How To Regenerate Your Water Softener

Regenerating your softener depends on the hardness of your water and the volume of water which has passed through the resin in the softener. Approximate time = 30 to 45 minutes.

NB If your water has a high chlorine or chemical content, it’s advisable to install a suitable filter after the pressure regulating valve and before the water softener.

  1. Determine the hardness of your water, to indicate the regularity required to regenerate your softener. Either ask your municipality or purchase a water testing kit (from any aquarium or swimming pool supplies outlet). Normal hardness = 4o to 9oFr (definitely not more than 15oFr), regenerate every 2 to 3 weeks. The harder the water the more often you need to regenerate your softener.
  2. Quantity of salt required depends on the size of your softener. The guidelines to follow are …
    • 8 litres = 500 gms
    • 12 litres = 1 kg
  3. When regenerating the Water Softener, switch the machine off and do not dispense any coffee or hot water or steam from this machine, so as to prevent any salt getting into the boiler.
  4. Close the water supply tap (just before the flexible hose).
  5. Attached to the top tap of the softener is a short open plastic tube. Holding the end of this tube over a bucket, turn this top tap on the softener 180o. This vents the pressure in the softener to release water (about 500ml from the softener to be able to replace this water with the salt).
  6. Loosen the knob at the top of the softener and remove the bridge piece to remove the lid.
  7. Pour in the salt. If there’s not enough room for the salt, open the bottom tap by turning it 180oto release more water.
  8. Open the bottom tap of the softener 180o to the drain position. Position the plastic drain pipe into the drain or a bucket.
  9. Turn the top tap back to its original position ie 180oto allow water to re-enter the softener, open the water supply tap (before the flexible hose). Keep watching the water level rising in the softener.
  10. When the water level reaches the brim of the softener, wipe off any scum that may have floated up and close the water supply tap, then replace the lid complete with the bridge piece.
  11. Ensuring the bottom tap is open to the drain position and the top tap is open for the supply position, slowly open the water supply tap to the softener.
  12. There will be a small overflow of water from the bottom tap’s plastic tube. This salt will be drained out of the softener as waste to the drain or bucket. This should be a slow trickle ie 250ml per minute and not apparent water under pressure . If the water comes out fast, close the water supply tap to regulate the flow to 250ml per minute.
  13. After three minutes, taste the water to ensure the salt is starting to go through the softener. Keep sampling the water coming from this waste tube at 5 minute intervals, until the water is clear of salt.
  14. When there’s no more salt taste, turn the bottom tap 180oback to its original position. This allows the water to travel to the machine again.
  15. Both taps should be pointing parallel to the flexible metal hoses. ie water being fed into the softener and out of the softener to the machine.
  16. Ensure the water supply tap is fully open and switch the machine on again.
  17. Check that the water pressure gauge reads between 2 and 4 Bars ie its normal operating position and that the water level in the water level sight glass is at the normal level.
  18. Press the group head operating button, causing the pump to deliver water and read the pressure on the gauge which should be between 7 to 9 Bars.
  19. Listen to the pump operation to ensure sound is normal ie not running noisily. If running noisily, check the water supply tap is fully open.
    • Position 1 = normal running for the machine

    • Position 2 = release of pressure from the softener and draining of water to lower water level, allowing salt to be added.

    • Position 3 = regeneration, with the softener lid replaced and closed the salty water running to waste.

    • Position 4 = backwash where 5 litres of water under pressure is passed through the softener to the drain.

    • Back to Position 1 for normal operation.

Softener models with a single valve make regeneration simpler but still require the manual addition of salt.