Winter is one of the most beautiful times of the year as everything is turned into a blanket of white. However, it is also the coldest season, and lack of preparedness can cause quite the frustration. One of the best ways to prepare for winter is to winterize the water sources to reduce water shortages from frozen pipes and softeners around the household. Here is how to go about doing just that.
When to Winterize Your Softener
While not every household using a whole-home water softening system needs to worry about winterizing, it is an important step to take if the unit is installed in a garage without heating. This puts it in a position to freeze in the winter. You should also winterize your system if it is located in a vacation home that you rarely use or if you intend to leave your house for a long period of time.
How to Winterize Your Softener
Turn the Softener Off
Before doing anything else, it’s important that you turn off the softener. Find the main valve and shut it from there. Then open a faucet that is connected to the softener, like the kitchen sink. This move helps to vent some pressure out of the softener and drain off any water left in the pipes.
There are two ways to go about turning off a water softener, one being for a single by-pass and the other being a 3-valve bypass system. The single by-pass system will involve your moving the stem, while the three-valve system will require you to close both the inlet and outlet valves. You might want to contact the installer at this point if you are unsure of the kind of installation done.
Deal with the Power Source
Take all the necessary preventative measures before handing any power sources. Turn off the switches or the transformer. Then proceed to remove all the clips which then separate the valves and outlets from the softener.
It is Brine Time
The next step is to drain the brine. You can do this by removing the cover, disconnecting the valve located near the nozzle, and lifting the brine valve from the brine well. Tip it to drain the liquid off.
Drain the Softener
When considering the softener, ensure that it is close to the drain and in a dry area. To achieve this, you can use a board around two inches thick on the floor. Then carefully move the water softener so that it rests on top of the board. If you have sized the board well, the outlet drains should face or be lingering over the drain. Inspect the positions of the inlet and outlet drains as some of them might be beneath the softener. This will eventually damage them sooner and it will cost you to replace them.
Lift the softener at an angle to ease the draining of both the brine well and the tank. Hold the softener until all the liquid has drained out and then place it in the lying position until you are ready to use it again.
Preventative measures are important in not just maintaining the softener but also ensuring that damages to the water system and to the house in general. It only takes a short time, but the positive effects go a long way.
Have a Professional Help
Many of the tasks on this list involve specialized knowledge and skills to perform safely without causing any damage to the softener or utilities. If you live in the Austin TX area and are worried your water softening system is at risk of freezing in the unpredictable Texas winter weather, call the experts at Austin Water Solutions. Our technicians can help determine if winterizing your system is necessary and perform the process safely as needed.