How You Can Fix A Noisy Water Softener? 

Noisy water softeners are an annoying problem that affect many households. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the noise coming from your water softener. Below we’ll discuss some common causes of water softener noise and how you can address them for a quieter system.

Possible Reasons Why A Water Softener Is Making Noise

  • Flowing Water: When water flows through the pipes, it can cause rattling as it moves around and through the system. This type of noise is usually more pronounced when you have an old or poorly-maintained plumbing system.
  • Air in the System: When air gets trapped in the plumbing pipes and enters the water softener, it can cause a loud buzzing noise. This usually happens when the water flow is stopped by a valve or if there is an air leak in the system.
  • Hard Water Scale Buildup: Hard water can cause scale buildup inside the pipes and on the internal parts of the water softener, which can lead to excessive noise.
    Hard Water Scale Buildup
    Hard Water Scale Buildup
  • Water Softener Stuck In Regeneration: If your water softener has become stuck in regeneration, it’s likely due to a faulty pressure switch. To fix the issue, first you need to locate and identify the pressure switch. It is usually located near the top of the softener tank or behind an access panel on its face. Once you have identified the pressure switch, check that its wiring is securely connected. If it appears to be loose, tighten the connections with a screwdriver.
  • Valves Not Sealing Properly: If the valves on your water softener are not sealing properly, it can cause a lot of noise and vibration. To fix this issue, you need to make sure that the valves are fully closed and seated against the casing. Once they are secured in place, turn off the power to the water softener before opening up the unit. Inspect all of the O-rings and gaskets for any signs of damage or wear. If you find any, replace them with new ones. Finally, turn the power back on and test the unit to ensure that it is operating quietly and efficiently.
  • Crack In Drain Or Brine Line: If you hear a crackling or hissing sound coming from your water softener, it could be that your drain line or brine line has developed a crack. When this occurs, the pressurized air can escape and make a noise. To fix this problem, check the intake valve on the inside of the tank to ensure it is tightly closed.
  • Worn Gear Or Broken Gear Tooth: If your water softener is making a loud grinding sound, it most likely means that the gear tooth has become worn or broken. The gear teeth are responsible for turning the drive shaft, which then drives the valve and rotor.
  • A Sticking Valve: One of the most common issues with water softeners is a sticking valve. This can cause loud banging noises to come from the unit as it fails to turn on or off properly. To fix this, you should locate and remove the valve and replace it with a new part.
  • Not Enough Water Pressure: If your water softener isn’t producing enough pressure, there could be a few different causes. It may be that the filters need to be flushed or replaced, that the intake valves have clogged or are otherwise malfunctioning, or that the unit has a broken pump motor. You can follow some troubleshooting steps to identify and address the issue. Begin by removing the filter from the system and flushing it with water. If that does not solve the problem, then you should check for clogged intake valves. Remove them one at a time and clean them out with a brush. Finally, if all else fails, you may need to replace the pump motor. Doing so is not an easy task and you may need to consult a professional.
  • Low Salt: The most common culprit of a noisy water softener is low salt levels. Salt is added to the brine tank, which helps to regenerate the resin beads in the system. If there’s not enough salt in the tank, these beads will remain hard and cause an increase in friction when regenerating. This can lead to loud noises during operation, so it’s important to make sure that there’s enough salt in the tank. To check the levels, simply open the brine tank and look for a water level that is between 10-20% of the total height of the tank. If the levels are too low, you can add more salt until they reach this level.

What Are Normal Noises Of Water Softeners?

What Are Normal Noises Of Water Softeners
Noises Of Water Softeners

The normal sounds of a water softener come from the brine tank area when it is in the regeneration process. This can include humming, buzzing, whooshing and occasional knocks or clicks. If your system makes any other kinds of noises that are out of the ordinary, then there could be an issue with your system.

Non-Normal Noises That You May Hear From Your Water Softener.

If you have a water softener, you may notice that it sometimes produces noises or sounds that are out of the ordinary. These non-normal noises can indicate potential issues with your water softener, and should not be ignored. Common non-normal noises include clanging, banging and humming.

Non-Normal Noises That May Be An Easy Fix

  • Clicking: This could be caused by a water-logged brine tank. Check the valve on the top of the tank to make sure it’s not stuck in one position and clearing out any standing water will help.
  • Screeching or Howling: If your water softener is making a screeching or howling noise, it’s likely due to an air leak. Start by checking the pressure switch and make sure all connections are tight. You should also check the air inlet tube for any cracks or kinks that could be causing the air to escape. If none of these appears to be the problem, the next step is to check the valves and make sure they are working properly. If everything looks good but the noise persists, it could be an issue with the motor or pump, in which case you’ll need to call a professional for assistance.
  • Grinding: If you hear grinding noises when your water softener is running, it may have something to do with the way the pipes are installed. Loose parts like pipes and fittings may need to be tightened or replaced. In some cases, a plumber may be needed to perform these repairs.
  • Clunking or Hammering: If your water softener is making a clunking or hammering sound, it could be due to a high inlet pressure or an air leak. To solve this issue, check the inlet pressure and make sure it is within the manufacturer’s recommended range. If needed, adjust the pressure regulator valve as necessary. Additionally, check for any leaks in the system and make sure all connections are properly tightened. If the clunking or hammering persists, it may be due to a failing valve so consult a professional for further assistance.
  • Whistling: If your water softener is whistling, there is likely an air leak in the unit. Start by checking all of the fittings and pipes connected to your water softener for any holes or cracks which may be allowing air to escape. If you find any leaks, seal them with a pipe sealant like Teflon tape. If the whistling persists, try replacing the media or brine tanks in your softener to eliminate any air gaps.

Can You Fix A Noisy Water Softener Piston?

Can You Fix A Noisy Water Softener Piston
Fix A Noisy Water Softener Piston

Yes, it is possible to fix a noisy water softener piston. The first step is to identify the source of the noise. This can be done by listening to the noise and then tracing it back to its origin. Once you have identified the source of the noise, you will need to replace either the piston itself or any other parts that may be causing the issue.

The piston is usually located near the bottom of the water softener and can be accessed by removing a few screws that hold it in place. Once you have removed the piston, inspect it for signs of wear or damage. If any are present, replace the piston with a new one. Before reinstalling your new piston, check the O-ring and make sure it is still in good condition. If the O-ring is damaged or missing, you will need to replace it before continuing.

What To Look For If Incorrect Water Pressure?

What To Look For If Incorrect Water Pressure?
Look Incorrect Water Pressure

Incorrect water pressure can cause a screeching or howling noise coming from your water softener. To determine if the incorrect water pressure is causing this issue, you’ll first want to check the pressure gauge on your system. If it’s reading below 40 psi (pounds per square inch) then that could be the problem. You can adjust the pressure of your water softener’s gauge by turning a screw on the top of the valve. You’ll want to aim for 40-45 psi for optimal results.

Water Softener Timer Motor Noise

It can be a common problem. It can be fixed by checking the motor and making sure it is well-lubricated. You may also need to check the belts and make sure they are properly tightened. If these do not solve the issue, you may need to replace the motor or timer with one that is specially designed for water-softening systems. If you choose to replace the motor, make sure it is in the same clockwise direction as the old one. If you are still having problems, contact a professional to help diagnose and fix any issues with your water softener system.


What causes a water softener to make noise?

What causes a water softener to make noise
causes a water softener to make noise

Water softener noise is generally caused by a malfunctioning valve or an issue with the water intake line. It can also be caused by sediment buildup in the system, loose parts, or worn-out seals and gaskets.

Can I fix my water softener myself?

Yes, you can fix a noisy water softener yourself in some cases. The most common cause of noise from water softeners is usually an air cushion or air pocket that has become trapped in the system. Air cushions are caused by a lack of regeneration, low water pressure, clogged injector screens or valves, loose fittings and parts, or a control valve that is not shutting off completely.

Is it safe to work on a water softener myself?

Yes, it is safe to perform basic maintenance and repairs on a water softener. If you are comfortable working with plumbing and electrical systems, then you should be able to make the necessary adjustments to fix your noisy water softener. However, if the problem turns out to be more serious than expected, or you feel uncomfortable operating yourself, please consult a professional.

How much does it cost to fix a noisy water softener?

How much does it cost to fix a noisy water softener?
Cost to fix a noisy water softener

The cost of fixing a noisy water softener will depend on the type and severity of the issue. In general, minor repairs can range from $50-$150, while more complex problems can cost up to $500 or more. If you are unsure what kind of repairs your particular water softener needs, it is best to contact a professional for a proper diagnosis and repair. A professional can inspect your water softener and determine the best solution for repairing the noise issue.

Can a noisy water softener damage my plumbing system?

No, a noisy water softener will not damage your plumbing system. However, it can be an annoyance because of the noise. If your water softener is making loud noises, there could be several causes such as pump issues, the air being trapped in the tank, or sediment buildup on the filters.

What can I do to prevent my water softener from becoming noisy?

There are a few steps you can take to help prevent your water softener from becoming noisy.

  •  Keep the air chamber of your water softener free of debris and dirt. The air chamber is used to release built-up pressure and if it gets clogged up with dirt or debris, it will not be able to release the pressure effectively and may cause noise.
  • Check for any loose connections or fittings on your water softener. If you find any, make sure to tighten them up to prevent any extra vibrations that can cause noise.
  •  If you have a model with a timer, make sure it is set properly and not stuck in one cycle. If it is, this can lead to excessive pressure being built up which will cause noise.
  • Ensure that you are regularly cleaning the filter of your water softener. A clogged filter can also lead to excess pressure build-up and therefore cause extra noise.

Why does my water softener sound like water is running?

A noisy water softener usually means that it is not draining properly. This could be caused by a number of factors, such as clogged hoses, debris in the brine tank, or a worn-out pump. To fix a noisy water softener, you should check these components to make sure they are free from obstructions and in good working condition.


To prevent a noisy water softener, it is important to check the hoses, brine tank and pump on a regular basis. If you find any obstructions or signs of wear and tear, be sure to fix them promptly. Doing so can help keep your water softener running smoothly and quietly. Additionally, regularly performing maintenance checks can help you identify potential problems before they become too serious. With proper maintenance, your water softener should remain quiet and efficient for years to come.

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