Problems With Your Water Softener? Here's How To Check For Clogs

by Jenny Banks

If your water doesn't feel as soft and silky as it usually does, your water softener might be clogged. The hard water that enters the unit, or the salt, can cause deposits in the lines or working parts of the softener that affect its output. You might be able to fix this problem yourself. Here's what you can try.

Check Settings

The first thing you should do is make sure the unit is getting power and is not on bypass mode. If the softener is plugged in, check to see if the circuit is tripped. If the unit has power, look at the settings. You may have left it in bypass mode. If that's the case, the water is not circulating through your house. Also, check the salt level to make sure it isn't too low. If all the basic settings seem correct, it's time to look for a clog.

Examine Lines And Injector

Follow the lines inside your softener and examine them for signs of mineral buildup that may be blocking the flow of water. Look closely around the injector head in the unit. There is a screen there that could be blocked as well. You can bypass the water flow temporarily, so you can clean the screen, injector, and connecting lines if they need it. Clean the parts by pulling them out of the softener, scrubbing them with a brush, and rinsing well. Always make sure you unplug your unit before you work on the internal parts.

Clean The Salt Tank

Sometimes the salt in the holding tank forms a huge clump or dome. If this happens, you can break it apart using the handle of a mop or broom. You'll need to dump that batch of salt, so that makes for the perfect time to clean out the tank to keep things flowing well. Once the salt is all removed, wash the tank with soapy water. Be sure to rinse it well, so no soap remains in the tank.

Check The Resin Beads

Your water softener uses resin beads to remove minerals from the water. These beads may need cleaned from time to time, especially if your water comes from a well and contains a lot of iron. You can buy products designed to remove iron from a water softener. You add it to the salt tank and flush it through the beads. Be sure to set your water softener on the service setting, so the waste water is flushed out of the system instead of being sent through your home.

There are other things that can go wrong with your water softener too, such as electrical problems that you won't be able to fix on your own. Other times, malfunctions can be caused by user error because the timer or conditioner controls aren't adjusted properly. If you're having trouble with your unit, and cleaning it out doesn't seem to help, you'll probably need to call for professional water softener repair, such as is offered by Metro Water Conditioning Inc. You don't want to void the warranty on your unit by working on internal parts if you're not sure what you're doing.