Hard water can lead to issues in both your plumbing and water heater. It’s for this very reason that many homeowners find it valuable to have a whole-home water softener installed. Maintaining a water softener is simple, but it is necessary to have them inspected by a professional regularly. However, in between those check-ups, here are some things that you can do to prolong the life and efficiency of your water softener.
Make Sure the Brine Tank is in Good Working Order
To counteract the effects of hard water, a water softener uses salt to treat the fluids that run through it. It is recommended that you check the brine tank every two months and replenish it if need be, but all you need to do is look inside and fill it up if you need to. Use a high-quality salt or dehydrated salt pellets to see the best results.
Learn to Clean the Brine Tank
The brine tank of a water softener requires the most maintenance. Wait until the tank is nearly out of salt, then scoop out any remaining sediment that is in there. If it is caked onto the tank, use a tool like a broom handle or long stick to knock it loose. Mold is a common problem. Use plain water and dish soap and add some mold remover if necessary.
Do Not Fill Your Brine Tank All the Way
Be sure not to add too much water and salt when it is time to replenish the brine in your brine tank. When you see that the tank is only filled to 1/4 capacity, then it is time to refill it. However, you only want to fill it with the salt water solution about 3/4 of the way full. This will prevent the water from seeping out. It will save you time in cleaning and will extend the life of your water softener.
Be On the Lookout for “Salt Bridges”
Salt Bridges are hardened rocks formed of salt in your brine tank that can clog the pipes and make your water softener lose efficiency. Knock these structures loose and remove them. Another option is to fill the brine tank with water and dissolve them. Dissolving these salt bridges is only an option if they are new and somewhat soft, making it crucial to check the brine tank every so often.
Don’t Make It work Too Hard for You
The vast majority of water softeners can be set to the intensity that you desire. They should be set high enough to adequately soften your water, but they should not be set high enough to cause unnecessary wear and tear to the system. It may take some trial and error to find the perfect setting for your plumbing, but this will extend the life of your home’s water softener.
If you live in an area that is known for the hardness of its water, a softener can revolutionize your home’s plumbing system. Have yours regularly evaluated by a professional to keep it in tip-top form.