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When Should a Water Softener Be Replaced?


Water softeners are to your home’s water like oil is to your car. You can refuel your car with gas so it works one trip at a time, but eventually, the oil needs to be changed. Your car works past the oil change due date, but it won’t work as efficiently.

It’s the same idea for your water softener. You can replenish it with salt every so often, but eventually, the system needs to be replaced so your water is properly softened. This is why replacing your water softener is just another maintenance task to ensure your home’s water feels healthy.

How Long Do Water Softeners Last?

Water softeners work at a high level for 10-15  years. The lifespan greatly depends on regular water cleaner use. We recommend pouring this solution in your system every 4 months to ensure a longer life for your softener.

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Anything past 15 years is a bonus. Plus, your water softener will become less effective while using more salt. That’s why it’s important to know when a water softener was installed when moving into a new home. Keeping an updated timeline on when it was installed will help you identify when a replacement is needed.

You should also keep track on a notepad or near the wall where your water softener is installed on how often you replenish the system with salt. If you start noticing the salt intake is increasing over time, you will know it’s time to start looking for a brand new water softener. Other signs around your home will tell you when it’s time to replace your water softener.

How to Know Your Softener Isn’t Working Properly

1. Scale buildup inside water-using appliances
2. Reddish stains around drains and faucets
3. White crust buildup on faucets
4. Mineral spots in bathroom and dishes

5. Clothes feel scratchy and the color is fading
6. Lower water pressure in the shower
7. Using more soap to lather hands and dirty dishes
8. System regenerates soft water on a timer system

Have You Noticed Any of These Symptoms?

It might be time for a new water softener.

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More Telltale Signs You Water Softener Needs to Be Replaced

If you like to keep a clean home and stick to a strict cleaning regimen, it’s sometimes difficult to notice hard water stains collecting in your bathroom or inside appliances. Our partners over at HomeWater 101 have provided an excellent look at alternative ways you can tell your water softener needs to be replaced.

How Do You Know If You Have Hard Water?

If you’re still not sure if your water softener is working correctly, you can try a few more tests such as going to your city’s website and reading the water quality report, or you can use the water bottle test. Learn more in this HomeWater 101 video.

Water Softener Maintenance Techniques

1.Water Softener Cleanser

Dumping water softener cleanser into your water softener every 4 months will help your system run efficiently. This solution cleans the inside of your system of contaminants, iron and scale buildup to maximize the softener’s performance.


2. Set Hardness Level Correctly

Make sure the water softener isn’t overworking itself by producing more soft water than you need. And if your hardness setting is too high for your area, it will use more salt than is necessary for your area’s water.


3. Check for a Salt Bridge

Sometimes a layer of salt can form inside your tank that prevents the salt you add to the system from activating the resin bed. If a salt bridge has formed, use a broom handle to break up the layer of salt.


Of the options listed, the easiest way to maintain your existing system is by using our water softener cleanser.

Need help finding a replacement water softener?

If it’s been a while since you’ve shopped for a water softener, get the assistance you need with this Interactive Guided Shopping Tool to find the perfect match.

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