An Introduction To Water Softener Maintenance

In areas with hard water issues, whole-house water softeners are an integral part of home plumbing systems. If you are new to owning a water softener, there are a few things you should know to keep it operating at peak efficiency. Use these water softener maintenance tips to continue enjoying the benefits of soft water in your home. 

Monitor Salt Levels and Consistency

Make a habit of inspecting your water softener brine tank every one to two months. Issues most frequently arise in water softeners with improper salt levels or salt formations inside the brine tank. Salt bridges and salt mushing are the two most common salt formations that can cause problems. A salt bridge is a hardened layer of salt near the top of the tank. Salt mushing is a sludge-like layer of salt near the bottom of the tank.

Salt bridges and salt mushing prevent the resin in your water softener from softening your water. Agitating the salt in your water softener brine tank can break up formations that prevent it from functioning correctly. Use a broom handle or other long tool to move the salt in the brine tank until it appears uniform.

Choose the Right Salt Type

The type of salt you use in your water softener can have a big impact on its function. Salt is available in different grades with varying ranges of purity. Rock salt is the most affordable option, but it contains impurities that make salt formations and blockages more likely to occur. Solar salt and evaporated salt are premium options that can extend the life of your water softener.

Use Cleaner Occasionally

The salt in your water softener brine tank helps the resin beads to rejuvenate themselves. However, occasional cleanings are still recommended to remove stuck-on residue from the softener beads. To do this, pour water softener cleaner directly into the brine well and flush your water softener.

Most modern water softeners have valve-controlled inlet and outlet tubes you can use to flush the brine tank. Follow your water softener manufacturer's instructions to flush the tank. Alternatively, you can call a plumbing service professional to clean and flush your water softener for you.

Maintaining your water softener will allow you to enjoy the benefits of soft water for years to come. If you notice soap scum buildup or other signs of hard water in your home, contact a company like Duvall Plumbing Heating and Cooling to inspect your water softener.