Check Out The New 2023 Tax Credits & Rebates! Read More

Skip navigation

Douglas Cooling & Heating Blog

Water Softener Troubleshooting Guide: 2020

For some Birmingham, Alabama, area homeowners, water softeners are a must because of hard water levels! Whether you already have one installed or plan to add one to your plumbing system, there are multiple water softener troubleshooting tips that help homeowners solve common issues on their own, without unnecessary calls to a plumber. 

Douglas Cooling & Heating helps you save time and money with our water softener troubleshooting guide. Our plumbers explain how to correct common minor system issues to get your water softener running again quickly. When professional repair is needed, give the trusted plumbers at Douglas Cooling & Heating a call!

Here are some common issues you might experience with you water softener and what to do:

Salt Tank Is Filled with Water

This system issue commonly stems from malfunctioning components or the need to adjust controls.

  • A broken water entry valve fails to stop water from filling the salt tank, which may lead to the tank flooding. Simply replace the lid to correct this problem.
  • If the float valve within the compartment is set higher than needed, the system may not be capable of releasing the water volume, which leads to buildup. The float valve should be adjusted to a lower setting to prevent water accumulation in the salt tank.

Salt Scale Within the System

While water softeners protect plumbing against mineral scale, they are prone to salt scale. Salt scale primarily affects the water softener’s tank and its lines. When the scale forms a salt bridge, scale can impede the water softening process. If your water softener fails to utilize salt, and the salt levels in the brine tank remain consistent, that’s a sign of a salt bridge.

Water softener troubleshooting for salt scale issues includes these steps:

  • Look for salt bridges within the system that prevent water flow through the brine tanks or hinders regeneration cycles. 
  • Break up the accumulated salt scale and clean it out of the unit. Also clean away salt scale that has developed around the tank’s edge.

Brown Water in Your Home

Brown water from your home’s taps can be caused by numerous issues, but the home’s water softener could be one of them. Bacterial buildup in the water softener can cause tap water’s brownish color.

Water softener troubleshooting steps to eliminate brown tap water include:

  • Sterilizing the tank using hydrogen peroxide or chlorine. Add two cups of sterilizing agent to the brine tank and allow two to three regeneration cycles to run.
  • Flushing plumbing lines.

If water softener sterilization doesn’t eliminate the brown watercolor, you need a plumber to inspect for other issues.

Resin Bead Problems

If there are floating particles in the softened water, the system’s resin beads may not be functioning correctly. Without proper functioning, the system requires more frequent salt replenishment or the beads can be replaced.

Floating particles in soft water are an indicator of resin bead malfunction. The beads need to be cleaned or replaced to correct the issue.

System Not Softening

If your water softener fails to soften your home’s water, a few issues could be to blame.

  • Salt buildup within the brine tank can prevent water softening, requiring removal.
  • If the water softener’s bypass switch is shut off, water does not pass through the system and will not be softened. Check bypass settings.

Water Has a Salty Flavor

Salty-tasting water in the home indicates issues with the water softener. Water softener troubleshooting inspects the drain hose:

  • Inspect the drain hose for clogs,  and remove clogs if found.
  • If there is no clog in the drain hose, reduce the volume of salt used in the system to impact water flavor.

Water Softener Help from Douglas Cooling & Heating

If you can’t solve your water softener issues, we encourage you to call the plumbers at Douglas Cooling & Heating for water softener diagnostics and repair. We get to the bottom of the system’s issues and implement water softener repairs to restore proper function for your family’s benefit.

Comments are closed.