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What’s the Life Expectancy of My Water Softener?

With the right level of maintenance, water softeners can often last as long as 20 years. But there are a lot of variables to consider.

The first thing homeowners should know is that the older a water softener is, the weaker it is.

Water Softener
Water Softener

“A water softener works a lot like a battery: It’s a positive charge to a negative charge,” comments Lisa Carter. “The more wear and tear on the media bed, the less effective it is. It softens the water through a chemical reaction. The salt is a positive ion and it is designed to attract the negative ions of hardness to it. This causes a softening of the water. It’s an exchange of ions. The sodium ion replaces the hard ions of magnesium and calcium.”

Carter continues: “In other words, the life of a water softener depends upon the hardness of the homeowner’s water, along with the amount of usage. The media resin becomes saturated with the magnesium and calcium ions, and if it is not properly maintained and regularly cleaned, it will not work.  It is possible for a water softener to generate but no softening occurs because the media resin is full and not able to charge or exchange the ions. The harder the water plus the usage calculation determine the life of a water softener. One variable is if the water softener is taken care of with regular maintenance which will prolong the life of the softener.”

Kelson Carter, Jamie Carter, Lisa Carter, Ali Carter

Consider a New Water Softener Installation

Many Indianapolis homeowners must deal with “hard” water… that is, water that is dense with mineral content. Hard water can lead to a number of unwanted effects, including premature wear and tear to your appliances, your pipes, and your plumbing fixtures. Hard water may also adversely affect your health, particularly your skin and hair.

One way to mitigate these issues is by having a water softener installed. This is something that the professionals at Carter’s My Plumber are more than happy to assist with. Our team has decades of experience providing best-in-class water softener service to homeowners throughout the community.

If you’re thinking about having a water softener installed, it’s only natural to wonder how long your equipment will last. And if you currently have a water softener, it may be helpful to know if and when water softeners fail. Join us as we review a few critical details about water softener longevity. And if you have any questions about this or about water softener installation cost, don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

Water Softeners
Water Softeners For Healthy Skin

How Can I Tell When My Water Softener Is Failing?

As you try to assess whether your water softener is working the way it’s supposed to, there are a few simple tests you can run.

  1. First, determine whether your water softener is using any salt. If the salt level is the same as it was the last time you checked, that may be an indicator that the water softener isn’t working as it’s supposed to.
  2. You can often tell whether or not the water softener is working just by the feel of your water. If the water feels “hard,” and isn’t slick like it was when the softener was brand new, that may mean your unit is nearing the end of its life expectancy.
  3. If you notice hard water spots on glass doors (specifically shower doors), that may reveal that there’s something wrong with your water softener.
  4. Finally, you can assess the integrity of your water softener by keeping tabs on your hair. If your hair is brittle, tangles easily, or lacks luster, that may be a sign that your water softener isn’t doing its job. Along the same lines, dry skin may be a sign of problems with your water softener.  

Time for Water Softener Replacement or Installation?

The bottom line: While water softeners don’t last forever, they can certainly represent a sound long-term investment for Indianapolis homeowners, particularly homeowners who can commit to some basic water softener maintenance.

Whether you are looking for water softener installation in Indianapolis or you have an existing unit that you need replaced, we’d love to help. To schedule water softener service with Carter’s My Plumber, reach out to us directly.

Kelson Carter

Article reviewed by:

Kelson Carter, aka, The Prince of Plumbing

Kelson is a 3rd generation Plumbing Contractor. His family business is located in Greenwood, Indiana, and provides Residential Plumbing Service to the Indianapolis Metro market.

Kelson grew up watching his grandfather and father do plumbing. After graduating high school, Kelson went to Trade School and became a Licensed Master Plumber and Licensed Plumbing Contractor. He is also Certified in Backflow Prevention. He currently owns and operates Carter's My Plumber with his parents.


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