• September 08, 2022 7 min read

    When Do I Need To Replace My Water Softener?

    When do i need to replace my water softener

    The answer is it depends on the type of softener you bought, from which manufacturer. Water softening systems are worthwhile investments that eliminate all of a home’s hard water troubles. How many years should a water softener last? A high-quality softening system will last between 10 to 15 years. But if your water tastes funny or you’re seeing those awful hard water spots on the glassware, it’s time to take a closer look.

    When water softeners are properly installed and maintained, they can operate for years with minimal maintenance. If you notice a change in the quality of your water, it’s in your best interest to have your softener periodically serviced by a water treatment specialist.

    Cleaning the brine tank, using the right type of high-quality salt, making sure hardness settings are accurate, and simply checking that an outlet is working, are steps homeowners can take on their own to help ensure their system runs smoothly.

    If routine troubleshooting doesn’t work or safety issues are a concern, call for service. An expert can diagnose serious problems indicating it’s time for a new system, or identify simple solutions such as adding more salt to the brine tank or clearing blockages and control valves. When you’re not able to find the cause of a system gone awry, don’t ever leave it to chance. Addressing the problem immediately can help avoid costly future repairs.

    How long a water softener lasts will also depend greatly on how much it is used, which is dictated by the quality of your home’s water. If you are softening extremely hard water or well water with iron, your equipment may need to be replaced sooner.

    As there is no definite time when you should replace a water softener, it is important to learn how to spot the signs of your water softener starting to fail.

    How do you know when your water softener needs to be replaced?

    If you’ve invested in a softening system, it’s likely because the water in your home is hard-- and hard to live with. But as with all appliances, sometimes things can and do go wrong; water softeners are no exception. Homeowners often ask: “How do I know if my water softener is working properly?” The signs you need a new water softener can leave you scratching your head.

    There are several sure-signs that your home’s water softener isn’t producing the quality of water you’d expect. Yet, noticing these signs may not mean your water softener needs to be replaced. It could mean your softener simply needs servicing.

    There might be a certain component that can be replaced, you may need to replace the media, or you simply forgot to add salt in the brine tank. Valves can become jammed or the softener could require cleaning. If you’re unsure of the problem, contact your local residential water treatment experts and have them look at your situation.

    s. Immediate signs of hard water that reveal trouble with your water softener. Here are four things to watch for that could indicate your water softener needs to be serviced or replaced.

    1. Not Enough Lather

    One of the telltale signs of hard water is soap refusing to lather. If you notice that you are having a hard time soaping up in the shower, you may need to check your water softener. You may notice that you are going through shampoo and soap a lot faster than usual, as you need to use more to make a decent lather.

    2. Laundry Problems

    Washing your clothes in hard water can make them stiff and scratchy. Fabric softener can counteract this stiffness to some extent, but a more effective solution is to make sure your water softener is functioning properly to effectively remove the minerals that are making the clothes stiff.

    Hard water can damage a washing machine as well as other appliances such as hot water heaters and dishwashers. To protect those appliances, it is important to check to make sure your water softener is functioning properly.

    3. Crusty Buildup Around Pipes and Faucets

    The minerals that are naturally present in hard water can cause a crusty buildup around your pipes and faucets. Pay attention to your faucets when you are cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. If you notice a chalky substance building up around them, this could be a sign that you need to take a look at your softener.

    4. Your Water Tastes Different

    Hard water tastes different than soft water. Some people prefer the smooth taste of soft water and will notice if the water supply to their home begins to have increased mineral content. If you’re drinking water straight from the tap, pay attention to changes in taste, as it could mean your softener needs to be serviced or replaced.To identify issues with your softener, it’s to your benefit to learn how your system works. Hard water is simply water containing a high content of calcium and magnesium minerals. Water can be softened by filtering the hard water through resin beads.

    When the minerals in hard water flow through the resin bed, it’s through a process called an ion exchange.

    During the ion exchange, hard water minerals trade places with the soft ions on the resin beads, resulting in softer, more desirable drinking water. Over time, the exposure to chlorinated water can damage this resin, causing it to fragment and restrict water pressure through the resin tank. When blockages occur, not only is water pressure affected, clarity and quality of the water also suffers.

    Can I replace my own water softener?

    SO many its not time to fully replace the entire thing, but you can replace parts like the resin bed.However, before you replace your water softening unit, try some common maintenance tips, including salt regeneration, which requires you to add softener salt to the resin within your water softener. Routine recharging or regenerating will help ensure the system is working efficiently.

    Other issues that can be fixed that may be causing your water softener to not work include: 

    • Brine tank needs cleaning
    • Salt bridges have formed
    • Water softener resin needs replacement


    Water softener resin life can be shortened by the harshness of city water. Although resin beads are routinely recharged with salt and normally have a lifespan as long as the softener itself, if you’re noticing sand-like particles floating in your water, it’s likely the resin will need to be replaced.

    To keep your system from getting clogged, water softener cleaner may be used every few months to flush the resin bed. But even so, after several years, heavily chlorinated water will take its toll on softener efficiency. Damaged resin loses its ability to fight hard water, and as the resin breaks down it causes the softener to lose capacity.

    When a softener becomes polluted with the deposits found in hard water, using the manufacturer’s recommendation as a guide is a safe bet in purchasing the best water softener resin for your system. Clean or replace a water softener resin bed as soon as there’s a problem will avoid a lapse in your home’s softened water.

    A water softener has a lifespan, just like any other appliance. With regular care and maintenance, including cleaning the device’s brine tank once a year, a water softening system can last up to 15 years. 

    If you begin having issues with the unit or your home’s water, the next step is to ensure you are using the correct type of salt, the unit’s hardness settings are accurate, and your brine tank is clean. You may want to look to some other hints that can indicate it’s time for a water softener replacement including:

    • Sand-like particles in your water
    • The softener does not regenerate or is constantly regenerating
    • Changes in water pressure
    • The unit continually runs


    Benefits of Replacing your water softener?

    You’ve cleaned the softener, checked the salt, the outlets, the brine tank and the resin. Your water still isn’t up to par and your system is old. It’s probably time for that upgrade. Lucky for you, a water treatment company can get you set up with the latest technology in water purification.

    High-efficiency water systems using upflow technology cut down on salt and water usage and regenerate using the exact amount needed- creating much less waste than antiquated systems. The right softener for your home will save you money in the long run. Less waste means lower energy bills and more money in your pocket.

    Not only will a new upflow system save you money, it produces the best tasting (and smelling) water. When shopping for a new water softener, look for a long warranty—on the tank itself as well as on control valves. Manufacturers with quality products will offer outstanding warranties, providing homeowners with much-needed peace of mind.

    Replacing an old water softener can make your life at home much easier. If your water hasn’t been getting properly softened, it means you’ve likely been dealing with common hard water problems like those mentioned above.

    A new water softener could make it easier to keep your house clean, provide you with softer clothes, and better hair and skin. It also helps ensures your water-using appliances last at least as long as you’d expect.

    Getting a new water softener also allows you to take advantage of updated features and technologies in water treatment. Much like upgrading a furnace, most modern day furnaces will be more efficient than one 15 years old. Water softeners are the same way, but there are even more advanced features as well. 

    Make sure you replace it on time

    Hard water isn’t just a nuisance. It can lead to costly repairs and a shortened lifespan of major appliances. From stains on tubs to mineral deposits in your pipes, foul-tasting water, and dingy clothing, it’s hard to put a price on soft water. A high-efficiency water softening system will wash away all your hard water troubles for years to come.

    Water quality changes over time. If you are thinking of replacing your water softener or having it serviced, it is a good idea to get your home’s water tested so you get the right water treatment equipment. Experts from Water-Right’s family of brands can give you reliable advice and recommend the right solutions.