Water Softener FAQ
Do I need to routinely clean my salt bin?
No. Crystal salt does not produce the paste like material like you find with pellet salt therefore, no maintenance is required. Crystal salt may contain a small amount of silica sand (very fine and not harmful to the water softener) but it make create a brown ring at the water line. You will not come in contact with water found in the brine tank but if the ring bothers you, you can simply wipe it off with a damp paper towel.
What kind of salt should I be using?
We recommend crystal salt. Also labled solar salt or extra course solar crystals. Crystal salt is typically found in a blue bag and can be readily found at grocery stores, wholesale clubs, home improvement stores and gas stations.
How much salt should I be using?
The average family should use a 40# bag of crystal salt a month. If you are going through more than a 40# bag a month give us a call. If you have one of our Millennium water softeners we can check your past 62 days of water usage over the phone.
I ran out of salt what should I do? Millennium owners, fill your salt bin then press the "regen" button for 1 second. Regen today will flash on the display. Your softener is now set to regenerate at 2am.
If you press & hold "regen" for 5 seconds the softener will regenerate immediately. *It is recommended you do not use volumes of water until the regeneration cycle is complete.
Fleck 5600 owners: Add salt and wait 2-3 hours before manually regenerating the water softener. Turning the center dial a few clicks to the right will initiate regeneration.
**After the regeneration is complete, you may want to purge your water heater to get out any hardness that may have entered the water heater while you were out of salt.
What if my water feels too soft?
Soft water is water free of hard water minerals. Soft water will test at 0-1 grains of hardness. There is no such thing as too soft of water. There are things that can make adjusting to soft water more difficult such as over use of soap and detergent. Soft water requires a fraction of the detergent you were accustomed to using with hard water. Do not use dishwasher or washing machine pods or tablets as these are measured for hard water usage. Never put detergent in the dishwasher prewash cup. Dishwasher rinse aid will help in reducing excess soap. As long as you are not overusing soap and detergents the slippery feeling is a good thing.
Do I need to adjust my water softener for Daylight Savings Time?
This is totally up to you. Most water
softeners are internally programmed to regenerate at 2am. If you system is off by one hour it will not effect the performance of the water softener. If you water softener time of day is more than a few hours off then go to the water softener tab and select troubleshooting. There you will find simple instructions on how to reset time of day.
Should I turn off my water softener when I am away on vacation?
If you have the Millennium water softener you can simply unplug it. You may want to regenerate the water softener the night before you leave this is done by pressing the "regen" button on the front of the controller for 1 second. The words "regen today" will appear on the display. This will clean your softener prior to you unplugging it. Upon return make sure to reset the time of day. Simple instructions can be found on the water softener tab under troubleshooting.
If you have the Odyssey water softener there is no need to do anything as the water softener will not regenerate until you resume normal water usage. You may want to manually regenerate the water softener prior to leaving. This can be done by turning the center dial a few clicks to to right.
What should I do if my water softener is leaking or stuck in a water using cycle?
You must put the water softener into bypass ( follow instructions below) Simply unplugging the water softener WILL NOT stop the flow of water to the water softener. You must put the softener into bypass to prevent the flow of water and call for service.
To bypass the water softener:
All Dakota Water Treatment water softeners come with a bypass lever or twist dials. The bypass is located right behind the control valve. Simply pull the lever or twist the dials until they are pointing to bypass.
How can I tell if my water softener is not working properly?
Hard water will leave stubborn spots on your glasses, silverware, shower doors and fixtures. You may even notice the water makes your skin feel like it has a film on it. Your soap may not be lathering like it used to. If you are experiencing any of these issues go to the water softener tab and select troubleshooting. There you will find helpful tips. If you are still unsure give us a call and we can schedule to have your water tested.
Do you sell salt free water softeners?
No. Salt free systems have not been proven to work effectively with our extreme water hardness. Salt free systems prevent hard water scale from building up in your plumbing but does not remove the problematic hard minerals from the water so you will still have hard water minerals while bathing and hard water minerals get delivered to your water using appliances.
Why are your water softeners better than those I see at department or home improvement stores?
The all in one or cabinet style water softeners are all made by one company and are branded as Ecowater, Kenmore, Whirlpool, Morton, GE or Northstar. Cabinet style water softeners are rated the lowest grade of water softener in the industry, are not maintenance free, take up more floor space, are unreliable, come with short limited warranties, are not serviced by most water treatment professionals, are rated to last 3-5 years and require the use of problematic pellet salt. These units are constructed cheaply but are not necessarily cheap. By the time you purchase, pay a plumber to install, upgrade the warranty (if offered) you are at the same cost as that of a professional water softening system. Professional water softeners like the Clack WS1 Millennium take less floor space, are maintenance free, come with longer warranties, perform better and last longer. The average life of a professional water softener is 12-15 years.
Do you sell non electric water softeners like Kinetico?
A Kinetico water softener costs $1800-$5000. Our Millennium water softeners cost $1000-$1300 and use only $.28 (cents) of electricity a month. Both water softeners regenerate with clean softened water brine water for more effective cleaning. The Kinetico regenerates in the middle of the day whereas the Millennium regenerates at 2am while you are sleeping. Both are considered low salt usage water softeners but a typical Kinetico regenerates every 2-3 days whereas the Millennium systems regenerate 4-5 times a month. Kinetico service costs are typically higher and their products are only serviceable by a Kinetico dealer. Leaving the consumer limited options.
Why are Culligan, Kinetico and Ecowater so much more expensive?
Culligan, Kinetico and Ecowater are franchise companies. With a franchise comes branded product lines and marketing support. You recognize these brands because you see them advertised. Franchise products are not necessarily better they may just be more expensive. Franchise water systems are designed to be serviceable by only the franchise dealer leaving you limited options and usually result in higher costs. Culligan like many other water softener companies are using valves and components manufactored in China. While headquarters state USA their manufacturing plants are not. Both our Fleck and Clack valves are manufactured in USA, Windsor and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Beware of plumbing scams...
"You are having your water heater replaced and the technician offers to check your water softener. According to the technician your water softener is not working. Lucky for you he just happens to have a new one on the truck and he can offer you a great discount if you buy it today."
One of my customers accepted an offer from what he thought was his home warranty provider to have a free plumbing inspection. This was actually a company (you may know them as the punctual plumbers) subcontracted by the home warranty company and their purpose was to sell their products and services. An unethical serviceman tested my customers 6 year old water softener and stated the water softener was not working and that the water was the hardest he had seen. He just happened to have a new water softener on the truck and while it would normally cost $1895 he would do it today for $1595. My customer declined and called us right away. We were able to test his water within hours proving not only was his water perfectly soft there were no issues with his water softener.
If this should happen to you, get a second opinion or bring in a water sample to confirm the results. If the water softener is truly not working get replacement estimates. Don't be taken advantage of.
Not sure your water softener is working properly?
For $125 we can check out your existing water softener. It may just need a tune-up or repair.
If the repair cost exceeds the value and replacement is necessary, if you purchase one of our water softeners the $125 will be credited to your purchase.