How to Fix Broken Water Softeners

Do you experience a drop in water pressure? Are you facing problems of clogged plumbing fixtures? One of the first things that you need to check is your water softening system. Diagnosing the problem may not be as difficult as you first think. Here are some tips you may want to follow.

Component Functions

When faced with a broken water softening system, it is important to look at its components. The primary component that can be causing a problem is the resins. In a water softening system the resins are responsible for removing the different types of minerals in the water and replace them with sodium so that it becomes softer.

In some instances the water softening system may need to be backwashed and recharged. What is this process all about? In this process the water washes the resins and then a salt solution is introduced into the system from the brine tank. This recharges the resin bed with sodium components to restore the efficiency of the entire softener.

Dealing with the Problems

Is your water supply coming from the city? If so, some symptoms that you may experience with a faulty water softener is a drop in water pressure and possible clogging of your showerheads and faucets. So how do you troubleshoot such a problem?

Initially, you would want to check with the water department of your city to verify if there has been a change in the water pressure in your area. If there is none, you would have to proceed with inspecting the showerheads and other plumbing fixtures in your home plumbing system.

The clogging of your showerheads can be attributed to the mineral deposits in the plumbing pipes that have broken free or possibly the resins in the water softener that needs replacement. Begin by removing the showerhead and turning on the water supply. Inspect if the water coming from the shower is clear, if it is the problem is mineral deposits clogging the nozzles of the showerhead. Simply clean it out under running water and it should be good to go.

Now, if the water is a bit sandy, this is an indication that it is time to have the water softener resins replaced. The resins are not the same as the salt that you put in the water softener’s tank, so do not be confused between the two. You need to realize that it is normal for the resins to breakdown over time and get into your water supply system. This cause the showerheads and other plumbing fixtures to clog, resulting in lower water pressure.

The fragmented resins or commonly called fines may seem harmless. Unfortunately, aside from clogging, it can also cause damage to your plumbing fixtures and even your water heating system. So what you need to do is to close the valves of the water softener and open the bypass valve of the system.

Installation of a new resin can be done by a professional plumbing service and can set you back anywhere from $200 to $250. It is important to have the resins inspected first before having them replaced because sometimes they just need to be cleaned and refilled. In general, the resins of the water softening system can last as long as 20 years, just about the same service life of many water softeners in the market today.

However, it is important to understand as well that the chlorinated water supply coming from the city’s water department can drastically reduce the effective lifespan of the resins by as much as 10 years. So it is better to have a professional have a look at the system rather than going at it by yourself.

Broken water softeners should not be a hassle as long as a licensed professional plumbing service handles the job.