Does your place have hard water? You are not alone since 90% of households have the same issue.

Hard water may pose serious long-term health concerns. It can also affect your washers and water heaters because of the excess minerals. Rust and corrosion can also develop in your plumbing system.

Thankfully, a water softener system comes to the rescue. But what if your residential water softener is not working efficiently? Continue reading to learn how to maintain a water softener properly.

Ensure a Clean Tank 

Discovering how to maintain a water softener begins with having a clean brine tank. Water softeners less than 15 years old only need annual tank cleaning. If your tank is older, you need to clean it every year.

Remove all existing water and salt inside the tank. Go to the tank base and remove the brine grid or mesh platform. Get some dish soap and scrub the tank thoroughly.

Rinse out the tank and refill it with water and salt. Wait at least two to three hours before proceeding with the regeneration cycle.

Choose Your Salt Wisely

Switch to higher purity salts to leave fewer residues inside the tank. Most water softeners use three salt types: rock salt, solar salt, and evaporated salt.

Rock salt is the cheapest but has higher impurity levels. It often leaves tanks muddy and affects the softeners’ efficiency.

Solar salt is more soluble than rock salt, with a crystal of pallet form. Evaporated salt is the best option. It is 99.99% sodium chloride and leaves the fewest amount of residue.

You can also find salt-free softeners as alternatives. Before switching to a different salt type, check the kinds of salt your softener supports.

Eliminate Salt Bridges and Mushing

Salt bridges happen when salt clumps together in any part of the tank. The salt stops mixing with the water below and keeps the salt levels down.

Locate the salt bridges and break them up using hot water. Pour the water slowly over the salt until they loosen up. Then, push the salt down using a broom handle.

Beware of salt mushing since it happens when dissolved salt re-crystallizes. The salt creates sludge at the tank’s bottom and keeps the water softener from cycling during regeneration. Remove the sludge by draining the water and digging out all the old salt.

Valves Matter

Inspect the water softener’s vales once a month. Twist and turn the valves to see if they’re working. Sometimes, homeowners shut off the valves and forget to turn them back on.

Check the home water softener for any visible damages. If it stops working after troubleshooting, look for professional water softener repair. Be sure to find a trusted plumber that offers this service.

Go Beyond Learning How to Maintain a Water Softener

Knowing how to maintain a water softener system will ensure your equipment’s efficiency. It also extends the life of your water softener and maximizes your investment.

However, water softener maintenance is only one of the many tips to learn.

Check out our other home improvement articles. We discuss topics to help boost your home’s safety and efficiency.

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By SARAH