Water softener care and maintenance

Water softener care and maintenance

According to Biotech Water, your water softener unit should come packaged with a manual on how to properly care for and maintain your new system. However, there are several steps that you can take above and beyond the regular cleaning process to prolong the lifetime of your machine and ensure consistently softened water. Water softeners are generally low-maintenance appliances and by following your manual’s instruction and the below tips, your machine will remain efficient for a very long time to come.

A first sign to look out for is a “salt bridge”. This forms when salt hardens in the brine tank above the water level, effectively making a bridge of salt that prevents the salt from dissolving into the water for the system’s regeneration purpose. Elements including heat, humidity and using the wrong salt type for your machine can all contribute to building a salt bridge. Luckily, the salt bridge can easily be resolved by using an object such as a broom handle to gently break up the mass. If your water doesn’t seem to be softening correctly, check for a salt bridge first. If this does not seem to be the problem, check the bottom of your brine tank for signs of salt mushing. This occurs as dissolved salt recrystallizes, blocking the tank and halting the regeneration process. To fix salt mushing, the water softening unit will have to be drained and old salt will have to be manually removed and replaced with fresh salt. Ensuring that high-quality salt pellets are used and keeping your tank no fuller than half filled with salt will also help guard against salt bridges and mushing.

Another useful step to take in extending the durability of your water softening unit is regular and thorough cleaning of the resin bed cleaner. Flushing the resin bed with a water softening cleaner will help remove any contaminants and organic materials that have built up over time. Follow your manufacturer’s manual to ensure proper flushing of the resin bed.

Aside from ensuring that the salt used in your machine is of a higher standard, you also need to determine which type of salt is best for your specific model. The first type of salt that can be used is rock salt, which often has higher levels of insoluble minerals and contaminants. This makes it the least costly type, but not necessarily the best performing. Rock salt is known soften the water to a lesser extent and some impurities often remain after softening. A second type of salt is solar salt sourced from the evaporation of seawater and while effective, the best option for most standard ion exchange machines is evaporated salt. Evaporated salt can contain up to 99.99% sodium chloride, providing the purest salt obtained through the processes of both mining and evaporation. This pure form of salt will reduce the amount of residue in the storage tank, aptly lessening the likelihood of salt bridges. Some salt products for water softening systems offer salts tailored to specific preferences including higher iron concentrations and sodium alternatives. Ask your nearest water softener dealer for more information.