How Long Does a Water Softener Last?

Plumbing Tips

Posted by Spencer | August 15, 2023 | Reading Time:

Whether you bought a new home or can't remember when you installed your system, you're probably wondering, "How long does a water softener last?"

Water softeners are terrific appliances that help ensure your home has cleaner, better-tasting water. But like any other system, they don't last forever, so it's important to know when to replace your water softener if you want to keep hard water at bay. 

Our Rainforest Plumbing & Air team provides top-rated Phoenix water softener installation services. We believe that everyone deserves to have the best quality water for their home, so we work with top brands to give you the most reliable and efficient water softeners around. If you're ready to install a new water softener, give us a call at 480-360-5278.

What Is the Typical Lifespan of a Water Softener?

Most water softeners will last from 10 to 15 years, but without proper maintenance, you can expect this lifespan to be a lot shorter.

If you want to extend the life of your water softener as much as possible, there are a few things you can do. For instance, using a prefilter helps your water softener perform more efficiently by collecting sediment, iron, clay, and other substances that you can often find in tap water. These substances can clog your water softener over time, impacting its operation in addition to your home's water quality. Prefilters basically remove these substances before they even reach the water softener, which means you can enjoy better-filtered and softer water.

How Do You Know If It's Time to Get a New Water Softener?

So how long does a water softener last, and how do you know when it's time to replace it?

It's not always apparent when it's time to replace your water softener, so you need to be familiar with the signs. 

Hard water has high levels of minerals, like calcium and magnesium. And while it isn't super harmful, it doesn't taste great and can leave buildup on your clothes, skin, and whatever else it comes into contact with. 

A water softener works by using a specific type of salt to remove these minerals and give you cleaner, better-tasting water. So some of the common signs your water softener isn’t working are the same as the ones indicating you need a softener system in the first place. For example: 

  • Soap won't lather
  • Skin is dry or itchy
  • Hair seems dull and lifeless
  • Clothes are rougher and dingier after going through the washing machine
  • Glassware has streaks or spots
  • Shower, tub, and other surfaces or water-using appliances have stubborn soap scum

If you notice any of these issues, it's probably time to get a new water softener. Other signs that indicate a failing water softener include seeing sand-like particles in your home's water, water pressure changes, and a continuously running unit.

When It's Better to Get a Repair

If you already have a water softener installed, it's important to know when you need a replacement and when you just need some repairs. If your water softener isn't doing its job, it could be because:

  • It has salt bridges starting to form
  • Its brine tank is in need of cleaning
  • Its resin needs replacing

The best way to figure out what's wrong with your water softener is to call professionals. Professional plumbers can work with different types of water softeners, and they have experience repairing all sorts of problems. So rather than taking a guess at what's wrong with your softener, just let a professional take a look and tell you exactly what the issue is and how to resolve it. 

Why You Should Consider Upgrading Your Water Softener System

Technology is constantly changing and updating, which means water softener systems are too. So while your current water softener may seem to be working fine, you could still benefit from upgrading to a newer system.

Newer water softeners are highly efficient, requiring significantly less water to run, which can save you a little money on your monthly water bills. In addition to greater efficiency, newer water softeners are also more environmentally friendly. They use eco-friendly products and materials in your home, so you can rest easy knowing your family and property remain protected. 

Reach Out to the Experts

So how long does a water softener last? Ideally, it should last up to 15 years, but they can have a much shorter lifespan if you neglect proper maintenance. Our Rainforest Plumbing & Air team can provide the repairs you need or help you find a new system. If you have questions about the right water softener size or lifespan, call 480-360-5278.

Author Bio:
Ike Tippetts
He founded the company and soon found himself answering phones and dispatching team members around the clock! Rainforest Plumbing & Air has come a long way since they started in 1999 as a two-truck operation.

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