You've purchased a new home and found that there's a water softener installed to remove excess minerals from the water. That's great – only you've never used a water softener before in your life and don't know where to start.
Water softeners are fairly easy to use if you focus on three key areas. Know that most plumbing professionals will also work on a water softener if you run into a problem you can't seem to fix.
Filling Brine Tank
You should consult the owner's manual for your particular softener about the amount of salt and water that should be combined in the brine tank. If the previous owner didn't leave behind a manual, you can perform an online search for your model number and find a manual online.
Make sure there's a gap of several inches between where the salt rests in the tank and the rim of the tank. This helps prevent possible overflows and keeps salt buildups from happening around the upper edge of the tank.
There are various types of salts available but try to find the one that's of the highest purity to cut down on your clean up time. Monitor your tank monthly to replenish salt levels, as needed, or to perform a cleaning if there's buildup starting.
There are several buttons on the front of a water softener. These might include a button for setting the time – important since most softeners operate on a timer – and up and down arrows to control the intensity of the softener. But there's likely also a mysterious "Regen" button.
"Regen" stands for regenerate. The water softener is supposed to regenerate the brine in its tank on a certain schedule set by the timer. But sometimes the timer fails to work or the regeneration otherwise fails to happen. Pressing the "Regen" button allows you to manually create the regeneration.
Don't press the button unless you're certain the regeneration has failed to happen on its own. Scheduling two regenerations too closely together can throw off the delicate balance of the brine solution and cause your water to become harder.
Keep Track of Your Salt Levels
When you first add salt into your softener, make note of how much you use on a calendar. Keep an eye on your levels to determine when you need to refill the salt and mark that amount down on the calendar.
Keeping track of the salt levels will serve two purposes. First, it helps you determine how often you need to replace the salt so you can get into a regular maintenance schedule.
Second, you can determine your average usage of salt over a period of time. If the amounts seem to vary greatly, compare higher salt usage to your water bill to see if your overall water bill was higher that month. If not, call out a plumber to take a look at your system to make sure it's operating efficiently.
To learn more, contact a plumbing company like Stephens Plumbing And Heating Inc.