If you are like most people, you probably keep your water softener in the garage. While it seems like a good idea, it can cause potential problems if you live in a cooler climate. Snow and sub-freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your plumbing, including your water softener.
Fortunately, you can prevent freezing by winterizing your water softener. Here are five quick, helpful tips to make that job easier:
1. Add Insulation
Like the other plumbing in your home, your water softener may benefit from insulation. It will help keep the water at a stable temperature and prevent freezing. However, insulation alone only works for those in mild climates—as those with sub-zero temperatures need a little more oomph.
You can find insulation at most home improvement stores and it is easy to install. Purchase a piece of plumbing insulation that is large enough for your water softener system and bring it home. You may also want to get additional insulation for the pipes going to and from the water softener. Cut holes for all the necessary parts and attach it with zip ties.
2. Add Heat
If your water softener system is in the garage and you live in area with harsh winters, add some heat to prevent freezing. You do not need to install central heating in your garage in order to do this. Simply purchase a space heater and put it near your water treatment system. Turn it on when temperatures will reach below freezing and leave it off otherwise.
3. Do Not Add Antifreeze
You may have heard of people adding antifreeze to their water softener systems. While this works in theory, it is potentially dangerous and damaging. Even if you are advised to do it, skip it and do not put antifreeze in your system.
4. Run Water
As you do with traditional plumbing, you can run water to prevent your water softener system from freezing. The running water will keep the pipes working, which will make it much harder to freeze the water inside.
You do not need to run the water at full force. Instead, leave the faucet at a light trickle. Just make sure you are running warm or hot water, as cold water will not help.
5. Drain, Disconnect, and Store
If you will not be using your water softener system during the winter months, the best thing you can do is drain, disconnect, and store your water softener. This way your system doesn't contain water that can freeze, and your system is stored somewhere warm.
Follow the directions on your system and drain the water. Disconnect it from the plumbing, and store it somewhere warm—such as your basement—until spring.
If these techniques do not work for you, or you do not want to take a DIY approach, enlist in the help of a water treatment service professional. They can perform an annual inspection, cleaning, and prepare your system for the cold winter months. For more information, contact a business such as Aquatech Well Drilling & Pumps Inc.