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Thread: Water softener clogging pipes?????

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member ds's Avatar
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    Default Water softener clogging pipes?????

    Water softener was installed about 4 years ago. No problems until a week ago. Owner said salt level ran out completely and owner added Morton's pellets (as recommended by a sticker on the lid of the softener). Owner had previously used Morton's crystals on occasion. Shortly after replentishing the salt level, owner began having significant salt and black/brown debris in water lines. The salt and debris has significantly clogged any screens on faucets, washers, etc. I have bypassed the water softener temporarily, but the problem seems to continue. Even though the softener has been bypassed for a week, salt/debris continues to clog the faucet filters, etc. I am suspicious that debris and salt crystals are in the hot water tank as well. Any suggestions? Anyone run in to this in the past? I am at a loss as to what to do next.

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    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Is this system on City water with Chlorine?

  3. #3

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    Your softener would have had to fail pretty horribly to get enough salt in your lines to clog the plumbing. Besides the salt would eventually dissolve. However, if it is calcium that is appearing, then yes, eventually it would restrict water flow. use a moist towel and soak the scale build up. If it is removed by water then it may be salt. If you need vineger, then it is probalby calcium (hardness) that is building up.

    Morton is a fairly clean salt so I can't imagine that is from the salt. There are some 'dirty' salts out there. What kind of softener do you have? Most softeners use untreated water the regenerate and this may have decreased the effectiveness of the softener over years of use.

    Quote Originally Posted by ds View Post
    Water softener was installed about 4 years ago. No problems until a week ago. Owner said salt level ran out completely and owner added Morton's pellets (as recommended by a sticker on the lid of the softener). Owner had previously used Morton's crystals on occasion. Shortly after replentishing the salt level, owner began having significant salt and black/brown debris in water lines. The salt and debris has significantly clogged any screens on faucets, washers, etc. I have bypassed the water softener temporarily, but the problem seems to continue. Even though the softener has been bypassed for a week, salt/debris continues to clog the faucet filters, etc. I am suspicious that debris and salt crystals are in the hot water tank as well. Any suggestions? Anyone run in to this in the past? I am at a loss as to what to do next.

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    AAW jimtum's Avatar
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    I have never seen salt in the screens and as someone said salt would dissolve, I have seen screens get plugged when the softened water begins to eat at the hard water deposits in the pipes and then they will plug the screens, you can remove them and then sooner or later the hard water deposits will be gone, I would suggest to leave the softener in service and allow it to do its job. Sometimes the home owner will not tell the full story as far as when was the last time salt was added. You may want to find out how hard their water is and what size softener they have, that may also be a problem and you may need to adjust the softener.

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