Water softeners do not require a whole lot of your attention. For the most part, they operate in the background while you enjoy the fruits of their labor. But under certain conditions, your water softener’s resin bed may stop working properly and a replacement will be required. Today we’re going to talk about what a water softener’s resin bed is, how it can go bad and what you can do to prevent the need for a resin bed replacement in your home!
What is a resin bed?
Your water softener’s tank is filled with thousands of tiny beads called “resin beads.” When hardness minerals come into contact with these beads, they bind to them and are removed from the water that leaves the tank. This process, known as “ion exchange,” is what makes it possible to soften your home’s water.
The collection of beads in a water softener’s tank is known as the resin bed. It is a water softener’s version of the filtration media that’s found in other types of water treatment systems.
How does a resin bed go bad?
Some resin beds can last for the entire lifespan of the water softener, while others need to be replaced every 10 years or less. It all depends on your home’s water quality and the amount of wear and tear that the bed goes through as your softener is running. Some of the most common causes of resin bed damage include:
- Chlorine. Chlorine is by far the biggest cause of resin bed degradation. That’s because chlorine breaks up the glue that holds resin beads together, which renders them ineffective. If your tap water contains chlorine, like most municipal water does, it can greatly reduce the lifespan of your softener’s resin bed.
- Iron. If your home’s water contains iron, the iron can coat the outer layers of the beads that make up the resin bed. This makes it harder for hardness minerals to bind to the beads, which decreases the performance of your softener.
- Water hammering. Water hammering is a term that’s used to describe the force behind water that flows through your pipes every time a faucet is turned on or off. If your plumbing system has excessive water hammering, it can directly damage the resin bed every time that water shoots into your tank.
If you start to notice that your water is not as soft as it typically is, there’s a good chance that your resin bed has gone bad. Contact EPA Water to have your system inspected and we’ll replace the bed if we determine that it has been damaged.
How can you prevent the need to replace your water softener’s resin bed?
The best way to protect your resin bed from damage is to install a water filtration system that can remove problematic contaminants like chlorine and iron. This system should be installed before the water softener so that those contaminants can be remove before they get into the softener’s tank.
Another great way to protect your water softener’s resin bed is to schedule maintenance for your unit about once per year with EPA Water. We’ll tune-up your system and take care of any problems that might cause damage to the resin bed inside.
If you have any questions about replacing the resin bed in your water softener, or if you’d like a water system serviced or installed in your home, contact EPA Water, your water softener and water filtration system dealer in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We provide service all over Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including towns like New Hope, Doylestown and Macungie, PA.
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