It’s tough dealing with hard water – it causes plumbing problems, it can be harsh on your skin and hair, and it can also be difficult to clean a house with. If you’re living in an area with hard water problems, you better get yourself a water softener fast.
If you already have one in your home, make sure you keep it in good condition to avoid having to deal with hard water. Here are some tips to make sure your water softener keeps running smoothly.
1 – Mind your salt selections
Rock, evaporated, and solar salts are three basic types of salt used in most water softeners. Rock salt is the cheapest option. However, it has the highest levels of impurities and insoluble materials. This can lead to a muddy tank which will then decrease your softener’s efficiency and can give you unclean water.
Evaporated salt is among the best option. It’s the purest kind at 99.99% sodium chloride. Solar salt is also a pretty good choice. It’s taken from evaporated seawater and is more soluble compared to rock salt. You can get them in either crystal or pellet form.
It’s important to consider the purity of salts that you put in your water softener. The purer the salt, the less likely it is to leave residue in the storage tank which also lessens the likelihood of bridging. Higher quality salts may be the more expensive options, but it’s going to save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
2 – Regularly check the salt level
Salt plays a very important part in the water softener’s process and so you should check on the salt level at least once a month. For most water softener models, the salt can be found in the brine tank. To check the salt level, locate the brine tank and check if you have enough pellets to cover the water in the tank.
Your softener manual should tell you how much salt you need, but generally, the tank should be at least half-filled with salt and at least 3 inches above the water.
3 – Clean your brine tank at least once a year
Salt can form clumps which reduces the softener’s effectiveness. It’s advisable to clean up your brine tank at least once a year to make sure your water softener continues to work effectively. If the sediment and iron levels in your water are higher, you might need to clean the tank more often.
If your softener model is relatively new, then you might need to clean it less frequently. You can call an expert to clean your system, but you can also do the regular cleaning yourself. You can check on WikiHow to see how you can clean out your tank by yourself.
4 – Inspect for salt bridges
A salt bridge is a residue buildup that forms in the brine tank. When this happens, the salt is prevented from dissolving into the water because the bridge causes a gap between them. Salt bridges usually develop because of high humidity or changes of temperature in the environment surrounding the water softener. Using the wrong kind of salt can also result to bridging.
You can easily detect and eliminate salt bridges by using a straight and rigid object such as a broom handle. Just use the object to push into the brine tank and check if it hits something hard aside from the sides and bottom of the tank. If it does, break up the bridge gently using the same object you used to inspect it. Pour about a gallon of water in the tank if needed.
5 – Use a water softener cleaner
Using a water softener cleaner helps ensure the resin continues to work efficiently. Just flush the brine tank with the cleaner once every couple of months. This should be followed by a regenerating process so it’s best to do this just right before the scheduled regeneration.
There are stronger products available in the market if in case you’re dealing with high iron levels of water that interferes with your softener. There’s also an available attachment that adds a little amount of cleaner every time the system regenerates. This is a possible option if you don’t want to manually flush the brine tank all the time.
We can’t argue that water is among the most important, if not, THE most important element in a household. There are areas, however, that need to deal with hard water. If untreated, it can cause issues in the plumbing and even in the cleanliness of household items and clothes.
That’s why a smooth running water softener is a must if you live in a hard water area. It doesn’t take much effort to check on it once in a while so make sure you do your own preventive maintenance on your system. A little effort will save you from a lot of headache in the future.