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Thread: Turning Off Soft Water Unit?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member talltree's Avatar
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    Default Turning Off Soft Water Unit?

    I'd like to bypass and turn off a water softener for an extended period of time. Got some folks moving into a house that don't like soft water.

    Easy to engage the bypass valve and unplug the unit. Is there anything else I should to to prep it for non use? Will the unit be ok when I turn it back on in a year or two?

  2. #2

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    Are you renting this house? Do you own it? What are the water conditions: hardness/iron? How old is it? What brand/model is it?

    Simply unplug it and put it on by-pass. I might sanitize it before you shut it down and after you start it up again. Avoid freezing conditions. Remove from open weather conditions if outside.

    There is a risk of ruining many utilities, appliances, fixtures and surfaces in the house. Is it worth it?

    Most people who don't like softened water, don't understand it and mistakenly say things like: 'I can't wash the soap off', or ' I don't want to drink salt water'. etc. Most people who suffer through the first short period of time convert into believers to the benefit of both theirs and yours.

  3. #3

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    Regardless if the renters like it or not, it's your plumbing and fixtures. Hard water attacks every aspect of the plumbing system.

  4. #4
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    The problem however is that if the renters don't want soft water, they probably won't be buying salt for it so putting it on bypass is the lesser of two evils.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member talltree's Avatar
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    The unit is made by Master Water. Don't have the model number handy but it looks like its one of the MBA models.

    Our house didn't have a water softener for 40+ years before we installed it. I don't expect any additional damage to the fixtures by taking this unit out of service (its only been running for the last 8 years or so). Except for the dishwasher I can't think of anything else that should be a problem.

    Freezing is not a concern as it is located inside the basement. However, this location will make draining very difficult so I'd like to avoid that if possible, but if it must be drained then so be it.

    How do I sanitize the unit?

    ---------------------------

    The other option I considered is moving the recharge cycle so it only regens 1x or 2x per month. But a neighbor said that too long between regens will shorten the life of the resin and let bacteria grow inside the resin unit.
    Last edited by talltree; 09-06-2011 at 03:57 PM.

  6. #6

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    Some fine advise there from fellow members.

    To sanitize it, put a cup of normal, unscented household bleach in the brine tank and manually regenerate it. It may or may not need it but the benefits outweigh the downsides.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member talltree's Avatar
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    For long term shut off should the resin unit and brine tank be drained after sanitizing?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by talltree View Post
    For long term shut off should the resin unit and brine tank be drained after sanitizing?
    Good question. I would drain and clean out the brine tank to keep the salt from bridging/solidifying but leave the softener with some water in it; it doesn't need to be under pressure. Wet resins will stay fresh. When hooking it back up, regenerate it with fresh brine solution and you should be up and running.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member talltree's Avatar
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    What do you guys think about going to a longer time interval before regens? What are the downsides, other than harder water towards the end of the cylce and the possible damage that hard water does to the fixtures and appliances?

    And for bypassing, what is the longest period of time the unit could be taken out of service without having to sanitize and drain the brine tank?

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member talltree's Avatar
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    I'd like to test a 30 day regen cycle to see if that will work for them. What do you say? Worth it to keep the unit in operation and get some benefit or will I reduce the life of the resin too much with such a long regen cycle? It is set for a weekly regen right now so the water is always very soft.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member talltree's Avatar
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    Any feedback on moving regen cycle to only once every 30 days?

  12. #12
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    If your softener has a "demand meter" you cannot adjust the regeneration period. You would have to reset the control for a lower hardness level.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member talltree's Avatar
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    The time interval between regens is set manually. My thought is to keep the unit in operation and get some benefit from it while keepign everyone happy. But will I reduce the life of the resin by a large degree with a once per month regen cycle?

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