How Long Does A Water Softener Last? – 5 Lifespan Hacks

Last Updated on December 12, 2022 by Mattias

Water Softeners are built and designed with the best materials and features for efficiency and long-lasting use. However, they can’t last forever.

There will come a time when its components won’t function properly anymore, and it will have a hard time softening the hard water in your home. 

At this point, you will have to get a new system to replace it.

However, knowing how long a water softener lasts and the signs it will exhibit at that point lets you know when to replace it.

So in this article, we will answer the question about the expected life span of a water softener and give you helpful tips on how to make it last longer. 

How Long Does A Water Softener Last?

The typical lifespan of a water softener is 10 to 20 years. However, its lifespan depends on the quality of the water softener you are using and how well you care for it.

However, certain factors can influence the lifespan of your water softener. 

These factors are:

  • The water usage in your home.
  • How frequently the maintenance on your water softener is.
  • The level of hardness minerals in your home’s water supply.
  • How good the installation was. 

Water Usage

The more water you use daily, the more your water softener has to work. 

So if you use more water daily, your water softener will have to work more, leading to more frequent maintenance and replacement sooner than the average water softener lifespan. 

Read also: 9 Reasons Why Your Softened Water Tastes Salty

The Hardness Level Of Your Home’s Water Supply

The hardness level of water in different locations varies. 

So, if you live in an area with a high hardness level and a lot of hard water minerals, then your water softener tends to last shorter than the person whose area has a lower water hardness level. 

The higher the hard minerals are in your water, the more your water softener has to work to produce softened water for your home. 

Leading to more frequency in its ion exchange and regeneration process and more work for the resin bed and the resin beads in the resin tank.

And this would also lead to more frequent maintenance on your water softener and, subsequently, a sooner water softener replacement.

Proper Installation

Another factor that could influence how long your water softener will last and how well it will function is Proper Installation.

When your water softener is properly installed and set up, it can work for a long time with little to no issues. 

So endeavor to hire a professional to install your new water softener, saving you stress and money in the long run.

However, if you have already installed your water softener and are experiencing issues with it, you should hire a water treatment professional to check it out.

Proper Maintenance

To ensure your water softener stays in good condition for a long time, you must take proper care of it.

You can do this by checking it now and then, taking note of and working on all the significant signs, and replacing faulty components.

Also, endeavor to employ the services of a professional at least once a year to do a general checkup on the functionality and settings of your home water system. 

Read also: 12 Best Kitchen Faucets For Hard Water + Buyers Guide

How Do You Know When Your Water Softener Needs Replacement?

Strange Taste Of Water

The hardness of water gives it a taste different from the smooth taste of soft water.

Hard water has a bitter, salty, and chalky taste due to its high concentration of calcium and magnesium.

Soft water, however, has a more smooth, neutral taste.

It also has a bit of a salty taste due to the presence of sodium in it, but it doesn’t taste as salty as hard water.

So, when you start experiencing this bitter, chalky or salty taste. 

Then it is clear that your water softener resin is having difficulty extracting magnesium ions and calcium ions from your water and replacing them with sodium ions to produce softer water.

It’s possible due to the aging of the water softener and the resin bed in it. 

Read also: Will Water Softener Water Kill Plants?

Scale BuildUp In Your Plumbing System And Water-Using Appliances 

Another sign is scale and mineral buildup in your plumbing system.

This scale problem and mineral deposits on your water-using appliances are due to improper functioning of your water softening system, which its aging could also cause.

Inability Of Your Soap To Form Lather Properly

Another sign is your soap’s difficulty forming lather and the formation of soap scum. 

Making your skin and hair dry after taking a bath or a shower. 

Hence, spending more money on soaps and detergents. 

Your Clothes Do Not Sparkle After They Being Washed

When a water softener ages, it fails to soften the hard water coming into your home, and using that hard water to wash your clothes will fail to bring its sparkling look.

It will also make it feel stiff and scratchy when you put it on.  

You can also solve this hard water issue by installing a fabric softener. 

Note: You must remember that these issues and signs can also be caused by other factors while using your water softener.

So ensure that your water softener is at least a decade.

Only then can you conclude that the aging of your system is the cause of these issues.

Tips On How To Make Your Water Softener Life Longer

Ensure The Water Softener Is Set Perfectly To The Accurate Hardness Level Of Your Home’s Water Supply

Setting your water supply to the exact hardness level prevents it from overworking and wearing out, making it last as long as expected. 

Use The Right Type Of Salt

If you are using a salt-based water softener, you must ensure the water softener salt you use is the one recommended for your softening system.

It would help if you went for salt pellets, crystals, or pellets that are purer than rock salt and solar salt, such as evaporated salt.

However, you can check the type of salt recommended for your softening system by reading through its manual or enquiring from the system’s manufacturers.

You can also check our review of the best salt for water softeners.

Read also: How To Add Salt To Water Softener

Regenerate Your Water Softening System When Due 

As a water softening system softens water, its resin beads must be cleaned and recharged for another softening process. You must ensure you run its regeneration process at the appropriate time.

Some systems are designed to automatically carry out their regeneration cycle, while others aren’t. 

If yours isn’t, you can ensure you set a reminder or alarm on your phone that will keep reminding you. 

Undergo Regular Maintenance On Your Water Softener 

Please ensure you regularly maintain your water softener, check all components, and secure they are working well.

When carrying out maintenance on your water softener, ensure you check your brine tank for the formation of salt bridges.

If salt bridges are formed in it, you can break them by using the handle of a broom to hit them softly.

Ensure The Salt Level In Your Brine Tank Doesn’t Get Too Low 

Most modern water softeners have a low salt level indicator that notifies you whenever the salt level of your water softener is getting low. Still, if you are using an old water softener, it is a good idea to check your brine tank to ensure the salt level hasn’t gone too low. 

Ensure the salt level is 1/3 full before you refill it. 

Related: How Much Salt For Your Water Softener

How Long Does A Water Softener Last Summary

The typical lifespan of a water softener is 10 to 20 years, depending on its quality and how well you maintain it. 

So, endeavor to follow the tips I shared above to ensure the long-lasting use of your water softener.