Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Hard Luck

About 6 or so years ago we had a water softener fitted.

We live in an area of very hard water, and it seemed like a good idea.   Of course we only ever appreciate just how much  of a good idea when the water softener stops working.

My hair seemed a bit dull after shampooing yesterday.  My skin has been a bit itchy.   Today, I noticed that there was limescale on the inside of the shower door.  I was a bit surprised, I was sure that I had wiped it over with Viakal only a week ago (maybe two weeks, time does go quickly).  The shower head was a bit limescaley, which surprised me even more as I'd stood it in a descaler solution very recently, and it takes ages to fur up. 

It wasn't the water softener. I've been caught out before and now I open the flao every couple of days to check whether the salt needs changing. I'd checked last night and there was still salt in there.

This morning I was doing kitcheny related things.  One of these was to take some sourdough starter out to make a oaf of bread.   When it came to replenishing the Starter I decided to use warm water instead of cold, and to do this using half boiling and half cold.  I emptied some boiling water from the kettle into a jug and I saw that it had bits in.   I opened the kettle and saw that the bottom was full of limescale.  This was impossible.  When I had my de-limescaling blitz recently,  I descaled everything and I  had had to buy extra descaling sachets from Lakeland.   This was only a couple of weeks ago.

I opened the water softener, and it still had plenty of salt in.  I decided to take the blocks out and give the insides a quick scrub.  And then I saw that the blocks of salt were actually wedged in, and the bottoms were not in the chamber.

At least that explained the  limescale appearing everywhere.

The Water Softener has helpful instructions on the side ons on how to force a manual regeneration.  It mentioned putting a Philips screwdriver in the valbe, pushing down, turning clockwise.   I couldn't find the valve.  I couldn't find the manual. 

My friend YouTube came to my rescue.  Except that the nice American man in the video had easy access to the top of his water softener. Mine is under the sink.  I managed to get top of the case off, and, woth the aid of a torch, I worked out where to stick the screwdriver.  I stuck, I pushed, I turned. Nothing.  I watched the video again, and saw that it was a strong turn, not my girly " turn until it resists".  I could see from the video that the valve had helpful writing on it.  I couldn't see the writing on mine.

In the end, I hoiked the drawer out and stuck my face in the drawer cavity.  And the screwdriver in the valve. Down, and a hard turn unti you push the little thingy along the teeth into what must be the "regenerate" part of the dial.  It burst into life.

LIttle things please little minds, and I'm pleased that I now know how to do this. 

And I am once again reassured that the expense of the water softener was WELL worth it.

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