If you are looking for a way to remove excess calcium and magnesium ions from your water supply, you have probably installed a water softener. If you have recently installed one, you might be wondering whether it is working. After all, your water probably looks the same, so how do you know if your water softener is doing its job?
If your water softener is working properly, you should notice reduced scale buildup, water that is easier to lather, and brighter laundry. You might even notice that your water tastes different or that your water pressure is higher.
You have invested a lot of time and money in your water softener, so take a look at some of the most important signs you need to watch for that could tell you that your water softener is working.
How Do Your Water Softener and Brine Tank Work?
Before diving into the signs that indicate that your water softener is working, you need to understand how it actually functions. In general, your water softener follows a procedure such as this:
- Your water softener contains resin beads that are combined with salty water. Salt water is formed in the brine tank.
- The salt is attracted to the resin beads. It sticks to the surface of those beads.
- As the water flows through your resin tank, salt leaves the resin beads and gets swapped for the minerals in your water supply that you would like to remove. This is called ion exchange, and it helps to remove calcium and magnesium from your water supply.
- At some point, the salt level inside the resin becomes too low for the ion exchange process to continue. The softener will flush the magnesium and calcium minerals out of the resin tank, more salty water from the brine tank will attach to the resin beads, and the regeneration process will happen.
- Then, your water softener will complete all of these steps again.
Your water softener is designed to be self-sufficient, but you will need to add more salt to the brine tank from time to time. As long as you take care of your water softener appropriately, it should last for many years, and possibly more than a decade.
On the other hand, mistakes do happen from time to time, so how do you know if your water softener is doing its job well?
The Biggest Signs That Your Water Softener Is Working
There are several signs that could indicate that your water softener is working well. They are also cited as benefits, and include:
1. You Don’t Have Any More Scale Buildup
The entire goal of your water softener is to prevent minerals from impacting your water supply. For example, you might be tired of seeing a bunch of minerals caked to the sides of your appliances. This includes your sinks, faucets, bathtubs, shower heads, and toilets.
If you take a look in your kitchen and bathroom, you may notice that you don’t have as much scale built up as you usually do. The annoying white patches should be gone, and your appliances should sparkle and shine. If that is what you notice, then it is a strong sign that your water softener is working appropriately.
2. You Can Lather the Water More Easily When You Shower
If you are having trouble noticing a difference in your water based on your appliances, pay attention when you shower. You need to lather your soap and shampoo in the shower, but if your water supply is too hard, you will have a difficult time lathering up.
With your water softener working appropriately, you should find it is much easier to lather your water appropriately. You don’t even necessarily have to get in the shower to do this test. Take a drop of dish soap from the sink, add it to an old bottle, combine it with your water, and close the lid. Now, shake the bottle for a few seconds. You should notice the water start to lather.
3. You Notice a Difference in the Taste of Your Water
If your water has too much calcium and magnesium, you might notice some unusual tastes when you take a drink. Now, if your water softened or is functioning appropriately, your water should taste nice and smooth. Your water should not taste salty, as the amount of sodium that is added to your water via your water softener is still relatively low.
On the other hand, your water will still probably taste different than it usually does. If you feel like your water tastes a bit better, and if you feel like it goes down easier than it usually does, there is a good chance that your water softener is behaving exactly as it should.
4. Your Laundry Is Nice and Bright
You may also notice that your laundry is nice and bright. One of the problems with water that is extremely hard is that it causes your clothes to fade. Your laundry detergent might not work as well as it should, and when you take your clothes out of the wash, the colors might look a bit dull.
Now that you have a water softener working on your behalf, your laundry shouldn’t have this issue anymore. When you pull your laundry out of the wash, it should still look nice and bright, which is a sign that your water softener is behaving exactly as it should.
5. You Feel Less Itchy and Sticky
Even though hard water is not necessarily bad for your health, it can cause you to feel a bit unusual when you get out of the shower. For example, you might feel like the water is sticking to you a little bit, and your skin might look a bit red. You might even feel like you are a bit more itchy and scratchy than you usually are.
Once your water softener starts working, you should have an easier time drying yourself. You shouldn’t feel like the water is sticking to your skin, and you might find yourself scratching less than you usually do. If your skin is less irritated by the water, this is a sign that your water softener is working well.
These are just a few of the many signs that could indicate that your water softener is working appropriately. On the other hand, there are a few signs that could indicate that your water softener is not working well.
The Top Signs of a Malfunctioning Water Softener
Even though you expect your water softener to behave appropriately, there might be a few signs that something is wrong. A few signs that could indicate that something is wrong with your water supply include:
- You notice that there are a lot of mineral deposits all over your appliances. Mineral buildup is a sign that your water softener is not working well.
- You feel like your skin is still a bit sticky when you get out of the shower or bathtub.
- Your water has an unusual, metallic aftertaste.
- Your laundry appears a bit dull when you pull it out of the washer.
- You do not hear any noises coming from your water softener.
If you experience any of these issues, you may want to reach out to an expert who can help you conduct water softener testing. There might be too much salt, or you might simply need to add more salt pellets to take care of your softener resin, or you might need to adjust the hardness level on your water softener.
Ensure Soft Water With Smart Water Softeners From DROP
If you are looking for water softeners and water filters that will work appropriately, you need to take a look at the selection from DROP. We are proud to be among the industry leaders when it comes to water softeners and water filters, and we would love to help you improve the quality of your water supply as well. Take a look at all of the options we have available, and reach out to us for help finding the right solution for protecting your home’s water supply!