Water softeners are a pretty common item to run into during the course of a home inspection. In fact, in places with hard water such as the San Antonio and New Braunfels area, most new homes tend to be built with the plumbing for a water softener readily accessible.
What does a water softener do? In simple terms, a water softener removes calcium, magnesium, and a few other elements from the water that goes through your house in order to make the water feel better, use less soap to clean with, and reduce the amount of scale that builds up around faucets and fixtures. Most water softening systems use sodium chloride, or table salt to achieve the softening, but more modern “ion-exchange” resin beads are also being introduced, as well as physical reverse-osmosis systems.
Water softeners are outside the scope of a typical home inspection in the state of Texas, as they are functionally appliances. This means that when we come across a water softener in a home, we document its presence, take a look at any plumbing connections for evidence of prior or active leaks, and continue on with the inspection.That said, there are few common problems we identify with water softeners, some of which need correcting. These water softener defects include:
- A lack of insulation installed on the water supply piping.
- Dissimilar metals (such as copper and steel) used in the plumbing supply piping. This condition can cause “galvanic corrosion”.
- A lack of or an inadequate air-gap for the drain. This condition could allow dirty water to make contact with the potable drinking supply unless corrected.
- Leaks at the fittings.
We want you to know that you have a water softener, but the only people qualified to inspect water softeners are licensed plumbers and the technicians who specifically service them. You can reach these technicians by contacting a local water softener supplier, who will be happy to come out and inspect your system as well as make it operational if you so desire.
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Info @ EnsureInspections.com
Home Inspector Kyle D. Scott
TREC # 23813 - TDA # 819063
Ensure Home Inspections provides thorough inspections, detailed reports, and personalized consultations at affordable prices in San Antonio, TX & surrounding areas to Homebuyers, Homesellers, and their realtors. WDI/Termite Inspections, Thermal Imaging, Pool / Spa Inspections, Foundation Elevation Survey and more!
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