Have You Installed a Water Softener and Are Still Getting Spotting?

This is actually a common question that water treatment professionals get from clients from time to time. The homeowner has installed a water softener to remove the hard water minerals that cause effects, such as scale buildup, soap scum and unpalatable drinking water. They were also enjoying a better cleaning experience, but recently the spotting on faucets, dishes and even the washed car has returned. After making an investment in their water softening many people will be wondering why is this happening? Is the water softener broken? Actually, there are a few reasons why this may be happening, and we will take a closer look at them here. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Water Softener Maintenance

Like any piece of domestic equipment, a water softener needs a little maintenance occasionally to ensure that it’s working to the manufacturer’s specifications. If you’re getting spotting after cleaning it could be a simple fix, and you may need to check your salt levels. If you have a brine tank that less than half full that may be the source of the problem. A good water softener salt will need to be added to bring the level back up to full. Here are some other common water softener maintenance issues that could crop up from time to time.

A Salt Bridge or Salt Dome

Another common issue is a salt bridge or salt dome in your brine tank. This occurs when a hard layer is formed at the top of the salt pile in the brine take, and it’s supported by the edges of the tank. This will create a gap that can stop the salt from dissolving into the water. This crusted salt layer can be broken apart carefully with a broom handle or other long handled implement.

Salt Mushing

This happens when dissolved salt recrystallizes at the bottom of the brine tank and form a salty, mushy sediment. Salt mushing could prevent your water softener from regenerating correctly. The best way to deal with salt mushing is to drain the system completely and then replace the salt.

Resin Beads

Every now and again it will be necessary to clean the resin beads in your water softener. A water softener regeneration cycle will recharge the media, but the resin bed will still need to be flushed occasionally. It’s also important to check your system settings and ensure that they are adequate to meet your water usage. If the settings are incorrect, it could affect the performance of your water softener and the quality of your water.

Total Dissolved Solids

A water softener is designed to reduce hard minerals in your water supply, but it cannot reduce total dissolved solids (TDS). The TDS is a measure of both inorganic and organic matter that has been dissolved in the water. Water is a very effective solvent, and it can dissolve a wide variety of materials given enough time. The spotting that you’re seeing in your shower could part of a film or residue of TDS that’s left behind when the water has evaporated away. The source of this film could matter, such as minerals, salts, metals and organic materials from agricultural runoff.

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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Nicmar Water
999 Baltimore Road York SpringsPA17372 USA 
 • 800-542-8649

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