Is your water softener not doing its job? Perhaps it is not softening the water? Or it is regenerating and running out of conditioned water within a day or two? If you are experiencing these issues with your water softener, it could be due to a defective resin bed.
Continue reading to learn more about resin bed problems, and what you can do to solve them.
Water Softener Resin Beds
Water softeners are designed with an internal section called a resin bed, which is simply an extended layer of resin that exchanges hard mineral ions (i.e. iron, calcium, magnesium, etc.) for sodium ions. Resin, technically known as sulfonated co-polymer of styrene and divinyl benzene, is a manmade organic ion exchange material that is mostly used for the purpose of water conditioning.
Resin beds generally last as long as a water softener does, between 10 to 15 years on average. However, they do require periodic maintenance for optimal water softening performance and longevity. Not only must they be cleaned at least twice per year, resin beds call for routine service and inspection from a licensed Indianapolis plumber who specializes in water softeners.
Clear or Cloudy Water Iron?
If you have clear water iron, you can clean your water softener resin bed with a standard OTC counter cleaner. To determine whether or not you have clear water iron, simply pour yourself a glass of water from the faucet and wait a few minutes. If the water turns cloudy or rusty after sitting for some time, it is an indication that dissolved iron is in your water supply.
Iron in well water, as well as, an overabundance of chlorine in local water supplies, can severely damage a water softener resin bed. For this reason, incorporating a well water iron filtration program along with your water softener can help avoid costly breakdowns and inconvenient performance problems. You will know if you are having issues with your resin bed by checking on the rate at which your water softener uses its salt reserves.
If it is using salt at its normal rate, yet you do not have conditioned water, it could be a sign that the resin bed is over-saturated with iron, or that chlorine has damaged it to the point that it cannot be regenerated by the brine. On the other hand, if your water softener is not using its salt at a regular rate, it could be an indication that you have a defective valve head, and as a result, the resin bed cannot be recharged with brine water.
Water Softener Solutions
To fix a resin bed problem on your own, you can use a chemical iron removal product to clean out the water softener resin bed. However, if you are not experienced with appliances like water conditioners, it is strongly recommended to avoid any DIY work and enlist the task to a trusted plumbing professional. Water softeners are expensive, and vital to the quality of living, so do not take a chance on something so important to your everyday life!