How to Know if Your Water Softener Is Working

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Common signs that a water softener is working include the feeling of the water on the skin and the taste of the water. Learn about test kits used to determine water hardness with help from a master plumber in this free video on water softeners.

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Video Transcript

It's very important to make sure that your water softener is working correctly. There's a couple of steps in this. Some of them you'll know just by the feel of the water on your skin. Some of them you'll know kind of by the taste probably. Some of them you'll know; but everybody's a little different; some of them you'll know by if it's killing the plants or not. But the one thing that we do, like to do is test for water hardness and you do this with a simple test kit that you can usually pick up at the, a local hardware store. And once again if you don't know where you can or you'd, it's a task that you don't want to accomplish you can call a local service technician and they will help you out and make this happen for you. The test itself is very simple. This test; there's different tests that you can do; some of them are test strips, some of them test for pH; this is the test that I use 'cause it's kind of a, a basic whether the water is hard or not. What you do is you take and you fill the vial up and use to measure the amount that's in the instruction. In this particular test what we do is open up a little packet of chemical; open it up and pour it in. What this does is, you go ahead and swirl that around in there until it, you see all the solids, most of the solids dissolve in that. You see here that the water is pink; this indicates that the water is hard right now. To test for this we drop in a titrate solution and what it is, is one drop per grain of hardness. What we're trying to do is we're trying to turn this pink solution to a blue and we do this by dropping one drop at a time and counting; one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. As you can see it's starting to turn blue; but we're not quite there yet. Eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen. Now at fourteen we're pretty much blue; you stir it up; see it turn a little bit purple. We, you're, you're between fourteen and fifteen parts; that's pretty hard water. If the water was soft, they're perfectly soft, what it would do is come out, we would pour one of those packets in and it would turn blue right off the bat. There would be no adding anything to the solution itself. This tells us where, where and how we kind of set the water softener up as far as how often it will regenerate. With the water softener that's digital like this, what you need to do or with any water softener really, mechanical or digital, what you need to do is check the time frame from time to time. There's a timer setting on these. A lot of them, you know, they'll get off because of the power outages and, and you know, just usual things like that. It could be that the kid had come in and pushed the button a couple of times or whatever; anything like that. But in any rate you need to check it periodically just to make sure you're on the right time. It needs to be pretty close; like this one here only goes by the hour; if it's eleven thirty, it's okay that you set it at twelve or vice versa, twelve thirty, it's okay that you set it at twelve. It, it doesn't have to be exactly perfect; all it's looking for is a time frame. In this particular model, it works off of time as oppose to flow to regenerate the resin beads.

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