3 Things to Check When Your Water Softener Stops Working

A water softener is a great way to improve the quality of the water in your home. Every aspect of daily life that involves using water becomes much easier, and water appliances will last longer. Like any piece of equipment, a water softener can occasionally fail, and it may require some attention to get working again. Some problems may require professional help, but others can be resolved by anyone with a little knowledge of how their system works. Here are three things that you can check if your water softener has stopped working.3 Things to Check When Your Water Softener Stops Working

1. Examine the Bypass Valve:

The first thing that you need to check is that the bypass valve is not set to the bypass setting. The water coming into your home needs to run through the water softener to receive appropriate water treatment benefits. If there is no bypass valve, don’t panic, this is an optional extra, and you may not have one fitted to your system. Instead of a bypass valve, there could be a globe valve or standard plumbing valve that will do a similar job.

2. Check the Power Supply:

If you have a water softener system that requires power to run, it will be necessary to check the power supply. There needs to be a connection to a live power outlet, and you may need to check if a fuse has been tripped. There are some water softeners that have controls that are powered via a low voltage transformer. In this case, the control device needs to be plugged in and receiving adequate power. A basic voltage output module (VOM) can be used to check the transformer and confirm that it’s outputting DC at the appropriate level of voltage.

3. Examine the Salt Tank:

A common cause of a lack of water softening is a lack of salt in the salt tank. The salt tank needs to be properly filled with an adequate amount of salt, but there are other considerations that you need to be aware of. If the salt tank has been full for a long period, salt may not be used, or a crust of salt could have formed in the tank. This is known as brine tank bridging, and it can be corrected by running a water softener regeneration cycle. The equipment needs to be cleaned in this way to break up the salt crust and restore normal operation. Then the system needs to be checked over the next week to ensure that the water is being softened and the system is being regenerated correctly.

Trying out these operations should help to correct many of the minor issues that could arise with your water softener. These any other troubleshooting tips should be covered in the manual that came with your equipment. If you’ve misplaced your manual, check online, many manufacturers have PDFs for their equipment available for download. If you cannot correct the problem yourself, it’s time to contact a local water professional for expert help.

By Mark Williams (NicMar President Mark Williams holds degrees in Applied Science and Industrial Thermodynamics, along with Agricultural Mechanization and Systems Engineering from Ohio State University. He also holds the highest possible industry ranking, being WQA (Water Quality Association) LEVEL 6 Certified.)

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