Water softener Troubleshooting
Troubleshoot the Easy Way

Conducting a water softener troubleshooting exercise is very important.

Troubleshooting is important because it can save you hundreds of dollars on a repair bill.

Besides, most times the process requires not tools or expertise and troubleshooting maintains your water softener.

Water softener troubleshooting requires finding out what is wrong with your softener system. As soon as you suspect that your system is not operating like normal, it’s time to troubleshoot.

Always conduct a water softener troubleshooting test before calling a repair man. Most times your water softener only requires a little troubleshooting.

Below is the main water softener troubleshooting guidelines. These guidelines can be used on most brands including Kenmore, Culligan, Kinetico, Sears, Rainsoft and Whirlpool.

The first thing that you need to know is the main parts of a water softener. There are three main parts:

  1. Mineral exchange tank- where the action of hard water is turned into soft water .
  2. Brine tank- where salt or potassium is stored.
  3. Control Valve- controls the flow of water during regeneration.

Now that we know the main sections there are three (3) things that you must do before you begin:

  1. Ensure that your system has no power going to it.
  2. Have your manual on hand.
  3. Follow the troubleshooting guidelines. If it seems too difficult for you to complete, call customer service or a professional.

How do you know when it is time to troubleshoot your water softener?

If the following occurs it may be time to conduct a water softener troubleshooting exercise:

  1. Washing your hair feels sticky.
  2. Soap does not lather.
  3. Soap leaves scum.
  4. Water spots on glasses.
  5. Scales build up in kettle, water heaters and faucets.

Most Common Water Softener Problems that Require Troubleshooting

Let us take look at the most common water softener problems that may require troubleshooting:

You suspect that the salt in the softener is low.

Most water softener troubleshooting issues involve scale or salt. Check the brine tank to see if your water softener has adequate amount of salt. Check this against the manual's recommendations.

Sometimes the salt on the top on the brine tank may have become hard. If this is the case, break up the hard salt formation. You may want to remove all the salt from the brine tank and refill it.

You think that crust has begun to form from the salt.

Check the brine tank for any salt deposits or crust formation. If there is any crust, then you can remove crust formation by washing out the brine tank with soap.

Crust formation is not good for your household and your health. Remove as soon as possible.

You suddenly have no power supply.

It may seem simple but this is one of the most common water softener issues.

We have heard of a number of cases where repairmen were called in, only to discover that the unit was accidentally plugged out.

Save your money! Check for power supply.

After a few checks, you discover that your check/pass valve is open or damaged.

Sometimes the pass valve may be left open. Check the pass valve and close it if it is open because no matter how many times you top up if the valve is not closed properly, then you will still have the same problem of hard water.

Ensure that your check valve is working properly. A sign that the check valve is not working is when you have a mixture of hard and soft water.

You may not need to change the entire check valve. Sometimes the O-ring is missing from the valve so all you really need to do is install a new O- ring.

You followed the instruction to refill your brine tank but for some strange reason the brine tank seems to be over flowing.

Sometimes the brine tank may be over flowing because the control valve is not working properly. Check to see if the O-ring is damaged or missing. If it is, replace the O-ring and adjust the time accordingly.

All your neighbours water pressure seems to be ok but your pressure from your water softener is lower than normal.

There are times when you may have low pressure problems. This may be linked to incorrect installation or system sizing.

You will need to adjust the inlet pressure of your water softener. To do this you will need your manual.

There seems to be a leak coming from the bottom of your water softener. Everything seems ok from outside. What is the problem?

If your water softener seems to be leaking, it may be because of a damaged piston seal.

This can be fixed by a professional or you can replace it with a new one. Follow your manual to do this.

There seems to be an orange looking residue from my faucets.

Look out for iron build up. If your water is orange looking or reddish, it may just be iron residue. To remove the iron residue, purchase an iron remover cleaner from a store near you.

The soft water is not flowing like it should.

It may be a clogged injector. A clogged injector can affect your water softener efficiency. Locate, remove, clean and return your injector. You can find your injector from your manual.

You may need help from a professional for this procedure.

Now that you know the top nine (9) water softener troubleshooting guidelines, you will be able to save time and money.

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