How and When Should a Water Softener Be Replaced

Water can be categorized as either hard or soft. Hard water has a high mineral content of calcium and magnesium salts which are present as bicarbonates, chlorides, and sulfates. Hard water may also contain ferrous iron, which is a reddish-brown color. 

Soft water is water that has meager concentrations of dissolved salts such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. Rainwater and distilled water are two examples of soft water.  

 Most modern homes have water softener systems which are an integral part of a home’s plumbing system. The hardness of water is a common problem encountered by homeowners, and this is where water softener systems come into play. Water softener systems reduce the hardness of water by removing the minerals and, in so doing, protect appliances, clothing, and plumbing systems. 

 When used on a daily basis, water softening systems are subject to wear and tear and may prematurely deteriorate. Here are some signs to look for which indicate your water softening system is deteriorating.

Signs That a Water Softener Needs Replacement

According to expert plumbers in Denver, there are five common signs that water softener filters need replacing and these are:

Weird water taste

If the water in your house suddenly starts tasting strange or a little bit off this is a surefire sign that there’s something wrong with your water softener. When your water tastes strange it could mean that the water is contaminated or your water softening system has stopped working and you are now drinking hard water with a high mineral content. 

If your drinking water tastes different it is recommended that you employ a licensed plumber who can determine if it’s time to replace your water softening system. 

A lessening in water pressure 

If the water pressure in your house is lessening this may mean your water softening system needs replacing. When the water softening system stops working this allows minerals to accumulate in the pipes and lower water pressure. 

Water has a different feel

Another way to determine if your water softening system has stopped working is to feel the water. If your water softening system no longer functions you will be getting hard water which feels different from soft water. Hard water is laden with minerals and feels heavier. 

One means of telling if your water is hard or soft is to combine it with soap. When mixed with soap, soft water will form a lather whereas hard water will just form a thin film. 

Scaling in the kitchen and bathroom

When you see a thin white layer in your kitchen or bathroom, this is called scaling. Scaling is leftover mineral residue, specifically calcium and magnesium salts, contained in hard water. When you see scaling, this is an indication that your water softening system no longer works.  

Scale buildup will happen in areas within the kitchen and bathroom that are prone to getting wet. Scale buildup can also manifest inside pipes causing pipe blockage and clogging.  

Excessive use of salt

There is a direct correlation between the amount of salt used and the efficiency of your water softening system. One sign that your water softening system needs replacing is when it uses excessive amounts of salt. General wear and tear cause a water softening system to work inefficiently and one sign of this inefficiency is the increased amount of salt it uses to soften water. 

How Does a Water Softener Work?

Water softeners work using a process called ion exchange. The ion exchange process removes the magnesium and calcium from hard water, making it soft. 

Hard water contains magnesium and calcium, which have positive charges. Hard water is run through a bed of resin beads that have negative charges. The negatively charged beads attract and trap the positively charged minerals, thereby converting hard water into soft water. 

Why Use Professional Plumbers to Service Your Water Softener

Water softening systems work on a basic chemical principle; however, if you are unsure about how efficiently your water softening system is working, the best option is to reach out to a professional plumber. A professional plumber will be able to tell how efficiently your water softening system is working and whether it needs repair or replacement. 

Some problems that will necessitate you to buy a new water softening system, and then there are other problems that can be fixed by a professional plumber. 

Here are some common problems that can be fixed by a professional plumber. 

  • Clogging or blockages: The magnesium and calcium contained within hard water leave scale deposits on pipes and within your water softening system itself. The scale deposits can accumulate and cause blocking and clogging that impedes the flow of water. 
  • Salt Bridges: A salt bridge can develop inside a brine tank. The salt bridge blocks the salt from dissolving into the water and prevents the water softening process. 
  • Resin bead issues: Negatively charged resin beads are the key components of the water softening process. These beads, however, can get damaged by chlorine, and sand-like particles will begin to appear inside the resin tanks.  
  • Motor problems: Water softening systems are run by a motor that is subject to wear and tear and can breakdown. The water softening systems motor should be oiled and maintained at all times. 
  • Brine Tank: The brine tank holds a highly concentrated potassium solution. The brine tank solution is pumped into the mineral tank, replacing the calcium and magnesium ions with sodium. The sodium ions fasten onto the mineral ions trapped on the resin beads. The result is mineral-rich hard water which is flushed down the drain. When a brine tank is filled to capacity and starts to overflow, this prevents the water softening process from taking place. 
  • Tar Issues: High chlorine levels can harm the pitch dots. One sign that something’s going on with these globules is when sand-like particles begin to show up inside the gum tanks.
  • Engine Issues: Like different machines, the engines of water mellowing frameworks can separate. The engine’s diligent effort in the conditioning and recovery processes makes it defenseless to mileage.
  • Saline solution and Tank Overflow:The brackish water tank is pivotal to the tasks completed by water relaxing frameworks. At the point when they flood, the conditioning system can no longer occur. 

Key Takeaway

Installing a water softener is widespread and frequently required. In addition to increasing the water quality in your house, replacing your water softener may raise the value of your property. Look to water softening system professionals for routine maintenance or to assist you in determining your home’s water demands. You should see an expert if you need to repair or upgrade your water softener.