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How Often Should My Water Softener Regenerate?

If you have ever heard an unusual noise coming from your water softener, there is a chance that you may have heard it regenerating. While it can be concerning to hear strange noises, water softener regeneration is critical because it allows the resin beads in your water softener to better do their jobs.

Many people wonder, how often should your water softener regenerate? In general, you should expect your water softener to regenerate every week or two, but there are a lot of factors that will play a role in just how frequently your water softener should regenerate.

Take a look at a few important points regarding water softener regeneration below, and do not hesitate to reach out to an expert who can help you address issues with your water softener regeneration.

Water Softener Regeneration: What Is It?

First, what exactly are we talking about when we discuss water softener regeneration? Your water softener is responsible for taking excess minerals in your water supply, removing them from your water supply, and making your water soft for use throughout the house. For example, you can use your water softener to remove excess calcium and magnesium ions from your water supply, which will protect your plumbing appliances and ensure your skin does not get irritated when you take a shower.

In general, your water softener functions by using a process known as ion exchange. When hard water from your water supply enters the water softener, it will pass through a bed full of resin. This resin is responsible for capturing calcium and magnesium ions that would otherwise make your water hard.

As your resin bed continues to strip magnesium and calcium from your hard water, it will eventually become saturated with those minerals. Then, when the resin bed is saturated, it will not be able to reduce the hardness level of your water effectively.

When the resin bed is fully saturated, it is time for your water softener to regenerate. This process uses salt to remove the minerals that have attached themselves to the resin. As the regeneration cycle completes itself, the resin bed is freed, allowing it to remove more calcium and magnesium ions from the water supply again.

What Happens If My Water Softener Does Not Regenerate?

If your water softener does not regenerate on time, it will not be able to do its job effectively. If there are already a lot of calcium and magnesium ions that have attached themselves to your resin bed, the bed will not have any room to remove further calcium and magnesium ions. As a result, your water softener will not be able to control your water hardness level.

This is the biggest reason why water softener regeneration is so important. If you want your water softener to continue to function properly, it needs to regenerate the resin bed from time to time.

The Regeneration Schedule: How Often Should Your Water Softener Regenerate?

So, how often should your water softener regenerate? There are several factors that will play a role in this process. Some of the factors that will dictate how often your water softener should regenerate include:

  • Water Hardness Level: Your water hardness level will play a role in the regeneration schedule. The harder your water is, the more calcium and magnesium ions there are to remove from the water, and the more often your water softener will have to regenerate.
  • Your Iron Level: The amount of iron you have in your water will also play a role in your regeneration schedule. The more iron you have in your water supply, the more frequently your water softener will have to regenerate.
  • Water Usage: The amount of soft water you consume will also impact how often your water softener has to regenerate. The more water you consume, the more water passes through your water softener, and the more frequently your water softener will have to regenerate. Your water usage will play a role.
  • Resin Tank Capacity: The sizes of your resin tank and brine tank will influence how frequently it has to regenerate. The smaller your resin tank is, the faster it will get saturated, and the more frequently it will have to regenerate.
  • System Age and Efficiency: Finally, the age of your system and its overall efficiency level will also play a role in how frequently it should regenerate. The older your system is, the less efficient it will be, and the more frequently it will have to regenerate.

All of these factors are going to influence how frequently your water softener has to regenerate; however, it generally occurs every week or two. There are water softeners that will automatically regenerate themselves after a certain number of gallons have been used. This setting will vary from water softener to water softener, and this setting will also impact how frequently your water softener has to regenerate.

There Are Multiple Types of Water Softener Regeneration

There are multiple types of water softener regeneration as well. The exact water softener regeneration method your system uses might not be the same as another system.

One of the most common methods is called time-initiated regeneration. This specific valve will set the system to regenerate after a certain amount of time. Usually, this is quantified as a certain number of days. Once a specific number of days has passed, your water softener will regenerate. While you might be able to change this setting on your own, it is usually better to rely on a professional who has experience in this area and can figure out how many days it should pass before your water softener regenerates.

The other setting is usually called demand regeneration. This is a different setting that will keep track of the amount of water you use. Then, once a specific number of gallons has been used, the water softener will go into regeneration mode. This is a better system for most people because it tracks the amount of water instead of the amount of time, which is better for figuring out when the resin bed has to regenerate. This is also better for saving money on your water bills, and can avoid wasting water.

DROP Smart Water Softeners use demand regeneration, and show you the time it will take to complete a regeneration cycle on the app. It puts you in control, so you can force a regeneration cycle override to another stage of the process if needed, and can always initiate a manual regeneration, but DROP systems automatically adjust to heavier or lighter water use.

DROP App Regeneration Time
DROP App Regeneration Options

How Long Does the Water Softener Regeneration Process Take?

Once your water softener begins regenerating, how long does the process take? While the exact length of time will vary from water softener to water softener, it usually does not take that long. You might even be able to set the process to take place in the middle of the night when you are asleep, so you don’t have to worry about it disrupting your use of soft water.

In general, you should expect this process to take approximately 2 hours. Even though you may still be able to use your water supply when the water softener is regenerating, it is usually better to avoid running water throughout the home during the regeneration cycle because it could prevent your water softener from regenerating properly.

If you are frustrated because you cannot use soft water while the regeneration process is taking place (since the softener will likely go into bypass mode), you may be able to change when the regeneration process happens to ensure it does not get in the way of your daily routine. Also you may want to look at if you have a wet brine tank or a dry brine tank, since running a wet brine tank has the brine solution ready to go at all times.

Find the Best Water Softener From DROP

It is important for you to take care of your water softener if you want it to last as long as possible, and that means paying attention to the water softener regeneration schedule. We are DROP, and we have a selection of smart water softeners and water filters available. Our goal is to provide you with all the tools you need to adequately take care of your water supply, and we can help you find the right water softener to meet your needs.

Take a look at the selection we offer today, and reach out to us with any questions or concerns about your water supply!

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