How to Care For Water Softeners?

A water softener is an appliance that uses resin beads to remove hardness from your water. It’s a great way to save money and make your life easier by removing the minerals that can cause problems with your skin, hair, and nails. But water softeners require routine care to remain in good condition and last for years to come. 

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Water Softeners That Work Best with Evaporated Salt Pellets

The most important thing you can do for your water softener is to use the right kind of salt in the brine tank. Thankfully, water softener salt is relatively inexpensive and available in many different forms. However, be sure to check the manufacturer’s guide before buying to ensure you are using the best salt for your system. 

It’s also a good idea to change out your salt periodically, as it will prevent the build-up of mineral particles that can clog up your system and slow down regeneration cycles. You can do this by putting some hot water into your brine tank to loosen up the salt and then refilling it with fresh, quality salt. 

Check the Resin Beads Regularly

The resin beads in a water softener are what do most of the softening work. Over time, they can degrade and lose their ion exchangeability. This is why it’s a good idea to run an occasional test of the hardness of your water and adjust your salt dose accordingly. 

If your water has a high mineral content, you may need to add more salt than usual to achieve soft water. But this should only be done if you feel it’s necessary, as overdoing it can cause the resin to break down sooner. 

Another issue to watch for is salt bridges, a tough crust that can form between the brine solution and the salt in your water softener’s tank. This can cause your water softener to fail to regenerate properly. 

To prevent salt bridges, always use a high-quality brand of salt and be careful not to mix different kinds of salt in your brine tank. If you do, you’ll find that different salts have different chemistry and will often result in more salt bridges. 

Keeping the Regeneration Cycle Short and Sweet

In order for the resin beads in your water softener to perform well, they need to be recharged with sodium ions from the salt-rich brine solution. This is why most water softeners run a quick and simple regeneration cycle that takes 30 minutes or so. 

You can do this by manually running a regeneration cycle or, for convenience, by setting your softener to automatically do it for you. It’s a good idea to set your water softener to run this regeneration cycle on a daily or weekly basis, so that you can easily keep track of when the unit needs to be regenerated. 

Periodic Cleaning and Testing

The main reason to regularly clean your water softener is to get rid of any sediment build-up that may be causing the resin beads to degrade. This can also be a good time to check the venturi valve for build-up or blockages.