- Updated October 12, 2018
- Posted by: Hillary Graves
One of the essential things in your home if you live in hard water states is water softener. This is because hard water damages a lot of appliances if it’s not kept under control. There’s no hiding the fact that replacing or fixing pipes is extremely expensive in today’s economy. If you live in states such as Texas or Nevada, you may have dealt with hard water build-up in water heaters, pipes faucets or even shower heads.
Water softener tanks
How do they work?
In order to know how to maintain a water softener, you must first understand how they work. If you were a science geek at school you may already know the magic that happens in the resin tank. However, if you’re like us grab a seat because we are here to teach you some things.
- Water comes in contact with resin beads that are mainly of salt ions in the resin tank
- As they mix ions from hard water ions swaps places with salt ions
- The resin beads get recharged by you adding excess salt to the tank
- Waste flows through to the drain that you have to clean periodically
As you can see, the science is very simple yet efficient. All of this happens almost simultaneously at whatever water levels you may have in your home. As we have mentioned above, you start maintaining your water softener from the moment you add bags of salt into the tank. However, before you do that, you should be aware that there are three types of salt that you can use.
This is the best salt for small or average households because all the residue is washed away into the drain. Nonetheless, there is a major difference between this salt and the rest because salt water leaves the soft water saltier. What we are trying to say is that there may be a high sodium level in the water you are drinking if you use rock salt. However, if this isn’t a concern to you, you may be pleased to know that this type of salt is the cheapest solution out of the three.
Even though it has a fancy name, it’s actually very simple to understand. It’s the salt that is produced with the help of seawater evaporation. So if you go to the sea in salt water, you should know that many people use that salt in their resin tanks in order to generate soft water. This type of salt is preferred by owners with bigger water softener tanks because it’s more effective and less difficult to maintain.
This is the most purified salt you can find as it’s similar to the salt you find on your dinner table. It’s completely refined which means that it makes a huge difference in your soft water because it’s known to keep the water cleaner. As well as, it’s less difficult to maintain it if you have difficulties with cleaning the residues from rock salt.
This is basically all you have to know about a water softener tank. Now, we can confidently give you the tips on how to maintain it at home without much hustle. Grab pen and paper and seriously consider what we are advising you because this article really is here to help you.
Man adding rock salt to tank
Tips for simple yet effective maintenance at home
There are no laws around the states that forces people to have a water softeners tanks or anything like it. Nonetheless, the majority of people have it because they are tired of descaling and spending money recklessly. Even if you have a home warranty, companies highlight clearly that they will not cover any costs if they come to the conclusion that your appliances got damaged because you haven’t maintained them. Therefore, we have come up with simple guidelines that you should follow to properly maintain it at home.
Frequently check salt levels and equipment
We strongly recommend that you check on the scaling situation every month because you should not wait for signs of scaling to show up. You do not have to do anything out of the ordinary, all you have to do is lift the lid (if you have one) and peek inside of the tank. A good advice would be that you check depending on your hard water levels and what type of salt you use. What we recommend is that you leave the level about half full because it will allow you to keep a better analysis of the situation.
In addition to checking salt levels, you must check the equipment as well. If you use rock salt, a solid build-up of salt may be forming and that can have a negative effect on the efficiency of pipes and units. As well as, if the build-up passes a certain level, it can get in the way of salt mixing with the hard water. What we are trying to say is that if the equipment is not properly cleaned and checked you can risk not getting soft water.
Use the right type of salt
We understand that you would prefer to use the cheapest salt because it means you will spend less money. This isn’t necessarily the whole truth because you can risk paying far more for other things such as fixing equipment or man-work. It’s general knowledge that a solid build-up is inevitable so purchasing the other salts can be far more to your advantage. The residue that is left behind will cause the valve and the injector to clog if there is too much of it.
As we have already mentioned salt is the key component that makes a water softener work so because it’s always used to regenerate the water you must replenish as often as it’s required. What is important is that you make sure that you keep the level at an appropriate standard where you are able to check because you can do more damage than good if you keep the tank more than two-thirds full. We understand that it can be difficult to check so often but you must understand that it’s easier to maintain it whilst you’re ahead.
Clean the tank
In order to maximize the efficiency, you must clean the tank as thorough as you can. What you have to do is clean the iron particles from the resin bed with a soft cleaning agent that you can purchase from any store or professional installers. Nonetheless, there are some companies that put the cleaning particles into the salt bags so you do not have to purchase anything extra. If you do not do this, you can risk damaging the tank and the quality of water.
Remove the salt bride by breaking it with a pole or anything that comes into the hand at that moment. Be careful that you do not hurt yourself or that you don’t break anything. Call a professional if you do not want to handle it yourself. You should be aware that a salt bridge forms because the level of humidity is too high, there is too much potassium chloride and the water softener isn’t as used as it should be.
Woman cleaning water softener
Additional key tips
There are few things to keep in mind if you want to keep the efficiency of the tank the same as the beginning. You do not have to purchase any additional things if you do not want to. Just keep these in mind.
- Make sure the drain is positioned correctly
- Purchase a pre-filter if you are worried about bacteria in the water
- Clean the equipment such as brine tank as often as you can
- Refer back to the user manual if you have any questions
The guidelines written in this article are very easy to follow. All you have to basically do is that you make sure that you are organized and take care of it. The more you monitor it, the more likely it is that you will have it for many years to come.
Take good care of your things!