Water softeners are invaluable for homeowners who rely on well water or live in areas with hard municipal water. Water softeners can provide hundreds of hours of reliable service, improving the quality of your water. However, water softeners can also require occasional repairs and maintenance like other appliances. This guide will explain two of the most common signs of water softener problems.
1. Hard Water Symptoms
Symptoms of hard water are naturally a sign that your water softener is underperforming. Watch for signs like stiff or dull laundry, dry skin, and brittle hair after showers, or soap scum in your sinks and bathtubs. Water softeners remove hardening minerals by filtering water through a resin bed inside the tank.
The resin in your water softener will degrade over time as it erodes and is covered with trace minerals from your water. Most water softeners regenerate the resin beads on a regular schedule, but they will eventually need to be replaced. Water hardness issues typically appear when it's time to replace the resin in your water softener.
Different types of resin beads have significantly different lifespans. Some types of resin last 5 to 7 years, while others may last 15 to 20 years. Check with the manufacturer to learn the average lifespan of resin for your specific model of water softener. A plumbing contractor can flush your water softener tank and replace the resin when needed.
2. Low Water Pressure
There are many possible causes for low water pressure, but you can't rule out water softener problems. Your water softener is especially likely to blame if you notice water pressure issues shortly after installing the unit. This may be a sign that your new water softener is too small to meet the water usage demands of your household. Aside from replacing the appliance, you can try to alleviate low water pressure by limiting the number of faucets and fixtures you use at one time.
If you've had your water softener for a while but your water pressure issues only started recently, you may be dealing with a clogged filter or resin bed. Sediment deposits on resin and filters reduce the overall volume of water that can pass through your water softener. A professional water softener tank cleaning can remove sediment and restore your home's water pressure.
Water softeners require minimal maintenance and rarely need serious repair or replacement. Contact a local plumbing contractor if you notice these signs of water softener problems.