Water softeners and filters will require some maintenance to ensure that they’re functioning efficiently. Every model is different, so the best course of action is to always consult with your manual and follow the instructions that the manufacturer provides.
The following maintenance procedures are recommended for most filters and softeners.
Water Filter Replacement
Water filters normally need to be replaced every 3 months on average, depending on usage. Changing your own filter is a breeze and will take no more than 5 minutes in most cases. Again, your water filter may last longer, so check with the manufacturer to follow a proper filter replacement schedule.
Care and Cleaning
Filter changes aren’t the only maintenance you’ll need to perform. There are several maintenance recommendations, including:
- Cleaning the Exterior: The exterior of a water softening system can be cleaned. It’s best to clean these exteriors with a mild soap and warm water. Never use abrasive or harsh cleaning components.
- Clean the Unit Thoroughly: If a unit is installed outside or in a pump house, thorough cleanings are recommended. This will require you to remove the control valve cover and use a dry, soft brush to clean away cobwebs, dirt and other debris that will make it into the unit.
In terms of exterior cleaning, these are the only two methods you’ll need to follow to ensure that your softener will run properly.
Clean the Brine Tank
Water softener units have a brine tank when they use salt. This tank will need to be cleaned when the salt supply is low for best results. You’ll want to clean the unit by doing the following:
- Remove the lid and cap from the brine well.
- Remove the brine well from the tank. You’ll need to disconnect the overflow tube.
- Remove any dry salt remaining in the tank for later usage.
- Using a scoop, remove any remaining salt in the unit and discard it.
- Lay the unit on its side and use a garden house to wash out the residue and debris in the unit.
- If a salt grid is used, remove it and scrub it with a brush and mild soap.
- Reinstall the unit.
- Fill the tank with 2 – 3 inches of water.
- Fill the tank up to 2/3 full of salt.
- Replace the cover.
The system will need a few hours to regenerate properly. Cleaning out the tank periodically is recommended.
This procedure is recommended every 1 – 2 years, or if the unit has been shutoff for more than a week at a time. Some experts recommend adding bleach into the brine tank and running a few regen cycles to flush all of the bleach out of the system. This is ideal for very old units, but it’s important to never allow the bleach to sit in the unit for long as corrosion may occur as a result.
Water softener cleaners and sanitizers are also available to help you clean out the brine tank properly. These can be purchased in stores or online.