Water Softener Upkeep

In many areas of the country, a water softener is a vital household appliance, especially for some residents of SW Florida. A water softener removes hard minerals from our water supply and improves the quality of your water. Without a softener, minerals such as calcium and magnesium could clog the water lines in your home. It’s also very difficult for soap to dissolve in hard water so it puts a strain on your washing machines and dishwashers.

Water softeners use a soft mineral (salt) to remove the ions that cause hard water in the first place. Therefore regular maintenance is required on your part to make sure everything is working properly. In this article, we’ll discuss what kind of salt you should use, how often you should refill it and how you can clean your water softening unit.

What kind of salt should I use in my water softener?

There are three kinds of salt available to use in a water softener: rock salt, solar salt, and evaporated salt. Rock salt has the highest amount of non-soluble minerals which means it will require the most cleaning. It’s the cheapest option but may take up a lot of time and energy on your part. Solar salt is the most common choice because it’s moderately priced and requires less maintenance. Evaporated salt is the highest quality salt available, but it is also the most expensive.

When making a decision on which salt to use, consideration should be given to how much salt would be used, how often the softener needs to be cleaned, and the softener design.

How often should I refill my water softener?

There’s no set-in-stone rule on how often your water softener should be refilled, but there are guidelines to go by. It varies depending on how many people are in the home and how much salt is used. Therefore, it would be a good idea to check the salt levels of your water softener once a month. The most important thing is to not let the salt level get critically low.

Since we live in an area with high humidity, it’s best to keep low salt levels and refill them often. If you fill it to the top, salt bridges could form where there is a space between the water and the salt. If this happens, use a broom handle to break apart the salt so that it falls into the water.

How do I clean my water softener?

If possible, let the salt level get as low as possible so that you can inspect the brine tank for a build up of salt residue. If there’s a heavy residue, turn the water softener off and remove the remaining salt. Clean the inside of the tank thoroughly with mild soap and water (steer clear of abrasive cleaning chemicals). Rinse well, refill the salt, and turn the water softener back on! Simple!

If you feel your water may require a softener or your existing softener may need replacement – Give Aztec Plumbing a call! We would be happy to help!