Why Is My Water Softener Sweating?
Condensation forms droplets of water on the outside of a cold drink on a hot summer day. It fogs up eyeglasses when entering a warm building after being outside in the cold. It’s the reason you can’t see yourself as you step out of the shower, when hot water vapor in the air has steamed up the cool surface of your mirror. Condensation is also responsible for the water that pools at the base of your water softener system and on the surface of your tank during regeneration.
Water vapor condenses to a liquid after making contact with cold surfaces, like the tank of your water softening equipment. Water softeners are often housed in areas of little air flow, like a utility room, garage, or basement. These warm, humid environments will cause your tank to “sweat.” Sweating of water treatment systems occur because the water running through them is considerably colder than the air on the outside. The droplets combine to form larger beads of water that appear as sweat. How much your softening tank sweats depends on the difference in temperature between the tank itself and the surrounding air.
A water softener is likely to produce more condensation during the regeneration process because a large volume of cold water is running through the system, significantly cooling the outside of the tank and surrounding pipes. Often, the condensation of a water softener can be excessive and leave a substantial amount of water on the floor. But if you notice water pouring out, it’s not likely due to condensation and you should consider calling a professional to check your system for leaks. Sweating of a tank should not be confused with an overflow of the brine tank or other system malfunctions.
Water Softener Tank Jackets
Some condensation of a tank is completely normal, but if pooling at the base of your system threatens damage or causes a slippery surface, you may want to consider a water softener jacket. Water softener jackets insulate your tank, virtually eliminating all condensation. Adding insulation over the surface of your equipment places a barrier between the cold surface of your tank and the warm air. A material that provides a snug fit, like a neoprene water softener tank jacket, is the easiest and best way to keep your tank from collecting condensation.
Neoprene rubber is a highly resistant material often used for a variety of outdoor and marine applications. Neoprene withstands degradation more than natural or synthetic rubber, and its physical and chemical properties make it heat, chemical, oil, and ozone resistant. An outstanding all-purpose rubber, neoprene is also water resistant and maintains flexibility when subject to a wide range of temperatures. Given its incredible durability, it’s ideal for protective coverings of water softening equipment.
As an alternative to a neoprene jacket, homeowners may choose to keep a fan blowing air continuously on their tanks to keep them dry. This provides a temporary solution, but may not be ideal for long-term use. Another method of insulating a water softener tank is to use foam pipe wrapping or ordinary bubble wrap to decrease sweating. These methods of protecting a tank from the surrounding warm and humid air often leaves gaps that provide too much surface area for sweat to form and bacteria to grow.
Placing a drip tray underneath your tank will catch condensation, but you’ll need to remember to empty the tray to prevent overflow, and bleach should be added to prevent the growth of bacteria or mold. In very humid conditions, neoprene tank jackets are the most effective solution for the condensation of water softener system tanks.
Protecting Your Water Treatment System
Neoprene zippered jackets from Discount Water Softeners are designed specifically to insulate and filter tanks against ambient temperature drops, not only reducing condensation, but also adding a clean, smooth, touch of style to otherwise rather commercial-looking equipment. The full-length, zippered, 3mm neoprene jacket, offered in four colors: beige, black, gray, or blue, can be applied to most tank sizes, providing a clean, sharp look for your home’s water softening system.
The jackets are effortless to install, with no moving of tanks or valves. Simply pull the jacket over the top of the tank and zip for a snug fit. They are also easy to remove and can be machine washed in cold water, and hung to dry. The neoprene creates a breathable barrier around the tank and your water softening equipment will be protected from scuffs, scratches, dirt, mold, and condensation.
For households on a well water system, and many that aren’t, a water softener is an essential appliance that keeps hard minerals out of our drinking supply. Water softeners save homeowners time, money, and a lot of aggravation. Although modern softening systems are low-maintenance machines, keeping your equipment and its housing clean, dry, and mold-free, allows it to run smoothly for years to come. Water softeners that are routinely cleaned and inspected will continue to efficiently provide high-quality water to your home.