Why Your Home's Water Softener Isn't Working And How To Fix It
If you have noticed an excessive amount of scale on your dishes when removing them from the dishwasher, then it is likely that your home's water softener isn't working properly. Thankfully, water softeners are simple machines, and often you can fix their problems yourself without having to call out a professional plumber. To this end, here is some information on each of the major problems that residential water softeners often have and how you can fix them:
Tip: Check the Water Softening System's Power Source
Since water softeners are oftentimes located in garages and other out-of-the-way locations, they sometimes become unplugged. Someone unplugs the water softener to plug in a drill or other tool in the garage, and then they simply forget to plug the water softener back into its power source. So, before you take any further steps to fix your system's failure, first check to make sure that it is plugged in and the lights on the system's control panel are on. If the system is plugged in but there are no lights on the control panel, then check the power breaker to make sure it is on.
Tip: Check the Salt Tank for a Bridge
Since your home's water softener uses its salt tank to feed salt pellets into the brine tank, sometimes humidity will cause the salt pellets to form a mass that is unable to pass into the brine tank. When this happens, plumbers refer to the problem as a salt bridge. The salt in the tank has bridged over the brine tank and is too hard to allow the salt to fall into the brine tank as it is designed to do. To solve a salt bridge problem, use a wooden spoon to break up the bridge area. There is no need to waste the salt by removing the clumps, but you do need to break them apart so that they will fit into the brine tank.
Tip: Manually Regenerate the Brine Tank
If your home's water softener has power and there is no salt bridge formation that you can see, then you should push the button on the softener to make it manually regenerate its brine. Do this while watching the inside of the softener to verify that the salt is moving inside of the tank. If the system stops the regeneration process without the movement of the salt pellets, then you need to have a plumber come out and look at the system to determine what is malfunctioning.