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PLUMBING SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS in WATER
CLOGGED SUPPLY PIPING
DEBRIS in WATER SUPPLY, Water Heater
DRINKING WATER TESTING
EPA GUIDE to WATER QUALITY
FHA WATER TESTS REQUIRED
FREEZE-PROOF A BUILDING
HARD WATER - SOFTENERS
HEAT TAPE USAGE GUIDE
MUNICIPAL WATER PRESSURE IMPROVEMENTS
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS IN WATER
PLUMBING SYSTEM ODORS
PRESSURE CONTROL SWITCH ADJUSTMENT
REVERSE OSMOSIS CONCENTRATE DISPOSAL
SEWER GAS ODORS
WATER HEATER SCALE REMOVAL
WATER HEATER SCALE PREVENTION
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER PRESSURE & FLOW MEASUREMENT
WATER QUALITY TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER SOURCE ALTERNATIVES
WATER SUPPLY & DRAIN PIPING
WATER TANK: USES, TROUBLESHOOTING
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Water softener winterizing procedure: this article describes how to protect a water softener from freeze damage. Installation instructions for a water softener typically state "Do not install the unit where it might freeze, or next to a water heater or furnace or in direct sunlight." -- Culligan. But what should be done if a building is going to be shut down and exposed to freezing conditions? If you don't know about water softeners, what they are or what they do, see WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS for information. The articles at this website will answer most questions about freeze protection for piping and other building plumbing and heating system components: how to winterize a building to avoid frozen pipes, and how to thaw frozen water supply & drain piping, wells, & water tanks.
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Watch out: Protect your water conditioner and the entire drain line from freezing temperatures. DANGER: If your water softener should freeze, do not attempt to disassemble it. Call your water softener dealer. [Paraphrasing advice from Culligan.]
Take this additional water softener winterizing step if you are turning heat off in a building located in a freezing climate:
Do we need to get all water out of the water softener salt storage tank (the brine tank) during winterizing? At what temperature will a water softener salt tank freeze?
If your building includes other water treatment equipment such as a chlorinator, UV-light for bacteria in water, or a treatment system for odors or sediment, and if the building heat is going to be turned off, that equipment needs to be drained and protected against freezing.
When the building is reoccupied, you'll need to reverse these steps and do a few more things to get your water softener working again.
The process of returning a water softener to service are detailed at Restoring Water Treatment Equipment - How do We Return the Water Softener to Operation & Use at the End of Winter?
More information about the use of water softeners is at Water Softener Operation & Maintenance.
Is the building heat going to be left "on" or "off" - the answer determines the extent of freeze-proofing needed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About How to Protect a Water Softener from Freeze Damage
Question: should we pour antifreeze into the water softener?
We have been told as inspectors to pour antifreeze into the water softener. What is your reply. Thanks. - Gerald Best 5/7/12
Gerald, what was that person THINKING ? While indeed there are some antifreeze products that are not toxic (see ANTIFREEZE for BOILERS), this is not a safe nor recommended procedure for treating water conditioning equipment.
Why would you pour anything non-potable, much less potentially fatally poisonous into a tank whose contents are going to be sent through treatment equipment that in turn will place it in contact with the building water supply.
Questions & answers or comments about how to take a water softener out of service & how to protect a water softener from freeze damage.
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Technical Reviewers & References
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