handyman water softenerWater softeners occasionally need a handyman. If you find yourself without soft water it may be due to a salt bridge.

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A salt bridge is a crusty buildup of salt inside the tank. If you were to take a cross-section of the brine tank, it would look like a bridge…hollow underneath and dense salt which forms the “bridge”.  High humidity can cause a salt bridge. Salt crystals bond to each other and form a crust. As salt below the crust is used in the regeneration process, the bridge never moves and consequently the water does not get softened. If you look into the tank, the salt appears to look normal, but the salt does not appear to be decreasing over time. You need to break up the salt bridge and dispose of it.

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You can use a broom handle or really any tool with a handle. Turn the broom or tool over and try to break through the bridge in the center. Stay away from the walls of the tank and make sure you don’t puncture the bottom of the tank.

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Once you break the bridge up into pieces, remove the pieces from the tank. You can go crazy if you like and use a wet/dry vacuum and clean out the tank. Refill the tank with new salt pellets and set the controller to regenerate. Depending on your home’s use of water, you should have soft water again in 1-2 days.

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