Water softeners are highly beneficial in that they remove excess minerals from your water supply, including calcium, iron, and magnesium. As with all appliances, however, they only last so long. There comes a point where electrical components fail, parts start to wear out, the cost of repairs is greater than the cost of replacement, or the unit just stops working all together. Like most things in life, if your water heater is well maintained, it will last longer, but the average lifespan is typically between 10-15 years. Knowing when to replace your water softener is crucial for maintaining the quality of your home’s water. Below are some signs that it may be time to replace.

Common Signs

There really is no definite time that you should replace your water softener outside of its complete breakdown in functionality. If you wish to avoid waiting until after this happens to replace the unit, you will need to be aware of some changes that may occur in your daily routine that may signal you that your water softener is not performing to its peak capacity.

  1. Soap Lather

If you notice that you are having to work harder in the shower to get any kind of lather going with your soap or shampoo, it may be time to check on your water softener. This is a telltale sign of higher-than-normal mineral content in the water.

  1. Laundry

If you find yourself needing to use more and more fabric softener in order to get your clothes feeling soft and comfortable, you should take a look at your water softener. Hard water has a tendency of making clothes stiff and scratchy to the touch. Hard water is also known to cause the breakdown of washing machines over time as the minerals in the water can cause limescale buildup to form in the machine.

  1. Buildup in Faucets

Speaking of limescale buildup, if you start to notice a crust forming around your pipes and faucets, definitely check on your water softener. This is due to mineral build up in the water. You may also notice red staining in your toilets or sinks. This is due to an increase in the amount of iron in the water.

  1. Change in Water Taste

One final sign that it is time to replace your water softener is the taste of the water. Hard water naturally tastes different than soft water. This is again due to the mineral content. Most people can tell the difference right away between hard and soft water, because iron and magnesium have a very distinct and noticeable flavor. When the mineral content goes up, these flavors become more perceptible.