How Long Do Water Softeners Last

Clover Dane

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How Long Do Water Softeners Last

The optimal operating time of a water softener depends on several factors. In particular, a water softener requires regular maintenance. Its installation can be accompanied by a maintenance contract, so that a technician comes to check once a year that your device is still operational. But the lifespan of your softener also depends on the quality of the treated water, the installation of an efficient pre-filter or the quality of manufacture of the equipment, including its head which is the heart of the system.

What is the lifespan of a water softener?

I have a softener which is used for the treatment of the water of my taps which is very hard (limestone, scale). It is composed of an anti-lime filter with mineral salts and ions which are supposed to limit lime deposits and above all soften the water.

I have been using this system for 5 years to filter drinking water and water that goes to household appliances (washing machine, washing machine). For some time now, I have had the impression that its effectiveness is decreasing and that water purification is slower.

How long do water softeners last?

Paul de Gap2

answers from plumber experts

A water softener has a lifespan of around 10 years

Depending on the hardness of your water, your water filter (anti-lime filter, anti-scale filter) must be serviced every year (change of anti-lime cartridge, resin, activated carbon, calcium and magnesium ions).

Lime deposit, lime scale and residue build up in the filtration system. Daily water consumption with a filter that is more than 6 months old increases the risk of scale and scale formation in the water and the pipes. Rinsing the filters is not enough.

By respecting the recommendations of the brand of your anti-limestone and anti-scale filtration system (Fleck, Culligan, …), you guarantee the correct functioning of the filters and preserve your household appliances (dishwasher, water heater) and the drinkability of your tap water.

Typically, with yearly maintenance, regular filter replacement (every 6-8 months), your equipment can last at least 10 years depending on the water hardness level.

Regular maintenance, an essential asset for the life of your softener

Maintaining your softener is simple and inexpensive. It is strongly recommended to carry out a complete maintenance every year. We recommend that you have it done by a water treatment specialist, but you can do some checks yourself.

Regular maintenance is necessary for the proper functioning of your softener and it considerably increases its longevity. It also makes it possible to guard against any health risk and therefore to avoid inconvenience.

Here are the points to check:


  • Watch the salt level , which is essential for the regeneration of the resin. On average, the salt consumption for a household of 4 people is 100 kg per year. This consumption may vary depending on the household water consumption and the lime content of the water.

Every 6 to 12 months

  • Test the hardness of the water entering the softener. If the variation is greater than 10%, the device settings must be reviewed.
  • Check the filter cartridge : when it is ocher in color, it means that it is worn. It must then be changed.

Once a year

  • Disinfect the softener to prevent bacteria from growing.

Every 10 to 12 years

  • Renew the resin beads . They are caused to rub against each other during water withdrawals, and in particular during regenerations. This causes mechanical wear and a decrease in their diameter over the years.
    The principle of ion exchange (capture of calcium ions and release of sodium ions) occurs on the surface of each of these beads. If the diameter and the surface of the beads decrease, the ion exchange will be less important.

All of this has an impact on the performance of your softener. Over time, its treatment capacity may decrease, for example from 2000 to 1500 liters of fresh water between each regeneration.

The solution is then to recharge or replace the resin. Be careful, however, it must comply with the legislation in force and have obtained a certificate of health compliance (ACS).

Choose a quality softener adapted to your home

To ensure a certain longevity for your water softener, it is important that it is suitable for the environment in which you live. Make sure that its resin volume matches the hardness of your water and the number of people living in the house.

In addition, it is advisable to choose a good quality material such as Fleck, Permo or Kinetico softeners. This makes it possible to guard against possible changes of defective parts. Today there are ultra sophisticated devices on the market capable of withstanding years of intensive use without ever losing efficiency.

When should you think about renewing your water softener?

A water softener has a long lifespan because it is possible to change the defective parts at low cost: float, tank, resin … However, in some cases, it is necessary to completely replace your device:

  • If the head of your softener no longer works.
    It is the central organ of the apparatus and the most expensive part. It is sometimes more interesting to replace the softener.
  • If you need to replace an expensive part that requires a technician to travel. It is then sometimes more economical to change the device.
  • If your household’s water consumption has changed.
    For example, a household where 5 people live may be reduced with the departure of the children. The softener then has too large a capacity for its use. If the time between 2 regeneration cycles is too long, it can cause failures.

In addition, renewing your water softener is simple and akin to a “Plug and Play” replacement (Connect and Use). As the power and distribution installation has already been completed, you will save money.

To conclude

The lifespan of a water softener is approximately ten years. To ensure the proper functioning of your equipment, it is important to maintain it regularly. You will then have to change parts or renew the resin. If the maintenance costs are too high, the renewal of a softener is sometimes more economical.