Individuals, who experience infrequent hard water usually think that their water softener is no longer able to soften their water and needs to be replaced. In most cases, there is a simple way to fix the problem, and you don’t always need an overpriced Technician to do it.
If your water softener is running but not softening the water, you may have any specific issues. To help you better understand first look at the components of a water softener.
Parts of a Water Softener:-
A water softener removes minerals from water that make it hard (i.e. calcium and magnesium).
Most water softeners have 2 tanks:
• Resin tank or the “mineral tank”
• Brine tank or the “salt tank”
The resin tank is responsible for the removal of hard water minerals from water. It does this with the help of special resin beads that attract hard mineral ions.
As the hard ions stick to these beads, the resin beads kick-off “soft” sodium ions, replacing the “hard” ions in your water.The brine tank is responsible for recharging the resin beads.
Why does a water softener does is not softening the water?
A water softener will not show that the water coming out of it is hard or soft. It will continue doing its process, even if something is preventing it from producing soft water.
If the hard water is running through clean and recharged water softening resin beads. The hard minerals be removed and collected by the water softening resin.
If the water is not going into your system. Your water softener may be bypassed. It simply means that your water is not being directed towards the water softening system.
It is programmed to regenerate after specific intervals in bypass.
Types of bypasses:-
• A single lever bypass:- This will bypass your system when you turn the handle.
• A slider-type bypass:- This will slide a piston one way to bypass the system.
• A single knob bypass:- It turns clockwise or counter-clockwise to bypass the Water Softener.
• A dual-knob bypass:- It has two knobs that will bypass the system, when both knobs are turned, they are pointing towards each other.
• A Three valve bypass:- It has three valves, when the first and third valves are open and the middle valves is closed, the system is in service. If the middle valve is open, the hard water is not properly entering the water softener.
You may have a salt bridge:-
A Salt bridge creates an air pocket between the salt and the water.
In Salt mushing, salt creates a sludge at the bottom of your brine tank.
Both situations prevent sodium ions from recharging the resin beads, which means the beads will eventually stop softening your water.
What to do: To test for a salt bridge in your brine tank, press down on the salt with a handle. If you can reach the bottom of the brine tank, you don’t have a salt bridge.
For salt mushing, remove some salt and check for a thick layer of sludge at the bottom of the tank. If there is sludge, you need to clean out your brine tank and refill it again with salt and water.
When you have a salt bridge, no salt is making direct contact with the water in the bottom of the brine tank, and therefore no brine is made. The brine tank contains the strong salt solution, used to remove the hard minerals from the softening resin that is in the tank.
If the hard mineral does not get cleaned from the resin, the resins will not be able to remove more hardness from the running water.
If your water softener is not drawing the brine from the salt tank:-
A water softener will not remove the hardness that if the system is not be drawing all or any of the brine salt during its regeneration process.
This is often due to the clogged injector. The injector sucks the brine solution from the tank. If it gets clogged, it will not draw out the brine and therefore the resin will not get cleaned.
This water softener injector can be cleaned, but you may need to call a technician if you are not comfortable in repairing alone.
If there is a crack in your brine line:-
If the tube that goes to your brine tank has a crack in it, it could suck the air. If the brine line is drawing air in it, then it won’t be able to draw the brine as strong as it is supposed to.
If there is a problem with the water softening resin:-
Over time, minerals can build up at the bottom of the mineral tank. This makes it difficult for your softener resin beads to soften your hard water thoroughly.
What to do: Find a resin cleaner that is designed to remove mineral build-up.
Check the knob on the control valve and turn it counter clockwise with a screwdriver.
When you are done, turn the knob clockwise to its original position.
To flush out the cleaner in your system, turn on the faucet and let it run for 10 minutes.
When your settings are off:-
Water softeners have a control valve that shows when it recharges. But if the settings are off, your water softener may not be able to recharge those resin beads. In this case, the water you receive may not be softened or you may have a salty taste.
What to do: Check the time that is displayed on the softener head.
If it shows the wrong time, you’ll need to adjust the time. This can happen after long power downtime.
You may also need to check at what time the softener is set to recharge. Most technicians will set the time for recharge at 1:00-2:00 am. The reason for this is that in most cases no water will be in use at that time so the recharge can run easily.
Every different brand of the water softener has different control settings. So refer to the manuals if you want to adjust the time of day settings.
If the brine tank contains too much water:-
If your brine tank has too much water and very less salt, this decreases the salinity capacity of your recharging brine.
Lowering the salt content in the brine tank prevents the softener resin beads from fully recharging. And if your softener resin beads do not recharge properly, they’ll stop softening your hard water.
What to do: Check the water level in the brine tank.
The amount of water in your brine tank depends on the size of your tank. But if you have a water level higher than 10 inches from salt level, you probably have more water in your brine tank.
Water softener automatically fills the brine tank, so if you have too much water, you need to call a professional to inspect your brine tank and float assembly for solving the problem.
Water pressure of the water softener may is low:-
If your water softener does not have sufficient water pressure, it will not strong enough to create a draw to pull the brine solution from the salt tank.
Without brine salt, your water softener cannot remove existing hardness from the water softener resin, and therefore it cannot remove any more hard minerals from the water flowing through it.
A minimum of 25 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) of pressure is required for normal water softeners to function correctly. Check the water pressure of the water softener to be sure that you are getting sufficient water flow to your water softener.
If your water softener is not running at all:-
Many people thought that they knew what their water softener sounded like. Often, the water softener is installed in the same room where many other utility systems for the home are installed. When you hear noise from that location, you might not actually know which one of your systems are running.
The water softener is usually not very loud. From a distance, all utility systems can often sound very similar.
Many people think that their water softener operates every night but in reality, it is running once a week.
For example, your water softener resins are supposed to be regenerated every day, but you experienced a power outage recently so the water softener reset back to its original factory settings which may be insufficient for your current situation.
If your water softener is not regenerating enough:-
Your water softener may not be set to regenerate often to provide a supply of soft water for your home, which would be the reason for hard water.
Most water softeners use an electric motor to control the system. As the motor gets older, it can start to make a noise because it has been moving the water softeners piston for a long period of time.
The motor can make loud noise after running for a long time and it can be louder over time. Sometimes even a new motor can make a louder noise than one that has been replaced.
If you want to do it yourself, most drive motors are relatively inexpensive and can be replaced easily. Unplug the water softener's power supply to replace the drive motor.
Start by removing a few screws that hold the motor and disconnecting the old motor’s electrical wires. Then just twist in the new motors wires and remount the motor at the same place where it came off.
After replacing the old drive motor, plug the electricity supply back to the water softener and reset the clock. Check your water softeners settings and correct them if it needs to be.
The water softener is maybe too old and needs to be replaced:-
Just like other appliances, a water softener loses its efficiency with its age.
Additionally, over time, chlorine can make the resin beads mushy which makes it unable to remove the minerals from the water. When this occurs, the resin beads need to be replaced. If your water softener is over 10 years old and is no longer able to soft your hard water, then it is time to replace your water softener.
What to do: Contact a professional to guide you while choosing the best water softener. He will be able to determine the accurate size of water softener you need and install it safely.
Alternatively, you can look for installing a whole house water filter before the water softener to remove the chlorine and other impurities in the water. This helps to enhance the life of your water softener and protect the investment.
To solve your queries ask Pearl Water. We will be very happy to solve your hard water problems. To purchase a brand new water softener or for replacing your water softener resin beads contact Pearl Water at 9582215137 or order online through the website.