If you live in an area with hard water an ion exchange water softener is a must-have device. An ion exchange water softener is a device that takes out extra minerals that make your water hard leaving you with softened water.
Like any other device in the house water softener too get dirty and needs to be cleaned or maintained to continue operating smoothly at peak performance throughout.
Proper cleaning and maintenance of a water softener will increase longevity and reduce repair costs.
In this article, we will learn step by step instruction on how to clean an ion exchange water softener.
An ion exchange water softener consists of two tanks (resin tank and brine tank). Cleaning a water softener comprises cleaning both tanks.
How to clean water softener resin tank
The resin tank is the heart of the water softener because this is where the whole water softening process takes place. It contains a resin bead that attracts minerals that make your water hard.
During the softening process, the hard water minerals remain on the resin beads and softened water passes through to your faucet ready for human use.
After some time resin beads become over coated with hard water minerals, therefore, require to be cleaned to remove excess coated mineral to operate effectively.
Also, there are other contaminants present in the water that resin beads are not capable of removing such as iron, silt, and organic compounds.
These other contaminants settle in the resin tank, coat the resin beads leading to system failure.
Having explained how your water softener resin gets dirty at least now you understand why water softener resin tank requires cleaning.
Here are step by step guide on how to clean a water softener resin tank
Hard water minerals and other contaminants present in the resin tank are cleaned differently.
To clean the accumulation of hard water minerals that has over covered resin beads you require a process called regeneration.
The regeneration process is where brine solution from the brine tank is run to the resin tank and attracts the excess leaving the resin tank clean. The brine solution is flushed out of the resin tank through a drain pipe.
In case the resin tank has an accumulation of other contaminants such as iron you require the resin cleaner to clean the resin beads.
Resin cleaner is a special detergent that is designed to clean contaminants in the resin tank which brine solution cannot remove.
The resin cleaner is put in the brine tank and is run to the resin tank through a process known as regeneration.
After cleaning flush out the resin cleaner through the drain pipe.
You are done cleaning your water softener resin tank.
Note you are supposed to clean the resin tank using resin cleaner after every four months.
How to clean water softener brine tank
As explained above brine tank is where the salt solution is stored for regeneration.
Most water softener salt sold in our market is not 100% pure and has impurities that make the brine tank dirty.
The dirt in the brine tank can prevent salt to dissolve properly so the water softener won’t regenerate properly.
The water softener brine tank is supposed to be cleaned when salt is low so as not to waste too much salt.
Step by step instruction on how to clean water softener brine tank
- Shut off of the water softener or put the system in the bypass mode.
- Disconnect the brine tank
- Discard the salt solution in the brine tank.
- Remove brine tank parts and set aside.
- Prepare soapy water using soap and water. Pour soapy water in the tank and using a long brush to scrub inside the tank.
- Also, parts clean them with soapy water.
- After cleaning use clean water to rinse thoroughly.
- Sanitize the tank for 15 minutes using a detergent like vinegar or Water Softener Sanitizer.
- After 15 minutes rinse the sanitizing detergent using plain clean water.
- The tank is clean and ready to be connected to its normal operation.
The brine tank is supposed to be cleaned once per year unless there is a salt bridge.
Clean the brine tank when salt is low to reduce slat wastage. Also, you will be able to see dirt at the bottom of the tank.
Hoping our step by step instruction will help clean your ion exchange water softener.