Water softeners, like any other appliance, typically last between 10 and 15 years. Once your softener reaches the 10-year mark, it’s a good idea to start a preliminary search for the kind of makes and models that fall within your budget. You can only replace so many parts before the unit finally dies for good. It’s important to prepare ahead of time so you don’t end up without a water softener for long.
If you need a professional to take out your old water softener and install a new one, Plumbing by Jake can help. Give us a call at (928) 377-5910 to discuss pricing and for answers to any questions, you may have about the installation process.
Signs Your Water Softener Is About to Break Down
It’s good to know what signs to look for in a water softener that’s about to break down so that you can plan accordingly with respect to repairing or replacing it. If your water softener starts behaving strangely, you should call a professional to take a look. If it’s over 10 years old, you should start preparing to replace it.
Here are some common signs that indicate a struggling water softener.
Your Water Tastes Different
One of the first signs there may be something wrong with your water softener is that the water that comes out of it tastes different. “Soft” water tastes smoother than hard water, so you should know right away if more minerals are ending up in your water supply. If you drink water straight from the tap, rather than boiling it first, you should notice a difference in taste immediately, which is a red flag that you need to call a technician.
You Experience Problems with Your Laundry
You can tell if your water softener is dying because your laundry will feel scratchy and stiff, rather than soft. You may be able to counteract this with some fabric softener, but only for so long.
Hard water can actually damage your washing machine, as well as any other appliances in your home that use hot water. This includes your water heater and your dishwasher, among other items. For this reason, you should have a professional restore your water softener so it can convert that hard water back to “soft” water again.
You Can’t Get Soap to Lather Under Your Faucet
Whether you’re trying to wash your hands or take a shower, a clear sign that your water softener is on the fritz is that you can’t get soap to lather up under the running water. If you find your shampoo and hand soap is running out faster than usual, it may not be because your teenager is taking too long in the shower. It may just be that your water softener needs repairing.
Ways to Extend the Life of Your Water Softener
You can do several things to help extend the life of your water softener. Many of these things require little to no effort on your part and yet can extend the life of your water softener by several years.
Change the Filter
The general rule of thumb for extending the life of any appliance is to clean and change its filter regularly. Check your owner’s manual for instructions on how and when you should clean and change the filter in your water softener.
Refill Salt and Regenerant
Wait to replenish the salt supply until the tank is about one-third full. Then, when you refill it, leave the tank about a quarter of the way empty (about 4 to 6 inches). When you add the salt, look for “salt bridges,” or hardened, crusty deposits, and remove them. Salt bridges are bad because they cause a separation to form between the water and the salt. This prevents the salt from dissolving properly to make the brine that cleans your softener.
You should always make sure your water softener has plenty of regenerant. Refill the softener before you even see the water in the brine drum or softener cabinet.
Problems with Your Water Softener? Leave It to Plumbing By Jake!
Ultimately, the best way to keep your water softener in proper working order is to ensure it doesn’t work too hard to get the same amount of work done. This includes keeping it at a reasonable setting. You want the setting just high enough to soften your water. Any higher and you will force your softener to work harder than it should.
No matter how well you take care of your softener, the time will come when it needs a repair. For all those times, there’s Plumbing by Jake. Our team is available 24/7 for problems big and small. No problem is ever too small for us to handle.
Call us today at (928) 377-5910 and enjoy our 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. If your water softener is on the blink, don’t panic and don’t try to fix it yourself unless you have prior experience fixing water softeners. Call Plumbing by Jake today, and we’ll have your water softener back in business in no time!