Can You Drink The Water From A Water Softener?

yes, you can drink the water from a water softener. However, it is not recommended due to the high levels of sodium that are present in the water. This is because in order for water softeners to work properly, they add large amounts of sodium into hard water – as a result, the water that is produced from a water softener is not only softer but also more saline. As a general rule of thumb, it is always best to check with your local health department or a qualified expert before drinking the water from a water softener. In some cases, they may advise you on other options such as installing additional filtration systems for drinking water. Additionally, if you are on a low-sodium diet, it is best to avoid drinking water from a water softener altogether. Therefore, the safest option is usually to stick with tap or bottled water whenever possible.

How Water Softeners Work?

How Water Softeners Work
Water Softeners Work

Water softeners use a process called ion-exchange to reduce the levels of minerals in water. This is done by passing the hard water through a tank filled with salt and special resin beads. As the hard water passes over these beads, calcium and magnesium ions are attracted to them and held on their surfaces. In exchange for these ions, sodium ions are released into the water, making it softer. The calcium and magnesium ions remain trapped in the resin beads until they are flushed away with a small amount of saltwater during the regeneration cycle. This process is repeated continuously to ensure that the hard water leaving your home is softened.

Can You Drink The Water From A Water Softener?

Can You Drink The Water From A Water Softener?
Drink The Water From A Water Softener

yes, you can drink the water from a water softener, although it is not recommended as a primary source of drinking water. Water conditioners soften hard water by removing calcium and magnesium – two minerals responsible for hardness in your drinking water. This process does not filter out other contaminants, such as bacteria or viruses that may be present in the water. For this reason, it is best to use a separate filtration system for your drinking water. Additionally, the process of softening the water adds salt to the water, which can have an unpleasant taste if consumed in large amounts. If you choose to drink from a water softener, be sure to monitor its performance and replace any cartridge filters regularly.

Does Soft Water Taste Different?

Water from a water softener may have an altered taste, due to the presence of sodium and other minerals. Generally, this difference in taste is not noticeable for most people. Additionally, some water softeners use potassium chloride instead of sodium, which can be beneficial for health as it doesn’t raise blood pressure as much as sodium does. However, this also changes the taste of the water. Ultimately, taste preference will be a personal decision and it may take time to adjust to drinking soft water.

Types Of Water Softeners

Salt-based water softeners
Salt-based water softeners

Salt-based water softeners: The most common type of water softener is a salt-based water softener. It uses sodium chloride (salt) to remove minerals from the water, making it softer and free of soap scum. In this system, the softened water is safe for drinking and other uses like showering or laundering clothes.

Salt-free water softeners
Salt-free water softeners

Salt-free water softeners: Salt-free water softeners are a great alternative to traditional water softeners. They use a technology called template-assisted crystallization (TAC). Instead of removing the calcium and magnesium ions from the water, it changes them into microscopic crystals that cannot attach to surfaces or form scale. These crystals pass through pipes without any negative effect on plumbing fixtures. Salt-free water softeners are a great choice for those looking to soften their water without the worry of salt runoff into local waterways.

Dual Tank Water Softeners
Dual Tank Water Softeners

Dual tank water softeners: Water from a dual tank water softener is safe to drink and can taste better than other sources of tap water. This type of system collects treated, softened water in one tank, while leaving the untreated brine in another. By separating these two elements, it ensures that the drinking water never comes into contact with the chemical used to soften the water, thus making it safe to drink.

Magnetic water softeners
Magnetic water softeners

Magnetic water softeners: Some magnetic water softeners work by diffusing powerful, permanent magnets into the water line. This process is supposed to alter the ionic composition of the water, reducing limescale and other minerals that contribute to hard water. Some consumers believe these products are able to condition water without using salts or chemicals, making it safe for drinking – but this is not true. The magnets used in these products are not capable of eliminating any level of contaminants from the water, making it unsafe to drink. Therefore, while magnetic water softeners can be effective for treating hard water, they should not be used as drinking water sources.

Can Dogs Drink Softened Water?

Can Dogs Drink Softened Water
Dogs Drink Softened Water

Yes, it is generally safe for dogs to drink softened water. Softened water has been treated with a process that removes minerals such as calcium and magnesium from the water. This makes the water softer and easier to use in appliances like washing machines. The process also eliminates other contaminants, making it safe for drinking by both humans and pets. While it is generally safe for dogs to drink softened water, be aware that the sodium content in softened water can be high. This could pose a health risk if your pet drinks large amounts.

Alternatives To Drinking Water From A Water Softener

Using a reverse osmosis system
Reverse osmosis systems

Using a reverse osmosis system: Reverse osmosis systems are designed to remove contaminants from water by forcing it through a semipermeable membrane. This is an effective way to make sure that your drinking water does not contain any dissolved minerals or other impurities.

Utilizing a separate drinking water system
Utilizing a separate drinking water system

Utilizing a separate drinking water system: If you have a water softener, but would still like to enjoy the benefits of drinking unsoftened water, then it is recommended that you install a separate drinking water system (such as an RO filtration system) as this will provide you with softened and filtered water for consumption. This option can be costly, but may be worth the investment if you are concerned about the safety of drinking softened water.

Installing a bypass valve
Installing a bypass valve

Installing a bypass valve: When you need to use water that has not been softened, it is important to install a bypass valve. This will allow water to bypass the softener so that you can use unfiltered water in some applications. For instance, if you are watering plants or cleaning with a hose outside, you would want to make sure the water is not softened. Installing a bypass valve will ensure that you have access to both types of water depending on the task at hand.

Factors To Consider Before Drinking Water From A Water Softener

The hardness level of the water: Water that has a high level of hardness is not suitable for drinking. This is because it contains an excessive amount of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium which make it difficult to digest. If you have tested your water and know that the levels are too high then you should avoid drinking it straight from the water softener.

The amount of salt in the water: The answer to whether you can safely drink the water from a water softener depends on how much salt is in it. If your water softener uses potassium chloride (a common salt substitute) instead of sodium chloride, then drinking this water should not be an issue for most people and should not cause any health risks.

The type of water softener used: type of soften water should also be taken into consideration when deciding if you can drink water from a softener. Generally, ion exchange water softening systems use either salt or potassium chloride to replace the ions of calcium and magnesium with sodium ions. The amount of sodium ion present in the softened water is usually very minimal, but it does depend on the type and size of your water softening system.

Maintaining Your Water Softener System

Maintaining Your Water Softener System
Maintaining Water Softener System

Regular cleaning of the system: It is important to keep the water softener system clean. This can be done by regularly flushing it with a cleaning solution and brushing off any dirt or debris that has built up inside of the unit and on the filter screens. Additionally, if there are any clogs in the hose or pipe leading from the water softener, these should be cleared out as soon as possible.

Testing the water: It is also a good idea to periodically test the water from your water softener system to make sure that it is functioning properly. Testing kits are available at most home improvement stores, and they can give you key information such as the hardness of the water, pH levels, and other important factors. If these readings are not up to standard, then you should take steps to adjust the water softener settings or perform maintenance on the system.

Proper maintenance of the system components: the water softener, brine tank, and drain line is essential for ensuring safe drinking water. To ensure that the water from your water softener is safe to drink, you should check periodically that the system components are well maintained and in good working order. Make sure there are no leaks on any of the pipes or fittings connected to the system, as these can contaminate the water

Replacing old or worn-out parts: If you have an older model water softener, then it is important to keep up with regular maintenance and servicing. Over time, the parts of a water softener can become worn out or need replacing. Examples of these parts are valves, tanks, brine tanks, filters and media. If any of these parts are old or need to be changed, they should be replaced with new parts. This is especially important if the water softener is used to provide drinking water for your family. If the parts are not maintained regularly and the system is not working efficiently, contaminants can get into the softened water and potentially make it unsafe to drink.

Preventing the growth of bacteria in the system: The presence of bacteria can lead to health risks if you drink the water from a water softener, so it is important to keep the system clean and free of any contaminants. A few steps to prevent the growth of bacteria include:

Benefits Of Using A Water Softener

Improved quality of water for cleaning purposes: Softened water drastically reduces the amount of soap needed for cleaning, and leaves fabrics softer.

Reduced scale buildup on appliances: When it comes to using a water softener, the softened water can help reduce scale buildup on fixtures and appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and coffee makers. The calcium and magnesium that is normally present in hard water can form deposits on these surfaces and cause them to malfunction more quickly than they would with softer water.

Increased efficiency of appliances: An added benefit of having a water softener is that it increases the efficiency of appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and water heaters. When limescale builds up in these appliances, they have to work harder to function properly.

Longer lifespan for appliances and plumbing: The water from a water softener is free of mineral deposits, meaning it will not scale up the interior walls of your appliances or plumbing fixtures. This allows them to last longer and work more efficiently.

Drawbacks Of Using A Water Softener

High installation and maintenance costs: Installing a water softener can be expensive and costly to maintain. The salt used in the process must be regularly replenished, and the system itself needs service every few years. This cost adds up over time, so you may want to consider other options if your budget is tight.

The impact of soft water on skin and hair: One of the most notable advantages of using a water softener is softer skin and hair. Water that is treated with a water softener has its mineral content lowered, which means it takes on less drying properties than untreated hard water. This makes it easier to work with in your shower or bath, as the soap lathers up more easily and the shampoo or conditioner will be more effective.

Increased salt levels in the wastewater: When water is softened, it passes through a tank containing sodium or potassium ions. These ions are responsible for absorbing the substances that make hard water, such as calcium and magnesium. In exchange, these minerals release salt into the wastewater when they’re removed from the softener. This means that if you drink water straight from your water softener, it will likely be significantly higher in salt than your regular drinking water. High levels of sodium can lead to dehydration and other health risks if you consume too much of it on a daily basis.


How often should I test the water from my water softener?

It is recommended that you test your water softener’s water regularly to ensure it is safe for drinking and other uses. Depending on the type of system you have, testing should be done every 3-6 months.

How long do water softener systems last?

The lifespan of a water softener system depends on the type that you choose. Traditional salt-based systems generally last between 10 and 15 years, while salt-free systems can last up to 20 years or more. It is important to keep regular maintenance on your water softener system, as this will help increase its lifespan and ensure it works properly.

Can I install a water softener myself, or should I hire a professional?

Installing a water softener is usually considered a simple job and many homeowners opt to do it themselves. However, since there can be local plumbing codes that must be followed, it’s always best to check with your city or county before attempting any plumbing work on your own.

What should I do if I experience problems with my water softener system?

If you experience any problems with your water softener system, it is important to act quickly in order to prevent further damage or contamination. First, check for any signs of sediment buildup or corrosion around the unit and its plumbing. If you see anything out of the ordinary then contact a professional plumber to come and inspect the system.


In conclusion, it is safe to drink water from a water softener if the correct steps are taken. However, it is best to check with your local municipality or health department before drinking this type of water. Additionally, regular maintenance and testing of the system should be performed in order to ensure that your drinking water meets the proper safety standards. With the proper precautions and maintenance, you can be sure that your water softener is providing quality drinking water for you and your family.

Leave a Comment