Water softeners are noticeably underrated filter devices. In addition to entering the water hardness level for the first time, the regeneration time parameters and the salt replenishment, you go ahead and do your homework. Even if they require little maintenance, there are some simple ways to make them more efficient and last longer.
Avoid salt bridges and salt formation
Salt bridges are the hard crust formed in the brine tank that creates an empty space between the salt and the water, which prevents the salt from dissolving in the water to produce brine. When there is no brine, the resin beads cannot do their job of softening the water.
Bridging is commonly caused by high humidity, temperature changes around the water softener, or the wrong type of salt. It is possible to have a salt bridge when the salt tank appears to be full but the water remains hard.
The most serious problem between the two is salt mixing, which occurs when dissolved salt recrystallizes to form a sludge at the base of the salt tank. This thick layer of salt prevents the water from regenerating, stops the softener from working and blocks the passage of water.
In case the water test indicates a salt bridge, although it does not break when pushed, this is due to the mass of salt. The only way to fix the problem is to drain the water from the softener, remove the old salt, and refill it with fresh salt.
Be discriminatory when it comes to salt options
Water softeners are available in three basic types: rock, solar, and evaporated. The most affordable is rock salt which has a high level of insoluble impurities / minerals. Over a period of time this can cause a muddy tank, lowering the efficiency of the softener and leaving impurities in the water.
Solar salt, which dissolves more quickly in water than rock salt, is produced by evaporation of seawater. It comes in the form of granules and crystals. Evaporated salt, which is the best option, is obtained by combining extraction and evaporation. It is considered the purest among all types of salt, with 99.99% sodium chloride.
Generally, it is better to use high purity salts that leave less residue in a storage tank, so you are less likely to have salt bridges and salt crushing which will lead to less maintenance. Bridging problems can be eliminated with the help of high quality salts and salts in the form of granules.
Resin bed cleaner
Resin beads are frequently recharged with salt, but it would be an advantage to clean the resin bed once every few months with a water softener cleaner to keep it in its best shape. Over a long period of time, a water softener can acquire contaminants such as iron, heavy metals, silt, and organic compounds, making it less efficient.
To reduce the rate of resin ineffectiveness, this requires pouring the manufacturer’s recommended amount of water softener cleaner into the brine and manually regenerating the system. The cleaner is released during the regular water softening cycle wash process. This will allow the resin to remain clean and absorb the maximum amount of calcium and magnesium during its life cycle.