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How to Properly Dispose of an Old Water Softener

How to Properly Dispose of an Old Water Softener
How to Properly Dispose of an Old Water Softener

Getting a new Whole House City Water System often means you need to dispose of your old water softener. Water softeners contain harmful materials like resin beads, salt, and electronics that shouldn't just be thrown in the garbage. Read this guide to learn the right way to recycle or dispose of a used water softener.

Dangers of Improper Water Softener Disposal

Water softeners improve water quality by removing minerals like calcium and magnesium. But once they've reached the end of their lifespan, around 10-15 years, they become hazardous waste.

OzonePro and AquaLux Water Softener units contain:

  • Resin beads - These plastic beads absorb hardness minerals. When disposed of improperly, they release microplastics into landfills and waterways.

  • Salt - Salt regenerates the resin beads so the softener can continue working. But excess salt runoff causes environmental harm.

  • Electronic components - Circuit boards, sensors, and displays use heavy metals like lead, mercury, and cadmium. These materials are toxic and should not go to landfills.

Dumping an old water softener in the trash or down the drain spreads pollution and risks fines for illegal dumping. Instead, softeners should be deconstructed and each component recycled or disposed of properly.

Step 1: Remove the Softener From Service

Before getting rid of your water softener, install a new unit like an AquaCarbonGuard Catalytic Carbon Filter or AquaBlue Whole House Filter System. This ensures uninterrupted water flow while avoiding drainage issues and leaks.

First, turn off water supply lines and backwash the resin bed. Open any attached bypass valves so water circumvents the softener. Detach inlet and outlet pipes.

If removing a brine tank, drain any remaining salt solution into a bucket before disconnecting pipes. Rinse the empty tank to wash out salt residue.

Once the system is offline, detach wall mounts and lift the softener off the platform or floor. The unit may weigh 100-200 lbs so recruit help moving and loading it for transport.

Step 2: Disassemble the Used Softener

Disassemble the component parts to separate materials for proper disposal and recycling:

Resin Media

The resin tank contains plastic beads for capturing mineral ions. To access them:

  1. Remove the control head at the top of the resin tank.

  2. Cut open the fiberglass tank to expose the media inside.

  3. Scoop out the beads into leakproof buckets for disposal.

AquaGuard UV SYSTEM for Bacteria Removal tanks also contain quartz filtration media and UV bulbs containing mercury. Remove and containerize them separately from the resin.

Metal and Plastic Components

The brine tank, resin tank, and connecting pipes mainly contain polyethylene plastic and steel. Pry or unscrew connecting pipes, valves, and fittings to fully detach all parts.

Sort these pieces by material type (plastic, steel, copper, etc.). This allows each item to be recycled through metal scrapers or plastic recyclers in your area. Mark any parts containing circuitry or batteries for separate electronic disposal.

Electronic Parts

Control heads, circuit boards, sensors, and displays contain valuable materials for recycling along with hazardous heavy metals. Carefully dismount these components and store together to prevent breakage or leaks.

You may need bolt cutters, screwdrivers, wrenches, and wire cutters to fully dismantle electronics. Remove any batteries and store upside-down in sealed containers.

Step 3: Transport Items to Proper Waste and Recycling Centers

With disassembly complete, you'll have several containers of used softener components for drop-off:

  • Resin media - Most resin beads can go to a landfill as inert solid waste. First check local regulations in case certain plastic media requires special disposal.

  • Salt residue - Dissolved salt from the brine tank can usually be washed safely down the drain. Check for any undissolved sludge to discard as solid waste. Rinse the empty tank before recycling the plastic.

  • Metal components - Take steel and copper pipes, fittings, and tanks to a metal recycling center. Many scrap yards accept household metals.

  • Plastic components - Recycle the resin and brine tank, control head, and piping at a specialized plastic recycling facility. These are often not accepted by regular curbside recycling.

  • Electronic waste - Bring circuit boards, sensors, wiring, displays and batteries to an e-waste recycling drop-off to recover metals for reuse.

For proper disposal sites, check listings with your county waste authority. Some retailers like Retention Tank + Chlorine Injection System providers may also accept used water softeners for recycling.

Why Recycle Used Water Softeners?

Beyond the safety hazards of disposal, recycling your obsolete water softener conserves resources and energy:

  • Keeps plastic, metals, and electronics out of landfills

  • Prevents microplastics and salt contamination of soil and water

  • Allows materials like resin, steel, and copper to be reused instead of mined new

  • Saves 85-90% of the energy to manufacture products from recycled versus raw materials

  • Reduces emissions contributing to climate change

Studies by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent of electricity for 3,500 US homes. Recycling just 40 softeners could light one home for a year!

Proper end-of-life water treatment also protects local water resources like the Floridan Aquifer. Much of Florida depends on this aquifer spanning over 100,000 square miles. Preventing softener materials from leaching into wells and springs ensures safer water now and for future generations.

Choosing an Eco-Friendly Replacement Softener

When upgrading your water softener, select an energy efficient model designed for sustainability. New systems from HydroClear Ozone Generator for Heavy Metals and Bacteria utilize:

  • Brine-on-demand - Only generates regenerant salt when needed instead of on a timer

  • Hybrid softening - Pairs membranes and media for 20% salt and water savings

  • Flow meters - Right-size models for a home’s water usage

  • Smart controls - Sensors indicate when to clean and recharge the system

You can also install a salt-free water conditioner using filtration or electromagnetic waves. These leave minerals intact but alter them to inhibit scale buildup.

Consider adding extras like the AquaRevive Reverse Osmosis System to remove up to 99% of contaminants for cleaner cooking and drinking. Combination softener plus filter setups maximize water quality and conservation.

Professional Water Softener Removal and Recycling

Attempting to uninstall a several-hundred-pound unit on your own poses safety risks. Homeowners could sustain back injuries or accidental exposure to water treatment chemicals. Instead, call qualified water quality specialists to decommission and dispose of used softeners.

The team at HydroTech Pro Commercial Water Treatment Systems offers full-service removal:

  1. System shutdown and replacement installation

  2. Materials separation

  3. Transportation to appropriate recycling and waste centers

  4. Environmental report with tracking documentation

This hassle-free approach ensures outdated systems get retired safely while supporting ecological stewardship. Schedule a job site evaluation today.

Extend Your Softener’s Usable Life

To delay buying a replacement unit, maintain your WellFusion Well Water Treatment Systems through:

  • Annual inspections to test water and inspect parts

  • Replacing worn gaskets, seals, and valves

  • Checking brine tank salt levels

  • Cleaning resin bed with disinfectants

  • Confirming appropriate settings and reprogramming as needed

Routine servicing keeps water softeners performing optimally for years past their average lifespan. Reduce your environmental impact and replacement costs with proactive care.

Impact of Water Quality on Health and Personal Care

Even while maintaining an aging system, reduced effectiveness can allow mineral scale accumulation and contamination leaks. Hard water rich in calcium and magnesium creates soap scum buildup and dulls hair and skin over time.

According to the EPA, private wells are especially vulnerable to bacteria, nitrates, arsenic, and other pollution without proper treatment. Effects range from mild skin irritation to gastrointestinal distress or long-term chronic disease.

Investing in cleaner water pays dividends through fewer repairs, personal care expenses, and health problems down the road. Learn more about the advantages of upgrading old treatment equipment in this informative guide on hard water and personal care.

Financing and Promotions for Water Softener Installations

Replacing aging treatment solutions with modern systems like the AquaPurity Industrial & Commercial RO Systems ensures better water conservation, health protection, and sustainability.

Right now, Aqua-Wise is offering spring specials to upgrade your water softener or filter:

  • $200 off whole house installations

  • 36 months no interest financing

  • 10% discount on salt-free conditioners

  • Free in-home water quality testing

Reduce costs while achieving better water for household needs. Schedule your free water test today to preview treatment recommendations for your home. Investing in optimization now prevents more expensive damage down the road.

Key Takeaways on Water Softener Disposal and Replacement

Retiring water treatment systems requires careful disassembly and material separation to avoid pollution. Always recycle resin beads, plastics, metals, and electronics at approved locations rather than dumping in landfills.

Work with qualified specialists for proper handling plus installation of new softening systems for uninterrupted water functionality. Choosing eco-friendly designs with salt and energy savings helps conserve resources.

Act now to safeguard your family’s water supply and minimize environmental impacts. Resolve to update aged softeners as one home improvement resolution for the new year.

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