It seems that you are interested in water softener maintenance - well, that's a first.
Most people don't even know what a water softener is, so you're one of the lucky few.
In any case, in this article - we will cover everything you need to know about water softener maintenance.
Keep reading to find if water softeners need maintenance, how to perform it, and what is the cost associated with it.
Does a Water Softener Even Need Maintenance?
Simply said, yes. Sorry.
And we're not surprised that's a question. If you take into consideration all of the complexity that goes into a simple water softener, it's easy to understand why most people don't even think about maintaining their systems.
However, you might be in luck - as if you are using a water softener, in the purpose of fixing a hard water issue - your softener is most likely automatic by the legal standard.
And if it has been properly sized and installed, then it is likely to function like new for years to come with very minimal work.
Nonetheless, there are some things you have to keep in mind, in order to keep your water softener in its best condition. For example, a simple task like breaking a salt bridge can have a substantial effect.
In most cases, water softener maintenance only involves adding appropriate salt and cleaning agents to the system. This can be done every 3 months, no less - no more. However, as any machine can have issues, so can yours.
For example, if your soft water is not up to part, that can be a sign that your machine is not processing the salt appropriately. Here are some basic steps you can take to troubleshoot your softener:
Are there any kinks in the softener hoses?
Is the regeneration timer set appropriate for the soft water?
Is the bypass valve open, preventing salt bridge problems?
Are you using the most optimal water softener salt?
Is your circuit properly displayed on the screen?
Some of these can help identify a large underlying issue with your machine. And in most cases, you can resolve all of the issues on your own, but if you can't seem to get it done - it's better to call for somebody who is an expert and understands the machines.
What Does Water Softener Maintenance Look Like?
Now let's take a look at how your water softener maintenance can look like.
Make sure to have a set schedule for cleaning, as your brine tank is most susceptible to issues. Depending on how modern your device is, you will have to adjust cleaning sessions. As some machines can go without maintenance for decades without issue.
The next step is to stop the water intake in the softener via the bypass valve. Siphon the water and remove all salt. Dissolve salt bridges by hand or with hot water.
Remove the brine grid, if your machine has one. Some machines only have a mesh platform at the bottom.
Mix dish soap with hot water, pour into tank. Scrub interior with a brush, getting rid of salt deposit, and any other substances.
Rinse the tank with plain water.
At this point, you can clean the tank with bleach if you prefer. Mix a quarter cup with 3 gallons of water, and drop it in the tank. Let it sit for some time, and then get rid of it.
Rinse again several times, to make sure all bleach is gone.
Place the brine grid back. Replenish tank with water and softener salt, and let it sit for couple of hours before you regenerate the tank.
Regenerate and voila!
You're all set. Of course, this is a simple way to maintain your machine, but if you have any other tougher issues - having an expert stop by and help you out is preferable.
What's the Cost of Water Softener Maintenance?
If all you need to do is what is outline above, then you're in for not a lot. Just buy the salt, if you don't have it. Water is already plentiful, and bleach can be bought for pennies on the dollar.
However, if you've tried the method outline above and are still having issues with your water softener. Then it might be the right time to seek out professional help.
A specialist can help you determine the underlying issues.
The cost of having your water softer maintenance being done by a specialist is highly variable, stringent upon the type of assistance required.
Obviously, adding salt is cheap and you've done that yourself. But if you need a specialist, that's a whole different ball game. In most cases, expect to be charged by the hour - however, it is possible that your softener has a free service warranted, which can help you with certain issues like a bridge or display issue.
Maintenance Done Right
Now that we've covered everything from the necessity of maintenance, the methods for taking care of your softener, and the cost associate - you are well on your way to having pleasant water streaming down your pipes once more.
Taking care of your water softener is paramount, and you should be kept in mind the possibility of more difficult issues.
Most problems can be solved on your own, but the bigger issues have to be tackled together. Stay safe and happy maintenance!