20 Signs That Your Water Softener Is Not Working Properly

Are you wondering if your water softener is working? Water hardness levels can cause a variety of problems and impede the efficiency of some appliances. That’s why having a reliable and efficient water softener is critical for any household. However, keeping it working isn’t that easy but it’s necessary to keep it in work because the water bill can go up by 30% just because of hard water.

A good sign that your water softener is working properly is pleasantly-softened hands after showering or bathing as well as a lack of build-up on fixtures. The following article will provide 38 signs that will help you determine if your water softener is working or not. Read on to find out.

20 Signs That Your Water Softener Is Working Properly

Here are 20 Signs to Tell if a Water Softener is Working or Not

If you want to save money on your monthly water bill, then a water softener could be a good option. A water softener will remove the hard minerals in your tap water and make drinking more pleasant. It’s also easy to cut down on your monthly water bills. But how can you know if your water softener system is doing the job right? The following ways will help you determine whether your water has been softened:

Check the pH level of your water

1. Hard Water Spots are Visible

The hard water spots on your shower door shouldn’t need to be cleaned with softened water. When you are experiencing scaling and mineral buildup, you should have your unit serviced to ensure it is functioning properly and the settings are correct.

2. Rusty Toilet

The presence of a rusty ring around the waterline in your toilet can be an unsightly and frustrating problem. This is caused by hard water, which contains calcium and magnesium minerals deposited along the bowl’s side as the water sits. Over time, these minerals accumulate and form a rust-colored ring that outlines where the top of the water meets the bowl.

Use a water quality meter

3. Use a Water Quality Meter

A third option is to use a water quality meter to measure the hardness of your water. These meters are typically used to test the quality of swimming pools but can also determine the hardness of your home’s drinking water.

4. A Strange Taste in Your Water

The fourth method is to test your water. You can do this by adding some drops of food coloring to your water and seeing if the color changes. If the color doesn’t vary, this may indicate that your water is too hard for your water softener to soften.

5. Use a Water Conditioner

Water condition is one of the best ways to know water softener condition. These devices help to restore the natural balance of minerals in your water. They work by removing harmful ions like chlorine and fluoride, which can cause health problems.

6. Clothes Discolorations

It can be disheartening to notice that your clothes are no longer as bright and vibrant as they once were. If you’ve been noticing discoloration on your white shirts and socks, it could be a sign of hard water. Hard water is caused by an elevated mineral count, which can leave behind unsightly stains on clothing. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to have a water softener installed and maintained regularly.

7. The Water Feels Different

Some people prefer ion exchange systems, while others prefer reverse osmosis units. Each works differently, so you may want to experiment with both options until you find the right solution.

Hard Water Spots Around Your Home

8. Hard Water Spots Around Your Home

These products contain chemicals that react with certain minerals in your water and turn them white. Once these spots appear, you can ensure your water is too difficult for your softener.

9. It Doesn’t Feel Soft

Water softeners are a great addition to a home, but when they stop working, you can immediately notice a difference. Having trouble forming suds in the kitchen sink, or feeling itchy and dry after a shower may be a problem. To make sure your brine tank has enough salt pellets, check to make sure there are plenty. Your system may need to be serviced if salt is found in the tank.

10. Cloudy Dishes

If you notice cloudy dishes after washing them, it could be a sign that you need to replace your water softener. This happens because the minerals in your water get trapped inside the unit. When you wash your dishes, the minerals come out of the system and are on your plates.

11. Water Quality or Pressure Changes

You should have your water conditioner/softener serviced as soon as possible if you notice a reduction in the water pressure or a change in the water quality (for instance, if you’ve noticed stains on your porcelain bathtub).

12. Particles in Water

Particles in your water could indicate something is wrong with your water softener. These particles could be leftover from previous repairs or minerals not removed from your water.

13. Leaking Pipes

Leaks in your pipes might be a sign that your unit needs service. It’s important to ensure all your pipes are connected before turning on your water softener.

Dry or Itchy Feeling

14. Dry or Itchy Feeling

Water softeners often leave a dry feeling when they aren’t working correctly. This can happen if there isn’t enough water flowing through the system. In addition, if your water softener leaves itchiness or a rash on your skin, you could leak somewhere in the system.

15. Noisy System

If you hear loud noises coming from your water softener, this could be a warning sign that something is wrong. It’s time to call a plumber or a professional to help you out.

Dirty Water Filter

16. Dirty Water Filter

Dirty filters could mean that your water softener has stopped working correctly. To clean your filter, just run hot water through it. If you get into the shower and dirty water comes running to your face and don’t just sit back. Run and call a professorial.

17. Discolor Water

Discolored water can be a sign of a malfunctioning water softener. If your water looks brown, orange or grey, this could be due to too much iron or manganese in your water softener system. To determine if this is the cause, it is best to have a service technician perform a water test. However, the discoloration can also come from other sources such as sediment, rust from old plumbing, and flushed water mains.

18. Water Softener Leaking

One warning sign to watch out for is water puddling around the system, which likely indicates that there’s a leak somewhere. There are many spots where water softener leaking can occur, including the brine tank, the valves, the hose, and the drain line.

19. Sands Look Alike Floating In Your Water

If you’ve noticed tiny particles floating in your water, it could be sand or another contaminant. However, these particles may also come from your water softener. In this case, the particles are not sand at all but rather resin beads that have escaped the resin tank. These beads remove calcium and magnesium from the water, but they should never find their way into your glass.

If the resin beads are escaping your water softener, it means that the screen has likely worn away and will need replacement. Not only can these beads muck up your water, but they can also clog up your plumbing and damage your water heater if the problem persists.

To prevent this from happening, it’s important to regularly inspect and maintain your water softener system to ensure that everything is working properly. If you notice any signs of wear or damage, contact a professional for help with repairs or replacements as soon as possible.

20. Water Bill Rising

The cost of a faulty water softener can be felt in more ways than one. Not only can it cause damage to your appliances, but it can also take a toll on your wallet. When hard water is present, appliances like dishwashers and water heaters have to work extra hard to heat the water. This extra effort leads to an increase in your utility bills, sometimes as much as 30%.

Investing in expert water softener repair is worth the cost. Not only will it help you save money in the long run, but it will also make life at home more comfortable and enjoyable. With a properly functioning water softener, you won’t have to worry about dealing with hard water or high utility bills ever again!

Frequently Asked Questions[FAQs]

1. What are the Common Causes of Water Hardness in your Home?

A home’s water will become hard if it contains mineral ions. Calcium and magnesium, which are the most common forms of minerals, are important for our health, but they also result in the buildup of scale in our teeth.

2. What causes hard water in a home?

As a result of minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, water hardness is caused as a result of mineral deposits. In spite of the fact that these minerals are not health hazards, they can be a nuisance to you and your family while they are present in your home.

3. What does it mean when your water softener is not working?

When your water is not softening, it could be because the mineral buildup has caused the unit to shut down. This can happen for several reasons, including clogging inside the system, a bad filter, or a low salt level. In any case, it is important to contact a professional plumber who can inspect the unit and make recommendations.

4. What is causing the salt level in my water softener to remain the same?

Salt can build up in the water softener when the salt tank is not cleaned out. This is a result of minerals in hard water.

5. Is it bad to let your water softener run out of salt?

It depends on what type of water softener you have. Some units need to be topped up regularly, while others don’t require extensive maintenance. It is also recommended that you track how much salt you use to know exactly how much you need to add each time.


If you have a water softener, it’s helpful to tell if it’s working properly. You can find a lot of indicators that can help you determine if your water softener is working effectively or not. Those 20 signs will help you determine the condition of the water softener. If any of those signs are visible in your home then don’t waste any more time calling a professorial right away.

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