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Is it Time To Replace Your Water Softener?


Although a good water softener can last for 10 – 15 years, without proper maintenance and service, they will not last forever. They are actually not meant to last forever, but proper care measures can ensure the lifespan of your water softener is extended to its full capacity. It’s important to learn the answers to common questions such as when should a water softener be replaced and how should I maintain my water softener? Read on to learn more!

Factors that affect the lifespan of a water softener

Water softeners are built to withstand everyday water usage. There are a few things, however, that can make them break down and reach the end of their useable life more quickly. These include the following:

  • Frequency of use – This is determined largely by the hardness of the water that is being treated. The more mineral deposits in the water, the harder and more frequently the water softener will have to work at filtration to provide the quality of water you’re looking for.
  • Quantity of water being treated – Similar to frequency, the volume of water being softened also affects softener lifespan. A family of six with four children, for example, will result in more daily water usage than a retired couple. Accordingly, the water softening process will be required to run more frequently due to the higher volume of water being processed.

Common signs of water softener failure

So when should a water softener be replaced? Occasionally, water softeners will simply stop working and it will be obvious. More frequently, however, there are subtle signs that your softener is beginning to fail. Be aware of these water softener problems:

  • Difficulty Lathering – Either soap won’t lather at all, or it will take a significantly greater amount to get the lather you want
  • Laundry Issues – Washing clothes in hard water will leave them stiff and duller than they should be. If you notice a significant change in how your clothing looks or feels after coming out of the wash, the problem may not be with your detergent, but with your water softener instead.
  • Scaly Buildup On Water Fixtures – A normally functioning water softener will enable you to have clean, shiny fixtures, not ones covered in water spots or mineral buildup. If you notice crusty buildup instead, or an increased amount of time needed for everyday cleaning, it’s time to evaluate if your water softener is working properly.
  • Changes In Water Taste – Soft water tastes different than hard water, and it can affect the taste of water directly from the tap or other water-based beverages such as coffee and tea. If the taste of your water noticeably changes, it could be a sign that your water softener is beginning to fail.

Enlist the services of a water treatment professional

The water softener problems above could also indicate that repair or maintenance is needed, so it’s important to have your system evaluated by a qualified technician to be certain. It may be easier, and cheaper, to simply repair what’s broken instead of replacing the entire system, or let us protect it with our VIP Program. Give us a call and we will be happy to provide you complete peace-of-mind with our VIP Program or schedule an onsite evaluation of your water softening system. We also offer maintenance-free water softening with our Portable Exchange Tank Service, the perfect option