Water Softeners: To Service Or Not To Service?

I’ve had a water softener in my home for several years now, and I must admit, I’ve never given much thought to whether it needs servicing. I just assumed it was a set-it-and-forget-it appliance that would keep my water soft and free of limescale forever.

However, lately, I’ve noticed some signs that my water softener may need some attention, such as salt not being used up and soap not lathering as well as it used to. That got me wondering: do water softeners need servicing, and if so, how often?

In this article, I’ll be exploring the maintenance requirements of water softeners, the signs that your water softener may need servicing, and whether you should attempt to service it yourself or bring in a professional.

Whether you’re a seasoned water softener owner or considering purchasing one for your home, it’s important to understand the basics of how they work and how to keep them running smoothly. So, let’s dive in and answer the question: to service or not to service?

Key Takeaways

  • Most modern water softeners do not need regular servicing, as they are designed to maintain themselves with basic maintenance steps.
  • Signs that a water softener may need servicing include salt not being used up, limescale marks, poor lathering of soaps and shampoos, dry skin and dull hair, change in water pressure, and taste of drinking water.
  • DIY maintenance tasks include checking salt levels, cleaning the brine tank, and checking for leaks, while professional servicing may include cleaning the resin bed, checking valves and controls, and renewing the resin.
  • If a water softener is more than 10 years old and requires costly repairs, it may make more sense to save money for a replacement as newer models are designed to not require yearly servicing.

Maintenance Requirements

I only need to top up my water softener with salt for regular maintenance, as most modern models are designed to maintain themselves with basic maintenance steps. The frequency of salt top up depends on the size of the water softener and the hardness of the water, but it’s usually required every few months.

Topping up with salt regenerates the water softener unit by flushing away excess hard minerals and ensures that it continues to function properly. Regular maintenance is highly beneficial for water softeners, as it helps to extend their lifespan.

By keeping the brine tank clean and free of salt bridges, checking for leaks, and monitoring salt levels, I can ensure that my water softener is running efficiently and effectively. Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to poor water quality, reduced water flow, and even damage to the water softener.

Signs of Needed Servicing

Limescale marks, poor lathering of soaps and shampoos, and dry skin are indications that maintenance may be required for a water softener. These signs suggest that the water softener isn’t functioning correctly, and hard water minerals are still present in the water supply. If left unchecked, hard water can cause damage to appliances and plumbing, leaving unsightly stains on sinks and bathtubs, and making it harder to achieve clean dishes and laundry.

It’s essential to troubleshoot water softener issues immediately to avoid costly repairs down the line. Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure that a water softener continues working correctly. Topping up the salt is a simple task that should be done regularly to ensure the water softener is regenerating as it should be. Cleaning the brine tank and checking for salt bridges can also help to maintain the water softener’s performance.

If a water softener isn’t functioning correctly, it’s essential to call a professional to diagnose the issue and fix it. By following these steps, a water softener can last for many years without needing repairs or replacement.

DIY vs Professional Servicing

Maintaining a water softener can be done through DIY tasks or by hiring a professional. While some people prefer to do it themselves to save money, others opt for professional servicing to ensure the unit is working efficiently.

The benefits of DIY maintenance include being able to check salt levels, clean the brine tank, and fix minor leaks. These tasks are relatively easy to do and can save money on service fees.

On the other hand, professional servicing may be necessary for more complex issues like cleaning the resin bed, renewing the resin, and checking valves and controls. While it may cost more than DIY maintenance, professional servicing can ensure the unit is working at optimal capacity and extend its lifespan.

When deciding between DIY and professional servicing, it’s important to consider the cost comparison and the complexity of the issue. In some cases, DIY maintenance may be sufficient, but in others, it may be necessary to call in a professional for more complex issues.

About the author

James is a dedicated researcher with a profound passion for studying water. Over the years, he has delved deep into understanding the complexities and intricacies of water, both scientifically and environmentally. His relentless pursuit of knowledge in this field has equipped him with insights that he generously shares on this blog