Whether it’s the number of days spent below freezing or the temperature dropping below zero for the first time since 1986, the winter in West Texas has been breaking all sorts of records. The chill in the Permian Basin is harsher than many are used to, and that means taking steps to protect your home that you may not have had to worry about before — including preparing your water softener for the bitter cold.
Not sure how to keep your system safe from Jack Frost? All our Kinetico Water Softener units are designed for user-friendly upkeep, so maintenance will be a breeze. To help you through the process, we’ve put together this water softener winterization guide, so just follow these easy steps to keep your system from freezing up.
- Store your unit in a heated space. This is highly recommended no matter what system you’re using.
- Inspect your system site now. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure as the saying goes, and it holds true for most forms of home maintenance. Check for drafty holes, broken windows, or poorly insulated areas near your water softener, and use heat tape to keep your plumbing warm. If you do, you’ll likely be able to keep it from freezing in the first place.
- Make basic repairs to your enclosure. Small steps like caulking cracks and adding weather stripping around doors and windows can go a long way in improving your unit enclosure’s insulation.
- Turn a faucet on to a steady drip when temperatures drop. Running water is harder to freeze than water that’s stationary, so keeping your water moving will preserve your pipes — although it does waste some water in the process.
- Place an incandescent light bulb near your water supply. These light bulbs put off a lot of heat, and can keep your water softener safe and warm. Be sure to use incandescent bulbs rather than fluorescent, though, and place them in a safe location that won’t be a fire hazard.
Other Water Softener Winterization Tips
The above guide is handy for taking basic steps to protect your water softener, but other options are available too. If you’re still worried about keeping your water softener warm enough to function, consider these steps:
- If your water softener isn’t in a heated location, encase it in an insulated box to protect it from direct cold.
- Install a space heater. The installation of a new space heater may have a higher initial price tag than weather stripping or light bulbs, but setting your new unit’s thermostat near your water softener to 35°F is a sure way to keep your system from getting too cold — and in the long run, it doesn’t necessarily cost any more.
- Purchase a kerosene or propane heater. When the power goes out, you’ll still need heat — perhaps then more than ever. Having a fuel source to keep you warm can benefit your whole home, and keep your water softener from freezing too. Just make sure it runs in an open space to prevent dangerous fume buildup.
If you live in the West Texas area, by now you’ve already felt some bitter cold. That doesn’t mean the worst isn’t yet to come, so it’s still a good idea to keep your water softener safe from winter’s bite. Follow these simple steps, and you won’t have to worry about a damaged system, and you’ll enjoy that soft water feel even during the cold snap. Stay warm and safe, and winterize your water softener today!