If you live in an area with water that has a high mineral content, you will understand that it can be a major problem. This hard water can have a negative impact on many aspects of daily life, such as washing, laundry and your water using appliances reliability and useful lifespan. Many people decide to deal with the problem by installing a water softener to treat their water by replacing hard mineral ions with sodium. This will give you a water supply that is easier to use and less abrasive on your family and home. Despite this, it’s not uncommon to find people that are disappointed or underwhelmed with their water softener performance. This can occur for a few different reasons that we will examine in detail here.
Are You Using an Underpowered Water Softener?
Modern water softening products are available in a dizzying array of capacities and sizes to suit a wide variety of homes. There are small softeners that can attach to your water faucet, and at the larger end of the spectrum, there are whole house softeners that treat all the water entering the home. Both systems remove hard mineral ions to soften the water for use, albeit at very different scales.
A visit to the hardware store may provide you with some basic guides and information to give you a basic general idea of what you may need. Despite this, you may still end up with the wrong equipment because these guides are not providing information that is tailored to your household needs. That can include activities, such as weekly cooking habits, the length of showers, temperatures for laundry and a myriad of other factors unique to how you and your family lives.
Is Your Water Softener Large Enough?
There are a few signs that you don’t have a water softener that can handle your needs. The system may cycle too frequently and recharge in excess of the recommendations in your user manual. You may experience low water pressure or sputtering when you turn on a faucet. You may find that you need to frequently refill the potassium tablets or salt if you have an ion exchange water softener. Finally, you may notice that you need to frequently change the membrane filter in your reverse osmosis water softener.
If you notice some or all of these problems, your water softener needs to be upgraded to a larger system that can meet your needs. Look for a model with a higher capacity, but it’s a good idea to get some expert local advice to be sure before you proceed.
Is Your Water Softener Clogged?
Like any appliance, your water softener needs to be maintained in order to work correctly. The problem may be that your system is clogged with scale and minerals that have collected in your softener. Periodically cleaning the resin bed is a great idea to avoid this issue and then a regeneration cycle can purge the wastewater. Sometimes a resin tank injector can become blocked with damp salt sediment, this is easy to spot, and the clog can be manually removed.
If you are unsure about which water softener to choose or how to clean the system get some expert advice from a local water treatment specialist. They will understand your local water conditions in detail and offer expert assistance to get your water softener working.
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.)