When To Replace Your Water Softener
Water softeners are life savers! As you may know, a water softener has many benefits! These include removing metal salts like arsenic and lead, chemicals like fluorosilicic acid, and biological contaminants which can be anything from bacteria to viruses. Extra “ingredients” like these can have a huge impact when it comes to your pipes, appliances, skin, and overall health. They’re pretty much what makes the difference between hard and soft water. Hard water contains all of these extra things and soft water does not.
In case it wasn’t clear, we really love water purifiers! We love the way they make our water taste, our showers softer and less harsh on our skin, and our dishes clean and sparkly. That being said, if you’ve had one for a while, it might be time to replace it. Water softeners are not built to last forever, and can break down fairly quickly if you use a lot of water in your house.
Top Signs You Need to Replace Your Water Softener
Most water softening systems are low maintenance and require only periodic salt replenishment. Yet, there are some things you should look out for::
- The motor is not running or makes strange noises when operational
- The brine is not flowing
- There is any clogging—usually evidence that the iron content of the water is too high
- Your soap is not lathering properly anymore or leaves a sticky residue
- You start to notice spots on your dishes after washing
- The water tastes saltier than normal
Have you noticed any of these signs at your home? Each of the above points are indicators that your water softener is having problems, but don’t panic. Simply call your plumber to come inspect the situation. They’ll either fix it or replace it.
The best indicator that the right resolution is a replacement and not just a simple fix is you’ve had to have multiple repairs within a few weeks or even months. You should know that a quality water softener will last you between 10 and 15 years. If you’re approaching this deadline, get it checked out for functionality and consider replacing it regardless of its condition. Doing so will ensure clean and soft water for many more years!
Is Your Machine Broken or in Need of a Quick Fix?
The above indicators of wear on your water softener have varying degrees of severity. To help you decide your next course of action, let’s go through a few of them.
Motor not Running/Making Weird Noises
You might not be able to immediately tell if your motor is not working. A simple way to check is to open your water softener and check the motor. Depending on which brand you have, this is a fairly simple task. To get an idea of how to do this, check out this video!
The Brine is Not Flowing
When we talk about the brine, we’re talking about the salt supply to your water softener. If it’s not flowing correctly, you might need to unclog it. The way to tell if the brine is not flowing is by testing the softness of your water with a simple DIY trick.
- Find a clear, empty water bottle
- Fill it with tap water
- Put a few drops of dish soap in the bottle
- Shake it up
Do you see a lot of bubbles in your bottle, and is the bottom of it pretty clear water? This means your water is still pretty soft and your machine is most likely still working. If the soap doesn’t lather as much as it should, it might be time to have a look at the old water softener.
“Keep in mind that because most soaps are formulated with detergents, they lather regardless of your water type. For the best results, use a basic soap, such as Castile, which is free of dyes, perfumes and detergents.” – HomeWater101
If your machine’s brine is not flowing properly, you’ll need to call a plumber. This is not something you should DIY, because you’ll risk affecting the inner workings of your machine. We strongly recommend calling a professional to come and unclog any debris from your brine flow.
Ready to Call Shamrock Plumbing?
Do you find yourself having to regularly service your water softener? If so, it might be time to replace it. Shamrock Plumbing is equipped to install, repair, or replace any water softener. We have the expertise and years of experience behind us, and we will do our best to ensure future problems don’t occur. If you have any questions about an existing water softener, or are in need of a repair, please call us at 801-505-9505.