Do Water Softeners Reduce Water Pressure?

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When evaluating the capabilities of water softeners, it is important for people to ask the question: do water softeners reduce water pressure? The answer is that they can cause a decrease in water pressure. They can also just change levels of water pressure in general, which can sometimes take people by surprise. It is a good idea for homeowners to consider that if there is an unexpected decrease in water pressure, it might actually be caused by the water softener and not something else or something more serious.

Water Softeners and Water Pressure

Resistance from the resin bed is enough to cause the pressure loss associated with water softeners. There usually won’t be a lot of extreme pressure losses, so people don’t have to worry about this being a severe problem if they plan on getting water softeners installed in their areas. However, there are certain factors that can certainly make water softeners alter the area’s water pressure in a way that is going to cause much more dramatic changes.

If there is well water involved, the pressure loss might be much more substantial as a result of the fine sand in the well. Some people are also going to install their water softeners outdoors, particularly in areas that get a lot of sun and areas that have a tendency to be magnets for wildlife. In that case, particularly in a moist or tropical climate, algae can be a hazard that can cause much more severe changes when it comes to the water pressure that people will experience with their water softeners.

However, for the majority of people, it’s chlorinated water that is going to cause the most problems in a situation like this. Chlorine is often used in order to purify various water supplies, and people are going to run into chlorinated water often enough that it is going to be a hazard that they’ll face with regards to their water softeners. High chlorine levels are going to potentially damage the resin, and this is going to have a great deal of long-term impact on the nature of the water softener and how effective it is.

People are going to have to periodically dump out the contents of the resin tank, clean the resin tank, and then add all of the new resins where they are needed. Doing this on a somewhat regular basis can make a huge difference when it comes to whether or not the system is going to last for a long period of time and whether or not it is going to have an effect on the water pressure levels.

In order to confirm that the water softener caused the pressure change, it is a good idea to switch the water softener to the bypass mode and then to take a step back and witness the results. If the pressure level starts to improve or return to normal, then it can serve as confirmation that the pressure change actually was caused by the water softener and people don’t have to go looking for the rest of the root causes.

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3 Responses

  1. Hello,

    I have just come across your article ref water pressure drop due to water softner.

    We live in South England where there is a heavy presence of hard water, so had a water softner fitted 12months ago.
    My partner says there has been a significant drop in water pressure from the shower as she can not rinse her hair out quickly now, I would say ‘significant’ is abit overkill but yes can say the pressure is not as strong as it use to be.

    You mention a Bypass Mode, is this just a flick of a lever or require extra temp pipework to bypass softner. I will be asking my installer too, just thought id like your angle on things following your article. As not wholly sure if you mean against normal households or the resin tanks you mention.

    Any insight or info is greatly appreciated.


    1. Hi Rob. The water softener that I have has a lever on each of the input and output flows which bypass the WS. Could look there.

  2. I believe ALL water softeners are built to bypass on regeneration (when the tank drains and rinses on a set schedule) so yours has a bypass maybe ask a handy neighbor where your bypass valve is….

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