How To Maintain Your Water Softener

Hands holding small, circular, white water softener tablets.

Water softeners are used to remove high concentrations of minerals from your water. Namely, water softeners decrease the amount of calcium and magnesium – known as hard minerals – from your water, so it tastes better and protects your faucets, shower heads and piping from getting clogged with residue over time. While “hard water” seems almost like an oxymoron, water containing a large degree of minerals can wreak havoc on your plumbing and water heating systems and result in costly repairs.

How do water softeners work?

Water softeners work like magnets. In an ion-exchange system, they leverage salt to produce a negative charge that attracts the water’s positively-charged calcium and magnesium, pulling it from the hard water and filtering it to become softer and more purified. This, in turn, helps reduce the negative results of hard water such as irritation on the scalp, build-up around faucets, soap scum and stiff feeling laundry that would should otherwise feel fresh, soft and clean.

The importance of maintaining your water softener for great results

Like most of the best things in life, water softeners require a little TLC to function optimally. The good news is properly maintaining your water softener is simple and cost-effective. Plus, when you consider what you will save by proactively protecting your plumbing, clothing, skin and hair, the time and cost required to maintain your water softener is negligible.

1. Use high-quality salt

When filling up your brine tank to encourage the ion-exchange process, it’s essential you use high-quality salt. At Kern Water, we will ensure you know – and have access to – the type of salt that reduces brine residue and filters your water as effectively as possible.

2. Check your brine tank and maintain salt levels

Typically, you can get by with only refilling your water’s brine tank every couple of months. However, it’s best practice to check on the tank more frequently to ensure the water level remains consistent and the salt is not drying out. Make sure the salt is wet and, if it’s not, know that the time has come to add more quality salt into your system.

3. Clean your brine tank properly and when needed

When your brine tank is low on salt and the tank appears at all “sludgy”, it’s time to clean your brine tank. Do this by scooping out any build-up or rocks. Then, clean the tank with an appropriate detergent and cleaning mechanism (i.e., a brush). After you feel satisfied with the cleanliness of the tank, just give it a rinse with water. Try to do this clean every two months or so when you replenish your salt levels.

4. As your water softener gets older, maintenance picks up

At about the five-year mark, you may notice you need to clean your water softener more frequently. Beyond just maintaining the salt levels and rinsing out the brine tank, you may start to need to clean the resin tank. This is more complicated than dealing with the brine, so we highly recommend visiting Kern Water to receive the support you need to properly maintain your water tank as it ages. We will always be upfront and honest about what maintenance is required and when it may be the most cost- and time-effective to get a new water softener.

5. Look out for the signs of a tired water softener

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to spot a malfunctioning or tired water softener. That’s because hard water interacts with soaps, skin and piping differently. If you notice your soap is no longer lathering; your skin begins to feel at all irritated or dry; or you begin to see a ring of residue around your showerhead, it’s definitely time to get your water softener cleaned or updated. Rather than ignoring these problems and allowing them to build up (pun intended), reach out to our team at Kern Water and we will get you back up and flowing in no time.

Bobby Boucher Water Boy, Mud Dogs Now that’s what I call high quality H2O.
Shannon Turner Owner, Mandakani Yoga Just wanted to send you a quick note to say that I am loving the water! Since we switched to your water my students have been drinking more.
Susan Hall Manager, Coffee Lodge, Duty Free We switched to Kern Ice about 6 months ago and are very happy that we did. The product is great, as is the wonderful customer service Kern provides. Being able to buy local is a plus.
Don Holden Manager, Shell Kern Ice Products are great. The ice is filtered water so always fresh. We never have to call to get a refill on ice, they always pop in and check. All staff is amazing. Thanks for everything.

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