Maintaining A Home Water Softener System
Water softener plumbing
High concentrations of magnesium and calcium in water make it “hard”. According to the Fort Worth plumbing experts, soap and cleaning products do not work well in hard water, and the minerals stick to the sides of pipes in the form of scale, reducing the pipe’s ability to conduct water or heat.
A water softener replaces the calcium and magnesium with sodium or potassium, which do not cause the same adverse effects. Replacement of the harmful minerals takes place in the softener, in which the hard water runs over a bed of beads coated with sodium ions. Periodically the softener needs to be recharged with sodium ions and will flush the accumulated calcium/magnesium water out a drain line.
Although a water softener is a simple device, brine lines and the injector filter in the system can become clogged. Inspect the brine tank and remove any crust with a vacuum cleaner. If you see iron deposits, use an iron-removing agent to clean the softener. If the timer or control unit is faulty, you can remove and replace it, but repair is best left to a trained Fort Worth plumber.
Checking the brine line
- Open the bypass valve so the line will not run water while you are working on it;
- Loosen the compression nut and disconnect the line;
- Inspect it for deposits, which you can often clean easily with a small screwdriver or miniature plastic bottle brush;
- Flush the line using a kitchen baster.
Replace injector screen
- Remove the injector filter cover and lift out the screen;
- Check the nozzle (see the unit owner’s manual);
- Clean the screen in soapy water and reinstall;
- Replace the filter screen if it is damaged or cannot be cleaned adequately.
PLUMBING TRADE SECRETS: This plumbing maintenance task might take approximately 2 hours to remove, clean, and reassemble the brine line and injector screen. Everyday tools you have in your toolbox, including needle-nose pliers, a screwdriver and a kitchen baster. It will be necessary to divert the water with a bypass valve and you should be able to make simple plumbing connections and disconnections.