How to Maintain Your EcoPure, Whirlpool or Kenmore Water Softener
Water softeners are built to last a decade or more. There are several ways you can optimize the performance of your softener, but knowing how to use water softener cleanser in your EcoPure, Whirlpool or Kenmore system will go a long way in extending its life
How to Use Water Softener Cleanser
- Wait until salt levels are low
- Open the lid of the water softener
- Remove the brine well cover
- Pour entire 16 oz. of Softener Cleaner into the brine well
- Replace the brine well cover and close the water softener
- Press and hold the recharge button for 3 seconds (to manually regenerate the system)
- Wait 2 hours before using your water
The manufacturer recommends using a bottle of water softener cleaner every 4 months to keep your system running efficiently. 85 percent of Americans live in hard water areas which means their home is using water that may have high levels of magnesium, calcium, and sometimes iron.
As your water softener works to remove these minerals from your water, they can create a buildup inside of your system, even after the system regenerates. Water softener cleanser, an acid-based cleaning solution, helps keep your water softener operating at full efficiency by removing these residual minerals from the valve and resin bed where the buildup can occur. Cleanser can be used in all brands and models of water softeners but is especially important for homes with high levels of manganese and/or iron in their water.
Want to learn more about water softener regeneration? Here’s a video explaining the process:
Extend Your Water Softener Warranty
The manufacturer’s full parts and labor warranty on the Whirlpool Water Softeners can be extended with regular purchases of Whirlpool Water Softener Cleanser. The Whirlpool WHES30 and WHES40 water softeners come with a 1-year full parts and labor warranty that can be extended to 5 years. The Whirlpool WHESFC water softener comes with a 2-year full parts and labor warranty that can be extended to 10 years. To participate in the warranty extension program, you must register your system on Whirlpool’s website and hold onto your system and cleanser receipts. By registering, you’ll receive email reminders to use Whirlpool Water Softener Cleanser every 4 months.
The EcoPure EP31 and EP42 water softeners come with a 1-year parts warranty that can be extended to 5 years with regular purchases of EcoPure Water Softener Cleaner. To receive the warranty extension, you must register your system on EcoPure’s website and hold onto your system and cleaner receipts. After registration, you will receive email reminders to use EcoPure Water Softener Cleaner every 4 months.
Additional Water Softener Cleaner Instructions
Whether you have an EcoPure or Whirlpool system, knowing how to use a water softener cleanser is a great first step in optimizing its performance. There are several other maintenance tasks that should become a part of your softener checklist throughout the lifetime of your system.
Interested in learning more about how you clean your water softener? Watch this video:
Why does my softener need salt and what’s the right type?
Contrary to popular belief, salt does not directly soften your water by itself.
The softening process occurs when hard water enters the system and passes over the resin beads, which attract the hardness minerals in exchange for sodium ions, making soft water. Once the resin beads are completely coated in the hardness minerals, it’s time for the regeneration process, and this is where salt comes in. Salt combines with water to form a brine that then washes the resin bed and rids the beads of the hardness minerals. The high concentration of sodium replaces the calcium and magnesium stuck to the resin bead and prepares the beads to continue softening the water.
That’s why salt always needs to be present in your system. When you first get your softener, check salt levels at least once a month until you establish a refilling schedule.
There are three types of salt with the highest composition of sodium chloride (NaCl) to pick from for use in your brine tank: rock, solar and evaporated salt.
Rock salt is the least expensive option and contains higher levels of insoluble minerals, which means over time the inside of the brine tank may become muddy in appearance. Solar salt, meanwhile, is a much cleaner option than using rock salt and comes in pellet or crystal form. Evaporated salt is 99.9 percent sodium chloride, making it the purest and most effective option. Using evaporated salt will also lead to less overall maintenance for maintaining your water softening system.
In addition to sodium chloride, potassium chloride (KCl) is a good option for negating the effects of hard water in water softening systems. Using potassium chloride, though more expensive, would benefit members of households who face sodium-related health concerns.
Are you using enough salt? Be sure by watching this video.
Breaking the Salt Bridge
Another maintenance step you can take to make sure your water softener is running smoothly is breaking the salt bridge that can form inside your tank.
Salt bridges are caused by high humidity or the wrong kind of salt poured into the system. That’s why you should install your water softener in a dry part of your home.
When a salt bridge forms, your water will not touch the salt in the system. This stops the creation of brine, which recharges the resin bed in your system and ultimately softens the water.
We recommend taking a broom handle and pushing it into the salt. Try to puncture several holes in the salt so the bridge breaks up into pieces. This will allow the salt to make contact with the water once again.
Pouring cleanser into your water softener is a great first step in ensuring the longevity of your system. Reference your owner’s manual if any issues arise between routine maintenance checks and always make sure you have a bottle of cleanser ready if you suspect it’s time for a cleaning.