Can I Put Bleach in My Water Softener? The short answer is, YES!. You can use 2 ounces of unscented household bleach. Mix the bleach with three gallons of water to clean the brine tank. Allow this solution to sit for approximately 20 minutes to eliminate any mildew or mold present in your softener. Then Scrub using a brush.
You can wash the water softener if you notice a foul smell in your water. Further, you can also bleach it if suspect water contamination. Therefore, if You’re wondering how best to clean the water softener unit, sit tight.
CAUTION: Always consult the water softener owner’s manual before using bleach and other chemicals to clean your system. Most manufacturers provide specific suggestions or restrictions on how best to sanitize your water softener.
Details: Can I Put Bleach in My Water Softener?
Well, Bleach is an important cleaning agent that’s highly recommended by most experts. It’s effective at removing pathogens like bacteria and mildew. Bleach is also a cheaper but safe alternative of cleaning the softening unit. however, always refer to the unit’s user manual and read the manufacturer recommendations on cleaning the water softener.
Nevertheless, most water softeners are cleaned by running a bleach cycle that aids in removing bacteria in your water unit.
Importance of Cleaning with Bleach
Eliminate Undesirable Consequences
Cleaning your softener periodically with bleach will help eliminate undesirable consequences like smelly water or unpleasant taste in water. However, you need to read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions before adding any chemical to your system. You also need to know how water softeners work to eliminate any blunders.
For example, the softener installation guide from Sears Kenmore 420 proposes disinfecting the softer unit when it is installed for the first time. The company recommends adding 3 oz of bleach to clean the brine. Then, start a regeneration process and add fifty gallons of water to flush out the bleach from the unit before setting it for the service.
TO Ensure Installation of Clean Unit
Sanitizing using bleach is a good idea since plumbing devices, equipment, and fittings are not stored in the best sanitary conditions before installation. Thus, it’s safe to sanitize before allowing drinking water to pass through the softener unit.
Nevertheless, many water softeners have been installed without fast being sanitized, but they need to be cleaned as they have been in operation for many years. Some of the softeners might carry contaminated water without the owners knowing. So it’s essential to periodically clean your unit to prevent bacterial and accumulation of other contaminants.
Reasons for Using Bleach
The water softener and specifically the resin tank can be contaminated with bacteria, and other pathogens. This may be because of a contaminated water supply. You can disinfect your water at the source and still get contaminated at different points of water supply before getting to the softening unit.
Mildew can also form inside the brine tank and create an unpleasant scent. This infestation affects newly installed units and those that have not been operational for an extended period.
Also, sulfur, iron, and other contaminants may promote invasion of undesirable elements into the water softener unit. Symptoms of these include foul smell, change in color, and rotten egg smell in the water.
Therefore, consider using diluted bleach while doing your regular cleaning. You can use 2 ounces of household bleach and mix it using 3 gallons of water to clean your brine tank.
You can also look at the guideline provided by the manufacturer about adding bleach to the softener unit on the user’s manual guide.
Recommended Bleach Dosage
The following are the best-recommended dosage for cleaning your water softener with bleach.
For a Typical Home Water Softener
It is advised that you use one tablespoon of bleach (1.2 ounces) for every cubic foot of resin thus, a typical home water softener is about 2-3 cubic feet, therefore receives two ounces of bleach.
For Small Softener Units
Small water softeners like the 100-150 series from Sears Kenmore, the recommended bleach dosage is 1-2 tablespoons or 3/4 ounce of unscented household bleach.
For Bigger Softeners
Bigger water softeners with large resin tanks of approximately 4 cubic feet require 1/2 a cup or 4 to 5 ounces of bleach.
Bleach Brands to Consider
Some of the household bleach brands you may want to consider are:
White Sail bleach, BoPeep bleach, Eagle bleach, Clorox bleach, and Linco bleach.When cleaning pour the bleach straight to the brine tank
Alternatives To Bleach For Cleaning A Water Softener?
If you are reluctant about using bleach in your water softener unit, you can use other chemicals that are primarily recommended by manufacturers.
Special Sanitizing Packs From the Manufacturer
Some softener manufacturers provide special sanitizing packs like iodine, potassium permanganate, and other oxidizers. However, some of these chemicals are extremely dangerous.
Most water softener manufacturers like Culligan offer their specific sanitation treatment chemicals; this manufacturer offers 0.5 oz. System pack. Using this product is quite easy; you deposit the contents of one chemical pack inside the brine tank. If you are unsure, let a professional do it for you.
Another chemical you might consider using is hydrogen peroxide. This chemical can be used to sanitize the resin tank, but you must use a low concentration- preferably 1%.
Disclaimer!! Hydrogen peroxide is a dangerous chemical, and by using it, you risk a deadly hydrogen explosion. To tell you bluntly, do not use the hydrogen peroxide to sanitize your softener unit unless you’re an expert.
Will Bleach Damage the Water Softener?
Well, if you overdose your softener unit with bleach, the resin tank, in particular, is likely to get damaged. Using a higher concentration or quantity of bleach than what is recommended by the water softener company can also destroy the system.
Also, leaving a strong bleach solution in the resin tank for an hour or more will damage the resin. Over time, you might need to replace the resin because of exposing it to bleach.
Bleach reacts with plastic like the ion exchange resin which eventually destroys them. Furthermore, during the reaction between the ion exchange and bleach, dangerous chemicals are emitted which are suspected carcinogens.
However, if you want to be a little bit cautious, put the recommended amount of bleach and mix with adequate water. Let the solution sit for 20 minutes in the softener, then flash it out. You can add more water and flash until traces of bleach are cleared. Repeating this process will put your mind at ease in ensuring that your unit is free of any contamination as well as the smell of the bleach.