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Do you need to winterize your water softener or filter? And if so, what does winterization involve? That depends on the situation…

If you keep your water softener or filter in the basement of an occupied home, you shouldn’t have to worry about winterization. You will want to winterize your system if you have any of the following:

  • A unit installed in an unheated garage
  • A vacation home you’re not using in the winter
  • You leave your home for an extended winter vacation

In all of these situations, it is smart to take precautions that ensure your water softener will be protected in below freezing temperatures. Frozen pipes could lead to pipes that burst, which could cause significant damage to your property as well as your water treatment equipment.

Let’s take a look at some helpful advice.

Insulation and Extra Heating

For people who plan to continue using their water softener during the winter, there are a few simple things you can do to make sure it doesn’t freeze in cold weather.

If you live in a milder climate, where the weather doesn’t get extremely cold, insulating your pipes and tanks should be enough to protect your system during the winter. You can purchase pipe insulation wrap at any home improvement store. Heat tape or electric pipe heating cables for the water lines are also a good idea.

When it comes to water softener tanks, some homeowners have an insulated box built around the system. You can also purchase plumbing insulation in sheets, or wrap an insulation blanket around them. There are even special jackets designed specifically for water softener tanks.

Because of the salt saturation, your brine tank is only likely to freeze in very cold climates where temperatures can drop below zero.

If you are using your water softener year round, the most important thing is to keep it warm enough to prevent freezing, which is why a space heater in your garage can help.

Remember, you only need to keep the temperature above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and you should always take safety precautions as per the manufacture when using a space heater. Only turn it on when you know it is necessary.

Running water will also prevent freezing. If you’re only going to be away for a few days, you could leave a faucet running at a slow trickle to keep things moving in those pipes while you’re gone.  Although not a cure-all, this will at times, prevent full-on freezing and bursting from freezing pipes.

Draining and Disconnecting a Water Softener

If you do not plan on using your water softener during the winter, and the heat in your residence will be turned off during that time, there are specific steps you should follow to disconnect, drain, and store your system.

It is recommended that you drain the tanks. This ensures there won’t be any water left in the system that could freeze and cause damage. You’ll need to put the softener into its regeneration cycle and wait until you notice the system backwashing water into the drain.

At this point, if your water softener has a manual bypass valve, it should be put into the bypass position to turn off the supply of water to the water softener. This will isolate and protect your system from the rest of the building’s supply of water during this time.

Remove the unit from the bypass valve and proceed to remove the valve from the tank.  Once the riser tube is exposed, use plastic 3/8” – 1/2” plastic-tubing long enough to each the bottom of the riser tube and lower distributor.  Siphoning the water from the media tank is recommended at this point.

The slower process of siphoning will ensure that all the water is removed from the tank.  After water has stopped flowing from the siphon tubing, allow the tank to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.  This additional time allows for all the water to completely settle to the bottom of media tank.  At that time you can attempt to siphon the balance of water which has settled out.

The majority of standing water should be scooped out of the brine tank, but the solution that’s left should not freeze because of the high salt content.

Consult your user’s manual for detailed instructions on how to completely drain your tanks, or call a water treatment professional for help.

Next, unplug the water softener or turn off the switch to the power source.

You should be able to leave the brine tank in the cold, but you may want to completely remove and store your softener tank in a warmer area.

Still Have Questions? Call the Experts!

410-840-BLUE (2583)



Originally written and published by Water Care





As the holiday season approaches, you may be getting ready to host family and friends in your home. Whether it’s a dinner party for friends and coworkers or a week-long retreat for extended family, opening your home to others takes a great deal of planning and preparation.

Installing a water softener is one easy way to ensure your guests have a comfortable holiday experience.

Hard water contains elevated amounts of calcium and magnesium and though generally safe to use, it has been known to cause a variety of problems related to cleaning, appliance maintenance, and deposit buildups. Over time, hard water may actually shorten the life of the pipes and appliances in your home and reduce the effectiveness of everyday household cleaning agents.

Water softeners not only alleviate problems such as scale buildup and clogging, they can help create a more enjoyable stay in your home for guests, all while easing your duties as host and homeowner. From vibrant looking clothing to shinier, cleaner silverware and dishes, softer water makes life a little brighter.

Impress Your Guests with Cleaner Dishes and Silverware


If you have hard water in your home, you may notice more streaks, white film, and residue on your dishes and silverware even after they have been washed. This happens as a result of hard water deposits that build up in your dishwasher. By switching to soft water, you can avoid the frustration of re-washing your dishes, allowing you to spend less time cleaning and more time entertaining.

Washing your dishware in soft water leaves them sparkling after the first rinse, but did you know having softer water can actually save you money as well? That’s because less detergent is needed to thoroughly clean your dishes. In fact, switching to a water softener can reduce your need for detergent by more than 50% as the minerals that inhibit the cleaning products are removed.

Reduce the Strain on Your Water Heater

Not only can installing a water softener benefit your dishes and silverware, but your wallet as well. Water softeners greatly reduce energy costs of water-using appliances, and have been proven to enhance the efficiency of gas water heaters by as much as 29%. This is because soft water is easier and quicker for hot water heaters to heat, equating to a reduction in energy consumption.

Additionally, hosting extra people in the house can definitely take a toll on your water usage and can really test the performance of your water heater. On top of saving energy and money, a fast heating water heater also means no wait time for showering or washing those extra dishes that come with having a full house.

Softer Water Means Softer Clothes and Laundry

Your houseguests will be happy to find their clothes look and feel cleaner longer when washed with soft water. Installing a water softener can help prevent laundry detergent from lingering in the fabric, and allows your clothing to maintain a higher level of quality and vibrancy longer than items washed in hard water.

Soft water helps preserve not just the quality and softness of your clothes, but your other laundry, too. While hard water can often leave your linens feeling stiff and scratchy, washing your towels and bed sheets with soft water leaves your items feeling fluffy and looking clean, all while using less product. Washing your bedding in soft water will make for softer and fluffier blankets, both of which will help keep you warmer. Towels will also be softer more absorbent than ones that have accumulated calcium and soap buildup from being washed in hard water.

Water Softeners Provide a Better Bathing Experience


Whether you’re giving your kids a bubble bath or taking a warm shower after a day out in the cold, soft water is the answer. That’s because hard water causes fewer bubbles to form in your tub due to a negative reaction between calcium and magnesium and the ingredients found in many bath products, such as soaps and gels. You are also less likely to get a rich lather from your body gels when mixed with hard water.

You may notice after a shower in hard water that your hair feels lifeless and straw-like, and your skin is dry, red, and even itchy. Because hard water limits how easily shampoo and soap rinse off, you may be left with soapy residue in your hair and body. Installing a water softener helps to allow the chemicals in your bath products to wash out completely, giving your hair extra shine and volume this holiday season.

Additionally, hard water can cause a buildup in mineral scale over time, which can affect your water pressure. This occurs when excess minerals get trapped in your faucet or shower head, leading to low water pressure and a less efficient shower experience. The benefits of installing a water softener will leave your guests talking long after their visit has ended.

This holiday season, give the gift of comfort by installing a water softener in your home. Call us today at 410-840-2583




Originally written and published by Water Care on Nov 11th, 2016