We all know the signs that show our water softener might need a bit of upkeep. When our hair loses that silky smoothness or our soap doesn’t lather as well in the shower, it might be time for us to take a look at our water softener. This is especially true since scale buildup could occur in all the appliances in our household with water running through them.

We’re probably all well aware of the feeling that goes along with having to descale the coffee machine more often than we should have to. To help overcome this potential situation, our Las Vegas water softener experts are going over a few possible reasons that could happen with our water softener and go over the easiest solution, which is simply to clean the softener.


Why Would We Have to Clean Our Water Softener?

Most situations that would result in us having to clean our water softener involve the salt or brine tank itself. The brine tank is simply the tank where the salt crystals used by our water softener mix with the water coming into our house. These types of situations include the following issues:

  • Salt Bridge – This is caused when the salt crystals used in our water softener literally form a bridge above the water level in our salt tank. The water then flows right past the salt crystals and settles at the bottom of the tank, never properly mixing with the salt. If we see that our water softener is continuously regenerating, this is most likely the reason.
  • Salt Mushing – This is when salt packs together in a clump in the base of our water softener, blocking the intake valve, which causes the water level in our salt tank to increase every time the softener regenerates. If we see water overflowing from our water softener, this is most likely our culprit.


How Do We Prevent These Issues From Occurring?

All that’s needed for us to prevent these salt-related issues from occurring in our water softener is to clean out the brine tank just once a year. It’s not a complicated process at all, and we’ll walk you through it with the following simple steps:

  1. Use the valve at the top of the softener to shut off the water going into the softener
  2. Remove all connections going to the salt tank and remove them from the water softener
  3. Drain all the water from the salt tank
  4. Empty all the salt from the brine tank using a scoop. Break up any salt bridges or mushing with something long and sturdy such as a broom handle
  5. Use a cleaning solution made from a small amount of dish soap or detergent in a couple of gallons of water. A very small amount of bleach can be used but is not recommended as it can shorten the life of your resin
  6. Use a brush with thick bristles along with the cleaning solution to scrub out the inside of the tank
  7. Rinse out the tank
  8. Connect the salt tank back to the rest of the softener
  9. Add salt back into the tank


What If There’s a Large Amount of Iron in Our Water?

There might be a significant amount of iron in your area, depending on where you live. We’ll need to use a resin cleaner to remove any potential rust buildup in the water softener’s resin if this is the case. This is a simple process that we can complete by doing the following:

  1. Dissolve the resin cleaner in cold water depending on the instructions on the cleaner
  2. Add this solution into your salt tank
  3. Start a regeneration cycle on the water softener
  4. Perform additional regenerations if there is any discoloration or aftertaste in the water


What Tools Do We Need?

You don’t need any specialized tools or equipment to clean your water softener. It can easily be done with everyday objects found around your home. However, if you’re just not feeling up to the task or want to catch a problem with your water softener that might be a bit more serious, a professional is definitely recommended.

Since you now know some common issues that can happen with your water softener and how to clean it, maybe that coffee maker will need just a little less descaling, or you’ll use a little less detergent when washing clothes or dishes.


Professional Water Softener Maintenance

If you suspect your water softener is in need of more than just a simple cleaning, the water softener professionals at Rain Water Conditioning of Las Vegas can help! We have experience with water softener installation, repairs, replacements, and more. Contact our team to schedule an evaluation or to learn about our water softeners, reverse osmosis water filtration systems, and complete water conditioning systems today!