How to Tell if Your Water Softener is Working Properly

Finding out if your water softener is functioning is a vital aspect of maintenance , but it isn’t usually discussed at the time you purchase it , or not explained properly.

If you are aware of what could go wrong in your water softener, along with the process it uses to fix it, you will have a greater chances of fixing the issue as soon as they arise.

To tell if your water softener is working properly, you need to know how it works, right?

How Does A Water Softener Work?

Based on the kind of softener for your water, the role will be different than the one I’ve described here. They all have their primary job by preventing the pipes from scaling and reducing the amount of minerals present in the water.

The only water softener is able to get rid of the minerals that cause water to be hard. It does this by cleaning them out or altering their charge, so that they do not get into your pipes in any way. It is called an Ion Exchange Water Softener and they function in the same way…

Softening Stage

  • Hard Or Well Water Enters The Softener
  • The Ion Exchange Process Starts
  • Soft Water Is Made And Sent To The Destination

The softening process begins when water from the sources (well water , or water from a city which contains magnesium and calcium) gets into the unit to soften. Once inside the tank, the process of exchange of ions begins when the softener resin begins in exchange of sodium ions instead of the minerals that cause hardness. After the exchange is complete, the water will soften and leave the softener with no mineral hardness.

Ion exchange water softeners are the only ones to mark all the boxes in order to soften water and eliminate all minerals out of the water.

The minerals alter the chemical bonds between resin beads and the salt as salt releases from bonds and the minerals are encased and create soft water that is healthier for hair and skin balance in general, compared to hard water.

How to Tell If Your Water Softener Is Working

To ensure that your water softener that is working correctly it is possible to do some of the following.

Find out to see when it is going to renew: If the water softener isn’t renewing or is using salt, and you’re not required to replenish the salt, as you did then you might have an issue with the water softener. should be checked.

Check for Hard Water Signs:

  • Have you noticed that your water has returned to creating water spots on your dishes and in bathroom?
  • Have your clothes returned to being a bit stiffer?
  • Are you noticing the dryness of your skin following a shower?
  • Are faucets beginning to show mineral deposits?

Testing Soap: Checking for suds from soap is something that you can perform at home without having to head to the market for a water test kit. It could also be an indicator of whether your water softener is functioning as and is needed.

  1. Fill the water bottle up to nearly the top with drinking water coming from the faucet
  2. Mix 10 drops liquid soap.
  3. Shake the bottle

Find suds. If suds do not appear after using an appliance that softens your water with about 10 drops of soap liquid it is possible that you need to buy a test kit and see the degree of hardness of your water.

What Are the Signs a Softener Is Not Working Properly?

It is possible to identify a number of distinct signs to be aware of when your water softener is not functioning properly.

Hands that are sticky: Hands feel a little bit sticky after you wash them or after being a bit dry.

Seeking Signs of hard water The signs of returning hard water are usually an indication of a problem in the softener for water.

The water tastes a little bit salty. The water starts to smell saltier than usual, and it could be regenerating too frequently.

Brine Tank Out of Salt: If your brine tank has run out of salt, there is no chance of regenerating and continue to create soft water.

The Water Softener isn’t working in any way: This is when you need an expert to have the time to look at it and fix it, if you’ve eliminated all of the minor problems. It could be a part that have worn out the softener, and they require replacement.

What Factors Affect Water Softener Performance?

There are a variety of variables that may influence the performance of your water softener.

Excessive Salt Buildup

If proper maintenance isn’t performed regularly enough salt buildups that can affect the performance of the softener can happen.

Resin Bead Quality

In time, they will get worn out and stop functioning in the way they were intended to, even with the proper care. If they are damaged, they are not repairable and could cause the water softener ultimately not be functional even though everything else is operating flawlessly.


Motors will eventually cease to function because they have a specific time frame due to their mechanical. This is a component which will require to be replaced if it decides to cease functioning completely.


If your filter is clogged which keeps hard minerals from the water softener, your water softener is going to need to be cleaned more often and may lose its efficiency more often.

Salt Bridges

Salt is the reason they work, but it’s also what makes them not work anymore. Salt bridges can cause problems with water flow and all that is required to do is break them so that water can flow again.

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

Is My Softener Working If It is Full of Water?

It might perform for a few minutes however, after a long time, it’ll cease to function and will begin to have problems to the point that it will cease to make soft water because it is not being capable of draining correctly.

How to Tell if Whirlpool Water Softener is Working?

It is possible to tell whether your water softener in the whirlpool is functioning by checking to check the amount of salt during its week-to-week cycle and if it’s declining at all, or not. If it is , then it is growing.

Another option is to do a manual reset to determine if it is running and functions well.

The final easy way to check if the water softener you have installed is functioning is to perform the test of soap to make sure you’ve got soft water.

Can You Put Too Much Salt in a Water Softener?

You can certainly add too much salt to the water softener. It is recommended to keep at least 6 inches of salt unfilled inside the brine tanks at least, based on what the manual states on the water softener you purchase. I have also included a step-by-step guide on how to get rid of excess salt in case you require this advice.

Why is a Brine Tank of My Water Softener Dirty?

When you create soft water, you’re removing impurities in the water and removing them and also getting rid of minerals with the help of Ion exchange. This means you could capture dirt or grime within the tank too.

There could also be an entire filter that has to be replaced to perform the job properly and keep the larger particles as well as impurities out the water.

Final Thoughts on Water Softener Working Properly

So how do you know water softener is working properly? There are many things that could happen to the water softener or water softening systems.

For example, mineral buildup, resin quality, motor, filter, salt bridges, water pressure, too much salty water can be reasons for malfunctioning water softener. Knowing what might be wrong and ensure that it’s functioning properly before you solicit help from a third party to repair it, can help you save a significant amount of money.

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