Steps for Cleaning a Water Softener Resin Tank

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Home Improvement

A clean water softener resin tank is crucial for obtaining high-quality water. Thanasis Zovoilis/Getty Images

For homes using well water or even municipal water, a water softener is an essential appliance that eliminates unwanted minerals that can cause pipe calcification and staining in tap water. The water softener absorbs the unwanted minerals using resin beads and replaces them with sodium, making it easy for potent water to enter your home. However, the resin tank can accumulate iron and other minerals over time.

The best time to clean the resin tank is when it’s low on salt, so the salt doesn’t need to be unloaded. There are two ways to clean the tank: The first method is to unplug the water softener unit and remove the resin tank by unscrewing the bolts and disconnecting the valve. Then, clean the tank using bleach and water before reinstalling the tank.

However, the easier and more common way of cleaning the tank is to purchase an iron-removing product made specifically for water softeners from most home improvement stores. This product will chemically change the iron into a soluble state that can be rinsed away with water. Follow the instructions on the package regarding the amount of product to be used. Next, remove the control panel cover and locate the manual regeneration button. Turn the button to the “Service” setting using a screwdriver to start the regeneration and flush the wastewater through the system.

Before closing everything back up, use a cleanser and brush to remove any salt or iron buildup on any other smaller parts of the water softener.

More Information

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Sources

  • “All Purpose Powders.” Super Iron Out. http://www.superironout.com/powders.php
  • “How it Works: Water Softener.” Popular Mechanics. (August 1, 1998.) http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/improvement/interior/1275126
  • “How to Clean a Water Softener Resin Tank.” Do It Yourself. http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-clean-a-water-softener-resin-tank#.Uidxzj_9WIk
  • “How to Repair a Water Softener.” The Family Handyman. http://www.familyhandyman.com/plumbing/water-softener-repair/how-to-repair-a-water-softener/view-all

FAQ

1. What is a water softener resin tank?

A water softener resin tank is a container that holds resin beads used to remove hard water minerals from your household water supply. The resin beads attract and remove calcium and magnesium ions from the water, which are the primary culprits behind hard water.

2. How often should I clean my water softener resin tank?

It is recommended to clean your water softener resin tank once a year to maintain its efficiency and longevity. However, if you notice a decrease in water softening effectiveness, it may be necessary to clean the tank more often.

3. What are the signs that my water softener resin tank needs cleaning?

The most obvious sign that your water softener resin tank needs cleaning is a decrease in water softening effectiveness. You may also notice a buildup of sediment or debris in the tank, or a foul odor coming from the water.

4. How do I know if my water softener resin tank is working properly?

You can test the effectiveness of your water softener resin tank by using a hard water test kit. If the kit indicates that your water is still hard, it may be time to clean or replace the resin beads in the tank.

5. Can I clean my water softener resin tank myself?

Yes, you can clean your water softener resin tank yourself. However, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid damaging the tank or the resin beads.

6. What equipment do I need to clean my water softener resin tank?

To clean your water softener resin tank, you will need a bucket, a hose, a soft-bristled brush, and a cleaning solution specifically designed for resin tanks.

7. How do I clean my water softener resin tank?

First, turn off the water supply to your softener and disconnect the unit. Then, remove the resin tank from the softener and empty any remaining water. Next, mix the cleaning solution with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions and pour it into the tank. Use the brush to scrub the interior of the tank, and let the solution sit for the recommended amount of time. Finally, rinse the tank thoroughly with water and reassemble your softener.

8. Can I use bleach to clean my water softener resin tank?

No, you should not use bleach to clean your water softener resin tank as it can damage the resin beads and the tank itself. Instead, use a cleaning solution specifically designed for resin tanks.

9. How long does it take to clean a water softener resin tank?

The time it takes to clean a water softener resin tank depends on the size of the tank and the severity of the buildup inside. Generally, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours to complete the cleaning process.

10. What should I do if I notice a leak after cleaning my water softener resin tank?

If you notice a leak after cleaning your water softener resin tank, turn off the water supply and inspect the tank for damage or loose connections. Tighten any loose connections and repair any damage before turning the water supply back on.

11. How can I prevent buildup in my water softener resin tank?

To prevent buildup in your water softener resin tank, use a cleaning solution specifically designed for resin tanks on a regular basis. You can also use a pre-filter to remove sediment and debris from the water before it enters the tank.

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