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Water Softener Problems

What is a water softener?

Some regions have hard water which has certain detrimental effects such as curbing the solubility action of soap and increased buildup of lime scale, which can cause plumbing lines to corrode. In order to reduce or prevent these effects, water softeners are used to “soften” the water through a process of ion-exchange resin where the hardness ions are exchanged for sodium ions. Water softeners also reduce the concentration of calcium, magnesium and other metal substances in hard water. Read below where Experts have answered many commonly asked questions regarding water softener problems.

How can an individual troubleshoot their water softener that does not soften the water any more, and the salt is left unused?

The reasons for salt not being used are many. Listed below are some of those reasons:
1. A salt bridge has formed in the salt tank- check by inserting a long, narrow rod till the bottom of the tank
2. The drain line, injector or injector screen is blocked – detach the cover of the unit and check for half a dollar sized dome cap. Unscrew this cap and clean the injector and screen. Also check the drain line for blockage.
3. Brine line connections have become loose allowing air suction instead of brine water which is heavy – check the valve assembly in the tank which is a long rod going into the tub of the tank. Pull it out and examine to ensure all lines are clear.
4. A faulty circuit board or meter failing to send the signal to regenerate

What could be the problem with a water softener’s brine tank that only fills half way after regeneration?

There is a main valve in which the venturi can be found. There is a suction device which sucks the brine water into the resin tank. The problem could lie with a leakage of water in the valve through the brine tank causing it to over fill. The venturi could be drawing the water out but simultaneously it may be constantly re-filling. There could be some blockages in the valve which need to be cleaned. Check for this inside the valve. Another issue could be if the float or check valve attached to the brine well has become loose. Adjusting the float may help you resolve this particular issue.

Why would a water softener hang at the rinse cycle each time it undergoes regeneration?

This could be a typical issue with these water softeners which is caused by the micro switch actuator. When the water softener reaches the rinse cycle during normal operation, despite running through diagnostics, the actuator plunger could have worn out. However, while in rinse mode, the plunger will open as the cam turns leading to a pause in the functioning of the water softener. Replacing the micro switch assembly will most likely resolve this issue.

What could be the problem if an individual has a well with rusty water, and the water softener has worked, however after a couple years the individual is not experiencing rusty water?

Generally water softeners will contain rheolite. Rheolites are the pellets present in the tank where water is treated. These pellets attract the contaminants in the water thereby “softening” it. The salt brine then clears out the rheolite during the regeneration cycle allowing the rheolite to attract contaminants again. Over a period of time they start to lose their effectiveness. Hence in your case, the rheolite has failed losing its ability to remove contaminants effectively. It will need to be replaced and is available at any hardware store or home improvement centers.

How would an individual drain or pump water out of a water softener in order to move it?

Typically some models have a drain plug at the bottom, check around the brine tank for the plug. If your unit does not have one, you can use a “sump pump” with an attached garden hose. It can be dropped right below into the tank with the end in the drain. Now water can be pumped out.

Water is the most used as well as necessary element in any household. Water softeners play an important role in maintaining the quality of your water supply. Without these devices you could face undesirable effects on your plumbing, laundry, heating, as well as on your day to day personal use of water for drinking, bathing, cleaning, and so on. Addressing your water softener issues in a timely fashion will allow you to nip the issue and repair it without too much damage or inconvenience. To help you with your water softener troubleshooting, Expert’s insights and information can guide you and can be proven to be useful.
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