Many people have made the decision to establish a better quality of water for their homes. One of the best ways to do this is to install a water softener/water conditioner to remove the hardness in their water supply. This helps to remove minerals that cause a number of problems, including scale build up, soap scum and spotting. Sometimes, the spotting and other issues can become a problem even after the water softener has been installed. Let’s take a closer look at how this could happen and what can be done about it. water-drop-2-1518673

Maintenance Issues: 

One of the main reasons for a loss in performance is a lack of correct maintenance. When the water softener/water conditioner is not maintained correctly, the performance will degrade and eventually fail altogether.  

The brine tank should always be at least half full, and you could have a salt dome or salt bridge issue. This occurs when a hard crust forms on the top of the salt pile and this layer creates a gap, preventing the salt from dissolving in the tank. This crust can be broken up with a broom handle, and that could correct the problem as the salt will be able to dissolve. Another problem could be “salt mushing” this is recrystallized salt that forms a mushed sediment at the bottom of the brine tank. This can be corrected by draining the system completely and replacing the salt. 

Another overlooked maintenance task is the correct level of care for the resin beads. A water softener/water conditioner regeneration cycle recharges the media when used. Despite this, it’s still necessary to flush the resin bed with water occasionally.  

If problems are occurring regularly, it could be an indication that the system settings are incorrect. This could affect how well the system is working and the quality of your water. This could happen for a variety of reasons, such as local environmental changes, a change in water demands in the home and other reasons. 

High TDS Levels: 

Despite your best efforts, it may be the case that your home still has high levels of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). A water softener uses an ion exchanger to swap out hard minerals for with sodium ions. Water softeners/water conditioners can get rid of material, such as calcium, iron, and magnesium, but they don’t remove all TDS from your water. There could still be other organic and inorganic dissolved solids present, that leave behind a residue when they evaporate. Water is an amazing solvent, all kinds of material can be dissolved in it given sufficient periods of time, and additional measure will have to be taken to remove TDS completely.  

If you have concerns about the performance of your water softener/water conditioner system, talk to your local water treatment professional. Your system may simply need to be serviced, or additional measures may be needed. There are many types of water treatment systems on the market that can address a variety of water quality issues. Always make sure that your chosen water treatment professional is fully WQA certified to meet and even exceed water industry standards.

About The Author, Terry Reeh, EcoWater Systems of Nebraska:

With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative. Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state.

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