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5 Common Water Softener Problems

While water softeners are typically very reliable when it comes to purifying and filtrating your property’s water supply, they’re not perfect. Every once in a while, your water softener will suffer a breakdown or malfunction of some sort.

To make sure that your water softener is always working at full capacity, you need to keep a close eye on it.

But what exactly should you be looking out for to ensure that it’s always running optimally? These are 5 common water softener problems. 


One of the fairly common water softener problems that you’ll come across is clogging and blockage.

These blockages typically come as a result of salt and other minerals building up against the interior of the softener. Once these minerals have built up to a certain point, they leave little room for water to travel through.

A clog of this sort will usually result in water which feels less soft, and which behaves more like hard water. Fortunately, most clogs are fairly easy to fix.

Motor Failures

Like anything which makes use of a motor, water softeners are prone to motor failures. This is not a common problem that you’ll encounter with your softener, but it is something to be cognizant of.

To give your softener’s motor as long a lifespan as possible, it’s necessary to keep your water softener regularly maintained. This includes cleaning it, changing its filters, and emptying it, just to name a few responsibilities.

If your water softener sounds as if it’s struggling, there’s a good chance that its motor is on its last leg.

Defunct Resin Beads

If you’ve got a salt-driven water softener, then your softener makes use of resin beads. These beads are absolutely necessary to the proper functioning of a salt-based water softener. They are there to essentially replace hard minerals with soft ones.

While resin beads in water softeners are designed to last through the entire lifespan of a water softener, they sometimes don’t make it.

Usually, if your resin beads have failed, you can see them floating around in the water of your softener. In most cases, it’s necessary to replace them entirely.

Salt Bridges

In certain situations, the brine tank of a water softener will be inundated with hard, crusty material that restricts the flow of water. This hard, crusty material usually forms as a result of high humidity, or as a result of adding too much salt to your softener.

This hard, crusty material, known as a salt bridge, will prevent your water softener from using any salt, thus keeping it from softening your water.

While you could try to break apart the salt bridge by thrusting a long stick down into your water softener, you might be better off calling in a professional. This will ensure that no damage is done to your softener’s mechanical system.

Dirty Filter

One of the more common water softener problems you’ll come across is a dirty filter.

Water softeners make use of filters in the beginning of their filtering process so that they can keep out large minerals. Because of this, these filters come into contact with a great deal more sediment than do the other components of the softener.

To keep your water softener running at optimal performance, it’s recommended that you change its filter every 3 to 5 months. Of course, if you notice any problems prior to this, there’s no reason not to make a change.

Having Water Softener Problems?

Have you encountered problems with your water softener? Do you live in the Chicago area? If so, Water Johnson Company is the place to turn to.

We are a Chicago water conditioning company that’s been around for nearly a century, and know water filtration like you know the back of your hand. Call us, and we’ll have your water softener up and running in no time.

Contact us for a free estimate today!

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