Residential Softener - Crystals forming on brine tank & other questions

Dear all,
In the past few months, a layer of crystals has formed on the outside of my brine tank. The tank is plastic and has a seam; the crystals are forming in the vicinity of the seam. Should I be concerned?
My pressure tank evidently is bladder-less, as it requires draining about twice a year to re-establish the "pad" of air. I could drain it a lot quicker if I took out the "bung" or pipe plug on top. Any reason I shouldn't do so? Where do I get a tool to fit it (c. 11/16 hex / allen)?
I saw a few old posts about carbon / resin post-treatment. I seem to have one of these and I have no idea when it may have been last "renewed". What is this appliance supposed to do for me, and is there a way to determine if it's effective?
What about the softener "stone" itself - does that have finite lifespan? How do I know if it needs replaced?
I've been in this house a couple years now & it's my first residence that doesn't have "city" water. Any insights / advice is welcome.
John R Ohio USA
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Yes. You may not have a catastrophic failure, but the tank is beginning to deteriorate. Some plastics become brittle with age and exposure to UV. The seamis from the parting line of the mold when it was made,, the first place problems tend to show up.

Usualy has a rather long life. There are rejuventaors on the market. Unless it is not softening, it is probably OK.

Can't help with your other questions. Well water can be excellent, but can have problems. You may want to have the water tested to be sure it is up to snuff. Some problems, if you have any, can be cured with a proper filter.
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johnr snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Wow---what are you talking about?
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The allen wrench can be found at a good industrial supply house. Where will the water go when it is opened?
Not stone, but resin. Yes, it will decline over time, but it will take years. As long as the softener is still softening, it is OK. There are rejuvenators for it also, but I don't know how good they are.
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