Water softeners are complex systems, designed to eliminate the problems that arise from using hard water in your home. Like any other machinery, water softeners can have issues and a faulty water softener may even reduce the quality of the water you’re using.
Seeking for some technical assistance with certified water softener companies can be expensive. And, troubleshooting the problems to make the water softener systems function properly can be challenging.
However, we have gathered a list of the most common water softener problems and ways to troubleshoot them.
Most Common Water Softener Problems and their Causes
|Problem||Cause of the problem|
|Low water level or no water in the brine||
|The system does not regenerate properly||
|Brine tank water level is too high||
|Brown water in the brine tank||
|Soft water is discolored||
|Increased salt use||
|Slippery and overly salty water||
|Water softener makes loud noises||
|Resin beads in the water system||
|System drains continuously||
|Low water pressure||
|The system does not use salt||
Water Softener Problems and Troubleshooting Guide
You may need help from a professional to solve complicated problems, but some common water softener issues are easy to fix.
1. Blockages or Clogging
The hard water consists of magnesium and calcium that leaves chalky deposits on your pipeline and fixtures. This same residue can be left behind in your water softening system as well.
Over time, the minerals and salt pile up together, causing the water line that runs through your water softener to clog. It generally occurs in the valve injector and brine line.
Use needle-nose pliers to inspect the injector. Pull it out through the small opening and if something is lodged in the small hole, a needle or safety pin to get rid of the debris.
2. Salt Bridges or Salt Mushing
A salt bridge is the development of a hard crust, creating a space between water and salt in the brine tank.
Similarly, in salt mushing, the salt recrystallizes on the bottom creating a salty sludge. It can also affect your water softener’s performance.
- Break the salt bridge with any broom handle.
- Remove salt mushing by draining
3. Resin Replacement
The resin is responsible for capturing the minerals to turn hard water into soft water by exchanging ions. As the resins start to degrade, the capacity of your softener is reduced.
For a short period of time, you can simply adjust your water softener’s settings. This will allow it to regenerate more often and work more efficiently.
For a long term fix, you need to seek help from a professional.
4. Motor Issues
The motor of your water softener may fail. It can cause serious issues in the system’s performance. The motor won’t be able to move the valve between modes.
Check the warranty and contact a plumbing professional. As they can confirm and replace your motor if necessary.
5. Brine Tank Overflow
A brine line blockage, a clogged injector, a malfunctioning valve or a stuck float can lead to an overflowing brine tank.
Check if it is properly connected and the caps have a tight fit. Check if there is salt build-up in the brine line float. The brine line valve may be clogged with debris. Check the drain line and injector. Lastly, a professional can clean or replace an injector.
Steps to Keep your Water Softener Healthy
Here are a few steps you can follow to keep your system working for a long time.
- Use pure salt with iron remover.
- Do not add salt until all of the existing salt in the tank is used up.
- Clean the parts responsible for controlling the valve and resin bed once a year with Iron-out.
- Clean the brine tank once a year.
- Make sure the water softener’s drain line is not pushed down to a floor drain.
Benefits of Water Softening Systems
Water softening systems make significant investments. Some of its benefits are:
Softens Skin and Hair
Hard water causes rashes, skin irritation, and dry hair. Using water softener minimizes all these effects up to a great extent. Since soft water treats your skin gently, it can protect the fabric of your clothes and maintain its overall softness.
Prolongs Appliances’ Life
The lack of scale buildup allows better functionality of the devices and appliances which use water at home.
Energy Efficiency Improvements
Properly functioning appliances use less energy for operation. It reduces your heating bills to some extent.
Reduction in the Use of Soap and Detergent
The functionality of soaps is highly compromised when it is used with hard water. Soft water allows your detergents to perform well. Thus, reduces the amount you require for a wash.
Surfaces Remain Stain-free
The water softener either alters or completely removes the structure of the minerals causing hardness. Thus, it prevents them from sticking to the surface. So you no longer have to deal with a calcium film on your glass or mirror after a wash.
It is important to fix issues arising in your water softener. Failure to do so can shorten the total lifespan of your system. Although it seems to be complicated machinery, a proper understanding of all the various components can allow you to troubleshoot some common problems on your own.