This is not an easy question to answer because your local conditions and various other factors may affect your decision. Many homeowners make preparations to protect their homes from frozen pipes, drafts, and other conditions that can make the winter months harder. But, some winterize their water softener and other filtration equipment to protect those systems against the cold. In this article, we will take a closer look at this topic to help you make an informed decision.

What is the Water Softener Location?

One of the first things to understand is that the location of your water softener may determine whether you need to winterize the equipment. If the equipment is in a basement or unheated garage, it may be necessary to take precautions. In many cases, some pipe and tank insulation will suffice, and you can find insulation wrap at any good home improvement store. Using electrical pipe heating or heat tape in the water lines is also a great idea, and you can add a water softener jacket to insulate the system. If the equipment is located inside your home, you won’t need to do much. But, it’s advisable to check the water supply pipes to the water softener periodically to make sure they are Ok.

What is the Expected Water Softener Usage?

If the home will be unoccupied during the winter, it’s a good idea to unplug the water softener and drain the tanks to prevent freezing damage. If the water softener continues to draw power when it’s not in use, it can waste a lot of energy. Another problem is frozen pipes that can cause damage to the water softener and water heater during backflow. This can even cause flooding and some electrical damage that may be expensive to fix.

How Can I Protect My Water Softener?

There are twelve steps to follow if you want to winterize and protect your water softener:

  1. Place the water softener into a regeneration cycle.
  2. When the system is backwashing, set the manual bypass valve into the bypass position.
  3. The supply of water has now been shut off, and the system is isolated from the water supply.
  4. Remove the softener from the bypass valve.
  5. Remove the valve from the tank.
  6. Use a plastic tube to reach the bottom of the exposed riser tube.
  7. Siphon the water to empty the media tank.
  8. Let the tank sit for 5-10 minutes, and the remaining water will settle.
  9. Siphon the settled water.
  10. Scoop the water from the brine tank, and if any is left behind, don’t worry because the higher salt content should prevent freezing.
  11. Unplug the water softener.
  12. Store the water softener in a warmer and more protected area.

In Conclusion

If the temperatures drop unexpectedly for a few days or overnight, you will need to monitor the system. The expansion of frozen water when it thaws may place pressure on the pipes until they burst. Flowing water is less likely to freeze, and setting the faucets to a slow drip may help. To conserve that water, you can place a bucket under the faucet and reuse it as needed.

If you want to schedule essential maintenance or you need to winterize your equipment, contact your local water treatment specialist today.

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