Emergency Services

How To Clean Your Water Softener


Shamrock wate softner blog header december 2022

For the most part, a water softener is low maintenance. However, you have to go the extra mile if you want your tank to last for years. Proper maintenance not only reduces repair costs but also increases longevity. Cleaning your water softener is one maintenance task we recommend doing!

Even though cleaning your water softener is the last thing you want to hear, it will pay off in the end. Before we go into how to clean your water softener, let’s go over why you want to clean it.

Here are common reasons why you may need to clean your water softener.

  • Maintaining the components and reducing the frequent need for repairs.
  • Preventing dirt and sediments from collecting on the brine tank.
  • Avoiding issues with salt bridging and mushing.
  • Preventing early fouling of resin bed.
  • Increasing the resin tank lifespan.
  • Keeping the water softener in good working condition.

We recommend cleaning your water softener once a year or every five years. It’ll depend on your circumstances. If your water suddenly becomes hard, smells funny, or is discolored, it may be time to clean the entire system.

When cleaning your water softener, you have to clean the brine tank and the resin tank; here is how to go about it.

Cleaning the Brine Tank

Cleaning the brine tank requires more effort than the resin tank. We recommend cleaning your brine tank every 6 to 12 months. You’ll have to clean it frequently when you use low-purity salt. If you notice a salt bridge, you should clean the tank immediately.

Always clean your brine tank when it runs out of salt. Your tank will be lightweight, making it easy to move around and clean. You can even move it outside to avoid creating a big mess inside the house.

Here are the steps to follow in cleaning a water softener brine tank:

Wait for the salt level to reduce

It is advisable to clean your tank when the sodium levels are low. If you have recently added salt to the tank, you’ll end up wasting it if you clean the tank. The best thing to do is to wait until the salt levels go down. If there is little salt left, you can scoop it out and see the dirt buildup on the bottom of your tank.

Turn off the water

Turn off the water softener bypass valve when you are ready to start cleaning your tank. Doing so diverts the water from the system and makes it safe for you to access the brine tank.

Drain your brine tank

Remove the brine and the grid plate at the bottom of the brine tank. Scoop out the water to drain the tank. You can also use a wet vacuum. Detach your tank from the water supply and pour the brine solution down the drain. You can also choose the option of a regeneration cycle and skip the rest of the cycle once you have emptied your tank.

Clear any remaining salt

Once you get rid of all the water, a small layer of sludge will be at the bottom. Scoop it out with a shovel. Exercise caution to ensure you don’t scrape the walls of the tank.

Wash your tank

Use a hose to rinse the tank. The water pressure from the hose will remove any salt and sediments remaining from the sides of the tank. Ensure your tank is as clean as possible to make it easy for you in the next cleaning stage.

Use a detergent to scrub the tank

Mix a few drops of dish soap with two cups of water. Put a non-abrasive sponge in the mixture and use it to scrub inside the tank. You can use a natural mold removal treatment if the mold doesn’t come off.

Rinse and refill your tank

After scrubbing the tank, rinse it with water to remove the suds. Use a towel to dry the sides of your tank. Allow it to dry naturally.

Refill the salt pellets until it reaches the fill line. Turn on the bypass valve to allow water into the system.

How to Clean a Water Softener Resin Tank

Clean your resin tank once every year or every time you do a water softener service. If your water has a high manganese or iron content, you should clean your resin bed once a year to prevent fouling. You have to do that even if the water still looks clean. Make sure you use a product specifically meant for resin cleaning to clean the resin beds. The products have different cleaning instructions.

The following are the steps to take when cleaning the resin beds.

  • Begin by dissolving the cleaner in water by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Add the cleaner and water mixture to the brine tank.
  • Program the water softener manually, so it performs the regeneration cycle.
  • The cleaner works by cleaning out the resin bed as the system regenerates.

If you don’t want to keep remembering to clean your resin bed, then a specialty resin cleaner will come in handy. It will sit inside the brine tank, and add the measured amounts of the solution to your water softener daily.

Contact Shamrock Plumbing for Your Water Softener Repairs

That is how you go about cleaning your water softener. If you notice any dents or inadequate salt levels, it is time to hire a water softener repair company.

You don’t have to use hard water when your water softener needs repair; get the experts to help. Shamrock Plumbing will get your water softener system operating in no time. Contact us today!

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