Preparing your water softener or filter for winter
Water softeners and filters provide the vital technology home and commercial building owners need to guarantee the best quality water. For areas where water is classed as ‘hard’, the installation of a water softener provides a stepping stone to greater taste, as Southern Water explains:
“If someone has hard water but wants water that behaves virtually like a real soft water, then the hard water must be softened. This can be achieved by any method that removes or replaces the calcium (and magnesium) in the water. For householders the most convenient and cheapest method is to use a softening unit that needs to be regenerated with a solution of common salt about once a week. In this unit the sodium in the salt is used to replace the calcium in the water using the process of ion exchange. There are other methods that remove calcium but are more complex and expensive and pose other problems.”
Whatever your reasons for using a water softener or filter, ensuring that your system is prepared for the harsh winter ahead is vital – particularly if your unit is fitted in an unheated garage or is being left in a property that won’t be inhabited throughout the Christmas holidays. Read on, to discover our winter maintenance tips and keep your softener or filter in the best condition during the cooler months.
I’m home for the holidays, what should I do?
For those who are home for the Christmas holidays, keeping your water softener or filter active is the first defence against the frozen pipes that are so common during the winter months. The act of running water will prevent freezing, even in scenarios where the temperature has dropped below zero. If you are out of town for just a day or two over Christmas to visit family or friends, you can even leave your faucet running at a slow trickle to provide continuous protection while you’re gone.
Does my softener need to be insulated?
Investing in insulation and extra heating for your unit is another option. The pipes and tanks that make up your system need to be protected during winter. Adding an insulating wrap to pipes is relatively inexpensive with products purchased from your local DIY store. In addition, heat tape and electric pipe heating cables can also be incorporated to keep the risk of freezing to a minimum.
Expecting plummeting temperatures this winter? Going one step further by installing an insulated box around your water softener or filtration system is another worthwhile idea. Special insulating jackets are also available for a snug fit and great results.
I’m away all winter, what can I do to prepare?
Using less water in our homes is a priority, so we wouldn’t recommend leaving your faucet dripping all winter to prevent freezing pipes and system damage. Draining and disconnecting your softener is the best course of action for those who don’t plan on using their system for a sustained period of time. Every system has certain steps to follow for disconnection, drainage, and storage so consult your manual for advice. Our team is also on hand to provide system-specific winter maintenance that works for you, your softener or filter, and your circumstances.
Considering introducing a water softener or filter into your home? Test the quality of your water to determine just how much of an impact your new system will make.