A New One On Me – What’s Inside A Water Softener

PA183815No one guessed right about the orange glow in the dark caviar like substance that showed up in my toilet the other day.

Actually, we thought the washing machine was broken. That’s how it all started. It filled fine on the fill up for the wash cycle, then no water would go into it for the rinse cycle.

Then we realized there was no cold water in the kitchen sink. Or the bathrooms. But there was full pressure from the hose bibs for the outside. And of course there was full pressure for the hot water everywhere. I love a good mystery, but I was baffled for about 20 minutes. With all my experience with homes and systems and plumbing and everything else, I started over with my thinking. I took the Aerator off of the kitchen faucet and got my first glimpse of the “gunk”.

We got to cleaning out the aerators on all of the faucets, just to have them gunk up again. That’s when I realized it had to do with the water softener. We bypassed it, cleaned out all the aerators, got the water flowing to the sinks, then we had to dismantle the toilets.

The guilty party - a cheap little plastic basket that keeps the resin out of the water supplySo, it turns out that the stuff in a water softener is called “resin”. It’s very tiny little beads that all the chemicals and stuff stick to as it cleans and softens the water. H2O to Go is the company that we’ve always used to change the RO filters etc. They’re the ones who told me that the resin filter had probably broken. And they told me that there’s probably a lot of it in the water heater now, and that I’d have to drain and flush it also.

Well, all that shot my afternoon last Tuesday, and yesterday was the appointment to repair the water softener. Who would think that a 1 cubic yard of new resin could cost $150.00? Of course the little plastic basket filter was $1.95 And the service call was $65.

The bottom line is that in all my years, I’ve never heard of such a thing, never saw or thought about what’s inside a water softener or how they work. And it’s just my luck that H20 to Go says they only see it happen a half dozen times a year. Just my luck!

There’s some more pictures below the fold of the repair process.