Water Softener Repair
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Guidelines to DIY water softener repair
Repairing a water softener can be tricky and is best left to the professionals, but if you want to do it yourself and save money, here are the basic guidelines.
When making any kind of water softener repair, the first thing you need to do is to turn the system off. To do this, follow the pipes from the system to the point where they connect with your house plumbing system. There you will find some form of isolation valve, or often more than one, which will feature an arrow pointing towards 'soft'. This will be on. In order to turn off the softener, turn this valve in the opposite direction and you will be isolated from the water system. You can now turn off the power supply to the machine. Once this is done, you are free to make any repairs necessary.
Replacing the control valve adds 15 to 20 years to the life of a water softener. Valves can be bought direct from the manufacturers or from some plumbing stores. While replacing the valve, you will also replace the distributor tube. After you've turned off the water softener, disconnect the old valve and the distributor tube from the resin tank. The new distributor tube will need to be constructed and installed. It needs to be equal to the top of the resin tank. The new valve can then be screwed onto the resin tank and the water reconnected. Start up the valve and set the clock and timer for regeneration.
Typically, the resin inside the water softener which is responsible for the ion exchange and subsequent softening of the water outlasts the systems valve but at some point it will need replacing. Once the softener is turned off, unscrew and remove the control valve and distributor tube. With this done, drain out the remaining water and remove the old resin. If the inside of the tank looks dirty, it can be cleaned out with bleach and a toilet brush. New resins can then be poured into the system, best done through the use of a funnel. Once this is done, reconnect the distributor tube and control valve, and backwash the resin for ten minutes.