Maintain your water softener

Child drinking a glass of water

 

The water in most communities across Franklin County varies from “moderately hard” to “very hard” under a rating system created by the federal government.  Because of this, a water softener is a vital household appliance for many homes in Central Ohio.  Although water softeners generally last a long time with little maintenance, it’s advisable to check it periodically to keep it functioning properly.

  1. Check the salt level regularly.
  2. Add salt as needed. The amount of salt required differs from system to system.  As a general rule, don’t let your salt level dip below half full.  Consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions.
  3. Use the right kind of salt. There are three types of salt:  block, granular, and tablet.  Use the type that is recommended in your owner’s manual.  Tablet is the most common type of salt used.
  4. Inspect your system regularly. Every two to three months, examine the brine tank to look for a solid buildup of salt.  This is called “bridging” and it indicates the salt may not be contacting the water so that it can soften it properly.  Use a long broom handle to break up any salt bridges you find.
  5. Clean the brine tank. Older model softeners may require a good cleaning once or twice a year.  Once a year, it’s a good idea to unplug the unit, drain it completely, and clean it out.  The latest block-salt water softeners, however, require almost no maintenance or cleaning the first 5-10 years of their lives.

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