5 Common Water Softener Problems

5 Common Water Softener Problems

Looking for some water softener troubleshooting guidance?

Water softeners are vital pieces of equipment for anybody with hard water.However, they are complex systems and as with any machine have the potential to go wrong. Although many water softener companies provide technical assistance for this eventuality, it can often prove expensive and many problems can be solved easily. However if there is any uncertainty, a technician should be called for safety reasons and to make sure any warranty is not invalidated.

The following issue are most commonly prevalent in salt-based water softener systems, however, with proper care, usage and maintenance, they very rarely occur (plus you should have a warranty!)


Any system that has something flowing through it always has the potential for blockages to occur.

The same way that calcium and magnesium can accumulate and create deposits in your plumbing system, your water softener can also encounter such problem with the accumulation of minerals and salt from the brine solution that takes away the hardness of your water.

These deposits block the line and thus mean that the path through to the tank is impeded.The two most commonplaces for blockages are the filter screen and the brine line.

A sign of a line blockage is if there is a considerable difference in the degree that the water is being softened. Blockages are easily fixed and details of how to fix blockages on specific units can be found in the user manual.

Salt Bridges

In addition to forming within the lines, salt can also build up inside the tank. Inmost extreme cases, a salt bridge can form. This occurs due to the sodium forming hard piles of deposits at the base of the tank.

When the softener operates but does not soften the water that probably means that a salt bridge is preventing it from doing so. A salt bridge is ahard crusting of thesalt in the brine talk that covers the water. A salt bridge will also prevent thesystem from going through a regeneration cycle.

Once identified, salt bridges are simple to fix. Although solutions canbe bought,a much simpler solution is to use something sturdy like a broomhandle to reachdown into the tank and break up the salt. Any salt build up that has formed aroundthe edges should then be cleaned up.

After you’ve rid the brine tank of salt bridges, soft water should start flowing into your plumbing system again after a day or two.

Resin Beads

Resin beads are only used in salt-based water softener systems (which are the most effective at dealing with hard water)

It is typical for the resin beads within your appliance to last as long as the lifetime of the system. However, like anything, they can break or not work to their fullpotential. If your system requires more frequent recharging then it is likely to bean issue with the way in which the resin beads work.

Another way to determine if the resin beads are working improperly is by looking for particles floating in the softened water. When the resin beads break, the water will often transport small parts of the bead.

The solution to this is simple in nature. The resin beads may need cleaning or completely replacing. Details of how to do this should be found in your manufacturer’s manual.


The motor of any appliance is vital to it working correctly. The motor in your water softener is no different; and like the motor in your car, it can fail. There are many ways that you can do to make that your model's engine doesn't give up any time soon. Maintenance is always the key to a safe and efficient running product. 

When the system fails to start at all or ‘dies’, the issue is probably related to the motor. However before this conclusion is reached, you should check that all of the cables are not damaged and not damaged. If everything, passes your initial inspection, contact your manufacturer who will arrange for a technician or are placement motor. However, before purchasing a new motor, consider the price against a brand new system.

User Error

Any system that relies upon an individual inputting settings and a manual process 

is liable to going wrong due to user error. Some water softeners are easier to use than others, and some require a vast technical knowledge. But because there are so many settings, that can apply to many different circumstances, the things that can go wrong are countless. The smallest change in setting can result in a faulty softener.

Ensure that you are fully confident with your appliance and everything that it can do and if any problems do occur, refer to the troubleshooting section of the manual. Or just to be extra sure, you can always call an expert or a professional to help you out in your problem. Also, coughing up a few more extra bucks almost guarantees to have less mess ups in the future. 

It's important to note, with proper care, A truly great water softening system will rarely have any problems or issues.Take a look at this page for top rated, high quality water softener systems.

How to Repair your Water Softener Problems:

Troubleshooting your water softener problems can be quite tricky for the inexperienced user. Your best bet is to seek the help of your manufacturer. But, if your unit is no longer under warranty, you might need to get help from a third-party technician or plumber.

However, there are things you can do on your own. The following are simple steps that you can easily perform to ensure that your system will run efficiently for as long as possible.

fixing your system's problems
  1. Use only pure salt with iron remover. 
  2. Do not refill the tank until almost all the salt is used up. 
  3. Every year, use iron-out to cleanse the resin from the control valve.
  4. Clean up the brine tank from contaminants once a year.
  5. Ensure that the water softener’s drainage line is NOT pushing all the way down into the floor drain. 
  6. Make sure that the drain line is above the grate of the drain to avoid the sewage from getting into the system.

Final Thoughts on the Common Water Softener Problems

While hard water is not necessarily bad for you, it is this “hardness” that’s causing minerals such as magnesium and calcium to build up in our plumbing system and affect our daily activities. It’s a good thing that water softeners have come into play to help address this problem.

Unfortunately, these water softeners will eventually run into a problem. It can be due to misuse, lousy maintenance or your unit is simply too old for the job. When that time comes, it’s better to have at least some basic troubleshooting knowledge like cleaning the resin tank and the resin bed. You’ll be surprised how doing so can help solve some issues.

But then again, when all else fail, you can always seek the service of a professional plumber to help you out.

Or you can visit our homepage at : https://www.watersoftenercritic.com​

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