How Long Should Water Softeners Last?
Water softeners can be a great investment. They improve the quality of your tap water and make cleaning appliances easier. However, they do require some maintenance to ensure they last. The good news is that there are ways to keep your water softener in good working order and extend the life of the unit.
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Typically, a water softener unit should last for about 15 to 25 years. The lifespan depends on a variety of factors, including how much water the system uses, how much of it is hard water and how well you maintain it. To get the best results, make sure you follow a regular maintenance schedule. This will help you avoid costly repairs and save you money in the long run.
If you have a home warranty, it may pay to have your water softener checked out by a qualified technician. Ask about what is covered under the warranty and how often repairs will be covered. You might also want to ask about repairs versus replacement. In some cases, your water softener will not be able to be repaired and you will have to buy a new unit.
One way to ensure your water softener remains in good working order is to fill the brine tank with a high-quality salt. This salt will need to be replaced every two to three months. There are a couple of options for salt, including evaporated salt pellets and solar salt pellets. Both work well for water softeners, but the kinetic energy type will offer a more energy-efficient option.
Another important part of your water softener is the bypass valve. This valve regulates how much of the household water passes through the softener. If it is clogged, the system will not function properly. Often, these bypass valves are located on the top of the tank. Sometimes, the valve is rusted or accidentally set to bypass the system. Fortunately, fixing these problems is a simple fix. A broom handle or long stick can be used to clear out a clog.
Another thing that can affect your water softener’s lifespan is the frequency of its use. If your family uses more water than average, your softener will need to be maintained more frequently. Likewise, if the water in your area has a higher concentration of iron or sediment, you’ll need to clean the unit more often. Keeping a close eye on your water softener can help you avoid expensive repairs.
If your water softener is more than 10 years old, you may have to replace it. When a water softener is older, the resin beds begin to break down and the unit may not be able to regenerate. It may need a new motor or air valve.
For some homeowners, the cost of replacing a water softener is a deterrent. Instead, they might choose to deal with a scratchy laundry. But a professional inspection can prevent this from happening. Not only will it protect your investment, it will save you a lot of money down the road.