How To Tell If You Need A New Water Softener?

If your water softener is more than 10 years old, it’s worth considering getting a new one. Over time, the components of water softeners can start to wear out and become less effective. Additionally, technology has advanced over the years so you may benefit from a more up-to-date system.

If you have a water softener and your water isn’t as soft as it used to be, this could also be an indication that your system needs replacing. Hard water can cause damage to pipes and appliances, so it’s important to make sure the water is softened correctly.

Water softening systems are important for reducing hard minerals in water, which can cause build up on fixtures and damage pipes. If your home has a water softener, it’s essential to maintain its health so you can keep your drinking water safe and free of sediment buildup.

When Should You Consider Getting A New Water Softener?

If your current water softening system is more than 10 years old, it may be time to consider replacing it with a newer model. Older systems may not be able to keep up with the fluctuating levels of hardness in your home’s water supply. Plus, newer models use less energy and can even help you save money on your utility bills.

If you’re seeing signs of hard water around your home, it might also be time to replace your water softener. Because these systems work by removing excess minerals from the water, they can eventually become overwhelmed and start losing their effectiveness. You may notice harder than usual water coming out of taps, or even an increase in soap scum on your dishes and shower doors.

Signs You Need A New Water Softener

Decrease in water pressure: One of the first signs that you need a new water softener is a decrease in water pressure. Even with the same flow rate, when your water softener isn’t as effective it can cause a drop in overall pressure. It may be hard to detect, but if you’re noticing an overall decrease in pressure then it’s time to replace your water softener.

  • Increase in water bills: If your water bills are suddenly going up, it may be time to replace your water softener unit. This is especially true if you haven’t made any other changes in your home that would account for the higher costs. An old or inefficient water softener can cause water bills to spike significantly due to the extra work required to soften the hard water.
  • Lack of suds when washing: Low levels of water softener can decrease the amount of suds you see when washing your dishes or clothes, indicating that your current water softener may need to be replaced. Water spots or streaks on glasses and dishware: If your glassware and dishware are showing signs of water spots or streaks after being washed, this could be a sign that your water softener may need to be replaced.
    Lack of suds when washing
    Lack of suds when washing
  • Stains on clothes after washing: One of the tell-tale signs that you need to replace your water softener is if the clothes that you have washed in it come out with unpleasant stains on them. If this is happening, it could be indication of a problem with your water softening system and should be looked at as soon as possible.
    Stains on clothes after washing
    Stains on clothes after washing
  • Water appears cloudy or dirty: If your water appears cloudy or dirty, it could mean that there is a build-up of minerals in your pipes and softener. This can lead to poor performance of the appliance itself, as well as reduced water pressure throughout your home. It’s best to replace the unit before further damage occurs.
  • Unpleasant taste or odor in water: If your water tastes or smells strange, it could be a sign that you need to install a new softener in your home. When the filter on your existing system is not working properly, particles of contaminants can pass through and make their way into your water supply, resulting in an unpleasant taste or odor.
  • Build-up of limescale in appliances: One of the common signs that you need to replace your current water softener is if there’s a build-up of limescale in your appliances. Limescale forms when hard water passes through a warm appliance, such as a washing machine, dishwasher or kettle. Over time, this can cause damage to the appliance by clogging pipes and preventing them from working efficiently. If you notice limescale starting to appear on the surfaces of your appliances, it is likely that the water softener is no longer effective.
    Build-up of limescale in appliances
    Build-up of limescale in appliances
  • Increased soap and detergent usage: One of the main signs that you need a new water softener is an increase in the amount of soap and detergent you use to get things clean. Hard water causes soap to not suds correctly, meaning you need more soap or detergent than normal for similar tasks. If you find yourself having to use extra soap or detergent, it might be time to replace your water softener.
  • Plumbing problems: When your home’s plumbing system is having difficulty, it could be an indicator that you need a new water softener. Signs include strange noises or vibrations coming from the pipes, slow drainage, and low water pressure. If you find that any of these signs are present in your home, it’s time to consider a new water softener.
  • Water softener age: One of the best ways to tell if you need a new water softener is to look at its age. Generally, water softeners have an expected lifespan of 10-12 years and will usually begin to show signs of deterioration or inefficiency before then. If your water softener is nearing this age, it’s likely time to replace it.

Factors To Consider When Replacing A Water Softener

  • Cost of repair versus replacement: you must consider the cost of repairing the existing softener versus purchasing a new one. If extensive repairs are needed and it will significantly outstrip the cost of buying a new unit, then replacement should be considered.
  • Efficiency of new models: If you’re considering a new water softener, it’s important to consider the efficiency of modern models. Many newer models are much more efficient than those made even 10 years ago, saving on salt and electricity costs. They also reduce hard water buildup in your plumbing system, which can save time and money on repairs or replacement down the road. Additionally, many new models are sized to fit more easily into a variety of spaces, making it easier for you to find a model that works for your home or business.
  • Capacity needs: If you find that your softener is constantly running out of capacity and needing to be regenerated, it might be time for a new model. This could mean that either the size of the unit was wrong for your household’s needs or that its lifespan has come to an end.
  • Type of salt used: If you are using a salt-based water softener, then it is important to keep an eye on the type of salt used. Rock or solar salts can leave behind residue in the water supply, which can lead to clogging and other issues. Make sure that only high-grade evaporated salt is being used in your water softener if you want it to work at its optimal level.
  • Features and benefits of different models: **If you find that your water is still hard or still has a lot of limescale, it may be time to upgrade your current water softener to a higher-capacity model. Higher-capacity models are usually more efficient and can remove more minerals from the water than smaller units. Additionally, they often come with features such as digital displays, timer settings, and self-cleaning features that make them easier to maintain. In general, investing in a higher-capacity model will save you money in the long run on electricity bills and repair costs.
  • Installation and maintenance costs: The cost of installation and maintenance for a new water softener will depend on the model, size, and features that you choose. Generally, the cost of a water softener can range from $400 – $3000. If your current water softener is more than 10 years old or if it requires frequent repairs, it may be time to replace it with a newer and more efficient model.

How to Extend the Life of Your Water Softener?

1. Have your water softener serviced and maintained regularly by a professional contractor to ensure it is operating at optimal efficiency.

2. Flush the brine tank every 6-12 months to prevent build-up of calcium deposits that can clog lines and valves, leading to decreased efficiency or malfunctions.

3. Check and replace the brine tank salt regularly to ensure softener is capable of producing softened water.

4. Pay attention to the flow rate of your water heater, as a decrease in the flow rate may be indicative of a problem with your water softener.

5. Check for any leaks or signs of corrosion on pipes and valves, as this can be an indication of a problem with the water softener.

6. Monitor your water usage regularly and compare it to levels prior to installing the water softener, as a significant decrease may indicate a malfunction or worn parts that need replacement.

7. Replace any broken parts immediately, as this will prevent further damage to other components and ensure the water softener is able to provide softened water.

8. Replace your water softener at least every 10 years, as parts may wear out over time, leading to decreased efficiency or performance issues.

Benefits Of Replacing Water Softeners

– Improve water quality: Soft water helps to reduce the build up of limescale, which can damage plumbing and reduce the efficiency of appliances.

– Extend the life of appliances and fixtures: Limescale buildup from hard water damages fixtures, pipes and even appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and other heaters in the home.

– Reduce energy costs: Soft water requires less soap and cleansers, which saves money on detergent and other cleaning products. In addition, because soft water does not corrode pipes or appliances, it helps to reduce energy bills.

– Better skin and hair: Hard water can leave skin feeling dry and itchy, while soft water can help to maintain skin’s natural moisture level. In addition, it is much easier for soap and shampoo to lather up properly in soft water, making hair feel softer and more manageable.

– Better tasting food: Soft water improves the taste of drinks like coffee and tea, as well as foods cooked in water.

How To Replace A Water Softener?

1. Make sure you really need a new water softener by testing your water supply for hardness. This can be done using a home test kit, or you can enlist the help of a professional to perform the test.

2. Once you have determined that you do indeed need a new water softener, shop around for one that meets your needs. Consider the size, capacity, and type of water softener that would be most suitable for your home.

3. Install the new water softener according to the instructions provided with it. Make sure all connections are secure and properly sealed to prevent any leaks from occurring.

4. Once installed, you will need to set up a maintenance schedule to ensure that the water softener is operating properly. This may include regular testing of the system and adding salt when needed.

5. If your old water softener was connected to a drain, make sure you also reconnect it to the new one as well.

6. After installation and setup are complete, check for any leaks or other issues that may have arisen during the process. If all is working properly, you can now enjoy the benefits of your new water softener!

How To Replace Water Softener Control Valve?

How To Replace Water Softener Control Valve
Replace Water Softener Control Valve

1. First, turn off the power to your water softener system by unplugging it or flipping a breaker switch in your circuit box.

2. Next, locate the water softener control valve, which is typically located on top of the brine tank or near the top of the system and consists of two screws that hold it in place.

3. Using a pair of pliers, loosen the screws and remove the water softener control valve from its housing.

4. Install the new water softener control valve in the same position as the previous one, making sure to align all connections with their respective ports on your system.

5. Tighten the screws to secure the new valve in place and reconnect all piping.

6. Finally, turn on the power to your water softener system and test it for proper operation. Make sure to carefully monitor its performance over the next few days before fully relying on it – if you notice signs of an issue, you may need to adjust the settings.


What size of water softener should I use for my house?

The size of the water softener you need depends on your water usage and the hardness level of your incoming tap water. A professional can help you determine the best size for your needs.

Can you build your own water softener?

You can, however, it is not recommended. Building a water softener without the proper training and experience may seem easier and cheaper than having a professional install one for you, but it could end up costing you more in the long run if done improperly. It is best to hire an experienced professional to install your water softener correctly and make sure that it is working properly. This will ensure that your water softener is providing you with the best quality water possible and lasting as long as it should.

What happens if water softener is set too high?

If you set the water softener too high, it can cause problems such as cloudy or discolored water, poor taste, and even equipment damage. If your water softener is set too high, you may also have to use more salt than necessary. This will not only increase your costs but can also lead to a large buildup of salt in your pipes, which can damage the plumbing over time.

How often should I clean my brine tank?

Cleaning your brine tank is an important part of maintaining a healthy water softening system. Depending on the quality of your water, how many people live in your home, and how much you use your softener, you should clean your brine tank every 6 months to 2 years. If you’re noticing that you need to add salt more often than usual or your water softener isn’t working as efficiently, it may be time to clean the brine tank.


Knowing when it’s time to replace your water softener is key in keeping your home running efficiently and effectively. If you have noticed any of the signs mentioned above, it may be time for a new one. However, always refer to the manufacturer guidelines in order to determine if the unit you currently own can still function properly or if it has exceeded its lifespan. A new water softener can help to restore the quality of your water, give you better tasting and smelling water and ultimately bring more convenience into your life.

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