It’s safe to assume that you want your water softener to last for as long as possible. A new water softener can cost $2,000-$3,000 so it’s wise to invest in extending your current water softener’s life. The good news is it doesn’t take a lot of work to extend water softener lifespan.
Whether your softener is brand new or so old you can’t remember, follow these recommendations. Even one of the items on this list could make years of difference. If you’re in the market for a new water softener, there’s advice here to help you choose the best water softener for your home and how to make it last.
How to Adjust Water Softener Settings
A lot of homeowners don’t know this, but water softeners have multiple adjustable settings. You control when the softener regenerates, how much softening it does, and the amount of water it treats.
The “hardness” setting lets the softener know how hard your area’s water is. Check your softener’s manual for more information on how to set and adjust the settings. Most manuals will also tell you how to best set the softener for maximum performance. It may even include a chart for how you should set it based on your area’s specifications.
Is a Bigger Water Softener Better?
If your water softener is too small for your home, it’ll have to work a lot harder. This overtime will exhaust the water softener and cause it to go out sooner than it would otherwise. You might also experience flow rate problems because your water softener can’t treat your water fast enough.
If your water softener is too big for your home, it won’t do enough work to trigger regeneration on time. When a water softener doesn’t regenerate, it’s not as effective and bacteria can grow in the tank.
Make sure your water softener is properly sized for your home with the right quantity of resin beads for the job. For help on how to size a water softener, ask a hard water specialist or consult a water softener sizing chart. Also check the your manual for settings and sizing information. You can reference how much water you use against the capacity rate of your softener to see how big a water softener you need.
Extend Water Softener Life with Quality Salt or Potassium Chloride
Cheap salt or potassium chloride leads to a problem called bridging. Bridging occurs when water melts salt crystals together, eventually forming a crust. This crust combines with sediment filtered out through softening and forms a buildup in the tank.
Bridging can interfere with softening, lower water quality, or break the softener tank. To avoid bridging and sediment buildup, use only high-grade salt or potassium chloride in your water softener. Research which brand of salt that suits your needs and stick to it.
Stop Filling Salt at ½ to ¾ full
Stop filling up your softener once the intake section is one-half to three-fourths full. If you continue to add salt past this point, the softener has to work harder to do its job. Ironically, it won’t soften or even consume salt as efficiently.
Most water softeners have an indicator on the inside of the salt intake section telling you when to stop filling. Usually this indicator is accurate, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask an expert.
Your water softener uses the salt you add to “regenerate” the resin beads with fresh ions. The amount of salt it uses depends on how often it needs to regenerate – typically every 2-3 days. Consult your owner’s manual for how to adjust your water softener based on how often your water softener should regenerate. Refill salt accordingly.
Keeping Dallas Water Softeners Clean
Even with proper maintenance, water softeners naturally produce sediment and other waste over time. You should have a brand-new, optimized water softener cleaned about once every two years. Clean older water softeners more often.
The nice thing about cleaning your softener is you can have your expert inspect it while they’re cleaning. An expert can tell you if you’re running your softener efficiently, and what you can change if you’re not.
Your water softener is one of the most important components of your water system. Maintaining its effectiveness for as long as possible will save money and improve your quality of life. If you have any questions or concerns about your water softener, or any other part of your water system, Ben Franklin’s technicians have the experience and expertise to answer them. Schedule a service today!