If your soap won’t lather properly or there are white streaks on your shower door, your water could be hard. If you experience a similar brown stain on your kitchen sink and cloudy stains on your glassware, it’s even more likely that it is. All the above are the undesired results of hard water, and it means you should get a high-quality water softener.
If you already have a water softener but suddenly start noticing these signs recently, your water softener may not be working correctly. You might have already changed your detergents, but if that doesn’t work, your water softener may have run out of salt. To understand why salt is important, let’s see how a solar-powered water softener works and more signs that it needs some salt.
How a Solar-Powered Water Softener Works
A solar-powered water-softener allows homeowners to soften water with a greener method by using solar energy. The water softener is attached to solar panels that are placed outside the house or on the roof. The water softener itself works just like any normal water softener that is attached to a power outlet.
Softening hard water is not for every household the best solution to purify water. There are many factors to consider before making the decision of installing a water softener. But in some cases, hard water can cause a bit of complication with your plumbing. Any good plumber will recommend a decent water softener as the solution. Basically, water softeners remove high concentrations of hard minerals from your water. Usually, it removes magnesium and calcium, the two culprits to blame for your water being hard.
If left unchecked, those hard minerals can build up over time and slowly damage your home appliances. They have a tendency to build up inside pipes because they are metals and can easily bond with the metal pipes.
Through the ion Exchange resin process, water softeners improve water quality by exchanging the toxic minerals (Magnesium and Calcium) responsible for the hardness with good minerals (Chloride ions and Sodium). In more technical terms, it exchanges undesirable dissolved ions with other harmless ions.
A water softener typically has two main parts, the mineral tank, and the brine tank. In the mineral tank, there are some tiny plastic beads called resin. The brine part has rock salts and water to clean the resin tank. When water flows into the mineral tank, it passes over negatively charged sodium ions that attract positively charged magnesium and calcium.
The magnesium and calcium ions stay behind while the sodium ions replace them in the water. As long as the water softening salt recharges the resin beads, the water remains clean and free from toxic substances.
What Happens if a Solar-Powered Water Softener Runs Out of Salt
Just like a regular water softener, a solar-powered water softener needs salt to function. Some companies like Springwell offer salt-free water softeners. However, salt-free water softeners are nothing else than water conditioners.
If a water softener runs out of salt, the resin beads will eventually get saturated with so many hard minerals and need to be regenerated with water from the brine tank. This happens automatically every couple of days. But if there isn’t enough salt in the brine tank, the resin beads can’t be successfully cleaned of hard minerals. This is when your water softener has run out of salt.
If you don’t add more salt to the water softener, here are some of the signs you may see:
Stains on Your Glassware
Stains on glassware are a common sign. These stains are white and tiny. And they are stubborn such that you will be unable to scrub off easily. In some cases, you may even have to buy new glassware.
Soap Does not Lather While Bathing
Were there times when you notice your soap does not lather so well while you have your bath? It is so because the water softener ran out of salt, causing the water to become hard. This is usually one of the earliest signs that you need to top off the salt in your water softener.
Accumulation of Rust on Tap Head
There is an accumulation of rust particles around the tap head that blocks the tiny holes of the tap. When this happens, it slows down the flow of water. If it gets worse, the water sprays in a different direction, which can be pretty frustrating.
A Buildup of Rust in Pipes
The toxic minerals (Calcium and Magnesium) causing the hardness of water can react with your metal pipes and cause some buildup in them. Over time, you’ll notice your water flow get weaker and weaker.
Water Softener’s Tank Overflows
When the water softener runs out of salt, it malfunctions. The tank gets affected and loses its ability to hold water leading to an overflow.
White Spots in the Bathroom
The hard water leaves tiny white spots on the walls of the bathroom and door, which is usually challenging to wash off.
If you do not refill your water softener with salts, it may get worse, and you may have to get your bathroom professionally cleaned to restore its glow.