How to Quickly and Easily Maintain a Water Softener
To better understand soft water, we first need to understand what hard water is. Hard water is simply water, which contains high levels of calcium and magnesium. Hard water issues are one of the most common water issues we see here in the United States. In fact, 85% of people in the US have hard water.
Over time, hard water can damage appliances, pipes, and other items in your home.
Here are some of the most common complaints, and symptoms of hard water. If you experience any of these issues on the list, you most likely have hard water.
- Crusty, white buildup on faucets, shower heads and water-using appliances
- Dishwasher that no longer cleans dishes well
- Reduced water flow due to clogged pipes
- Hard-to-clean film on bath and kitchen fixtures, shower walls and toilets
- Spotty, glasses and dishes
- Soap that refuses to lather
- Gray, dingy clothing
- Towels that feel hard and scratchy after washing
The best solution to hard water issues is to install a water softener.
Water softeners reduce, or even eliminate, many of the problems associated with hard water. However, once you have decided to install a water softener, now you need to know what kind of maintenance is required. Fortunately, most water softeners are easy to take care of, if you follow some simple maintenance procedures.
One of the most important things you can do for your water softener is to make sure you are using the right kind of salt.
The top 3 salts to choose from are rock, solar and evaporated. Most stores stock the shelf with rock salt, since it is the least expensive of the three. The problem with rock salt though, is that it tends to have more insoluble minerals and that can lead to a muddy tank. Solar salt, is middle of the road salt, with fewer insoluble minerals. The purest form of salt is evaporated salt, this is the best option for a water softener.
A few things to check when maintaining your water softener.
Salt bridges and mushing, along with clean parts that are free of residue are the top three maintenance items for your water softener.
A salt bridge occurs when a hard crust forms in the brine tank and creates an empty space between the water and the salt. Common causes of bridging include high humidity, temperature changes around the water softener or using the wrong kind of salt. You may have a salt bridge if your salt tank appears full, but you know your water isn’t soft. The quickest way to test for a salt bridge is to take a broom handle and carefully push on the top of the salt to break it up, if it has become hard.
Next thing to check is mushing. This happens when sludge or mushy stuff forms on the bottom of the tank. If this happens, draining the tank is the best way to clean up the problem. Another cause of mushing is the kind of salt you are putting in. Opt for a better salt that is more soluble, which will drastically reduce mushing concerns.
Last item to check when taking care of your unit – clean valves. Make sure parts are clean and free of and residual buildup.
Taking care of your water softener is fairly easy, but important. Simple maintenance of your water softener will ensure a smooth-running system and allow you and your family to continue enjoying the benefits of soft water for years to come.]]>