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Why Is My Water Softener Turning Water Grey?

If your water softener water is turning gray, there are a few possible reasons why. There is a chance that you might have some hard-scale water deposits, excess air in your water supply, or excess chlorine in your water. There is also a chance that you may have some bacteria or fungi growing in your drinking water supply.

Learn more about how to identify and fix gray water coming from your water softener, and do not hesitate to reach out to an expert who can help you.

The Most Common Causes of Gray Water Coming From the Water Softener

First, it is important to take a look at some of the most common reasons why you might have gray water coming from your water softener. Some of the most common causes include: 

1. Chlorinated Municipal Water

If you get your water from the city, the city might be putting chlorine in the water in an effort to sanitize it and keep it clean. There is also a chance that there might be too much chlorine in the city water, which can cause the water to turn gray. 

Therefore, you may want to start by taking a look at the local city website to see if there is a warning about the level of chlorine in the water supply. If you see other people in the city sharing similar concerns, then there could be a chance that there might be too much chlorine in the water. 

2. Too Much Air in the Water Supply

There might also be too much air in the water supply. This does not necessarily mean that something is wrong with the water softener, but it does mean that something is wrong with some portion of your plumbing system.

Turn on one of the faucets connected to the water softener, and see if there are knocking or banging sounds. This is a sign that there is turbulent water flowing through the faucet, and it could indicate that there is too much air in the plumbing system. This does not mean that something is wrong with the water softener, but it does mean you need to figure out why there is air in your water supply. 

3. Hard Scale Deposits

One of the most common reasons why the water coming from your water softener might be gray is that there are hard scale deposits present throughout the plumbing system. This means that you have too much calcium and magnesium in the water, which are the two elements that your water softener is supposed to remove.

If you haven’t performed routine maintenance on your water softener recently, there could be scale deposits built up throughout your plumbing system, and it could be the reason why your water has turned gray. If you see small gray particles floating in your water, you know the reason why.

4. Bacteria in the Water

Even though this is highly unusual, there is a chance that you may have bacteria in your water supply. Specifically, bacteria that produce and thrive on sulfur can produce a gray, black, or brown slime that might be visible in the water.

While not all bacteria are harmful, you need to run a thorough test to figure out why you have bacteria in the water supply and how you can get rid of them. Generally, the presence of sulfur bacteria in the water means that you have high levels of sulfur and hydrogen sulfide, which can be harmful at high levels. An expert may recommend getting an aeration filter.

5. Fungi in the Water

Finally, there is a chance that you may have fungi growing in your water as well. While fungi that produce gray slime in the water are highly unusual in your home’s plumbing system, if you have a leaking shower or faucet, it can produce an environment that is right for the growth of fungi.

You should take a closer look at your sinks, faucets, and toilet bowls to see if you see unusual slimes building up around the edges of the water. If so, you need to use a commercial disinfectant or bleach solution to kill them. You may even want to reach out to an expert who can help you.

Clearly, there are plenty of reasons why you might have gray water coming from your water softener, but what are you supposed to do to rectify the situation? 

Maintenance on Your House Water Filtration System: Invest in Water Softener Maintenance

If you want to prevent gray water from coming from your water softener specifically, there are several important maintenance tasks that you need to complete. They include: 

1. Clean the Water Softener Brine Tank Regularly

You must make sure you clean the brine tank regularly. You need to clean the tank thoroughly at least once per year. Otherwise, the salt in the tank could form sludge, reducing the effectiveness of your water softener. If you know your water supply has a high level of iron, then you may need to clean the brine tank more often.

2. Check the Salt Level 

You also need to check the salt level in your brine tank from time to time (DROP alerts you to this automatically). The salt is responsible for exchanging with the magnesium and calcium ions in your water supply, removing them from your plumbing system.

If you allow the salt level to drop too low, your water softener will not have what it needs to complete the process. If you see an unusual white residue building up on your plumbing fixtures, it could be a sign that the salt level is a bit low. Consider adding more salt.

3. Get Rid of Salt Bridges

From time to time, you might see salt residue collecting in the tank of the water softener. This is called a salt bridge (not to be confused with salt mushing), and you need to get rid of them as quickly as possible. If you have a salt bridge in your brine tank, the water will not dissolve the salt, so you won’t get the brine necessary to remove calcium and magnesium.

While you can easily remove them on your own, it can be annoying if they build up regularly. If you see them keep forming, you may need to reach out to an expert who can help you. 

4. Swap the Water Softener Resin Bed in the Resin Tank

Resin is usually designed to last for the duration of your water softener’s life, but if you have a lot of iron and chlorine in your water supply, the resin could be worn down faster than usual.

If you feel like your water pressure is a bit low, the problem might have to do with the resin. If you have had your water softener for a few years, it might be time to replace the resin

Rely on DROP for the Best Water Softener Filtration System

If you want your water softener to run as well as possible, you need to take good care of it. You can find smart water softeners and water filters from DROP. We would love to help you find the right water softener for your home, so take a look at our selection today! Then, feel free to give us a call or chat with any questions or concerns you might have.

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