The water softener systems can be the most necessary and essential tool at your homes if you live in a hard water geographical location. Hard Water carries high levels of mineral content such as magnesium and calcium carbonates, bicarbonates, and sulfates. Although the presence of these minerals does not cause a severe health hazard instead, it is a nuisance due to residue buildup in pipes, shower heads, geysers, and faucets as well as it affects the performance of soap and detergents – installing the best Water Softener is the only way solution. However, you might be worried about how to maintain a water softener? There is no hard and fast rule; you just need to have the necessary information and act upon a few steps.
What is Water Softener?
A water softener is a device used to convert hard water into soft water by removing ‘hardness minerals’ from the water. These are known as the ion exchangers, which removes calcium and magnesium ions (positively charged), leaving the clean water behind. One of the most crucial tools as it not only enhances water quality but also improves the lifespan of your home appliances. Therefore, investing in a water softener saves time, energy, and money – check the best water softener systems, either water softeners for well water or water softener resin.
How Water Softener Works?
Water softener systems work on the principle of ion exchange, which eliminates ion deposits from the water, such as a positive ion of Calcium(Ca+2) and Magnesium(Mg+). When the hard water passes through the plastic beads, which act as anions, they grab a hold on the Calcium and magnesium cations, and soft water flows out of the tank. Water Softener needs regular maintenance due to the residue left behind. Although modern and best water softeners can last for years; however, regular maintenance can improve its efficiency as well as its lifespan.
How to Maintain a Water Softener?
There are two primary components of water softener systems which needs maintenance:
- Brine Tank
- Resin Tank
NOTE: Don’t forget to turn off your water softener and turn on the bypass switch!
Maintaining the Brine Tank
- Cleaning of Brine Tank
First of all, get your tank to a low level then remove all the salt and brine from the container. Later, vacuum out the remaining residue. The tank doesn’t need to be 100% clean, but cleaning it to the maximum will be better.
- Salt Level Check
It is advisable to check the salt level every month. The salt is the vital element of the softener as it prepares resin beads for the working. Follow the manual for the ideal salt level. Generally, the tank needs to be half-filled, keeping it at least 3 inches above the water level, which enhances the efficiency.
- Salt Quality
As already mentioned above, salt plays a crucial role in water softening; thus, the fine and required quality salt must be used. The manual is the perfect guide to know which quality of salt can be used. Granular salt is the most commonly used salt.
- Breakup Salt Bridges
Salt bridges are the solid layer formed in-between the salt, which prevents the loose salt from mixing with the water below. Pour some hot water to soften the bridge and then push the long boom handle to break the solid layers formed.
NOTE: If you are facing this issue, frequently use less salt.
- Mush Dissolving
Other than salt bridges, the mushy pile is built at the base of the Brine Tank. This raises the water levels in the tank instead of mixing it with the salt. That can be overcome by either pushing the broom handle or scooping out the mushy pile. Then mix it with hot water and pour the mixture back into the tank.
Cleaning the Tank
- Schedule the Cleaning
The best way to keep track of the maintenance is to schedule the cleaning. Although the best water softener can go for years without cleaning enhances efficiency. So it’s better to clean it according to the schedule.
- Dump resin out of the tank
First of all, use turn on the bypass valve to shut off water intake. Take the tank out of the brine tank. Remove the distributor tube and dump all the resin out of the container.
NOTE: Dump the waste properly.
- Brine Grid Cleaning
Not all but some of the models have a brine grid at the base of the tank. Remove it and set it aside before cleaning.
An essential step in cleaning the resin tank – scrubbing removes the entire residue from the container. Take a generous amount of dish soap into 4-6 liters of lukewarm water. Pour it into the tank and scrub the interior with long-handled soft bristles brush properly. This will help to remove any stubborn residue stick to the tank. Dump the soapy water out and rinse thoroughly with plain water.
Bleaching is a practical step in cleaning. Add about 60ml of household bleach in 8-10 liters of water. Stir it well and pour it in the tank. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes. This will also help sanitize the tank and kill all the bacteria and microorganisms. Although most organisms cannot grow in concentrated brine but prevention is always right.
- Backwash and Regenerate
Rinse it thoroughly with plain water. Repeat it several times to ensure no bleach water is left behind. Make sure that you get rid of all the bleach in the softener.
Place the grid back in the tank (if present) after cleaning. Put the new distributor tube into the container properly. In the end, replenish the tank with water and salt according to the manual guide. Wait for at least a couple of hours before turning it on. This will give time for salt and water to mix.
Aside from the thorough cleaning of the water softener, there is additional upkeep for your water softener system.
- Regularly exercise the valves of your machine.
- Replace any damaged or leaked washers and seals
- Flush the brine tank with a softener cleaner after repairing or replacing any damaged part.
- The outer side of the tank must be cleaned as well.
- Clean the nozzles and the valves between both tanks occasionally.
- Check Salt Level.
- Check out Salt Bridges
- Clean the Brine Tank.
- Inspect Water Purifier.
- Use the right salt
- Flush the Resin Bed.
No doubt, the best water softener plays an essential role for better results. However, maintenance occasionally done enhances the lifespan of the equipment and ensures the appliance runs smoothly without any issues. No need to wonder now, how to maintain a water softener? Just like any other machinery, your water softening system requires the right maintenance for better work. Adopt the tidbits mentioned above and sit as ease and let your water softener work for longer!