DIY Water Softener Resin Replacement
Did you know that you can replace the resin bed of your water softener yourself and save as much as $150 in service fees? The whole process is not as difficult as it first seems, but you have to correctly diagnose the problem properly to make sure that the problem indeed is a bad resin bed. Of course, you also have to ask yourself if you are indeed ready to proceed with replacing the resin bed on your own.
Amount of Resin
It is equally important to know whether the problem is not related to having too much resin in the water softener. When the water softener tank is filled up to the tank with resin it can result to restricted water flow. So how much resin can you actually put into the tank? To get the proper amount, you would have to measure the circumference of the resin tank and divide it by 3.14; this should give you its diameter. Afterwards, measure the height of the resin tank to give you a near accurate size of the tank. Depending on its size, the amount of resin should be anywhere from 0.64 to 2.00 cubic feet. When you get the amount right, you eliminate one potential source of water softener problem.
How to Diagnose the Resin Bed
Is the problem with the resin bed? How would you know? When the water softener fails to generate soft water or it runs out of supply easily, there is a high possibility that the resin bed has been damaged and needs to be replaced.
In general the resin bed is designed to work for about 10 to 15 years, but, with all the chlorine in the water, shortening the effective life is not impossible. Is there a simple check you can do to verify if the resin bed is still good? The easiest way is to check if the system is using salt at its regular rate, if it is then the possible problem is saturation of the resin bed.
Saturation of the resin bed can be caused by iron deposits or the chlorine content in the water. When this happens the regeneration by the brine is no longer possible. When not enough salt is being used by the water softener the problem can be with the valve head. This means that the resin bed will not be charged with brine water. Iron removal chemicals can help in cleaning the resin bed, but will do nothing with a damaged one.
Resin Bed Replacement
Replacing the resin can take up as much as about 4 hours of your time and save you anywhere from $100 to $150 in professional fees. The first thing that you need to do is to determine the amount of resin needed by your water softening system.
You will also need to make sure that you are using a high quality resin. You must use a resin funnel, new riser tube, and gravel if necessary. The softener valve should then be rotated to the bypass position or make sure that the main water valve is turned off.The dial should be positioned to the manual generation position to relieve the internal water pressure.
The softener can then be disconnected from both the plumbing and electrical system. The valve head can then be unscrewed and make sure that it is safely set aside. All the resin and gravel can then be dumped out. The new riser tube must be cut to the same height as the original and inserted properly into the resin tank.
Refill the softener with the new resin. Reinstall the valve head followed by the bypass valve. You can now turn the valve back to its in-service position. Make sure to check for leaks to ensure that there are no problems.
In case you are unsure or something out of the ordinary arises, call a licensed professional immediately to have the water softening system checked for problems.