After spending over 25 years manufacturing and retailing salt-based water softeners through various wholesale platforms, Cascadian Water has now transitioned to the exclusive production of salt-free water softeners. In this enlightening blog post, we impart our hands-on experience with the maintenance of these distinct water-softening methods.
Understanding Water Softener Upkeep
An often underestimated aspect of hard water treatment is maintenance. Traditional salt-based softeners necessitate the continuous handling of softener salt— an unavoidable component of these systems. You have the flexibility to use either potassium chloride or sodium chloride, as both serve as efficient softening salts. However, managing your own softener involves considerable time and effort to procure, transport, and store salt in the brine tank, ensuring the softener's optimal operation. If you live in certain areas, you might have the option to employ a third-party service to keep your salt tank filled and oversee your softener's maintenance. Irrespective of your chosen path, it is important to remember that your softener needs regular attention.
The quality of water and the settings on your softener, along with your water usage, will dictate the frequency of brine tank refills and overall system service. Generally, you should be prepared to add salt to your brine tank every few weeks. Buying salt in larger quantities might save you time in the long run, but you'll need to arrange for its transportation and storage, possibly requiring a larger vehicle or specific storage solutions.
The Hassles of Softener Salt
Salt bags are heavy and difficult to move around and use. The process of transporting, storing, and using softener salt is messy and prone to causing dust and salt spills. The resulting cleanup in your vehicle, around the softener, and in the storage area can be a tedious task.
The notion that softener salt can be dirty is often overlooked. Even the highest quality salt, like solar salt, contains impurities. These impurities can accumulate in the brine tank, leading to the need for annual cleanings to prevent disruption of the softener's operation. The source of these impurities could be a mix of different minerals or simple dirt.
Some softeners use raw, untreated water to fill the brine tank. This can lead to a higher need for maintenance and a greater chance of system failures. Modern softeners that use treated water can circumvent these issues.
Power Concerns with Water Softeners
Most current salt-based water softeners utilize a computer to monitor water treatment and control the regeneration process. When a power outage occurs, you may need to reprogram your softener. While some dealers may assure you of a power backup feature to maintain time accuracy, it may not always be reliable. You might need to adjust your water softening system after each power outage, and also when daylight saving time begins or ends.
Overcoming Salt Softener Maintenance Challenges
Ensuring uninterrupted operation of your salt softener requires regular service and maintenance. The frequency of these services will depend on your water quality, volume treated, system settings, and the type of salt used.
A typical annual softener service may include:
- Cleaning the brine tank and its internal components
- Cleaning the control valve injectors, screens, and flow control buttons
- Replacing any pre or post-softener cartridge filters
- Replacing worn parts in softener control valves
The Appeal of Time-Saving Alternatives
Managing a salt softener can take an average of 20 to 30 hours annually. What if you could spend that time on activities you enjoy? By opting for Cascadian® PolyHalt® based treatment systems, you can almost eliminate the need for system maintenance. These systems require only a yearly cartridge change, which takes just a few minutes. Visit Cascadian Water to discover more about our easy-to-maintain, worry-free, salt-free water softeners and filters.
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