WATER SOFTENER SERVICE CONSIDERATIONS
Water softener service is normally recommended on an annual basis as it is for most other water filtration equipment, however, your situation may dictate a different service interval. Water softeners and other water filtration systems work hard as they process thousands of gallons of water monthly, removing unwanted contaminants and minerals from the water. It’s possible to have operational problems between scheduled services (identified later in this report) which can be diagnosed and possibly remedied by the homeowner. To ensure proper operation, minimize the need for water softener repair and to maximize the useful life of your equipment, proper maintenance will provide consistent softened or conditioned water to your home.
WHAT TO CHECK IF YOUR WATER SOFTENER ISN’T WORKING:
Make sure the water softener is in the “on” position & working, that is, that the system has power, then:
- Check the Brine (or Salt) Tank: Is there salt in the tank? If not, add a few bags of salt to the tank.
- Check power to the softener: If the unit uses electricity to run a timer, be sure it’s plugged in to a live outlet and has power. Some water conditioners use a low-voltage transformer to power the control – be sure that device is present, plugged in, and working. Also, a power failure could cause the timer to be improperly set. Re-set the day of week and time of day on the water softener timer after an electrical power failure or after the softener has been powered “off” for a time.
- Check water softener bypass valve: You want first to see that the water softener is not on “bypass” – is household water flowing through the unit? This valve is an option and may not be installed on your unit, but there may be standard plumbing valves or globe valves that accomplish the same purpose.
- Manual regeneration cycle: Then try a manual regeneration cycle – you’ll see on most units a lever you can push on the control box to start that regeneration process. Note: your home will not be delivered conditioned or softened water while the water softener is in the regeneration cycle, therefore, its best not to use water (or use as little as possible- flushing toilets is OK, etc.) in the home until the regeneration process is complete. This is why most programmed regeneration is set for late at night when water usage is much less likely.
- Feel and test the water supply: if you can’t get a lather when bathing the system may not be sufficiently treating the water.
OTHER POTENTIAL WATER SOFTENER SERVICE SYMPTOMS
Without fully diagnosing, it can be very difficult to determine what is really causing the problem and whether of not a water softener repair is even necessary. This is where a water softener service technician will be able to trouble shoot the situation and come to a determination and solution to the problem. While there are so many possible symptoms and problems a softener may experience, the following are a few that you may see.
- Excessive salt usage by the system is requiring higher than normal salt tank fill ups
- Stains on home fixtures even though the water softener seems to be running properly
- Mineral discharging from the water softener and into the home’s water supply
- Loss of water pressure in the home’s distribution system downstream from the softener
- Hard water evidence observed right after a regeneration cycle.