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Water Softener Troubleshooting


Water Softener Troubleshooting is not an extremely difficult process, but you must know what to look for. By fixing any minor issues, your water softener should provide years of trouble-free use if properly maintained. 

There are three main parts to any water softener: a brine tank, a mineral exchange tank, and a control mechanism.

Issues start to appear when hard water mineral spots show up on glassware, or hair becomes dry and lank after washing. Listed below are some common issues found when troubleshooting water softeners, along with their solutions.

Trending Water Softener Parts

Easy Water Softener Troubleshooting Solutions

In the Brine Tank:

This should be the first place you check when you notice that your water softener is not performing at optimal levels. Make sure that the salt level is adequate for successful operation. If this seems to be the issue, refill the brine tank as per the instructions given by the manufacturer. Sometimes it is necessary to also check the consistency of the salt. If the surface of the tank is covered by a cake-like consistency of salt, this could be causing improper function of the water softener as well. For a quick method of resolving the problem, break up the salt using a sturdy tool, such as a broom handle. When doing this, be careful not to break through the white grid platform at the bottom of the tank. Once the salt is broken up, know that you will eventually have to replace the salt in your brine tank, since the cake-like consistency will return.

Check the plug:

While this may seem like a no-brainer when electrical appliances are involved, it is not unusual for a water softener failure to be due to electrical issues. Check that all fuses are working possibly, and circuit breakers are in the correct position. Finally, make sure the water softener has not been plugged into an outlet that has been switched off.

If Iron’s the Issue:

Water that contains orange or red staining is typically a result of iron residue in the mineral exchange tank. This is easily remedied with a cleaner solution to remove all iron deposits, and can usually be purchased in stores that supply water treatment products.

Clogged Injector:

The injector in your water softener must be regularly inspected. Location of the injector can typically be found in your owner’s manual, which may provide extra suggestions as to the removal of this screen. If the screen is clogged, it must be removed and cleaned before being replaced, to ensure optimal function.

Kinks and obstructions:

If the water tastes more salty than normal, there may be kinks or other obstructions in the drain lines. Kinks and obstructions may also cause the tank to flood, or stop the flow of soft water altogether.

The By-Pass:

When the by-pass valve is left in the open position, hard water can also be integrated into the system. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, make sure to close the by-pass valve to avoid further troubles with your water softener. This valve is to be used in case of emergencies, for an immediate shut-off valve. Simply unplugging the water softener will not halt its use of water.