Water Softener Troubleshooting

Water Softener Troubleshooting

Having a good water softener is a quick and easy way of removing some of the minerals that can often be found in a hard water area.

Water softeners are used throughout the world. They are simple devices that remove calcium and magnesium from the water supply.

These minerals cause scale buildup on pipes and fixtures which can lead to costly repairs.

But what happens if your water softener breaks? Well, you could be looking at costly repairs which will really be a drain on your bank account.

If you have the time and the patience, we would recommend checking your water softener for damage before it gets too bad. Read the article below to find out how to do this.

How Can You Repair Your Water Softener?

When you are trying to repair your water softener, we would suggest that you check it for certain weaknesses or superficial flaws

that you can identify with your own eyes. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do this.

1. Find Out What The Problem Is

The first thing that you need to do when you want to fix your water softener is to figure out exactly what the problem is.

This means that you should take note of any leaks that you might see as well as any other problems that you notice.

For example, if you notice that there is excessive sediment build-up in your tank, then you know that there must be something wrong with your filter system.

You should also check the bypass valve. If you notice that the water flow is not working properly, then you know that you have an issue with your pump.

If the water has gone into the bypass valve then this means that it is not being softened, as it is not traveling through the pipe where the media is filtered out.

If your valve is clogged, then this might also be a reason why your water is not passing through it.

You should also have a look at the power of your water softener. If you notice that it is not producing enough pressure, then you should replace the motor.

Make sure that the transformer is plugged in and supplying power to your pump.

Make sure that the salt pump is running by turning the handle clockwise. If you turn it counterclockwise, then it will stop.

Also, make sure that the salt level is full and the tank has plenty of salt in it. Salt is essential for the proper running of your filter, as it will help drain out all the media.

Once you have done this, check the resin bed. The resin bed is what sucks out all of the minerals from the water in the first place.

If it is damaged, then you may need to replace it. The resin bed will naturally wear out after a few years and it might need replacing.

A lot of these water softeners will have a built-in timer that will tell you when you need to trigger the regeneration process for your water tank.

This is the way that the tank prepares itself and it is usually done when the tank is not in use.

2. Get The Right Tools To Fix Your Water Softener

Now that you have identified the problem, you should get some tools so that you can carry out the necessary repairs. Some of the things that you will need include:

  • A wrench
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Bucket
  • Vacuum cleaner

3. Some Of The Common Causes Of Water Softener Issues

There are many common causes of water softener issues. These include:

Air Discharge

Air discharge occurs when air gets trapped inside the pipes. It can cause corrosion and rusting which can lead to blockages.

You should try to detect this issue as soon as possible because it could be very dangerous.

How To Fix Air Discharge

There are different ways of fixing air discharge. One of them includes using a vacuum cleaner or even a blower to force the air out.

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Faulty Regeneration Cycle

The regeneration cycle is a vital part of a water softener. When it fails, it can cause serious damage.

This could be because a timer is not working and not initiating the regeneration cycle.

This could also be because your power has cut out and the regeneration cycle of your water tank has been altered.

How To Repair A Faulty Regeneration Cycle

Make sure that the water softener is powered up before you start repairing the fault. Then, you should remove the cover plate on top of the unit.

Next, disconnect the power supply cable. Finally, remove the two screws holding the control panel together.

Once this is done, you can take a peek at the wiring harness underneath the panel. You should see wires coming out of the back of the control panel. You should then follow the instructions written on each wire.

If your timer is faulty, then you should repair this completely. You can buy new timers on Amazon.

A Continuous Regeneration Cycle

This could be because there is no brine in the salt tank and the salt is being used up too quickly.

In order to fix this, you should add more salt to the tank. Once you do this, you should wait until the regeneration cycle starts again.

This could also be that the control wheel is not turning. The issue could be to do with the fact that you have a low capacity for water and salt.

The salt is used to filter out the media (minerals) that can be found in hard water.

How To Repair A Continuous Regeneration Cycle

 Make sure that you unclog all parts of the salt tank. If you cannot find any clogs, then you should call an expert.

They will know how to locate the clogs and they will then be able to clear them.

You should also make sure that you replace the salt cartridge. This will ensure that the salt does not run out too quickly.

You can also unclog the control head, as this will cause the regeneration cycle to continually try to restore the problem.

Receiving Hard Water Through The Faucet

This might be because there is no salt left in the brine tank. It might also be clogged. You should check these things first. If you cannot find anything wrong, then you should contact an expert.

You should test for hard water by running some tap water through the faucets. You should then use a pH meter to measure the results.

If you get a reading over 7.5, then your water softener might not be working properly.

How To Stop Hard Water Through Faucet

You should try unclogging the brine tank, as this will help your water softener to function better.

If the valve in your water softener is faulty, then you should change that too. You should make sure that your water softener is at the correct capacity before you think about using it again.

If You Are Using Too Much Salt

This might be because the dose setting on your water softener is too high. Also, if you have too much water in your brine tank, then this could negatively affect your water softener.

If you are getting too many problems when trying to fix your water softener, then you should consider buying a new one. There are plenty of models available on Amazon.

How To Repair Salt Levels

All you have to do is check the salt dose in your brine tank and alter it accordingly. You should also try and remove any clogging that you see in your brine tank.

Loss Of Water Pressure

This might be because of scale, which is caused by excessive salt deposits in your brine tank. This can impede the proper function of your water softener.

How To Increase Water Pressure

In order to repair this, you should clean out your brine tank regularly. You should also lower the dose settings on your water softener.

Debris On Your Sediment Tank

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This might be because you have a sediment tank that has been full for a long time. You should empty the tank every now and then.

How To Fix Debris In Sediment Tanks

You should drain the sediments from the sediment tanks. You should then rinse the tanks thoroughly.

The next thing you should do is add more salt to the tanks. You should also add some fresh water into the tanks.

What Other Issues Can You Get With Your Water Softener?

There are other issues that can occur with your water softener. Some of these include:

Water Leaks

This might be due to a weak or damaged pipe. You should always inspect the pipes carefully.

Frozen Pipes

This can be caused by low temperatures. You should never leave your water softener unattended during cold weather.

Clogged Drains

Your drains may become blocked due to debris. You should clear them regularly.

Leaking Brine Tanks

This can happen if you have a faulty valve. You should replace the valves immediately.

There Might Not Be Enough water In The Brine Tank

This can be caused if you have run out of salt. You should replenish the salt levels in your brine tank regularly so that your water softener works well.

Excess water accumulating in the salt tank could cause serious issues with your water softener.

There might be a few reasons that this is happening. Here are just a few of them.

1. Your Water Softener Has Been Used For A Number Of Years

You should check to see how long your water softener will last. If you have been using it for 8 years or longer, then we would suggest that you replace your unit.

The O-rings will start to suffer from wear and tear and cracks might even appear in the brine tank. This means that the water softener won’t work as efficiently anymore.

2. The Entry Valve For The Water Is Malfunctioning

It is possible that there is something wrong with the entry valve. It is very important that you check this before it gets worse.

This might cause the water to stop flowing into the tank. You should change the lid to get around this problem.

3. The Filter Needs Replacing

This could mean that the filter needs replacing. You should make sure that you buy a new one.

4. The Salt Dose Setting Is Too Low

If you have set the salt dose too low, then this could lead to problems. You should increase the amount of salt in your brine tank to fix this.

5. The Drain Line Is Clogged

If you have clogged drains, then this can affect the flow of water through the system. You should unclog the drains immediately.

6. The Float Valve Is Set High

The float valve will control the level of water in the brine compartment. When the water reaches the top of the tank, then the float valve opens up.

You should lower the setting on the float valve so that it does not open when the water reaches the top.

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What Happens When A Salt Bridge Forms?

A salt bridge forms when the salt concentration inside the brine tank becomes too high.

This happens because the salt has dissolved in the water and the water is unable to dissolve any more salt.

As a result, a bridge of solid salt appears and blocks the water.

You can easily identify a salt bridge by looking at the brine tank. The water will look cloudy and thick.

There will also be a solid block of white that will be covering the length of your brine tank.

This salt bridge will also prevent the water softener from regenerating itself. This is very important to maintain its general condition.

If you do not target the salt bridge soon enough, then it could damage the whole system irreparably.

All you have to do to get rid of a salt bridge is to break it up with a hard implement. Once you have done this, then you can use a garden hose to flush away the remaining salt.

How To Prevent A Salt Bridge From Forming In The Brine Tank?

There are several ways to prevent a salt bridge from forming in the brine tank:

• Keep an eye out for leaks.
• Make sure that you keep the brine tank clean.
• Check the salt level regularly.
• Use a salt doser if needed.
• Change the salt every 6 months.
• Turn off the water supply during winter.
• Avoid using hot water.

What Happens When Your Water Turns Brown?

When your water turns brown, then this usually indicates that the water softener is actually allowing bacteria and dirt to get into your water. This means that your water is getting dirty.

You should ensure that your water softener is functioning properly. If it is not, then you should contact a professional plumber to help you solve the problem.

You might have to sterilize the entire inside of your water softener to fix this problem.

To properly clean this, you should place your sterilizer solution in your tank and run the water through it a few times. This will clean the inside out thoroughly.

Your Water Softener Might Not Be Using Enough Salt

If you have noticed your brine tank is running through hard water, this might be because no salt is being used.

This might be because of the salt bridge issue that we have outlined above. Make sure you unclog your filter and then try running it again.

If you are still having trouble getting your water softener to work, then we would recommend that you contact the company that manufactures them and ask them to troubleshoot the problem.

They can often give you advice on how to remedy the problem that you are experiencing.

The Brine In Your Water Tank Might Be Low

You might be noticing that there isn’t much brine in your water tank. This means that your brine tank is probably empty.

However, this is not a bad sign, it means that your brine tank is working properly.

As mentioned earlier, the brine tank needs to be filled with salt before it works. You need to make sure that you add some salt to the tank every time you fill it up.

You’ll need to ensure that your brine tank has about half the capacity of water in it at all times. This means that it has the best chance of working properly.

What Happens If You Have Water Beads Malfunction?

Water beating is when the water pressure gets too high or low. This causes problems with the water softener.

This can happen if you have a leak somewhere in your home’s plumbing system. It can also occur if you have a damaged pipe.

You can have your resin beads break because they have been used too much or you have been using your water softener for longer than 5 years.

One method of discerning whether or not your beads are working is if they have particles floating in them.

If you are having problems with your resin beads, then we would recommend that you replace them.

This is easily done, all you have to do is buy a new one from Amazon or the manufacturer of your water softener.

Make sure you clean your water softener in accordance with what it states on the manual.

Also, if you notice any leaks, then you should stop using your water softener until you have fixed these issues.

How Do I Know If My Resin Beads Are Working Properly?

There are several ways that you can tell if your resin beads are working correctly. The first thing that you should look for is if your water softener is producing enough brine.

Another way to determine if your resin beads are functioning correctly is by looking at the amount of salt in your brine tank.

If you see that there is very little salt in your brine, then this could mean that your resin beads aren’t working as well as they should be.

Another way to check if your resin beads are performing their job is to take a look at the condition of your resin bed.

If it looks like it is full of debris, then this may indicate that your resin beads are breaking down.

What Happens If The Pressure Lowers In Your Water Softener?

When the pressure in your water softener drops, then this usually indicates that something is wrong with your water softener. There are many reasons why this could be happening.

One reason is that you have an issue with your water pipes. Another reason is that you have a clogged line. A third possibility is that you have a broken pipe.

You might also have a system that is way too small. This will stop it from flowing through your water softener properly.

Scaling is also a massive issue for most water softeners. When scaling occurs, then this leads to a lot of damage to your water softener.

Scaling happens when calcium and magnesium build up in your water, forming a hard white crust on the top.

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One method of ruling out scaling is by taking apart your water softener and checking the inside.

If you can see a thick white crust, then you should try scraping it out with a sharp tool.

Another reason why you might be suffering from a drop in pressure is because of an iron buildup in your brine tank.

You can prevent any iron from building up by washing out the brine tank. You can then set many regeneration cycles to make sure that your tank is completely clean.

One other reason for pressure loss will be your resin beads. If you notice that your resin beads are not doing their job, then this could cause a drop in pressure.

If you find that your water softener has lost pressure, then you have two options: either fix the problem yourself or call a professional plumber to help you.

The Fixing It Yourself Method

This is the easiest way to repair your water softener. All you need to do is follow the instructions on your water softener’s manual.

To start off, you will want to remove the cover plate from your water softener. You should then use a screwdriver to loosen the bolts that hold the lid onto the machine.

Once the screws are loose, you can lift the lid away from the body of the water softener.

Once the lid is removed, you will want to inspect the inside of your water softener.

If you see any signs of corrosion, then you should replace all of the parts that are corroded or experiencing scaling.

After replacing everything, you will want to tighten all of the bolts back into place.

Then, you will want to put the cover plate back on the water softener. Finally, you will want to turn the power switch on.

The Calling A Professional Plumber Method

If you don’t feel comfortable fixing your own water softener, then you should contact a professional plumber to come out and assist you.

A plumber will be able to diagnose what is causing your pressure issues, and he or she will be able to provide you with the right solution.

A plumber will also be able to give you tips on how to prevent future problems.

What Happens If My Water Softener Makes The Water Taste Salty?

When you first get your new water softener installed, then you will probably experience some saltiness in your water.

Although the water softener will use a lot of salt to reduce the hardness of the water, this should not affect the actual taste of the water itself.

If you continue to experience salty water after installing your water softener, then there may be something wrong with your system. This means that your water softener is not working correctly.

The cause of this might be that there is a lot of salt clogging your pipes. We would recommend that you scrape out the salt and use mineral cleaning to wash this through a number of times.

If your water still tastes salty after doing this, then you might have to call in a professional to identify and repair the issue.

You can also try to reduce the amount of salt that you are using in your water softener. This might help to get rid of the salty taste.

What Happens If The Motor Fails In Your Softener?

If the motor fails in your water softener, it will no longer be able to function properly. As a result, you will no longer be able to stop your hard water from entering your home.

The reason that your motor will fail is that it is powered by electricity and we all know how temperamental the electricity supply can be.

You should make sure to check the cables of your water softener to make sure that there is no break or that the wires aren’t frayed.

However, if you have checked the wires and they aren’t broken, then you might have to replace the motor entirely.

Unless you want to get out a soldering kit and have a go at fixing the motor, then we would recommend that you start shopping for another unit.

You should always make sure to check your water softener comes with a warranty before purchasing one.

This way, if anything goes wrong with your water softener, you will be covered under the terms of the warranty.

If you are not covered by a warranty, then you might have to pay more money for a completely new unit. This might be quite expensive, so you might have to shell out a decent amount of cash for it.

What Happens If My Water Softener Does Not Regenerate?

If you notice that your water softener does not regenerate as often as it used to, then you should take action immediately.

The water regeneration timer often works in a way that it runs when you are on vacation or not using the water softener.

This is designed to revive the system and make sure that it does wear out too soon.

You should try setting the regeneration to its usual time to see if that runs properly. You should be able to hear if this is working effectively.

If the regeneration does not work, then this could be a sign that there is too much salt in your machine or there is a fracture in the pipe somewhere.

If you are noticing that the water is tasting salty, then this might also be a sign that your water softener is not regenerating. It’s best to contact an expert to help you fix this problem.

Make sure that you flush out the tubes regularly to ensure that they don’t become blocked up with dirt and other debris.

What To Do If Your Water Softener Is Leaking

If you notice that the water softener is leaking, then you need to act quickly.

This is because if you leave it alone, it could eventually leak into your house and damage the flooring.

This is why it’s important to keep an eye on your water softener and ensure that it doesn’t leak.

If you do find that the water softener has leaked, then you should call a professional plumber straight away.

They will be able to inspect the pipes and repair them if necessary.

It’s advisable to use a waterproof sealant around the base of the tank to prevent any further leaks.

How To Know When The Filter Needs Replacing

If you notice that you have a lot of sediment build-up inside your filter, then you should consider replacing the filter.

This is because the filter needs to be replaced every year. However, if you notice that the filter is clogged, then you should replace it right away.

When you are looking for a replacement filter, you should look for something that can handle high volumes of water.

This means that you should choose a filter that is capable of filtering about 1,000 gallons of water per day.

When you are buying a new filter, you should ensure that it is compatible with your current water softener.

This means that you shouldn’t buy a different brand of filter than what you already own.

You should also make sure that you get a filter that is easy to install. This is because you want to avoid having to spend hours trying to figure out how to install it.

What To Look For In A Water Softener Replacement Unit

There are many things that you should look for when purchasing a replacement water softener.

First off, you should look at the capacity of the unit. This means that you want to know how much water it can hold before it starts to overflow.

You should also check whether the unit comes with a drain hose. This is because you may want to connect it to a sink or tub so that you can clean it easily.

The next thing that you should look for is the warranty. You should always purchase a product that comes with a decent warranty. This will give you peace of mind in case it breaks.

Lastly, you should look at whether the unit comes with instructions. This is because it will save you some time and effort if you’re installing it yourself.

What If Your Water Softener Is Making An Odd Sound?

If you hear an odd sound coming from your water softener, then it could mean that there is a problem with one of its components.

Usually, the sound of your water softener should not be that loud. There might be a few reasons why this is happening.

For example, you could have a cracked pipe. Or, you could have a damaged valve. You could also have a clogged pipe,

which might result in your water softener straining. These are just two examples of the possible causes.

However, if you still don’t understand what the noise is, then you should contact a professional plumber. They will be able to diagnose the issue and fix it as soon as they arrive on site.

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How To Clean Your Water Softener Tank

Cleaning your water softener tank isn’t very difficult. All you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Turn off all of the valves on the water softener.
  2. Remove the lid from the tank.
  3. Drain the water softener by turning on the faucet.
  4. Fill the tank with warm water until it reaches the recommended level.
  5. Close the lid back on the tank.
  6. Wait for the water softener to finish draining.
  7. Open up the lid again and remove the filters.
  8. Rinse them under running water.
  9. Replace the filters and close the lid.
  10. Turn on the water softener and wait for it to start working.
  11. Once the water softener is finished, turn off the water supply and drain the tank once more.
  12. Finally, rinse the tank with hot water.
  13. After rinsing, replace the lid and let the water soften overnight.
  14. The next day, open up the lid and drain the tank once again.
  15. Repeat steps 12 and 13.
  16. When the tank has been drained completely, replace the filters and replace the lid.
  17. Start using your new water softener.
  18. Make sure to keep it well-maintained.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Is The Difference Between A Salt System And A Brine System?

    A salt system uses sodium chloride (salt) to make the water softer. Brine systems use magnesium sulfate (brine).

     

  • How Often Should I Change My Water Softener's Filter?

    It depends on the type of filter that you have installed. However, most manufacturers recommend changing the filter every three months.

     

  • Should I Install A Water Softener In My Home Or Business?

    Both options are fine. But, if you plan on having children, then installing a water softener in your home would be better to reduce the number of contaminants that they ingest.

     

  • Why Is My Water Still Really Hard After I've Used My Water Softener?

    This happens when the water softener doesn’t work properly. In other words, it can’t remove enough minerals from the water.

     

  • Can I Use A Reverse Osmosis System Instead Of A Water Softener?

    Yes, but only if you want to spend less money. Reverse osmosis systems cost much more than regular water softeners.

     

  • Conclusion

    Water softening is one of those things that many people feel like they don’t need, however, it is a very useful device to have in your home.

    If you’re looking for an easy way to improve the quality of your drinking water, then a water softener may be exactly what you need.

    Water softeners are available at many different retailers, including big box stores, department stores, hardware stores, and even some grocery stores.

    They come in several different sizes, so you’ll definitely find something that fits into your budget.