If you’re considering buying a water softener, you may wonder how much maintenance it requires and if it’s difficult to do. The answer is, thankfully, that although water softeners do require some maintenance, it’s minimal and usually easily accomplished by the homeowner. When Kinetico installs water softeners in Utah, we ensure that homeowners know everything they need to know about water softener maintenance.
How Do Water Softeners Work?
Water softeners essentially filter water, removing the calcium and magnesium that makes water hard. Homeowners don’t like hard water because it makes cleaning more difficult, whether it is your clothes, your body or your home. It can also cause buildup in pipes and appliances, resulting in breakdowns sooner than expected and leaving stains in sinks, tubs and toilets.
Water softeners work by using negatively charged resin balls to attract positively charged calcium and magnesium molecules. Periodically, the resin beads in your water softener tank need to be purged of their calcium and magnesium molecules — but you don’t have to do it! Water softening systems include a second tank containing salt, and the salt molecules detach the calcium and magnesium ions from the resins, then wash them away as waste.
However, homeowners who live in an area with iron-rich water may want to periodically clean their water softener tanks with a product that removes iron deposits.
What Homeowners Need to Do for Water Softeners
The most important — and easiest — part of water softener maintenance is adding salt to the brine tank. How much salt to add and how often is dependent upon your water usage. Generally speaking, Kinetico recommends a bag per month. If you forget to add salt and your brine tank runs out, your water softener will stop working and your water will be hard again.
Sometimes salt can build up in the brine tank, forming a crusty barrier that prevents the salt water from getting into the water softener tank. You can usually fix this problem fairly easily by breaking up the “salt bridge” and removing the chunks of salt from the tank. After you clean out the tank, just add more salt and water and the problem should be resolved.
How Long Do Water Softeners Last?
With proper maintenance, water softeners can last for decades. And as you can see, water softeners are not particularly onerous to maintain, which makes them a particularly useful and popular device in your home. They save homeowners a lot of money over the years by preventing damage to appliances and clothing in your home.
For tips on making your water softener last as long as possible, contact the team at Kinetico. We’re here to help Utah homeowners throughout northern Utah reverse the negative effects of hard water in their homes.