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What’s Standard Maintenance for a Water Softener?

water-softener-salt-tank-fillIf you have hard water, you know it can be a pain. If you let hard water go untreated, you could end up with some tough cleaning to do in the bathroom and kitchen. More important, though, is that your plumbing system’s lifespan is lowered significantly thanks to hard water, a high concentration of minerals like calcium in your water supply.

That’s why you may need a whole-house water softener to eliminate hard water at the source, right where it enters your home. Unfortunately, maintaining this system can seem like a pain as well. However, as long as you stay on schedule and have plumbing technicians take care of the hard parts, it doesn’t have to be so difficult!

The more you maintain your system, the less work you have to do in the long run, and the fewer repairs you’ll make. Read on for a handy reference to typical water softener maintenance.

Check Salt Levels Once a Month

Many people think that salt is what softens the water, but this isn’t quite true. The resin beads within the tank are what absorb the minerals that create hard water, and salt is necessary to clean the resin beads so they can absorb more calcium and magnesium.

The level of salt you need in your softener should be indicated in your manual. If salt levels are lower than you need, it’s time to refill. Typically, the tank should be at least half-filled with salt, with salt levels exceeding the water level by about 3 inches. If salt mushes together or bridges in the tank, you may have to break this up with a broom handle.

Use the Right Salt

If you run a search online, you’ll find many types and brands of salt competing for your attention, made specifically for water softeners. We strongly recommend against just going with the cheapest salt for economic reasons. Rock salt, for example, is often less expensive than evaporated salt pellets, but it contains calcium sulfate, which cannot properly dissolve in the water and may do more harm than good for your tank.

Instead, we usually recommend the evaporated salt pellets, which are purer and soluble. That means you won’t have to deal with so much buildup at the bottom or sides of the tank.

Use Water Softener Cleaner Every Few Months

Liquid water softener cleaner helps the resin beads to remain as effective as possible, and to remove hard water ions efficiently. Use this once every few months right before a regeneration cycle, and according to label instructions. This is especially important if your tank has high iron levels.

Call in Experts to Clean and Maintain the Tank

For your part, it’s important to keep a schedule of when each task should be completed for your water heater. On your personal calendar, mark one day a month to check salt levels and one day every three months to clean out the tank. In addition, mark one day a year you’ll call in technicians to professionally maintain the tank.

Professional maintenance is an important part of keeping up your water softener’s lifespan. First, it gives you a break from the drudgery of monthly maintenance. More importantly, a qualified technician can find issues you may have missed, and make sure the water softener continues to function properly.

Schedule service for your water softener in Westwood, NJ with the experts at BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc.

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BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc. proudly serving all of bergen county, nj and surrounding areas

NJ Master Plumber: License # 12017 | NJ Home Improvement: Contractor # 13VH01946200 | NITC/ASSE 6010 Medical Gas Installer: Cert. # 12017602