Water softener systems are among the most integral parts of a plumbing system.
They remove minerals that cause water hardness — the most common water quality problem encountered by homeowners. Hard water destroys appliances, leaves soap scum across kitchen sinks and bathroom floors, and dries out people’s skin and hair.
Water softeners are susceptible to wear and tear due to daily use. Without proper maintenance, they may prematurely deteriorate and get damaged. If you are unsure whether the water softener system at home is already past its prime, it helps to know the signs to look out for.
Signs That a Water Softener Needs Replacement
The five common signs that water softener filters need replacement are:
Strange Water Taste
If you or anyone in your household notices an off-putting or strange taste in your drinking water, that is a common sign that there’s something wrong with your water softener. Hard water tastes different when compared to soft water because of its high mineral content. The strange taste could mean two things: there are contaminants, or the system already needs replacement.
With a thorough inspection performed by licensed plumbers, you’ll know if it’s already time for a replacement.
Change in Water Pressure
Gradual changes in water pressure mean that your water softener system needs replacement. The system doesn’t soften the water as well as before, leading to mineral buildup in the pipes and lower water pressure.
Water Feels Different
Another way to tell if your water softener is past its prime is by feeling the water. If you’ve tried taking a bath or washing your hands using both hard and soft water, it’s easy to tell the difference. Softened water gives a rich lather when combined with soap; hard water doesn’t. The calcium present in hard water reacts with soap and creates a thin film layer on the skin.
Scaling in the Kitchen and Bathroom
The thin white layer you see around the kitchens and bathrooms shows that your water softener already needs replacing. Since it doesn’t soften water as effectively as before, the dissolved calcium and magnesium salts from hard water lead to scale buildup on bathroom doors, kitchen sinks, and other areas that usually get wet.
Scale buildup also occurs in drain pipes, increasing the risks of clogging and blockage when neglected.
Excessive Use of Salt
Newer models of water softeners use less salt compared to older models. If your newer model at home uses more salt than it usually does, it’s a clear sign that it needs replacement. As water softeners become inefficient, they break down more amounts of salt to soften water. Use a salt monitor to check if your system at home uses more salt than usual.
How Does a Water Softener Work?
Water softeners use a process known as ion exchange, which eliminates the magnesium and calcium present in hard water.
The hard water that enters the system flows through a bed of resin beads. These beads have negative charges, while magnesium and calcium have positive charges. Because opposite charges attract each other, the negative charges from the beads attract the positive charges from the minerals. The resin beads hold on to the positive charges, removing them from hard water and allowing softened water to flow.
Why Call In Plumbers to Service Your Water Softener
If you’re unsure about what’s happening in your water softener system, the best course of action is to call the plumbers for professional services. With their expertise, you’ll know whether your system needs repair or replacement. These systems require large amounts of money to purchase; it’s best to seek advice from the experts.
While other problems might require you to purchase a replacement, there are issues that a plumber can still fix:
- Clogging or Blockages – Not only does magnesium and calcium leave scale deposits on pipes, but they also leave residue in your water softening system itself. The accumulation of these chalky deposits can clog the water line running through the system.
- Salt Bridges – Salt bridges sometimes develop inside brine tanks. They block the salt from dissolving into the water and prevent the water softening process.
- Resin Issues – High chlorine levels can damage the resin beads. One sign that something’s up with these beads is when sand-like particles start to appear inside the resin tanks.
- Motor Issues – Like other appliances, the motors of water softening systems can break down. The motor’s hard work in the softening and regeneration processes makes it susceptible to wear and tear.
- Brine Tank Overflow – The brine tank is crucial to the operations carried out by water softening systems. When they overflow, the softening process won’t take place.
A Better Plumber Is Here To Help
Since water softening systems play a vital role in households every day, we at A Better Plumber are here to help you.
We provide installation, repair, and maintenance services for water softeners. Our plumbers provide quick and suitable solutions to your problems. We have the best plumbers in Aurora, CO. Call us today, and we’ll address any concerns you have with your plumbing fixtures.