In this article, I’ll discuss How to Clean a Water Softener Resin Tank. Further, I’ll provide easy water softener maintenance ideas that you can do without calling for professional help.
A water softener resin tank should be cleaned regularly to maintain the system’s efficiency.
Magnesium, calcium, iron, and other small minerals present in hard water cling on the softener’s resin making it less efficient.
Also, the brine backwash cycle doesn’t eradicate microorganisms like algae or bacteria that grow in the brain tank or the resin bed. Thus, need to clean it.
Details: How to Clean a Water Softener Resin Tank ( 4 Tips)
The actual water softening happens in the resin tank. This tank is likely to experience a buildup of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals.
Hence the need for regular cleaning. The best recommended time for cleaning the resin tank is when the salt level is low, this way you won’t have a rough time unloading massive amounts of salt.
There are two fundamental approaches you can use to clean your resin tank. First, you need to disconnect the water softener system and take out the resin tank.
You can do this by detaching the valve while unscrewing all the bolts. Then, clean your tank using water and bleach, then reinstall your tank.
Another commonly used method is through the application of iron-based products available at your local home improvement store. Check out how water softeners work if you find it hard to operate your system at times.
Step By Step Process on How to Clean a Water Softener Resin Tank
Before we start here is a quick disclaimer: Every water softener unit comes with its cleaning instructions.
So ensure you read and understand the guidelines for cleaning your water softener brand or model. Most manufacturers give elaborate step by step instruction on how to clean the water softener.
Cleaning the Resin Tank – Step By Step Process
Step 1 – Follow Instructions
Follow the instructions of the manufacturer and set the unit in bypass mode.
This setting will allow water to flow slowly, thus giving you time to clean the softener unit.
Step 2 Disconnect the Softener Unit
Ensure you disconnect all lines attached between the brine tank and the water softener unit.
Step 3 Choose the Best Resin Cleaner
Add a resin cleaner to your softener unit to replace the magnesium and calcium ions with sodium ions.
Ensure that the resin cleaner is made specifically for removing mineral buildup. We recommend Iron OUT Rust Stain Remover.
Select Specific Resin Cleaners
If you discover that your resin beads contain an excess of one specific mineral, choose a cleaner that’s specialized for your particular needs.
The thing is some resin cleaners only target a specific mineral like iron that destroys the softener system.
After choosing your cleaner, decide on the best time to do your cleaning
Step 4 Introduce the Resin Cleaner to the Softener Unit
Have a look at the instructions provided by the manufacturer and pour the suggested amount of the cleaner inside the brine tank.
However, if the softener unit doesn’t have a brine tank. Pour the resin cleaner inside the salt tank, but ensure the salt content is low.
Step 5 Set the Softener Unit to Regeneration Mode
Use a flathead screwdriver to turn the regeneration control knob counterclockwise.
This knob is located at the control valve. Once you set the system to regeneration mode, it will manually recharge or regenerate the resin bed.
Regeneration mode reverses water flow to eliminate all debris and dirt in the unit. Next, sodium ions are added inside the mineral tank to aid in cleaning the resin beads.
Step 6 Repeat the Regeneration Process
Refill the brine tank with a new resin cleaner as recommended by the manufacturer and re-run the regeneration process to remove the remaining unwanted minerals.
Assess the resin bed and if it still has those unwanted minerals, re-run the process once again.
Step 7 Return System to Normal Settings
Rotate the regeneration knob clockwise to restore the standard settings of the softener unit.
Step 8 Flush the Water Out
After you’ve flashed out the water, shut the control panel. Allow the tap to run for approximately 10 minutes to completely remove the resin cleaner from the softener unit.
Step 9 When You Should Repeat the Process
To ensure the optimum functioning of your unit, you need to repeat this step by step process regularly.
You might need to do the regeneration process more frequently during summer, as more water is used during this period.
When Should You Clean Your Water Softener Resin Tank?
- You need to clean your water Softener Resin Tank if your unit has not been operational or in use for some time.
- If you notice a change in color after the water has passed through the softener unit or the water tastes nasty after passing through the softener.
- You should also clean your tank if you suspect microbial or bacterial contamination. If you notice a “rotten egg” smell or a foul sulfur smell you need to clean that tank. You can also carry out a bacteria test and if it shows that the water supply has been contaminated take necessary action.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation on cleaning the softener unit — some advice every three months to yearly.
Water Softener Maintenance
Water softeners units are low maintenance. However, you should do more than just adding new salt now and then into your brine tank.
A little extra effort on maintenance will help your system to continue running smoothly. Also, the longevity of the system will increase while lowering repair costs.
Ensure you do the following to keep your softener system working more efficiently
Check the level of salt every 4-6 weeks– occasionally checking the salt level will help you avoid unpleasant issues like smelly water or water that won’t lather while washing.
Avoid salt mushing and salt bridges – salt mushing occurs when salt recrystallizes and creates a sludge at the bottom of the brine tank.
As a result, the sludge prevents the softener from cycling properly during the regeneration process leading to tank blockage and consequently hard water.
A salt bridge happens when a solid crust develops within the brine tank and forms a space between the salt and the water.
Thus, the salt won’t dissolve as required to form a brine. The resin beads depend on brine to soften water. Lack of brine means hard water.
The solution to these problems includes; using quality water softener resin, managing the humidity level of your softener, and not overfilling the brine tank with salt, keep it half full.
Use the right type of salt– consult the manufacturer’s manual to know the type of salt you should be using.
Clean your resin tank occasionally – to eliminate the possibility of an ineffective resin, use the recommended water softener cleaner and regenerate your system manually