Water Softener Troubleshooting

5 Steps To Find Out What's Wrong With Your Softener

This water softener troubleshooting guide will help you get the most of your model.

If you notice a difference in the performance of your water softener and wonder what to do, use these five troubleshooting steps:

1. What are some indications that my water softener isn’t working properly?

There are several signs. Water will leave water spots on glasses or a film on ceramic surfaces. Soap won’t lather as well and it will leave behind a film or scum.

When you wash your hair, it may still feel sticky after it has been shampooed and it won’t have the normal shine. Salt pellets have to be refilled on a regular basis in order to keep the soft water flowing.

2. What should I do once I determine the water softener isn’t working correctly?

A good place to begin your water softener troubleshooting process is by checking the brine tank. Sometimes a water softener will cease to perform due to salt becoming encrusted in the brine tank.

Wash the crust away using soap and water and rinse completely. It’s also possible that salt has formed a crusty plug at the connection between the resin tank and mineral tank. Clean it in the same manner.

High iron content in water can leave deposits on the bead bed which will hinder a water softener’s capability. Use an iron-removing product to clean the bead bed.

3. I don’t have soft water, my salt storage tank is full of water and while the unit is in soft water cycle, water is running to the drain.

You are likely seeing the results of no brine draw. Disassemble and clean the nozzle and venturi. Using a soft tooth brush, clean the parts with mild soap and warm water. Rinse completely.

If the parts are iron coated use a resin bed cleaner. Your valve drain hose also may be plugged. Check for kinks, sharp bends or blockages in the hose.

Another explanation might be a leak between the valve and resin tank assembly. Using a simple kit, replace the tanks’ O-valve rings.

4. I don't have soft water and my salt level isn't dropping.

A salt bridge can sometimes form in the brine tank, causing a space between the water and the salt due to high humidity or from using the wrong kind of salt. The salt won’t dissolve in the water to make brine and the resin bed does not regenerate.

To loosen a salt bridge, use a broom handle and carefully push down on the salt in several areas. Do not use any sharp objects or you could puncture the tank. Make sure also to select and program a regeneration schedule with the timer.

5. I sometimes have hard water.

Check to make sure your time setting is correct. Next, set a regular regeneration schedule. You may be using more water than originally expected, so check the regeneration chart to make sure you’re performing that process often enough.

You may have a leaky faucet or toilet valve, which can waste hundreds of gallons of water in just a few days. Correct these problems immediately.

Water softener troubleshooting takes some time, but it’s well worth the effort to do it yourself instead of calling in a repairman.

Related Articles on All Water Purification

Water Softener Maintenance
Simple, do-it-yourself methods to keep your softener working well.

How Does a Water Softener Work?
Learn how your unit removes the unwanted impurities from your drinking and washing water.

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