Unfortunately, troubleshooting isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t have experience doing it yourself. But you don’t need to worry. Our water softener repair guide will help.
We hope you find some quick solutions that you can try to save from a service call.
Table of Contents
- 1 What to do if your water softener does not work?
- 2 Troubleshooting and Repairing Water Softeners 101
- 3 1. Water softener regeneration
- 3.1 2. There is or is not enough water in the brine tank.
- 3.2 3. Water softener salt not going down
- 3.3 4. Mushing
- 3.4 More possible reasons why your brine tank is full of water or overflows:
- 3.5 Dirty or worn resin bed
- 3.6 The unit is leaking
- 3.7 Dirt – Brown water in the brine tank
- 3.8 Discolored water
- 4 Softener causes low water pressure.
What to do if your water softener does not work?
Testing: How to test if your water softener is working properly
The easiest way to test is to measure the hardness of the outlet water.
To do this, you can buy a cheap test kit online or at your local hardware store. All you have to do is follow the included instructions. you will get to know what issue are you facing to repair water softener.
Soft water tests are based on calcium carbonate levels. Concentrations are measured in ppm (parts per million), mg / L, or gpg (grains per gallon). The latter is the industry standard.
Of course, it would also be wise to test the feedwater, so you can be sure that there is a difference in hardness before and after the softening process.
First steps for water softener repair.
If hard water comes out of your softener, it is because it is not working or because it is not producing a sufficient amount of soft water to meet your demand.
In case the hardness doesn’t drop even a little bit, be sure to follow these simple steps before diving into our DIY Troubleshooting and Repair Guide below:
Does your softener run on electricity? Check that it is plugged in and that the power outlet is not disconnected. Check the display of the unit. Is it blank?
Make sure that no bypass valve is in the bypass position.
Check if there is enough salt in the brine tank. Also, look for a salt bridge that is a very common phenomenon ( learn below ).
Check that the correct time of day is displayed, especially after a recent blackout. Adjust it if necessary.
Apply the correct settings for hardness, use of salt and water for regeneration, as well as regeneration time and cycle duration (see manual).
For a measured unit, is the valve registering the water flow? Check it by opening a nearby tap.
For a new unit, is it connected properly? Think about the direction of the water flow.
If you have not found the error at this point, start a manual regeneration cycle (see the instruction manual for more information) and retest the hardness level of the outlet water afterward.
Is the water perfectly soft now? Then it may be that your water consumption is higher than you thought. Obviously, if your demand exceeds supply, you will eventually run out of soft water, as your softener runs out of capacity ahead of schedule.
To resolve this, increase your salt dosage to get more out of your system or allow it to regenerate more often and for a longer time.
On the other hand: Many people underestimate the amount of water they actually use on a daily basis—the USGS estimates between 80 and 100 gallons per capita.
Water softener timer not working
If that is not the case, then there is something wrong with your system and hard to troubleshoot water softener. It is possible that it will not regenerate due to a timer malfunction or that the brine tank is having a problem, so the resin cannot be fully recharged. Another possible explanation is a dirty or worn out resin bed.
To eliminate these and other possibilities, see the following sections, 1 to 5, in particular.
Aren’t you getting soft water even after regeneration? In this case, there is definitely a problem that requires your attention – time to solve some problems.
Troubleshooting and Repairing Water Softeners 101
We sorted the following water softener problems from most common to least common where it made sense.
Now, you may have to jump between sections. Also, keep in mind that there are many potential causes for a water softener to fail, and finding the error is not always easy. Water softener regeneration.
1. Water softener regeneration
IS your softener not regenerating properly, or is it not regenerating at all?
Reverse Osmosis Timer – To find out if it is an Inverse Osmosis timer, set the regeneration cycle daily. You should then see and hear the system recharge the following night. If nothing happens, the timer is likely to be Reverse Osmosis, and the only solution is to replace the part.
Improperly configured timer – Another problem could be a clock or timer that is not configured correctly. Please refer to the instruction manual and check all settings.
Clogged injector/venturi – Check if the brine or venturi injector, used to suck brine into the resin tank, is clogged and, if so, remove any residue or salt deposits (see manual).
Restricted Drain Hose / Control – A restriction can interrupt brine draw during recharging. Remove the obstruction.
Engine failure – In the event of engine failure, there is not much you can do except replace it. The good news is that this is very rare.
2. There is or is not enough water in the brine tank.
You can only tell if there is enough water in the brine tank when you are running out of salt. Why? Because a normally functioning tank doesn’t fill to the top, it doesn’t even come close.
Instead, the water is only pumped to the bottom. The salt partially dissolves, and the brine is sucked into the resin tank for regeneration.
So just because you can’t see any water doesn’t mean something is wrong – there’s no reason to panic right now!
However, if no water actually flows into the brine tank, then your softener cannot restore its softening capacity. If the tank is not full enough, regeneration will be partial at best. Amfiltroagua.top scenarios imply that the system will not function at peak performance and ultimately will not soften the water completely.
How to approach the problem? First, make sure the brine tank float switch is straight and can move freely up and down (if you have one). If it’s clogged, cleaning all the parts inside the brine pit should do the trick. As a last resort, replace a Reverse Osmosis switch.
Then make sure that the brine line and valve are not clogged so that the brine can be drawn in. Soak in hot water and rinse to unclog.
3. Water softener salt not going down
If the level of salt in the brine tank does not drop, it means that no salt is being used, so far so good.
This is most likely caused by a hard crust of salt, also called a ” salt bridge, “which has formed at the bottom of the tank. The bridge prevents salt from falling and dissolving in the water to form a brine. At the same time, most, if not all, of the salt under the bridge has already disappeared.
If too little salt is dissolved, the resin cannot regenerate and will eventually stop softening.
You can easily prove this by trying to push the handle of a broom down to the bottom of the salt tank. If you can’t, then you’ve come across a bridge.
Carefully crush the bridge and all large groups with the broom handle or any other Reverse Osmosis tool at hand. Then start a manual regeneration cycle so that your water softener can finally recharge.
Crushing occurs when the salt first dissolves but then recrystallizes to form a thick layer of mud at the bottom of the brine tank.
The wort can clog the brine well and cause the water level in the tank to increase with each regeneration cycle. It also reduces the salinity of the brine.
To fix this, empty all the loose salt. Then use the handle of a broom for Osmosis Inversamper the mash and take it out. Or you can just dissolve it in hot water. Also, make sure the brine well is clean.
Filled with water – How much water must be in the brine tank?
Should your softener have water in the brine tank? Yes, it should, as long as it is a post-fill system. But as stated earlier, unless the salt is almost empty, you shouldn’t be able to see anything from it, because the tank is not supposed to be filled to the top (usually no higher than 10 ″ to 12 ″).
If that’s still the case, it means your brine tank is not filling or emptying as it should. Too much water also means a reduction in brine salinity, preventing the softener from recharging properly.
Therefore, it is best to drain the tank by hand and clean it thoroughly afterward.
Again, make sure the brine float is straight and moves freely. And neither the brine valve nor the brine tube should be clogged. Also, the valve may be stuck in the open position, or the assembly has a misplaced or worn O-ring, or is missing one.
FYI: With post-fill water softeners, the salt tank is refilled at the end of each regeneration to prepare the brine for the next cycle.
More possible reasons why your brine tank is full of water or overflows:
1. The water pressure in your home is too low/high – Measure the water pressure in your home. If it does not meet the requirements of your softener, adjust it accordingly.
2. Clogged drain/control tube – Clean the drain tube and control if necessary.
3. Clogged injector/venturi – Check if the brine or venturi injector, used to suck brine into the resin tank, is clogged and, if so, remove any residue or salt deposits (see manual).
4. Malfunction timer – Refill time may not be set correctly. We have covered this topic above.
Control valve blockage – Although rare, a blockage in the main control valve could cause an internal bypass. Clean to unclog.
Is your water softener is Osmosis Reversed without the possibility of repair, and is it finally time to replace it? We provide detailed reviews for a range of models here!
Dirty or worn resin bed
The resin bed is the heart of every water softener. If it is not in good condition, it can cause a whole host of problems, from discoloration to low water pressure.
So what causes deterioration of a resin bed?
Any water, particularly well water, contains impurities such as sediment, iron, sulfur, manganese, organic compounds, or bacteria. At sufficiently high concentrations, these materials accumulate within the resin tank over time and dirty or clog the bed.
Newly installed softeners and softeners that have been out of service for some time or that work for long periods of time between regenerations are particularly affected.
In summary: Cleaning and/or sanitization is required. On top of that, consider shortening the time between regeneration cycles while reducing the salt dosage if necessary. You also want to see the length of the regeneration cycle.
It may also be that the resin is simply worn. This is more common in city supplies, where chlorinated water breaks down the tiny plastic droplets. To check if your resin bed needs to be replaced, rub some of the pearls between your fingers. If they fall apart easily, it is a sign that they have reached the end of their lives.
Another way to determine the condition of the resin is to look for particles in the filters of the taps and showers, and that they float in the soft water.
Unfortunately, the only solution to this is to reposition or replace the resin tank.
The unit is leaking
If your water softener shows any sign of leakage, you should check all the components: tanks, hoses, valves, O-rings …
Fix or replace every piece that is Reverse Osmosis. It is also possible that an error was made during the installation.
We know that inspecting the entire system is a tedious task, but there really is no way around it.
Dirt – Brown water in the brine tank
Brown water in the brine tank may be a sign that there is too much rust in the food supply. Mixed with brine creates a brownish color. It may also be that the dirt in the salt has accumulated over time. (Are you using reverse osmosis salt?)
The obvious solution to this is to clean the brine tank. As a general rule, a standard water softener should be cleaned between once a year and every five years, depending on the condition of the feed water.
Brown, yellow, cloudy, or discolored water coming out of your taps, especially after a recent regeneration cycle, could be an indicator of rusty water, dirty salt, or a dirty resin bed.
Check the previous section to find out how to clean your brine tank – if that’s the culprit.
Softener causes low water pressure.
Your softener can cause low water pressure for one or more of the following reasons:
1. Worn or clogged resin bed – Most of the time, a drop in pressure results from resistance in the resin bed. The chlorine could have corroded it. The remains sink to the bottom of the mineral tank and form an almost impermeable layer. Or simply, the resin is clogged.
2. Resin beads have clogged accessories – If the beads are washed out of the resin tank, they can end up in and clog the faucet strainers and shower heads. To bring the pressure back to normal, clean all outlets ( see the section below for more information ).
3. Improper system size – A water softener that is too small in terms of softening capacity or does not provide a high enough flow rate will bleed hard water or reduce pressure, or both. There is not much I can do except learn to size a softener the right way and buy a new system.
4. Check valve clogged – As we said, this is rare. Clean to unclog.
The water is slippery and/or tastes too salty (after regeneration)
If the water is too slippery and/or tastes too salty and may even leave a white residue, it basically means the water is “too soft.” In other words, your fabric softener is using too much salt when regenerating. So check your salt settings.
Another explanation could be that the drain hose or control is clogged. This prevents the brine from leaving the resin tank during regeneration. To solve the problem, remove the residue.