Water Softener Problems and Solutions! Try Simple Solutions at Home

If you have been searching for ways to curtail water softener problems, you have come to the right place.

Having the right water softener maintenance is not all you need to enjoy your water softener flawless as some issues are just beyond the regular maintenance routine.

A water softener with faults will not give you the soft water you need, and may even reduce the quality of your water.

However, these issues are elementary to fix, but you may not have the right knowledge on how to fix them.

These are the assistance and guidance we will be offering to you in this article. We will be sharing some of the most frequent problems associated with your system and how you can quickly troubleshoot them.

These solutions are even valid for Culligan water softener troubleshooting and other softener products.

Water In Salt Tank

Water in the salt tank is probably one of the prevalent issues water softener users are facing. It results from a lack of overflow or clogging; nevertheless, the problem can result from many other factors.

Water In Salt Tank

Knowing the right cause of the problem will make it easy to fix the system rightly.

Below are the most common causes of water clusters in the salt tank:

Old water Softener - Water softeners' life expectancy is about eight years. After that, their parts will start degrading fast, which consequently affect their functions. If you are uncertain of how old your system is, you can check for wear and tear in the tank and o-ring.

Solution

Replace your system.

Very High Float Valve - When the float valve which controls the water level in the system is very high, it may cause water to clog. This is because the water softener may not be able to release the water effectively.

Solution

Lower the float valve.

Broken Water Entry Valve - If the water entry valve breaks, it stops the water flow into the salt tank, resulting in a flood of the salt tank.

Solution

Replace the lid.

Salt Bridges

Water softeners are built to prevent minerals which cause scaling to build up in your pipe. Funny enough, this machine can also cause scaling with its system.

Salt Bridges

This buildup forms a hard crus in the base of the tank and prevents water from running through the brine tank. It also prevents the whole system from performing its regeneration cycle.

If left unremoved for so long, a salt bridge can destroy a water softener.

Cause

The primary cause of salt bridges is high relative humidity. In some other cases, it is caused by using the wrong type of salt or by overfilling the tank with salt.

Solution

Removing salt bridges is very easy. You can crush the brine using a blunt tool, and start a manual regeneration cycle to recharge your system. Then fill it with new salt and water.

Water Softener Makes Water Brown

At one point or the other, we must have experienced irritating brown water flowing from the tap. You can quickly tell that the water is not suitable for consumption, but if you have a water softener system, you may be wondering if it is the cause of the problem.

Water Softener Makes Water Brown

The chances that the brown water flows from your tap is because of the softener. 

Causes

Accumulation of dirt or bacteria

If dirt and bacteria are accumulated in your water, it may lead to brown water.

Solution

Sterilize your system by adding two cups of chlorine or hydrogen peroxide in the brine tank. Then run about two to three regeneration cycles and flush the pumping.

Worn out plumbing

It could also result in brown water in the brine, especially if there is rust in the piping system.

Solution

You can call a plumber to check your system if there is any fault or leaks. And if any piping needs replacement.

Water Softener Doesn't Use Salt

Water Softener Doesn't Use Salt

If the salt level of your tank is not going down, then it means your water softener is not using the salt. It also means there is no ion exchange going, thereby no softening of the hard water. It makes the system use a little salt, which causes the regeneration process to fail and stops the system from softening the water. And the problem needs to be identified and fixed. 

Cause

Salt Bridging - One of the major causes of the water softener not using the salt is salt bridging. The hard salt crust forms at the tank's bottom and causes the salt to remain in the tank instead of dissolving in the water to form a brine.

Solution

To solve this problem, you have to break off the salt bridge using any blunt tool. After crushing it, do a manual regeneration cycle to recharge the system.

But if there is no salt bridge, and the problem persists, it will be better to contact your system's manufacturer for troubleshooting.

Brine Tank Water Too Low

Whenever there's no water in your brine tank, it's not an indicator that there's a problem. Although many people think there is a problem when this happens, the reverse is the case.

If this happens, then it means your water softener is working very well.

However, if there is no or little water, around ½ of the tank's volume, you should add water inside.

In some other cases, low water in the brine tank could be as a result of:

Broken Or Stuck Float Switch

If the float switch of your brine tank is broken, it can lead to very low water in the tank. The same problem can happen if it is stuck.

Solution

If the brine tank float switch is broken, you can either straighten or repair it. But, if it's stuck, perform a thorough clean up on the inside of the brine tank.

Clogged Brine Valve

If your brine line is clogged, it can also lead to a reduction in water level.

Solution

You can soak the line or valve in hot water and flush.

Resin Beads

A water softener uses resin beads to increase their effectiveness. These resin beads last as long as the system exists; however, in some cases, they can lose their potential or break. 

Cause

Broken resin beads - If the resin beads are broken or lose their potential, it causes you to add salt frequently. Another indicator that your resin bead is not working if you notice particles in your softened water.

Solution

Clean or change the resin beads. If you follow the user manual correctly, it can be easy to do by yourself, without spending a dime.

Water Softener Not Softening

This is probably one of the annoying problems associated with the water softener. Imagine when you notice that your water softener is not softening the water. It is most annoying.

Below are some of the causes of this problem:

The control valve is set wrongly - If the control valve is not rightly set, it will not recharge the resin. If the resin is not rechargeable, the water softener cannot provide you with a sufficient supply of soft water. In other words, the water softener is not displaying the right recharging time.

Solution

Adjust the recharging time accordingly.

Salt bridge or salt mushing - Just as we discussed earlier, salt bridging is the same. But in the case of salt mushing, salt mushing is different from salt bridging because, in salt bridging, the salt first gets dissolved in the water, and after that, forms a thick layer of mud at the bottom of the brine tank. It later blocks the brine well in charge of increasing the tank's water level.

Solution

If the mulched salt is at the bottom of the brine tank, you should clean it thoroughly. If it's dried, break it up and remove it from the softener. Then, clean the container very thoroughly and fill it again with salt and water.

Water Softener Causing Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure is one of the most challenging tasks for most homeowners. For water softeners, water pressure problems result from any of the following:

Water Softener Causing Low Water Pressure

Very small system - If the sizing of your water softener is too small, it can result in low water pressure.

Solution

When sizing your softener, inspect the inlet pressure if it's able to carry as much inlet pressure as it promises.

Resin Clogs - Just like how sediments can form buildup, when resin beads are flushed from the tank, it can lead to clogging of the system and can cause reduced water pressure.

Solution

To fix the problem, change the resin beads, and flush the whole system to remove any beads that may have blocked it.

Sediment buildup - When sediments clog any part of the water softener, it may reduce the water pressure.

Solution

If you sense a blockage, check the pipe and other parts of the system to identify the blockage and remove it.

Iron Build-up In The Resin Tank - When there's iron buildup or clustering in the resin tank, it can lead to reduced water pressure.

Solution

Clean the resin tank with mineral cleaner. Also, you can set regeneration cycles more often.

Salty Taste

Salty water is quite unpleasant. Although water softeners use salt to remove the hardness from water, it doesn't mean the salt in the water should be in excess. And, this is a sign that your system is not working very well.

Cause

Clogged Drain Hose - If your drain hose is clogged, it will prevent brine from being flushed out from the resin tank when regenerating.

Solution

Unclog the drain hose. But if it's not unclogging, reduce the amount of salt you use.

Water Softener Motor Failure

Water Softener Motor Failure

Water softener functions with electricity, and cannot run without a motor. The motor can fail, and if this happens, the softener will stop working. But before concluding that motor failure has occurred, check your systems cable to ensure they are not damaged and still intact. If it is, then the motor is the problem.

Cause

The cause could be a total lack of maintenance of the system.

Solution

You can contact your manufacturer if your system is still covered or ask for service assistance. Or you can buy a new motor or a new water softener.

Water Softener Will Not Regenerate

All water softener needs to run its regeneration to work correctly, and if it fails to regenerate, something is wrong. Here are some of the reasons.

Water Softener Will Not Regenerate

Broken Timer - If your timer is faulty for some reason, it means your system won't know when to run its cycle.

Solution

First, check if the timer is broken by setting the regeneration time daily, and check to see if the system will regenerate at the designated time. If it doesn't, it means the timer is faulty, and you have to replace it.

Clogged Injector Or Venturi - In this situation, you may hear the cycle sound but will realize that the water becomes saltier.

Solution

When it happens, remove any clog or blockage on the hose and ensure that water flushes through freely.

Water Softener Is Leaking

Water Softener Is Leaking

Water softener leaking is a problem familiar with almost every household. Detecting the leakage is quite tricky since you have to check every part of the system to discover where the leakage is stemming from.

Cause

Often, leakage is caused by a damaged tank, hose, valve, o-ring, and even error in installation. Thankfully, they are easy to fix.

Solution

Fix or replace damaged parts if it's caused by wrong installations; loose and install the part correctly. Ensure to follow the manufacturer's instructions while engaging in any water softener repairs to avoid damaging the system. 

Water Softener Makes Funny Noises

Water Softener Makes Funny Noises

Water softeners do not make a lot of noise, but you can hear a little sound, especially when regenerating. But not as loud as those from a running engine. However, if your water softener makes a loud noise, it means something is wrong and needs checking.

Cause

Clogged Valve - Most times, your valve may be clogged with either magnesium or calcium buildup on your intake valve or water lines.

Solutions

Flush the entire system to remove the clogs, if it persists, then contact a plumber.

Other causes include broken air valves or worn out timers. You can fix these problems by replacing them.

What You Should Note Before Troubleshooting Your Water Softener

Before troubleshooting your system, ensure you have put these factors on the check. You can also use this method to fix whirlpool water softener problems.

What You Should Note Before Troubleshooting Your Water Softener

Plug-In Softener

Before making any troubleshooting move, make sure your softener is plugged in. Also, ensure the outlet is off and check whether the display unit is active or blank.

Correct Installation

If you have a new unit, check if it's installed the right way. Most times, the reason a water softener may not be working is the wrong installation.

Check the Salt Level

Inspect the brine tank to see if the salt is enough to run the system. Also, check for the presence of a salt bridge at the bottom of your tank. If there is the presence of any, remove it.

Check the Bypass Valve - Is It Well fixed?

Check the installation of the bypass valve. If any valve is out of position, then change the location of such a valve.

Check the Valve Recorder

If you have a system with a metered unit that records the water flow, then check it to ensure that the valve is recording. To test this, you can open the faucet that is close to you to see if the meter reads.

Check to See if the Correct Time Is Set

One major cause of a non-working water softener is that it does not display the correct time of the day. Most times, it occurs when the softener experiences a lengthy power outage. If the timer is showing the wrong time, you should adjust it.

Do a Manual Regeneration Cycle

If you have checked everything and are okay, then the last task you have to engage in before troubleshooting your system is to start a manual regeneration cycle. After regenerating, test the hardness level of the water your softener produces.

Water Softener Troubleshooting Too much Water in Brine Tank

Conclusion

No one is certain of when water softener problems may arise, and this can easily disrupt one's plan for the day. But with this guide, we have listed most of the common issues you may face using a water softener alongside the solution.

These solutions will enable you to handle your water softener with ease. However, if the problem persists after engaging these methods, you can request the service of a plumber, or better still your manufacturer.

But even with these guides, please be mindful of how you handle your system so that you don't end up damaging it more.

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