Reviewing the water hardness level and cleaning the brine tank are important for water softener maintenance.
Maintenance of the water softener is required at least three times a year. In certain geographic areas, water has a high concentration of calcium and magnesium ions. These minerals are not harmful to health, but they can have a negative impact on washing machines, pipes and other water systems. The purpose of a water softener is to remove some of the minerals present in the water, often replacing those mineral ions with sodium or potassium.
Decreased water availability is a common effect of hard water in pipes.
This type of system is typically purchased from a hardware or water softener store and installed near the main water inlet pipe. In addition to purchasing the water softener, special salt must also be purchased and added to the appliance. Most water softeners include a flow or hardness meter. Salt is added in specific amounts, based on the water’s hardness level.
Hard water can make it difficult to produce suds when showering or washing.
There are three main methods of water softener maintenance: automatic system, manual inspection and professional service. All three types of maintenance will involve accessing the water softener, checking the water hardness level and cleaning the brine tank. These tasks are not difficult or overly complex, but they must be completed regularly.
The most common type of water softener maintenance is the purchase of an automatic system. The water softener comes with a hardness indicator, self-regulates the amount of salt released and alerts the owner when the brine tank needs cleaning. These units are a little more expensive than the basic unit, but they are a great solution for people who don’t want to complete the required recurring maintenance.
Manual inspection should be performed at least every three months. Someone needs to check the salt levels in the softener and test the water hardness to make sure the proper level of salt is being used. In addition, the brine tank must be inspected. If salt accumulates on the walls of the tank, they must be thrown into the tank to dissolve. If this work is not completed, hard water will begin to flow through the system unchecked. This will result in damage to the pipes as well as problems with foaming with soaps and detergents.
Many areas have professional service companies that will come to your home at a fixed time to perform water softener maintenance. The company is responsible for providing the salt, checking the levels and cleaning the brine tank. In addition, many of these companies will also maintain other systems in your home, such as the gas heater, electric water heater, and sprinkler system.