Restarting water softener after 1+ years...did I mess up?

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San Jose
We live in San Jose, CA and bought a house with a water softener. A bit over a year ago, the water softener drain was leaking, and to ignore the issue for a while (I had brain surgery, life was hard), we just opened the softener bypass and closed the route through the softener. Since then, the really hard water where we live (I've read 21grain/361ppm) has slowly wreaked havoc on all of our fixtures. Today I'd had enough, and so after getting our drain issue fixed, I turned back on the softener.

Here's where I think I messed up - I just turned the unit back on, rerouted the house water through the filter, ran its manual "recharge" process and ran some water through the house. I thought about it and realized I should check if there's any special actions we should take and found this post: which suggested putting some chlorine into the brine tank before turning the water on (oops). So now I have two questions:

* How much did I screw up by opening water supply to the house and running water through the various faucets? Is family at risk? We have a sink filter on the drinking water for what its worth.
* Knowing that I already missed this step, is there anything special I should do?

I'm not familiar with how to access a brine tank on my unit, so hoping I don't need to....I don't really have much (any?) plumbing experience in the past -> unless you count fixing yard irrigation lines haha.


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Northern Wisconsin
I say no, you didn't screw-up by not using the chlorine. At least, unless the water out of your faucets, or in your brine well reeks, or if the drinking water tastes bad, I would not worry about it. Otherwise, yeah I might just add some chlorine and force another regen--it only costs you some water and some salt. You should also consider to get some ResCare and run it through your resin periodically.

Keep in mind that you will have hard water in your water heater(s) and thus throughout your home until you run it all out, which I would just do naturally i.e. not make any special efforts to drain it/them.

Glad your brain is working again!
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