As temperatures continue to drop, you may be wondering what this means for your water treatment equipment. First and foremost, you want to prevent your equipment from freezing. Depending on where your equipment is kept, you may need to take a few extra steps.
Is your water softener kept in an unheated, indoor space? A common space for a water softener to be installed is in a garage or basement. Freezing temperatures can harm your water softener, so it is important to take preventative measures to ensure you don’t run into problems.
If your water softener is in a heated space within your home during the winter months, you typically should not have any insulation problems to worry about.
Do You Need to Winterize Your Water Softener?
Now you may be wondering if you need to winterize your water softener. There are only a handful of scenarios that would require some type of preventative insulation.
- Your water softener is kept in an unheated garage or basement. This is one of the most common spaces where water softeners are installed. They’re also one of the least insulated spots within a home. If your water softener is installed in one of these spots, we highly recommend winterizing your tank.
- If you have a vacation home or property you don’t use during the winter. The easiest solution if this applies to you is to drain your tank and have it be dormant while you’re away.
If you have questions, please contact us! One of our water specialists would be happy to help you safely shut down your softener for the season. This also allows us to inspect your machine and ensure everything is working properly! Win-win.
What Happens When Your Water Softener Freezes?
Once the temperature falls below 32 degrees, you run the risk of your water softener freezing. There are various pipes and tubes that work together to soften your water. These pipes and tubes can become frozen, which can cause them to crack or separate, damaging your equipment.
Frozen water expands – this is what will cause your pipes and tubes to potentially crack or break. If they separate completely, water will run from the cracked tubes, flooding the location of your water softener.
On days where your water softener is left in below freezing temperatures, we encourage you to check it periodically. If you suspect your machine is frozen, it is best to call a professional to prevent additional damage from occurring.
How to Prevent a Frozen Water Softener
You want to prevent your water softener from freezing if it is kept in an unheated space. Once your water softener freezes, your property and equipment can be damaged. Luckily, it is fairly easy to prevent issues by insulating your water softener.
Here are a few ways you can insulate your water softener’s pipes and tanks:
- Use pipe insulation wrap. Many home improvement stores sell this for quick, easy access.
- Apply electric pipe heating cables or heat tape to your water lines. This is a heat safe tape, specifically made for insulating. Double check what you’re purchasing before applying any tape.
- Plumbing insulation sheets can be wrapped around your water softener.
- Leave a faucet on a slow drip if you’re away for days at a time. It will be harder for your tank to freeze if there is water constantly flowing.
- Frequently monitor your water softener. Now you’ll be aware of any leaks and potential hazards, preventing further damage.
Since water softeners use salt to regenerate the resin beads that take the hardness out of your water, there is a high salt saturation within your tank. Think of when you salt your driveway or sidewalk – the salt helps prevent ice from forming.
Some homeowners think this provides a level of protection. However, regardless of salt content if the temperature drops below 32 degrees, your water softener can still stop working. Taking these preventative measures may not be necessary for you if you don’t have such harsh winters. It is better to be safe than sorry! If you’d like to learn more about how your water softener works, read our previous blog!
Contact Suburban Water Technology for Further Information
If you have more questions on how to winterize your water softener, don’t hesitate to contact us! We can connect you with one of our water treatment experts who will happily answer your questions. If you’re in need of water softener repair, installation, or general maintenance, schedule an appointment with us today!