Water Softener Repair and an Enticing Alternative
Water softeners are really popular in the United States because more than 80% of households have to deal with the effects of hard water.
While salt-based softeners offer a practical solution against limescale deposits and mineral buildup, they do require the purchase of salt bags and maintenance from time to time.
The main downside of a softener is that it’s a complex machine. It’s not something that you can just install and then forget about it. The way it works is so intricate that most people don’t even think of trying to repair their water softener on their own.
Because of this, many rely on calling either the company they bought it from or on a professional repairman. As you can imagine, doing so isn’t cheap. Depending on how bad the damage is, you might even be obligated to spend so much money that you’d be better off buying a new one.
However, in most cases, you could repair it yourself with some basic tools that you probably have lying around the house somewhere. Some of the most common issues that inhibit these machines’ capability to function properly may require some patience to repair, but they don’t need years and years of plumbing experience. And in most cases, it only takes one day to solve them.
Clean the Brine (Salt) Tank
Salt’s properties are a little weird. While it can replace hard minerals in water to great effect, salt itself can clog the brine tank to a halt.
Salt forms a hard crust that needs to be cleaned with soap and water until it softens. Add too much salt too frequently and you might even need to use a hard metal or wood object to get it to break down.
Afterward, you’ll need a shop vacuum to clear all the water, soap, and salt that are left in the tank. Make sure to vacuum everything until the tank looks like new. To polish it up completely, you can use more soap and water and then vacuum the whole thing once again.
Clean the Resin Tank Injector
Salt is yet again the enemy here. The resin tank injector can easily get clogged because of solidified salt sediments, and you’ll need to shut off the water supply first if you want to fix this.
After this, you’ll need to run your water softener through a manual regeneration process. The process relieves excess water pressure that has built inside because of the salt blockage. After the excess pressure is gone, remove the caps on both sides.
On most models, you’ll see the injector on the right side, and the injector screen on the left side. Clean the injector and the tank nozzle thoroughly with a toothbrush or any other similar item you might have lying around. In most cases, this step should get your softener running normally again. However, in other cases, you might need to proceed to the next step:
Clean the Resin Bed
If you have a reliable water filter installed, you shouldn’t have to deal with this step. However, if enough iron particles from the water source get through, you’ll have to extract all of it from the resin bed.
You’ll need to get Iron Out or another reliable rust remover and cleaning agent for this. Follow the instruction in the user manual to see how you should handle this process for your particular water softener model.
On most standard softeners, you’ll need to remove the cover from the control valve and de-press the regenerator knob to remove the iron. Turn the knob counterclockwise to set it to “service mode” and then run the rust removal cleaning agent through the softener.
Make Sure There’s Enough Water Flowing Through the Brine Tank
If your softener only has water at the bottom of the tank, it will not soften the water as well as it should. Instead, it will only waste salt for nothing, and you’ll still have to deal with hard water and limescale.
Usually, this is caused by a brine tank float switch that hasn’t been configured properly or that has remained stuck thanks to excess salt or iron. If this is the case and you see that the switch can’t move up freely, clean the adjacent area, and try to move it up and down a couple of times until it feels right.
If this doesn’t work, you might have to clean the entire tank or even replace the switch completely. We would show you how this process is done, but it can differ from model to model, so it’s best to consult the manual or allow a professional to handle it.
Water Softener Repair - Perform a Water Hardness Test
Sometimes you might not even notice that your softener runs improperly until it’s too late. This is why it’s a good idea to perform a water hardness test from time to time.
If the softener seems clean, salt levels are appropriate, and the fixtures you’ve tried to fix up until this point seem to be in order, the problem might be caused by the motor.
In this case, you should check the fuse to see if it hasn’t blown out, if the cables may be faulty or incorrectly connected, or if the fuse simply hasn’t tripped. Once you’ve sold the appropriate problem, test the motor to see if it functions correctly. Sadly, you’ll have to contact the company in case the motor is worn out.
Fixing User Errors
Since a softener requires manual user input from time to time, it’s no wonder that things can get messy. If you take into consideration how many settings a person can adjust to a water softener, you can easily realize why user errors occur so much.
You can’t really blame yourself for this, as some softeners are truly complex machines with loads of options and setting configurations.
The best thing you can do is read the manual carefully and examine what each error message means. Most companies offer comprehensive instructions on how to use and configure the softener and how to troubleshoot most issues on your own.
Because of the complexity of salt-based water softeners, you really can’t take upon you the occurrence of every error or the fixing of every issue. Instead, take your time to consult the manual or contact customer support if you can’t figure it out yourself. Finally, if push comes to shove, get the company’s repair team to come and check your unit if nothing else works.
How to Extend the Life of Your Water Softener
Now that we’ve covered the essential troubleshooting tips for repairing a softener, let’s see a few things that can help you extend its lifespan.
- Clean the brine tank once a year even if you’re using the purest salt available.
- You should avoid standard salt because it might cause health issues and also clog the softener sooner than refined salts.
- Use an iron remover regularly if you know there’s iron in your water supply that your filter can’t handle.
- Pay attention to the position of the softener’s drain line, as it should be installed above the grate of the drain and it shouldn’t be pushed down into a floor drain.
The Other Downsides that Can Arise from Using a Salt-Based Softener
As you can already tell, maintaining and repairing a softener can be quite difficult and costly. But there are other issues that might occur when using this appliance for long.
First and foremost, drinking softened water can have adverse effects on your health. People with heart disease or increased blood pressure will undoubtedly feel some nasty side effects from drinking even small amounts of it.
The sodium inside softened water also prevents plants from getting the nutrients that they need, which eventually kills them. Children, nursing mothers, pregnant women, and pets are also prohibited from drinking too much sodium, as it can cause several health conditions as well.
So, as you can see, a water softener can solve the issue regarding limescale and mineral deposits, but it poses a great danger to your health. As such, you will need a filter that can remove the sodium, or you could choose a water softener alternative that tackles both of these issues at the same time.
After all, removing limescale while adding a potentially dangerous substance into your drinking water isn’t the most ideal solution, is it?
Water Softener Repair and Its (More) Enticing Alternative
If you want to get rid of hard water and the softener’s bad parts while still maintaining the benefits, there’s a device that can make a world of difference. It’s called a descaler and it’s simple to install, use, and maintain (because there’s zero effort involved).
The Yarna Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler uses electric impulses to prevent minerals like calcium and magnesium from bonding and building up inside your water pipes. It effectively does this without adding any chemicals into the mix or modifying the water’s structure in any form.
It works like other descalers on the market, except it has two ultra-flat impulse bands instead of the regular thin wires. Because of this, more of the main pipe can be covered by the electric impulses and mineral crystals get reshaped faster. Speaking of which – this is the interesting part – the water descaler doesn’t remove minerals but rather reshapes them to make them less sticky.
What does this mean? Calcium and magnesium crystals no longer stick to pipes, fixtures, appliances, or to your skin and hair. You’ll still get the health benefits of drinking hard water without any of the negatives like white spots on dishes, or skin irritations when washing with it.
How a Water Descaler Improves the Quality of Your Life
Did you see how hard it can be to fix and maintain a softener? Well, you’ll no longer have to do that with a descaler. Zero maintenance.
As for repairs, you’re covered by our 10-year warranty if you register the product on our website – no matter where you bought it from; all you need are the order and serial number.
However, since there are no moving parts or chemicals to speak of, the chances of your descaler breaking down are minimal. You’ll end up saving a ton of money because you can drink water without worrying about sodium.
Keep in mind that a descaler is not a filter, though. If you have other pollutants, get yourself a proper filter for the type of pollutants you have. Still, the lack of sodium is a major plus. As for appliances, you’ll end up saving up to $1000 per year simply due to the fact that limescale will no longer clog pipes and cause them to overwork.
Softener Repairs and Descale Installation: Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a special type of pipe for a descaler to work?
No, our descaler works on all pipe materials as long as they are one or two inches in diameter depending on which of our models you choose.
How big should my house be if I want to use the Yarna descaler?
There is no exact limit on how big your house should be. The capacitive effect of the descaler can cover at a minimum one mile of piping.
Does the unit remove the existing limescale?
Yes, it does. And no, you don’t need to worry about clogging, because it removes it slowly. Just keep in mind that this process may take up to three months depending on how much limescale the pipes have accumulated and how hard the water is.
If the process can take so long, why should I consider buying the descaler?
We know that it might take a while for some people to notice a difference, so that’s why we’re offering a full one-year money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied within that time frame for whatever reason, you can send us the unit back and we’ll refund every last penny.
Water softener repair is tedious and can be quite costly depending on the problem that you’re facing.
Replacing it with a water descaler will bring many advantages that a regular salt-based water softener simply can’t offer.