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When Does a Water Softening System Need to Be Replaced?

Published by Passaic Bergen Water Softening on

water softener

If your home needs water softening once, chances are it will always need water softening. Hard water is usually a regional factor, something that affects all homes in your neighborhood or region because there are extra minerals in your groundwater that don’t get filtered out by the city water supply. You may also pull your water from a well with a high mineral content, resulting in hard water.

While installing a water softening system is a not exactly a permanent. Like all appliances, your softening system will need to be regularly serviced, kept in good condition, do wear out over time. Water softening systems last for many years but, eventually, they reach the natural functioning lifespan of the parts and the entire system will need to be replaced.

Here’s a quick guide to tell if your water softening system is on its last legs and it’s time to plan for a replacement installation:

Your Tap Water Doesn’t Taste Right

Your tongue has an incredible array of chemical sensors. Your tongue can tell you when food has nutrients your body needs, when leftovers have just started to spoil, and when there’s something unwanted in your water. Trust your taste buds when it comes to assessing the state of your home water treatment. If the water starts to taste ‘off’, this is an early warning sign that your water system is no longer functioning the way it should.

While off-tasting tap water isn’t a sure sign that your water softening system is aging out, it is a sign that you should have a water appliance professional take a look in your utility closet. This could be an issue with pipes, a need to service your water treatment system, or an early warning sign that your softener is on its way out.

asian woman looking at water looking unhappy

Water Spots and Soap Problems

Water softeners have a variety of benefits but the primary purpose is, of course, to remove the minerals that create ‘hard water’. As you probably already know, hard water has a number of tell-tale signs and, worse, challenges that it brings to your day-to-day life. If your home has started showing signs of hard water in the taps, this is a clear sign that your water softener is no longer doing its job.

The most obvious indicator is water spots, little flaky white or gray spots where water is allowed to dry. Check your glassware, faucet fixtures, and wet areas like sinks and bathtubs for signs of the residue. You may also notice that you skin feels drier after washing hands or bathing or that your laundry is stiff coming out of the wash. These are also clear indicators of hard water returning to the house.

A Change in Water Pressure

Your water pressure is the result of a number of factors between the water main (or well) and your faucets. Your water softening system should have become a part of your every-day water pressure and if it’s malfunctioning, you may notice that your water pressure has become higher or lower.

Alternately, a simple build-up in the pipes from returning hard water can also serve to lower your water pressure. Any change in water pressure in your home is reason for concern. If you can’t hunt down and solve the problem on your own, consider calling for an inspection of your pipes, water heater, and water softening system.

Too Much Salt in the Water

Most older water softeners and many modern ones use salt to strip the minerals out of your water. The salt is then mostly filtered back out to provide clean delicious water from your tap. Most people notice a very small increase in saltiness when they first install a water softening system, but this is not enough to change the overall taste or effect of your water.

However, a malfunctioning and aging water softening system may no longer be filtering all of the salt back out of the water effectively. When this happens, salt water starts flowing through your taps. If your water tastes distinctly more salty than it has in previous year or months, you need to get your water softener serviced immediately and it may be time for a replacement.

The System is Over 10 Years Old

Finally, always remember that a water softener is an appliance with a life-span of about 10 to 15 years of good service. Passed the 10-year mark, you should start expecting to see signs of final mechanical failure and after 15 years, every day of quality softening is on borrowed time. This is especially true of older water softening system models. If you don’t know how old your water softener is because it was installed when you moved in, ask your maintenance service to give you an estimate of its remaining lifespan.

Water softening systems are an incredible advancement and can make a huge difference to the comfort of an otherwise hard-water house. But they do eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Do you need a new water softener installation or an assessment of your current softening system? If so, contact us today! We’re always ready to help with a water treatment concern.