For anyone living in a hard water area having water softener problems can be a nightmare. Apart from changing the taste of the water, having a broken water softener could cost you money in having equipment break down and need repairing or even replacing. The following are some of the common water softener problems that people encounter, with one or two ideas on what you could do to fix them.
Always check the basics first, so if your water softener appears to have stopped working this means checking the following. First of all has the power supply to the softener failed or has the inlet valve/water supply been turned off?
After checking those things check to see that someone hasn’t inadvertently simply turned it off or adjusted any timer mechanisms. The last two basic things are to check are if the salt reservoir is empty or if the pre-filter has become clogged up?
Water leaking from the unit doesn’t necessarily mean that the whole unit needs replacing. First check that the inlet and outlet hoses are connected properly and that water isn’t overflowing from the standpipe. As a DIY/home enthusiast you’ll undoubtedly be able to replace any flexible hoses, but if the problem is inside the unit - it might be best to call out the repairman.
As bad as foul tasting water - is discolored water. This could simply be due to using a sub-standard salt in the reservoir. Buying good value for money salt is always to be recommended - but buying cheap salt can be a false economy.
Alternatively you’ve probably allowed iron to enter the water softener. To solve these problems first of all try thoroughly cleaning the unit and replacing the salt with a better quality one.
If for any reason you need to make a repair to the inside of your water softener, especially the electrics, do make sure the unit is turned off and disconnected from the electric supply first. Whether you use a plug in a socket or a fused spur - in the event of there being no power to the unit, check that the fuse doesn’t need replacing. Alternatively, in the case of a plug, check to see that the wires inside the plug are still all connected properly.
How much salt you use will depend on the size of your unit and how much water you use. However, you must keep it topped up or the regeneration cycle of the water softening process will not be 100% effective, inevitably leading to a hardening of the water entering your domestic systems. In an emergency you can top it up with table salt. However, this is best cleaned out and replaced with a proprietary salt as soon as possible.
Failing to sort out water softener problems can cause the calcium and magnesium minerals in the hard water to form a hard scale on the inside of water pipes, tanks and cylinders. Drinking/sampling the taste of the water in your home is probably the first sign you’ll get that the water softener isn’t working too well - meaning you can start to address the problem.
However, if you don’t regularly drink water in your home, quite probably the first you’ll know about having a water softener problem will be having a blocked shower head, staining on sinks and tubs and white deposits on cutlery and dishes. Hard water can also affect your ability lather soap properly, cause dry skin and even make your hair seem dull and lifeless.