Water softeners make a good job of reducing minerals and possible contaminants in our water supply. Not everyone can stand particulates and metals in water, especially if these are heavy. Hard water can be difficult to use, as these might leave residues. They might also be hazardous to one’s health.
However, water softeners are not indestructible devices. They also have consumable parts, or at least parts that will need regular maintenance. For example, if your water softener’s venturi nozzle becomes too dirty, the water softener will cease to function correctly. This is because the mechanism that pulls in the hard water (or brine) in order to remove the deposits and trap these in resin beads, is not working properly. If this process is interrupted, then the effectiveness of your water softener is reduced.
Your first instinct might be to have the water softener serviced or replaced altogether. However, make a quick check on your venturi nozzle before you spend extra money on repairs or servicing. It might just be dirty.
Get your tools ready. You will need two small bowls. One should be filled with warm, soapy water, and the other one should be empty. Use a mild, sudsy detergent meant for washing dishes. Don’t use a detergent that’s too strong, as this might only further aggravate the problem. Likewise, powder or bar detergents can leave residues that you certainly don’t want on your water softener.
Unscrew the nozzle. Grasp the nozzle assembly and unscrew the cap, turning it counterclockwise (or, in some cases, it might be clockwise). Take off the cap and set it aside. You can use the dry bowl for this purpose. This helps you keep track of everything, so you will not lose these small parts.
Clean the venturi nozzle. Dismantle the nozzle, venturi and venturi nozzle. Place these in the bowl with warm, soapy water. Agitate the water a bit by stirring it with a finger. You can use a small soft brush. An old toothbrush will do; you can also use a brush meant for cleaning baby bottle nipples, for those hard-to-reach small spots.
Check the assembly for signs of dirt and grime at the other parts. Clean these, as well, prior to reassembly.
Rinse the parts. Run the nozzle, venturi and venturi nozzle under a running tap, to rinse these thoroughly. After rinsing, let your venturi nozzle dry in the air.
After you’ve cleaned and rinsed your venturi nozzle, assemble the water softener and turn it on. Make a quick assessment if the water flowing out of the water softener is already soft enough for your needs. If the flow is restricted, or if the resulting water is still too hard for your taste, then you might have to do a more thorough cleaning. But first make sure that you’ve reinstalled the water softener correctly.
A water softener can be convenient, and it can help reduce problems brought about by sediments and minerals in the water supply. These will require a fair amount of maintenance, though. The first line of defense is usually cleaning of the venturi nozzle on a regular basis.