Water softener maintenance guide step by step

Ion exchange Water softener lasts for years with little maintenance, but regular check and cleaning can make the softener work efficiently and last longer. What is that little maintenance that a water softener requires? Read this article from beginning to end to learn how to maintain water softener.

Water softener maintenance

The new Ion exchange water softeners are easy to install with simple instruction you can do it yourself without hiring plumber or professional. They are also small in size do not require large space. You only need a habit of checking salt level once in a month and cleaning resin tank so that your system can work properly and improve lifespan.

Water softener maintenance guide step by step

  • Maintain brine tank

Cleaning the brine tank

The brine tank needs to be cleaned at least once per year and this activity you can enjoy doing in a weekend.

Step by steps how to clean the brine tank

Set the system to bypass mode. In bypass mode, the water will not enter in the water softener for a period so that cleaning can be done.

Disconnect all the lines (resin tank to brine tank) and electricity from the water softener.

Take the brine tank out

Pour all water out of the brine tank and remove the remaining salt.

If your system has brine grid pull it out.

Mix a few drops of dish soap with 1-2 gallon of water to form soap mixture

Pour the soap mixture into the brine tank and scrub the tank using a scrubbing brush or long-handled brush.

Dump and rinse the soap mixture with water

Pour one cup of household bleach and three gallons of water in the brine tank. Stir until the solution mix well, let’s it sit for 15 minutes to kill any pathogens (the bleach is used to sanitize tank) after that scrub the tank, dump the bleach mixture and rinse with clean water.

Put the brine tank in place and connect all lines of the water softener

Add water up to 5-gallons and lastly water softener salt. It is recommended to keep water softener salt levels at least six inches space from the top of the brine tank

Check the salt level at least once in a month to make sure it’s at a right point.  For common rule fill the brine tank at least half full with salt and keep the salt levels at least six inches below the top to avoid overly salt or 2/3 full of salt.

Choose the right types of water softener salt to add to your unit. Make sure before adding a salt check whether brine tank has a salt bridge. The salt bridge is one big block of salt which prevent the salt from getting to the bottom of the tank to form the brine solution, therefore, blocking your system to regenerate properly. Ensure you break the salt bridge into small pieces. You can manually break it by pouring warm water on it to loosen and break easily.

  • Maintaining resin tank

Resin tank is also another essential part of the water softener. From time to time they require to be cleaned and resin beads replaced. If your water has iron, the iron deposit can occur on the resin beads making it not operate properly. 

Also, over the time your resin beads can be overcoated with silt, heavy metals and organic compounds they cause the resin beads not soften water properly. In such a case, the resin beads need to be cleaned regularly to restore and peak their efficiency. Just use the resin cleaner recommended by the manufacturer to clean the beads without having to replace it, but if they don’t solve the problem, you need to replace the beads.

Pour the resin cleaner in the brine tank and regenerate the system manually. The cleaner is flushed out of the resin tank use the drain.

Replacing the resin

Make sure you have bought the resin, gravel, distributor tube and funnel.

Put the tank into bypass and take off the resin tank.

Remove the distributor tube and pour the resin out of the tank.

Put the new distributor tube inside the resin tank and cut the correct height (an inch above the tank top). Tape the top of the distributor so that gravel and resin won’t get inside. Put the new gravel and then resin. Make sure gravel and resin do not get inside the distributor tube.

Return the resin tank in place and reconnect.

Cleaning resin tank injector/ Clean the venturi valve

This is the most of water softener that people forget to clean.  The tank injector creates the suction to move the brine solution from brine tank to resin tank. Over time the valve gets sand and dirt which need to be cleaned to operate effectively. The injector needs to be cleaned after every six months to prevent resin beads from contamination.

How to clean resin tank injector

Turn off the softener and disconnect the power.

Drain the water and release pressure from the tank. Unscrew the panel to get the injector line. Remove the injector and trace the filter panel. Use dishwasher detergent to clean before you return it to check whether the o-ring is in good shape if not replace it. You can buy water softener parts here.

Regular checking of your water softener helps improve the system performance and extend lifespan. Make sure you use the right salt.

  1. Related articles:
    1. Buyers guide water softener
    2. Salt-free water softener
    3. Water hardness test kit
    4. Water conditioner
    5. How to test water hardness at home
    6. Types of water softener
    7. How water softener works
    8. How much is a water softener
    9. Type of water softener resin
    10. How to clean water softener resin
    11. Water softener resin cleaner
    12. Turn off water softener
    13. The benefit of a water softener
    14. Regeneration 
    15. How to program a water softener
    16. Water softener resin replacement
    17. Effects of hard water
    18. Portable water softener
    19. Signs your house need a water softener
    20. Best water softener for well water
    21. Best water softener for well water

How do you maintain your water softener? share with us in the comment section below.