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How Long Do Water Softeners Last: Tips for Extending Life

Water streaming from a metal sink faucet.
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Whether you’ve had your water softener for years, or you just moved into a new property, you should know about your appliance. With all the work that this appliance does,  how long do water softeners last?

Water softeners last 10 to 20 years. With a ten year gap, there are tips to make sure that your water softener can last 20 years. 

What is a Water Softener?

Water softeners do exactly what it sounds like- they soften the water. Water needs to be softened when there is an excessive amount of dissolved rock in a home water system. This can occur in both municipal supplies and well water. Having hard water can cause a few issues. First, it can cause the colors on your clothes to appear more dull. It can also cause hair and skin to feel more dry, and sometimes can cause red, splotchy spots on the skin. Glasses and dishes will have “hard water spots, which look like cloudy, white residue spots. 

In order to treat your water, the home can have a water softener. If you don’t use a water softener, you will have some effects on your appliances that use your water, as well as issues with your skin, hair, clothes and dishes. Hard water can cause:

  1.  A red/orange residue on your toilet, sink, bath tub. This is from iron.
  2. Lowers the efficiency
  3. Shortens the life of the appliance
  4. Very hard on your pipes. 

How Does a Water Softener Work?

Water softeners are engineered to use salt pellets in the water as a form of ion exchange. The hard water is filtered through satl, turning the water into soft water. The best part of water softeners is that you will be able to see your results almost immediately. Your skin should be softer, and your dishes and clothes will be bright and cleaner. Water softeners can break down the buildup in your pipes and hot water heater, making them more efficient and stronger to use. This could end up saving you money in the long run. 

How Long Do Water Softeners Last? 

According to Haferman Water, water softeners can last you from 10 to 20 years. This large gap is going to be dependent on the type of water softener you buy, the quality you buy, and how you treat it. For example, a single tank electric water softener might last 12 years, while a nicer Kinetico system could go for 20 years. 

Hands with soap water over a sink.

Tips to Extend Water Softeners Life:

Change the Filter/Salt

You can learn when and how to change the filter and salt in your user manual, or when the water softener is being installed. Make sure to keep this on a calendar, so your water softener is always efficient. Generally, water softeners need new salt every two months. Maybe around every month and a half, check the levels just in case. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry! 

Use Good Quality Salt

Using quality salt can help towards the effectiveness and longevity of your appliance. Using salt like evaporated salt pellets, can do its part to help the water softener last longer. It may cost more, but the more pure the salt is, the less build-up you’ll have in the future. A few bucks for each refill will still cost you less than a whole new appliance.

Remember: if you have a single tank electric softener, you need to flush the resin bed with water softener cleaner about once a year. This action will work to retain effectiveness of the appliance. 

salt blocks for water softener

Don’t Refill When Empty, Don’t Fill to the Top

Refill your salt supply when it’s down to ⅓ full. Once refilled, still leave 4-6 inches empty on top. 

Watch Out For “Salt Bridges.” 

A salt bridge is a crusty layer that separates the water and the salt, making it harder for the machine to work. This will shorten the lifespan of your appliance, so make sure to remove salt bridges if you see them. 

Don’t Work the Water Softener Too Hard

The setting on your water softener needs to be high enough that it properly softens the water. However, anything higher than that can cause excess wear on your water softener. 

Signs of Trouble

One way to tell that your water softener is not working properly is if your soap is not lathering in your hand. Other signs include buildup on sinks, bathtubs and shower heads. Your clothes may feel stiff, and your water will taste different.  Make sure to check the brine tank regularly, and ask the installer to tell you what to look for. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Call the Professionals

If you think your water softener isn’t working properly, but you aren’t sure, call a professional. It’s better that they check it out, before your system breaks completely.

barrel of salt blocks for the softener

Wanting to Purchase a Water Softener?

We’re ONIT! Our team of professionals are on standby to give you a free quote, teach you about your home, and set up installation.  Contact us today at 1-833-433-0331. We look forward to hearing from you!

ONIT Home is your one-stop shop to create a space for families to enjoy. Bundle your purchases together for a $1,500 voucher to be used with our water filtration, security systems, or solar panels. Or, receive a $2,000 security system for $1,000 with a purchase of a water filtration system. Ready to go solar? Every solar panel system is a two week installation and comes with a free home security and water filtration system! Learn more about our bundling deals today by calling us at 1-833-433-0331. Whatever you need, we’re ONIT!

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