I am in the process of installing a water softener that was given to me by a
The unit sat unused for quite a long time, don't think it was ever purged.
I hooked it up to a hose yesterday, the water that initially came out was
discolored ( kind of an iced tea color) for several minutes. It then ran
clear, and I could most definitely "feel"( slick) how soft the water was.
Before I put this unit in use, it occurred to me that I should sanitize it.
My though was to use pool chlorinator( liquid), just pour a quart or so into
the resin tank , let it sit overnight and rinse, possibly repeat.
What are the chances of some sort of bacterial growth in the resin tank?
The brown stuff was probably rust. When a water softener is used in
iron-bearing water, the resin eventually picks up a fair amount of iron. When
the unit is disconnected and opened up, air gets in and oxidizes the iron;
wet, oxidized iron = rust. Then when you connect it up, the rust gets rinsed
out. No big deal.
I don't think I'd do that without checking with the manufacturer first.
Chlorine is a pretty harsh chemical, and it damages a lot of things.
Pretty low, I'd guess, considering that the resin tank gets backwashed with
brine every time the water softener regenerates. Salt does a real good job
of inhibiting bacterial growth. Back in the old days before refrigeration,
people used to preserve meat by salting it, you know. Any bacteria that might
be in there now probably won't live very long after you put the unit into
service. Just fill the brine tank up with salt, and run it through a couple of
regeneration cycles, and I think you'll be good to go.
Thanks for the reply and information.
Thank you for reminding me of the obvious....the brine solution, of course.
I will run the tank through several regenerations while "offline" using a
hose and then put it into use.
Now for the next question...Sodium or Potassium?
Does one or the other affect plants more or less or at all. ( I am going to
have to re-plumb my irrigation system to the main waterline to avoid
softwater in the yard). I am Gilbert AZ(Phoenix) if that make a difference).
Before I plumb a second line to the irrigation manifold in the backyard, Is
there some kind of filter I can put inline to remove the sodium/potassium,
at least to a harmless level?
Perhaps something that can be put in right after the softener so as to
affect the whole system?
use the bypass valve at least once a day at very odd hours in order to
prevent softwater from reaching the irrigation system.
The extra work of plumbing the line is not an issue, easily done for the
most part. but if it is not necessary( by way of a filter) I would just
assume not do it.
Is there a filter that would work?
The water softener replaces hard water salts (calcium, magnesium) with
sodium (or potassium) salts which do not harden water. To remove all
chemicals from the water, the usual processes are distillation or reverse
osmosis. These are very costly processes and not suitable for irrigation
To sanitize, add 3/4 oz household bleach to the brine well and immediatley
initiate a recharge cycle.
See page 10 of the .PDF document at the above link.
Took a while to load on my computer-- like 80 pages, you might not have
enough memory or something.
No big deal--it refrenced brown colored water and bad taste, gave
instructions to use bleach as I said above.
I have one of those GE units, and so was pretty sure the manual could be
found online--but they all work about the same......
There should be a "brine well"--that is a tube of about 2 or maybe 4 inches
diameter, that extends down to the bottom of the salt reservoir......just
dump a bit of bleach in there and then do a recharge cycle--should clear it
up right away.
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