When investing in a solution for their hard water problems, one of the most common questions people will ask is, “How long do water softeners last?”
A water softener can be an excellent machine for anyone in search of better quality water that does less damage to their tanks and pipes. However, like all devices, water softeners can’t last forever.
Whether you’ve just bought a new water softener, and you’re wondering how long you can rely on it, or you’re trying to figure out when to replace your old water softener, this article will help. Here’s everything you need to know about the basics of water softener life expectancy.
Do Water Softeners Wear Out?
A water softener is just like any other mechanical product in your home or kitchen. These tools work to soften hard water into something that’s better for your plumbing. The softening of water can make pipes last longer. Additionally, softened water is less likely to contain high levels of calcium and magnesium that can affect water taste.
Unfortunately, while water softeners are designed to stand the test of time, the fact that they’re constantly exposed to hard water does mean that they eventually become damaged and may need to be replaced. The expected lifespan for a water softener is about 15 years. Some only last for around 10 years, whereas with the right salt for water treatment and maintenance, others can last for as long as 20 years.
Even if you have only had your water softener appliance for a few years and you begin to notice evidence of hard water around your home, then you may need to consider getting a professional to check your system. While it’s unlikely that most high-quality water softeners will conk out in less than 10 years, your system could be facing a malfunction that requires expert support.
Signs Your Water Softener Is Running out of Time
If you’re wondering how long do water softeners last, you might also be wondering if you get any warning when they’re about to fail.
One good thing about water softening machines is that they often give you some indication that they need to be replaced. For instance, you might notice that your new water treatment system gives you a couple of years of delightful soft water at home, then suddenly the water begins to turn hard again. This could be a sign that you forgot to add salt to your brine tank, or that you need to replace a certain component.
On the other hand, if you’ve had your water softener for over a decade, then any issues could also indicate that you need to replace your device. Here are a few things that might indicate that your water softener needs a professional service or replacement.
1. Soap Doesn’t Lather
One of the signs of increased hard water levels is that soap doesn’t lather properly. If you’re struggling to soap up in the shower at home, then you need to examine your water softener.
2. Laundry Issues
Washing clothing in hard water can make them scratchy, stiff, and uncomfortable. Fabric softener can help with this issue, but you’ll need to think about examining your water softener long-term. Hard water can also damage your washing machine and other household appliances too.
3. Build up Around Faucets and Pipes
The minerals that cause hard water can sometimes build up around your pipes and faucets, an indication that your system is in much need of a clean-up. Pay attention to your faucets when you’re cleaning, as they may indicate that you need a new water softener.
4. Change in Drinking Water Taste
Salt water softeners also improve the taste of your water by removing excess components like calcium. If you discover that your water suddenly begins to taste different, then it might be time to try a different machine.
How to Make Your Home Water Softener Work for Longer
Some aspects of looking after your water softener are easy to remember. For instance, you need to add new water softener cleaning materials to the mix once or twice a year. Additionally, it’s important to keep your system topped up with salt for soft water too.
If you use your water softener regularly, then you’ll be more likely to notice issues in the early days. People who don’t use their system as much generally find that the devices last longer with very little maintenance required. Here are important things to take note of.
Change filters as directed by the manufacturer. Your system manual will be able to guide you through how to use your in-line filters properly.
Regenerant or salt for your softener is essential for making your device work for as long as possible. Your manual will tell you what kind of water softener salts to use in your home. You won’t need much – just enough to follow the instructions provided.
The resin bed of an electric softener needs flushing with softener cleaner every year or so. This helps to keep your water softener in peak condition.
When you’re adding new water softener salt, look for any hardened bridges in your system and remove them with a brush handle.
Additionally, remember that you shouldn’t be forcing your machine to work too hard. Properly sizing your water softeners and making sure that they’re big enough for your home will help to lengthen your water softener life expectancy.
Make the Most of Your Water Softeners
So, how long do water softeners last? That depends on you.
A water softener machine can be an excellent tool for any household. However, you need to make sure that you know how to use this system properly. When well-maintained, and not required for too much use, these machines can keep working for decades, usually averaging out with a lifespan of 15 years.
Remember to read your manual if you’re not sure how to maintain your new purchase. Many of the instructions that come with these machines will answer any questions you might have about keeping your device as robust and durable as possible.