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Manage My Life

How do I remove hardened salt from my water softener?

by Manage My Life Last activity date:
September 26th, 2011

Sears Genius II. The salt was in the unit when I bought the house, so may have been in there a while. It bridged over and I kept trying to cave it in. Finally, I poured hot water in to dissolve the salt. Now I have about 1 1/2 feet of hard salt and water in the bottom, and I don't seem to be getting soft water anymore.

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Manage My Life
If you've already used the cleaner and it's not gotten back to where it needs to be then you may be correct. It may be time to replace the resin. If the machine is over about 15 years old I would think the chances of it needing new resin are greater.

You're correct about being able to put the machine in bypass and taking it loose to move it and remove the resin tank.
by Manage My Life
September 26th, 2011
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Manage My Life
Thanks, Wade! I have actually tried the resin cleaner already. I've done it a few times. The interesting part is that I got soft water for a short period of time, using just the cold water, and then it stopped. Right now I think the water is kind of soft, but coming down from a 25gpg by a little isn't much.

I honestly think that with the trouble-shooting I've done, I'm left with nothing other than the resin needing to be changed out.

I believe I should be able to put it in bypass mode, disconnect the back where the in and out connect to the bypass unit, pull it away and then remove the motor/head off the tank. Then get the tank out, remove the distributor, pour out the old resin and put in the new.

I'm not sure of the age of the softener, but the motor and the valves seem to be working exactly the way they should without problem. I have done regeneration a few times with a cleaner, but it still doesn't seem to be much of an improvement (maybe slightly, if at all).
by Manage My Life
September 26th, 2011
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Manage My Life
@Bryn: You can shut the water heater off and shut the water to the water heater off, then drain the water heater. Most water heaters have a drain near the bottom in case it does have to be drained. Connect a water hose to it and drain it until it's empty. Then allow some water to come back into the heater and drain again. Maybe do that a few times to flush it out. Then allow the water heater to fill and turn it back on (light the pilot if gas).

You may also want to get some softener cleaner, pt number 34427, to clean the resin bed. You can pick that up at your local Sears store.
by Manage My Life
September 26th, 2011
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Manage My Life
I was able to remove my salt sludge with a poop scoop, too! That's funny that we had the same idea. But now my water softener is not performing well to soften the water. It seemed to be working, but then it gets hard again and doesn't seem to get too soft when it is working.

Two ideas I have:

a) the hot water tank is filled with hot water, which is affecting the overall water until it gets fully replenished with soft water.

b) the resin beads are in need of more recharging and/or are too old and need to be replaced.

The reason I think this is because the components all seem to be working the way they should based on Kenmore's animation tutorial. I've cleaned the nozzle and venturi and have inspected the o-rings, etc. There is vacuum on it. The water is draining from the brine tank, backwashing and rinsing. and I seem to be getting some improvement in the water, just not the amount I would like.

Thanks for any information!
by Manage My Life
September 25th, 2011
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Manage My Life
If you have the salt bridge broken up you will have to either scoop out the salt (what I would do) or take the softener and tip it over. I went and picked up a "poop scoop" (used for cleaning up after dogs) and use that for getting the chunks out. You can also find small dustpans with a long handle on them that will work pretty well for this job.

Taking one out to dump it over is a lot of trouble with having to take the plumbing loose. I try to not ever do that if I can help it.

If you need to break up the salt bridge, hot water and a broom handle is the way to go for that. Just be careful not to let the handle break through and hit the bottom of the tank as this could cause leaks.

Thank you for using Manage My Life!
Answered in 3 hours
by Manage My Life
November 4th, 2010
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Manage My Life
A water softener is great to have in your home. I found a link that may help you with the water and salt that is left in your water softener. I attached the link below. I hope you will get to enjoy your water softener!

managemylife.com/mmh/questions/193162-how-do-i-get-rid-of-the-large-block-of-salt-at-the-bottom-of-my-water-softener
Answered in 57 minutes
by Manage My Life
November 4th, 2010
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