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Water Softener Maintenance: How To Keep Your System Working?

Water Softener Maintenance

Water softeners do all the hard work, turning your hard water into soft. They remove minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, from your tap water. However, unlike water heaters, water softeners don’t run all the time in order to do their job. An effective water softener should only run every two or three days. Therefore, they require little maintenance.

But just like other appliances, regular and timely water softener maintenance is crucial to keep them running for long and working effectively.

This article will discuss everything you should know about water softener maintenance to keep your system working effectively.

Read on!

How Often Should You Add Salt to a Water Softener?

Water softeners need salt to fuel the ion exchange process, turning your hard water soft. A water softener tank has resin beads that attract calcium and magnesium ions. In return, the hard minerals from your tap water stick to the resin beads, leaving behind soft water.

Now, over time, these resin beads get saturated with calcium and magnesium ions. This is where the water softener regeneration happens with the salt.

During the regeneration process, salt is added to a separate brine tank where it washes over the resin beads, pushing all the hardness minerals off and flushing them out of the softener.

If you don’t add salt to your water softener, the regeneration process will not do its magic and you will be back to your serious, hard water issues.

The answer to, “How often should you add salt to a water softener” depends on three major factors:

  1. Water Consumption: If you have a big household, you’ll end up using more water. Hard water and high water consumption mean more frequent refills.
  2. System Age: If you have an old water softening system, it requires more refills. Modern models are salt-efficient and only regenerate when needed.
  3. Size of Brine Tank: If you have a small brine tank, you’ll need more refills. A larger tank holds more salt, extending refill intervals.

Here are a few tips to avoid regeneration issues in your water softener:

  1. Keep the salt level 3 to 4 inches above water or keep it half-full.
  2. Refill your tank with the recommended salt type. Each softener uses a different salt type, including pellet, solar, evaporated, or rock salt.

Signs Water Softener System Needs Maintenance?

You spent so much money to make your life easier with a water softener, but suddenly, your softening system is acting up. The soap has stopped making lather, and you wake up to scum buildup every day! These are some of the telltale signs your water softening is failing.

Hard Water Spots

When the pesky stubborn white stains on your faucets and showerheads make a comeback, it’s high time you consider maintaining your water softener.

Soap Lather Issues

If your soap is struggling to lather luxuriously, that’s because your water is not soft anymore! Also, a sign for you to check your water softener for maintenance because, in the long run, it will affect your cleaning process.

Scale Buildup

The annoying limescale buildup in your kettle and on your pipes has started to show up again. That’s because your water softener is not functioning the way it should.

Reduced Water Pressure

When minerals accumulate in your shower, it results in low water flow. In such cases, your water softener has stopped working and scheduling a call for water softener experts may solve your problem of low water pressure.

Salty Taste in Water

Soft water suddenly started to taste salty? Check with your brine tank to detect issues.

Or best, contact a qualified technician to get your water softener checked for a healthy, clean, and safe water supply.

How To Clean A Water Softener System?

Highly efficient water softening systems demand to be cleaned every five to 10 years, based on your water consumption and water hardness levels. Usually, the older models of water softeners need more frequent cleaning for a smooth process.

Here’s how to clean a water softening system.

Cleaning the Brine Tank

The brine tank gets dirty over time with accumulated brine solution. However, cleaning the tank is a simple process.

First of all, before trying out anything, consult your user manual for cleaning instructions.

  1. Using a siphon, pump out the brine solution from your tank and dispose of it.
  2. Remove the brine grid and break up the salt bridges.
  3. Wash the tank with warm water and a few drops of dish soap.
  4. Scrub the tank thoroughly with a brush.
  5. (OPTIONAL) If the tank is too dirty, disinfect it with a diluted bleach solution and rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
  6. Reinstall the brine grid along with other components.
  7. Fill your brine tank with clean water and reconnect the hoses or lines to the water softener.
  8. Run the water through a regeneration cycle and check for potential leaks.

Cleaning the Resin Tank

Minerals, such as Iron can accumulate into the water softener resin tanks. They reduce the efficiency of your water softener, affecting the soft water supply.

Here’s how to clean it:

  1. Use a resin cleaner, compatible with your water softener model and follow the instructions on the package.
  2. Start a regeneration cycle to flush the cleaning solution through the system.
  3. Ensure all the solution is thoroughly flushed out by running clean, fresh, and soft water for at least 10 minutes.

Note: You can also clean your resin tank by initiating several regeneration cycles.

Removing Salt Bridges

Sometimes, adding too much in your softener ends up creating salt bridges, to remove this:

  1. Break the bridges with any long handled tool gently.
  2. If the salt bridge is too hard, pour over hot water to break it into smaller pieces.
  3. Scoop out the salt in an empty container.

Cleaning Outside Surface

Cleaning the exterior of your water softener is as easy as cleaning your dispenser or refrigerator. Thus, you need a few household items and a few minutes to get your softener squeaky clean:

  1. Wipe down the outside of your softener with a damp cloth. (You can use a mild soap solution too)
  2. Rinse the cloth with clean water and wipe down the surface again.
  3. Use a dry cloth to thoroughly dry the outside surface of the water softener.

Benefits of Maintaining a Water Softener System

No limescale buildup, richer lather, and excellent water flow are some of the basic benefits of a properly working water softener system.

Here are some long-term benefits:

Improved Appliance Longevity

Hard water minerals leave minerals inside your appliances, including dishwater, washing machine, and water heater. This buildup reduces the efficiency of your appliances and also the lifespan.

Regular water softener maintenance prevents limescale buildup and allows your appliances to run smoothly and effectively.

Reduced Scale Buildup

Hard water minerals, such as calcium and magnesium leave scale and stains on your appliances, faucets, and showers. As a result, they may get clogged and require replacement.

To prevent this, it is important to maintain your water softener to ensure the effective removal of these minerals so your plumbing system functions seamlessly.

Lower Energy Bills

Hard water minerals accumulate in your water heater and prevent water from heating properly. It allows your water heater to keep on operating and potentially increases your energy bills.

Regular water softener maintenance prevents this buildup and ultimately reduces energy bills.

Softer Skin And Hair

All the hard minerals can mess up your hair and skin, making it dry, itchy, and dull. Soft water allows soap, shampoo, and body wash to lather richly, leaving your skin softer, cleaner, and healthier.

Less Pipe Clogging

Scale buildup in pipes due to hard water may collapse or clog them. This may cause blocked drains that may require professional assistance.

Regular maintenance of your water softener prevents scale buildup that ensures a smooth water flow, leading to clear, unclogged pipes.

Better Soap And Detergent Efficiency

When hard minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, react with soap and cleaning products, they reduce their cleaning properties.

Regular water maintenance prevents your detergents and cleaning agents from reacting with hard water minerals, resulting in a smooth, rich lather to function and clean properly.

It also results in less usage of detergents and cleaning products, saving you more money.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Water Softener?

Have you tried everything in your capacity to maintain your water softener, but to no avail? It’s time to replace it!

The cost of replacement for the water softener depends on many factors. However, in Canada, it can range anywhere from $1000 to $6000, including the unit and installation.

Some factors that influence the water softener cost of replacement are:

  1. Home’s size and water usage: If you have a small household with little water consumption, you need a little, affordable unit. However, for larger units and homes, the cost would increase accordingly.
  2. Features of a water softener: The more features your water softener has, the costlier! Many basic models with little functionality are affordable. However, those with smart controls and demand regeneration cost more.
  3. Water softener type: If your water softener is salt-based, it’s more likely to be affordable than salt-free options.

Whatever the conditions, Watermart offers highly efficient water softeners that meet your needs and budget. We not only provide the appliances but also ensure our expert technicians and installation professionals perform an outstanding job,
catering to your needs.

Budget issues? No worries!

At Watermart, you can rent or purchase our water softener for your home to effectively remove minerals that cause water hardness.
Contact us and get a free quote on your water softener replacement!


Do you want to extend the lifespan of your water softener to get soft and clean water throughout your home?

Regular maintenance and upkeep are the key!

Your water softener works tirelessly behind the scenes, banishing hard water woes and leaving you with luxuriously soft suds. However, the most important component of a water softener is the brine tank.

Refilling the tank with a recommended amount of salt and salt type is crucial for an effective regeneration process that ensures the proper working of your softener system.

Regular water softener maintenance also lowers your energy bills, ensuring softer skin, and shiny, and healthy hair. Above all, it translates to fewer plumbing problems and appliance meltdowns.

If your previously reliable water softener is no longer functioning as it should, it may be necessary to replace it. The cost of replacement depends on many factors, but on average, the replacement cost is $1000 to $6000, depending on the size, features, and type of your water softener.

To get a highly efficient water softener replacement, contact Watermart and schedule a FREE consultation.


How Often Should Water Softeners Regenerate?

A standard-size water softener that is fully functioning and well-maintained should regenerate every four to seven days.

Does a Water Softener Need Maintenance?

Like any other appliance, your water softeners need maintenance and regular upkeep to keep working effectively.

Clean your water softeners once a week and refill the brine tank with the recommended salt type and amount to keep your softener working for a long period of time.

How Often does a Water Softener Need to be Cleaned?

It depends on the make and model of your water softener. Most water softener systems need to be cleaned every five to ten years. However, modern softeners are self-cleaning systems for hassle-free maintenance and guaranteed peace of mind.

What Happens if You don’t Maintain Your Water Softener?

One of the first signs of a failing water softening system is the return of hard water with excess minerals.

Other signs include:

  1. White calcium spots on utensils
  2. Low water pressure
  3. Dry, itchy, and dull skin
  4. Frizzy, brittle hair
  5. Metallic water taste



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