How Often Should a Water Softener Regenerate?

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All water softeners need to go through what is called regeneration. Regeneration is when the resin is cleaned and it is a very important part of the process within a water softener. This is the portion of the tank that works to keep your water soft and it needs the salt to keep it clean.

Allowing the machine to do what it was intended to do, keep your water soft. This is something that needs to be done on a regular basis because if it is not then the machine will break down and stop working. Once that happens, there will be bigger problems to deal with that are more urgent than hard water. Regeneration needs to take place normally every three to six days, but that depends on some various factors.

Water Softener Regeneration

Many of the units today are automatically set to regenerate once a week. This is determined based on the amount of water used, the number of people in the house and the size of the resin tank involved. It is often best to speak to a water filtration specialist when deciding how long it should be set for.

More often than not when the system is being set up or on a maintenance visit they will work to set it up for you based on your particular situation. If it doesn’t regenerate soon enough, water may start to taste salty or you may notice other problems starting with the softener. It is possible that the brine tank might begin to overflow which is always a way that it could notify you of a problem.

Most of the time, unless you have a manual regeneration tank it will be set to automatically go off so you will not have to worry about the regeneration cycle at all. With a manual system, this is the only time you will be required to go down and start the regeneration process by yourself.

Other systems are on timers that are electric or similar to that of a turn knob timer. You turn the timer and it clicks off after a specific number of days. Regeneration is a very important part of the process when it comes to your water softener. In fact, it is just a normal part of the process and must happen for the system to be rendered useful.

If regeneration does not occur, your water softener will break down and it could be very costly to repair.


Take away points to remember are that it is always a good idea to let a trained professional set up and determine the frequency of the regeneration cycle. They have a good idea of how to accurately calculate the steps in the process of water softening.

If it is something that is done by an untrained person, issues may arise. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t understand your machine, as you really should, just be okay leaving it to the professionals. Most importantly remember that regeneration is part of the softening process and needs to be done on a regular basis for the best efficiency.

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4 Responses

  1. We have a new Novo water softener. When the water softener is regenerating, should there be some kind of noise? Our old water softener would make a loud gurgling sound so we knew it was working. This one hasn’t made a sound.

  2. I’ve been told–and it makes sense to me–that regeneration based on water volume is preferable to time-based regeneration. After all, it is the amount of hard water that has been processed that makes regeneration necessary. If we’re gone for a few days, the resin isn’t collecting minerals. OTOH, if we have guests staying for a few days, the resin might need to be cleaned sooner. At least that’s the rationale my dealer gave me, when he installed a Clack/Watts unit. It is set to regenerate every 1,600 gallons, and that is according to our local city water average hardness.

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