To see if a water softener system is working, you must have a water hardness test kit. This will be the perfect tool to tell you what type of hardness treatment your system needs to work best and let you know when something’s wrong. Once you’ve got your test kit from the store or online, make a beeline for your water softener and begin testing.
Since most people have no idea what they’re looking for, I have listed below 10 of the most common softener-related problems and how to deal with them. One can solve some of these by just cleaning or replacing your equipment, but a few require a replacement of parts or an entirely new system. Don’t stress over these – call a professional to handle it for you.
How to Find Out the Water Softener System Is Not Working
1. The system isn’t working the way it’s supposed to
Most of the time, a few tricky water symptoms are a clear indication that you have a problem, but if that doesn’t work or you’re not sure, you can always check your water hardness by testing your water hardness test kit. Water softener systems will be on a scale from 1-25. If your system is below 10, it’s time to call your water company and request a chemical test.
2. The system comes on too early or late
If your softener leaves your water on for too short or long of a time, you may not receive the full benefit of the product. This is because chlorine is no longer in contact with the water to maintain its sanitation properties once added to your tank. Before you do anything else, test your water hardness with your home-use test kit to determine if you must replace the system. If it is, be sure to match the capabilities of your new one with what’s already in place. A replacement won’t help if the replacement system is too powerful and will wastewater throughout your home or business.
3. The system is draining too often
Water softeners use a specific amount of water to regenerate the resin beads. If you see your water levels going down too quickly, it means you’re either using more water than most or that your beads are not regenerating the way they should. A good rule of thumb with most systems is that you need a new resin if it drains within 24 hours after regeneration.
4. Hard water symptoms aren’t going away
If the hard water symptoms aren’t going away and your water company refuses to perform a chemical test, it means that you need to run a regeneration cycle. However, if you do not have enough resin in the system and that your daily use is still getting more substantial, it could mean that your system is unusable.
To test this, place the water softener bucket on an empty container and run a regeneration cycle. If there are no leaks, your system should fill the bucket to about 3/4 of its capacity. If it
doesn’t, you should check the manual for the size of the bucket and see if you need to replace it with a larger one.
5. The resin won’t dissolve
This happens when the resin beads are too big or too small for your system. If they are too small, the water hardness will become stronger. If they are too big, the resin won’t dissolve properly, and the water hardness will stay the same. Before you replace your resin with a new one, make sure that your system is working fine by following these steps:
Run a regeneration cycle with only half of your usual amount of resin-based on the daily capacity of your softener.
If it works well after that, you can add more resin to get back to its usual total capacity.
6. The resin beads aren’t dissolved properly
The resin beads need to be completely dissolved within 24 hours for you to get optimum benefits from the water softening unit. If they’re not, you need to consult your manual or call a professional for advice on correcting this. You should also still run a regeneration cycle during that time.
7. The water is still hard after a regeneration cycle
This means the pre-filter is clogging, and it’s not going to fix itself. You need to call a professional or replace it with a new one. If you have a standard tank, you need to remove the older pre-filter and place an additional one on top of it. If you have a tankless system, this will never happen unless the pre-filter is defective from the start or if you forget to remove it during regeneration.
8. You forgot to turn off the power during regeneration
This happens because you forgot to turn the power off on your unit. If you see this, make sure that you do not touch or mess with it and wait 24 hours. Then run another regeneration cycle and restart your unit. All sound systems have a reset button – press it, and everything should go back to normal.
9. It’s taking too long to regenerate
Before you call a professional or modify your system:
1. Be sure that it isn’t just a problem with the power. If it takes too long for your water softener to regenerate, the first thing you should do is to check the electricity.
2. Clean the resin beads and check for any split-ends.
3. If you see any damaged resin, throw away anything cracked or damaged and replace it with new.
The other thing you should do is to check the level of water in your softener bucket. If it’s shallow, the resin may not be dissolved properly.
10. The resin isn’t dissolving properly
Before you start this process, make sure that the resin beads are clean and intact. Additionally, make sure that the water is warm enough for your unit to work correctly. If you have the resin beads in warm water, they will dissolve better. If it’s not working after that, try increasing the time of your regeneration cycle by 15 minutes each time until you get the results you want.
11. It needs to be serviced
If none of this works to fix your problem, then it’s possible that your unit is defective or hasn’t been adequately maintained since its initial installation. You may need to replace it with a new one if you have maintenance records stating otherwise.
If your water is hard, you need a water softener system to solve this problem. That doesn’t mean you have to buy a new system every time your resin beads wear out. You can replace them or repair them depending on how they look and the number of gallons they can handle each cycle. Before you rush to the store and buy the first brand that catches your eye, however, it is best to consult an expert first.