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#368820 - 03/05/12 10:17 PM ANyone with water softener expertise?
nickbuol Offline

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 4830
Loc: Marion, IA
The house we live in now (have since last May) is the first one that has (needed) a water softener. As of late, the water has been tasting a little "off". Doesn't matter if it is from the sink or the fridge. Ice is a little funny tasting too. Not terrible, but noticeable. The fridge has a filter that was just changed about a month ago.

So here is the deal, in the 10 months that we've owned the house, we have used like two 40lb bags of water softener salt. Other people near us say that they use a lot more. There is still salt pellets in the water softener, but they are (slowly) being "consumed". I went to look at the salt tank tonight and noticed that under the pellets is sort of a salt "sludge". OK. That seems like it is slimy or something, which it isn't. It is just not pellets any more and has formed a think salty mix. Is that normal? Could that be what is holding back the softener from working 100%?

Another FYI, the house sat idle and empty for 9-10 months from when the previous people moved out and we moved in.

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#368822 - 03/05/12 10:33 PM Re: ANyone with water softener expertise? [Re: nickbuol]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13358
Loc: Iowa
How long it takes to get rid of the salt pellets, we use Morton System Savor II, depends on your setting for how soft you want your water and how often it is programmed to cycle, usually each night. Our Morton unit came with strip that you run under your un-softened tap water, and depending on the color that they change to, tells you where to set your unit. I think we have ours on around 20.

However, some people have the lines plumbed, not to included the drinking taps, and exterior spickets. To much salt can kill plants/flowers and possibly adjust the taste of your water. If I recal, I have seen a liquidy/white substance in the bottom of ours as well.
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#368828 - 03/06/12 12:10 AM Re: ANyone with water softener expertise? [Re: nickbuol]
framer2180 Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/07
Posts: 98
Loc: West Kelowna, BC
Basically the purpose of a water softener is to remove minerals (calcium and magnesium) from your water. In simple terms as your external water enters your home it passes through a silica filter that remove the minerals (through ion exchange) thereby "softening the water. The system then periodically back flushes the filter with a saline solution that flushes the minerals from the filter. The salt pellets should dissolve in the bottom of the salt tank creating a saline slurry for the back flush. The frequency of the back flush can usually be set on your softener and will typically run once or twice a week in the early morning. You may be regenerating more often than required.

My system is an on demand system and regenerates every 250 g of usage. I use about 15 lbs of salt per month and am in an area that is considered to have fairly hard water. Whats important to note is that a softener only removes minerals and may have no impact on odours or tastes that you may experience in your drinking water. For that you may require a charcoal or reverse osmosis system.

I am not an expert, but have had some first hand experience.

#368870 - 03/06/12 05:03 PM Re: ANyone with water softener expertise? [Re: nickbuol]
Joe_in_SC Offline

Registered: 02/16/04
Posts: 309
Loc: Charleston, SC
The amount of salt you use will depend on your water usage. As noted above, there are generally 2 reads actual usage and one has a programmable time clock. When we had a home daycare, with lots of usage, I'd go through a bag every 2 weeks. Now that the business is no longer in the house, I use a bag every 5-6 weeks. My system has the less sophisticated time clock and I've experimented to where I found that a flush and regeneration once a week is sufficient to keep the water soft enough for me.

Either you're using very little water or your system might need a tune-up. The filter media needs to be replaced occasionally. If the water doesn't feel right, I'd have it serviced for peace of mind.
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