Every appliance in your home runs off of electricity, and your whole-home water softening system is no exception. However, sometimes your home goes through a storm or a random power outage where all the electricity is turned off. We all need to have water to drink, and without it, catastrophes can occur. Therefore, it’s reasonable to worry about how your water softening system might react to a loss of power. We’ll provide some answers and clear everything up below.
A Loss Of Power And Your Water Softening System
In most cases, your reverse osmosis system will not always be affected by the loss of power. However, the system may have issues creating the softened water that you’ve come to expect. A reverse osmosis system runs with a pump that filters water into your home.
The pump, or the UV lamp that is in the reverse osmosis system, requires electricity to function properly. Therefore, if you go through a storm or you lose electricity throughout your home, the water softening process will temporarily come to a halt. If you have a well, you’ll still be able to get water, but you may not be able to enjoy the filtered water that the water softening system usually provides.
A quality water softening system will have around 2 to 3 gallons of stored filtered water in the reserves that you can access when the electricity goes out. It filters the stored water in the reserves through an air pressure system that doesn’t rely on electricity to function. However, if you have a water softening system that disperses the water with a water pressure function, you may not have running water at all.
Some water softening systems keep the controls set during a power outage for around 24 hours. You may notice that the displays or indicators are off, however, all the settings should be intact while the electricity is interrupted.
If your system uses a recharge cycle and your power is interrupted during this timeframe, the softener will discharge the drain line until the electricity is restored and it can complete its cycling process. If the power does not come back on by the time the cycles are complete, you will most likely need to reset the bypass valve to restore it.
Should You Drink The Reserves?
The reserves stored in your water softening system should be the same quality water that you get when the lights are turned on. However, if your system requires UV lighting to purify the water, it will not filter the water because the light bulb requires electricity.
The ideal way to look at your reserves is to determine what type of system you’re using and if it is functioning properly. If you’re using UV lighting to filter and purify water, check on the bulb before continuing to drink the water from the water softening system. The water that is in the reserves will usually not have purification but will give you some water while electricity is off.
What Should I Do to My System If the Power Is Shut Off?
It is ideal to unplug your system if you have an old reliable or booster pump while the power is off to prevent any power surges. These power surges can be catastrophic for all the electrical elements in the system and could damage it. Most quality systems will have a surge protector that protects your system in case a power surge happens. However, if you have a system that does not have any electrical components, you don’t need to worry about turning the system off when the electricity goes out.
You can fill up a few bottles with reserves from the tank while the electricity is out to ensure you still have access to softened water. However, many people experience power outages that are handled within a short period of time. If your electricity is out for over a day, the reserve’s water should still be okay, even if there is no fresh water pumping through the system. When the power is turned back on, the tank pressure will normalize and force the rest of the water out of the tank, allowing the system to return into its normal filtration process.
Overall, if your water softening system loses power, and depending on the type of system, you will have access to the reserves that are okay to drink, but the water may not be purified. Most water softening systems return to filtering water the moment the power is back on, and occasionally you may have to reset a clock, but overall the system is fine while the power is out. You can always check with the water softener manufacture or the installer to inquire about your specific system if you have questions about power outages.