Water Softener Troubleshooting

Need to do some water softener troubleshooting? Truthfully, I’m not surprised.

Water Softener Troubleshooting

Water softeners are generally pretty reliable in their operations. But like any equipment there are many areas that can go wrong in the operations of a water softener, and troubleshooting the problems can help to identify where the problem may be.

Water softeners are one of those “out of sight, out of mind” pieces of equipment where you don’t think much about it … hence, why so often folks allow them to run out of salt. Knowing whether the water softener is actually working can be as elusive as well.

Keep in mind that there was a reason you purchased the water softener in the first place. Review the issues that were occurring in your home when you decided to purchase it, i.e. hard water build up, soap not lathering up, dishes and glasses having hard water spots, etc. If you see any of these things occurring you will want to check some of the possible problems listed below to see if they can be affecting the performance of your water softener.

Water Softener Troubleshooting Checklist

Here’s where to begin when troubleshooting your water softener:

  • Out of salt. This is the first thing to check, and most often will be the reason a water softener is not working properly. The solution is to drag those bags of salt downstairs and get the job done correctly. If you are like me, it wasn’t so bad when there are sons to do the hauling, but when they grow up and move away … all the more reason to look for a better alternative.
  • Every softener has a timer motor that can break. This will prevent the system from going through its cycle to recharge the resin beads with sodium.
  • Corrosion or rust in the brine tank.
  • The brine tube flowing to recharge the resin beads becomes plugged. If this happens recharging cannot be completed.
  • Deterioration of the resin beads during the backwash cycle. Then the smaller pieces will be flushed out during the rinse cycle.
  • Calcium blockage in pipes or tubing previous to water being softened.
  • Resin bead membrane breaking. This can lead to serious cleaning and unplugging problems.

Regardless of the problem, when you’re done with your water softener troubleshooting, you will need to determine if it is something you can fix on your own or whether you need to get a professional in to solve the problem.

Another alternative is to use the “no maintenance, no repair” water conditioning system from Aqua Magnets which will do everything a water softener does … and a lot more … without additional costs, repairs, or maintenance. You’ll never do water softener troubleshooting again …

[Image Credit: Zach Klein]