Keeping Your Plumbing Flowing Smoothly

If you deal with plumbing clogs on a regular basis, you might find yourself struggling with bent wire hangers, chemical drain cleaner, and unfamiliar pipes. Unfortunately, unless you are a trained professional, all of your efforts might be in vain. Most people don't realize it, but it is possible to damage your plumbing by making a few missteps. If you use the wrong chemicals or you push a little too hard, you might end up dealing with damaged pipes or your clogging problem could get worse. Fortunately, you might be able to use this blog to help you to keep your plumbing flowing smoothly.

Water Softener Woes: Dealing With a Failed Membrane


If your home is equipped with a water softener, you rely on it to remove minerals and other ions from your area's hard water supply. The end result is soft water that's better for your skin, your hair, and even your plumbing appliances. While water softeners are generally pretty low maintenance, there are some problems that can arise. One of the most common and major issues you can experience with a standard water softener is that of membrane failure.

What Does a Water Softener Membrane Do?

Your water softener contains a reservoir that is filled with tiny "beads"; these softener beads are used to remove calcium, magnesium, and ions from hard water as it passes over them inside the tank. To contain the beads inside the reservoir, most water softeners are designed with a small membrane that should last for the entire life of the water softener itself.

Unfortunately, water softener membranes can and do fail — and when they do, they release all those beads from the reservoir and directly into your home's designated soft water supply. As you can probably imagine, this creates quite a plumbing headache.

Signs of a Failed Water Softener Membrane

In most cases, you'll notice that your water softener membrane has failed when you attempt to use water through one of the soft-water appliances or faucets throughout your home. Many homeowners, for example, will notice that when they turn on their shower in the morning, there is little-to-no water pressure. In some cases, some of the resin beads may even come out of the showerhead.

In severe cases, faucets and water lines will become clogged with the softener beads, and toilets may even fill up with them when you flush.

What to Do if Your Membrane Has Failed

If you think your water softener membrane has failed, call a plumber right away. He or she may be able to explain to you how to turn on the "bypass" on your water softener to prevent more beads from being released into your water supply. From there, your water softener will need to be replaced, and your pipes will need to be flushed of the remaining beads. 

The good news is that a failed membrane typically doesn't cause long-term damage to a home's plumbing, but it can certainly be a hassle to deal with. By having the name of a trusted plumber, you can get the problem resolved as quickly as possible.


30 August 2019