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Watch Out For These Common Water Softener Problems

If you’ve ever lived in a home with hard water, then you know just how poorly it can make you feel. When we describe water as hard, what we really mean is that the makeup of your water is filled with different, excess, minerals.

These minerals lead your water to be considered ‘hard’ and there are numerous health and visual consequences as a result. For example, hard water is notoriously bad for your skin, your dishes, and for your hair!

Now, if you want to keep your water from being considered ‘hard’ a water softener is the most traditional way to go. Water softeners work to filter out the various minerals in your water so that you get something that is much better for your home and body.

Unfortunately, water softeners can occasionally run into some issues, especially without proper care and maintenance. Today, our focus is going to be on the most common problems associated with water softeners.

Common Problems For Water Softeners

Any time that you have a machine whose sole purpose is to filter out particulates, you are going to be dealing with potential problems. The very nature of what a water softener does implies that it will have to endure some rough use and abuse throughout the year.

Unfortunately, a problematic water softener can have adverse effects on your entire house. In order to help allay any frustration or fears, we are going to take some time to highlight the most common issues that plague water softeners.

With a little bit of knowledge on your side, you should be able to find a quick and effective solution to your issues. Without any further deliberation, let’s leap into the topic.

1) Partial Or Complete Blockages – As we highlighted above, any time you are referencing a filtration device you have to be aware that problems are always right around the corner. With water softeners, a common issue due to routine use is a blockage. Depending on how much you use your water, your blockage could occur in a partial or complete capacity. For blockages within your water softener, we are referencing the buildup of minerals in key areas of the system: your filter screen and your brine line. Mineral deposits can build up in these two areas over time and thus cause your system to essentially quit being effective. Fortunately, blockages can be a quick fix for any professional.

2) Failed Motor – Believe it or not, your water softener requires a motor for the system to properly work. The motor in your water system is responsible for pushing the water along, through the filter, and out into your household for everyday usage. Signs of a failing or failed motor include a decrease in water pressure or an increase in the hardness level of your water. Problems with your motor are easy to identify and, as such, easy to remedy. If you notice motor issues, make sure that your water softener is still plugged in. Failing that, a problematic motor needs to be replaced by a professional.

3) Salt Bridges – With a water softener, your system is going to constantly be working to filter out problematic materials. With that being said, sometimes your biggest issues will occur in the actual tank rather than the lines of the system. One of the more extreme issues you might run into with your water softener is what we call a salt bridge. A salt bridge is basically just a large pile of sodium deposits encrusting the base of your water softener’s tank.  Salt bridges are easy to identify and all you need to do is pop open your water softener in order to visually inspect your tank. If you see a salt bridge forming, take a broom handle and break up the deposit. You can additionally treat your tank with chemicals to prevent these build ups, if you wish to do so.

4) Brine Line Malfunctions – When your brine line clogs up, your water softener suffers because of it. Fortunately, clogged and malfunctioning brine lines are easy to identify and easy to fix. Routinely analyze your brine lines for potential breaks or cracks in the lining. Additionally, you can use a flushing agent to completely flush out and clean the brine line.

With a water softener, you are taking control of the quality of water that you bring into your home. You are improving your skin, your hair and your health with a functioning water softener.

However, like any other machine, it is important that you be aware of the various issues that can plague your system. The four common water softener problems that we highlighted above are easy to identify and, as a result, easy to fix.

Keep an eye on your water softener in order to make sure that your system is working for you.

image: CC2.0 William Herron/Flickr

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