Hard water is one of the most common problems you will experience with your water supply. Water becomes hard when it contains too many minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Hard water problems range from a few inconveniences to major plumbing issues. As you use your water, you need to…
Cost Effective Water Softener Installation, Maintenance, and Repairs
Hard water is any water that contains high concentrations of minerals or metals, such as calcium and magnesium. The water is safe to use but it causes a variety of problems. These problems include cleaning, appliance lifespan, and efficiency. At Florida Water Analysis, we believe we have the most cost-effective water softening system on the market. Call us today to find out more. Our water softener services will help you win the battle against hard water.
Table Of Contents:
- Water Softener 101
- What Is Hard Water
- Benefits Of A Water Softening System
- How Does A Water Softener Work
- A Water Softener Should Regenerate In
- How Often Should A Water Softener Regenerate
- Can I Use Water During The Water Softener Regeneration Cycle
- How Often Do I Need To Change The Resin Bed
- Clean A Water Softener Resin Tank
- How to Remove Solid Salt From A Water Softener
- Is Softened Water Safe To Drink
- The Signs Of A Water Softener That Isn’t Working Properly
- What Do I Do If My Water Softener Is Leaking
- Why Choose Florida Water Analysis
- Water Softener Gallery
Water Softener 101
Our water softening systems provide affordable hard water treatment for your home by removing calcium, magnesium and other sediments from your water. Once you install one of our softeners, those hard water minerals will be gone. Call Florida Water Analysis today so your family can start enjoying the benefits of soft water.
What Is Hard Water
Hard water is any water that contains high concentrations of Ca2 (Calcium) and Mg2 (Magnesium) cations. Calcium and magnesium get formed when water underground passes over certain geological structures that are rich in limestone and dolomite. Under the right conditions, some of those ions can dissolve (along with some of the carbonates and other anions to keep charge balance) into the water. A lot of these ions in the water can affect the taste of the water.
Ca2 (Calcium) and Mg2 (Magnesium) cations can combine with anions from soap to produce scum. You will see soap scum in your bathtub, toilet, sinks, and glassware.
To make things worst, Ca2 (Calcium) and Mg2 (Magnesium) cations can combine with carbonates in the water to form insoluble carbonates known as scale. This type of scale is bad for pipes, water heaters, boilers and coffee machines.
Benefits Of A Water Softening System
- Reduced soap scum on tubs, sinks, and faucets
- No hard water spots on glassware and dishes
- Laundry will be brighter while using 50% less detergent
- Scale build up in your plumbing is reduced
- Up to 29% lower power consumption of your water heater
- The lifespan on your appliances is greatly increased
How Does A Water Softener Work
A typical water softener is a mechanical appliance that is plumbed into your homes water supply system. At the heart of a water softening system is the mineral tank. The tank is filled with small polystyrene beads, also known as resin, are placed into the tank. These beads carry a negative charge. Since calcium and magnesium in water carry a positive charge, they will cling to the beads as the hard water passes through the mineral tank. Sodium ions also have a positive charge. Once the brine solution is flushed through a tank that has beads saturated with calcium and magnesium, the large volume of the sodium ions will remove the calcium and magnesium ions off of the beads.
When the hard water moves into the mineral tank, the calcium and magnesium ions move to the beads, replacing sodium ions. The sodium ions go into the water. When the beads are saturated with calcium and magnesium, the unit enters a regenerating cycle.
- Backwash Phase: This reverses water flow to flush dirt out of the tank.
- Recharge Phase: The concentrated sodium-rich salt solution is carried from the brine tank through the mineral tank. The sodium collects on the beads, replacing the calcium and magnesium, which go down the drain.
- Flush Phase: The mineral tank is flushed of excess brine and the brine tank is refilled.
How Long Should It Take For A Water Softener To Regenerate
Typically, water softeners take about an hour to 90 minutes to run through the complete automatic regeneration cycle. During the regeneration cycle, the water softener cleans the treatment medium by reversing the chemical reaction that removes unwanted dissolved minerals from the water.
How Often Should A Water Softener Regenerate
A water softening system should regenerate about every two to three days. There are several factors that go into determining when your softener needs to be recharged.
- The hardness of your water
- The amount of iron in your water
- How much water you use
- The capacity of the resin tank
- The age of the softener
- Chemical deterioration caused by oxidants such as chlorine (municipal water supplies) also decreases capacity.
Can I Use Water During The Water Softener Regeneration Cycle
In bypass mode, the softener will allow hard water to be available to your home. Once the water softener is recharged, the water is once again directed through the resin bed to be soften. We do not recommend using your hot water during the recharging process because the water heater would then fill up with hard water.
How Often Do I Need To Change The Resin Beds
A water softeners’ resin bed normally last between 10 to 15 years. Iron and chlorine can damage the resin bed thus shorting its lifespan. How do you know if your resin bed needs to be changed? Check to see if your softener is using up salt at its regular rate. If it is, and you don’t have soft water, the resin bed has probably become saturated with iron deposits or been damaged by chlorine and can no longer be regenerated by the brine. Assuming that there isn’t using much or any salt, the problem is most likely a bad valve head, meaning the resin bed isn’t getting recharged with brine water at all.
How To Clean A Water Softener Resin Tank
The best time to clean the resin tank is when it’s running low on salt. You want to do this so you don’t have to unload all of the salt that’s in the tank. The first thing to do is to unplug the unit and remove the resin tank by unscrewing the bolts and disconnecting the valve. You can then clean the tank using bleach and water before reinstalling the tank.
Another option and a way easier and more common way of cleaning your water softeners tank is to buy an iron-removing product made specifically for softeners. It will chemically change the iron into a soluble state that can be rinsed away with water. Follow the directions on the package as to how much of the product to use.
- Remove the control panel cover and find the manual regeneration button.
- Using a screwdriver, turn the button to the “Service Setting” to start the regeneration and flush the wastewater through the system.
- Before closing everything back up, remove any salt or iron buildup on any of the other smaller parts of the softener using a cleanser and brush.
How to Remove Solid Salt From A Water Softener
- Check to see if the tank is full of salt. If it is and it has been months since the last salt change, it may mean you have a solid salt bridge buildup.
- Turn off the water softening system
- Tap the salt gently to see if it is hardened. If so, remove any loose pellets from the surface and place them aside.
- Continue tapping to break up the salt. Avoid damaging the sides of the water softeners’ tank.
- Remove the salt chucks as you break up the salt bridge. Use a wet vac to remove any debris at the bottom of the tank.
- Fill the softener with new salt pellets. Do not use the old ones. The salt pellet level should be under the highest level the water reached inside the tank.
Is Softened Water Safe To Drink
Softening your water will not result in salty-tasting water. Sodium bicarbonate is different from sodium chloride ( regular table salt ). If your water is very hard ( greater than 10 grains of hardness per gallon ) then between 20mg to 30mg of sodium is added to every 8 ounces of water. You may think that is a lot of Sodium bicarbonate. Let’s compare soft water to everyday drinks.
- An 8-ounce glass of low-fat milk contains about 120mg of sodium
- A 12-ounce can of diet soda contains about 40mg
- An 8-ounce glass of orange juice contains about 25mg
The recommended daily allowance for sodium consumption is 2,400 mg. Drinking two quarts of softened water would add 160mg to 240mg of sodium to your diet.
What Are The Signs Of A Water Softener That Isn’t Working Properly
Do you think that your water softener is not working any longer? You may be seeing water spots on your faucets and glassware or you have notices a change in your homes water pressure. Below are some common signs that your water softening system is not working properly.
- Seeing hard water spots: If you are cleaning up soap scum and mineral build up then it’s time to have your system serviced.
- Water Doesn’t Feel Soft: If your water doesn’t feel slippery or you find you cannot get suds to form in the kitchen sink, first check if your brine tank has salt pellets. If there’s salt in the tank, this may indicate that your system has stopped working and needs to be serviced.
- Change in Water Pressure or Water Quality: If you have noticed a reduction in water pressure or seeing spots on your kitchen and bathroom fixtures, you should immediately have your water softener serviced.
What Do I Do If My Water Softener Is Leaking
If your water softening system is leaking or flooding into your home, the first step is to locate and turn off the water supply to the water softener. There should be a valve that you can turn off at the back of the system. If you cannot locate the valve then you need to turn off the water at the water main. Contact the installer to have your water softening system serviced.
Water Softener Installation
Our water softener installations are usually near direct plumbing. Water softening systems soften the water that enters your home and it’s important that all of your water goes through the softener. The location of the water softener installation will depend on the type of system you bought and will be determined by the installer. Most of our water softener installations just take a few hours but it depends on the system you had chosen. It is important to choose a reputable company, such as Florida Water Analysis, with experienced installers to make sure the water softener installation is completed in a timely fashion. If you are a do it yourself person then you may be interested in our water softener installation guide.
Water Softener Maintenance
Basic water softener maintenance is a must to keep your water softening system working properly. Florida Water Analysis offers an annual maintenance program in which the installer will check the system once a year to make sure the water softener is working efficiently. Our water softener maintenance program can help to prevent repair costs that might come from a poorly maintained water softening system. The maintenance program is inexpensive and outweighs the cost of unnecessary water softener repairs.
Call us today so we can help you maintain your system and to make sure it will produce soft water for many years to come.
- Check water softener salt, adding more when necessary
- Inspects water flow
- Monitor any changes in water hardness levels
- Adjust the regeneration frequency
If you are a do it yourself person then you may be interested in our water softener maintenance guide.
Water Softener Repair
By hiring Florida Water Analysis for your water softener repair needs, you will significantly increase the chances of successfully solving your water quality problems and begin to enjoy safe, clean and delicious water. Our repair technicians have the knowledge and expertise to service and repair most softeners in use today, even if the softener is not a Florida Water Analysis brand. Ask us about our service agreement and sign up for the most convenient and reliable repair work available.
- Test water for new contaminants
- Set timers and sensors
- Remove salt bridging in the tank
- Replace any broken components
If you are a do it yourself person then you may be interested in our water softener repair guide.
Why Choose Florida Water Analysis
With all of the water softening systems that are on the market today, how do you decide which one is the right fit for your home? Be sure to compare softeners based on your home’s water supply, your family’s water usage and the space you have for the system. We can diagnose your water with our free water test and give you recommendations to the best softener for your home. If you already have a softener for your home than our maintenance program can bring that softener back to life. Call us today to start the path to soft water.
Stop throwing your money out the window on high power, plumbing repair, and cleaning bills and consider a water softener to help you win the battle against hard water. Minerals that are in hard water can wreak havoc on your plumbing, fixtures, glassware, hair, and skin. Call Florida Water Analysis when you are ready to defeat your hard water problems.