salt mushing is more serious and this can happen when dissolved salt recrystallizes and forms a sludge on the bottom of the brine tank.  This creates a blockage in the tank because it is not properly cycling through the regeneration process.  If you test with the broom for a salt bridge and it doesn’t break up, salt mushing is more likely the cause.  The only solution is to drain the softener and dig out all the old salt and replace with fresh.

Three Basic Softener Salts:

Rock, Solar & Evaporated

Rock

Solar

Evaporated

Rock salt is least expensive but contains higher levels of insoluble minerals. This can decrease the softening efficiency and leave impurities in your water.

Solar salt is more soluble than rock salt, it is obtained by the evaporation of seawater and found in both pellet and crystal form.

Evaporated salt is the best option, it is a combination of mining and evaporation. This is the purest form of salt, 99.99% Sodium Chloride!  Looking for higher purity salts will leave your storage tank with less residue.  Less residue will obviously result in less maintenance. 

Resin bed cleaner

Using a water softener cleaner, it is a good idea to flush the resin bed every few months.  A water softener can become polluted with metals and other compounds which causes it to lose efficiency.  You simply pour the recommended amount of water softener cleaner down the brine well and regenerate the system manually.  This keeps the resin clean and able to absorb mineral build-up.

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.  The venturi valve at times gets plugged with sediment and dirt and needs to be cleaned.  No special tools are required to clean the valve, simply unscrew valve cover and clean the internal parts.  This should be done at least twice a year to keep water softener running efficiently.

Calling A Licensed Plumber

If you feel your water softener is not working properly don’t hesitate to call out a plumber. When technician arrives, they will first test the system to see if it is producing any soft water.  If your water softener is plumbed to outside faucets or plumbed in backwards it may need to be replumbed.  You may run out of soft water due to watering yard, and you need to make sure outside faucets are not on soft.  Plumber can inform you the steps to take to bypass unit when running outside water.  Here at Carter’s My Plumber, we are happy to help by sending a licensed plumber to your home.  Give us a call at 317-859-9999 or email us at www.cartersmyplumber.com We know how important your softener is to not only you but your plumbing system as well!! Our plumbing work comes with courtesy, respect, and a smile.

Kelson Carter

Article reviewed by:

Kelson Carter, aka, The Prince of Plumbing

Kelson is a 3rd generation Plumbing Contractor. His family business is located in Greenwood, Indiana, and provides Residential Plumbing Service to the Indianapolis Metro market.

Kelson grew up watching his grandfather and father do plumbing. After graduating high school, Kelson went to Trade School and became a Licensed Master Plumber and Licensed Plumbing Contractor. He is also Certified in Backflow Prevention. He currently owns and operates Carter's My Plumber with his parents.


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