A water softener will work behind the scenes changing the incoming hard water into soft water that’s kinder to you and your entire home. Some regular essential maintenance is required to ensure that the system is working at optimal efficiency. If a water softener is regularly maintained, it can work efficiently for up to 15 years. If there is a problem, it must be identified and fixed quickly to keep the water soft and maximize the potential lifespan. In this article, we will look at two common water softener problems and how you can fix them.

1.  Clogging and Blockage Issues

The dissolved mineral content in hard water can leave behind hard and chalky scale deposits on water carrying pipes and plumbing fixtures. This is an obvious indication of hard water that anyone can see, and scale can also affect the water softener. A gradual accumulation of calcium and magnesium mixed with salt from the brine tank can cause clogged water lines. These lines run through the water softener tank, and the first indication is usually a change in the water. If you start to notice these chalky deposits on the dishware and plumbing fixtures, there is a good chance that the water softener has become clogged.

The Fix

There are two common areas where clogging and blockages occur: the valve injector and the aforementioned brine line.

The valve injector can be clogged with debris which will degrade the suction that’s required for the brine cycle. So, the system will not regenerate properly, and the resin  beads will become covered with hard water mineral ions. The result is hard water, and the first thing to check is the water level in the brine tank which may be too high. The injector can be removed with needle-nose pliers, and the small opening should be clear. If there is debris present, it can be removed with a safety pin or small needle.

The brine line can be clogged with visible deposits that block the flow of water from the brine tank to the rest of the water softening system. Removing a brine line clog is tricky; it’s easy to damage the system, and it’s a better idea to contact a local water treatment specialist. They can remove the clog safely and carry out some essential maintenance.

2.  Salt Bridges and Mushing

A salt bridge occurs when a crust of salt causes a space between the salt and water. This bridge prevents the water softening salt from dissolving into the water, and the result is insufficient volumes of brine. Salt mushing refers to a salty sludge that’s created at the bottom of the brine tank. There are many possible causes of these two problems, including high humidity conditions, seasonal weather changes, and the use of low-quality salt.

The Fix

The salt bridge can be broken apart with a long blunt object such as a broom handle. The salt mushing can be removed when you drain and clean the brine tank. When these two issues have been fixed, you can refill the tank with fresh water softener salt.

In Conclusion

If you’re concerned about the performance and efficiency of your water softener, contact your local water treatment specialist. They can optimize the system to improve the efficiency and carry out essential maintenance to extend its lifespan.

By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.