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Have you found yourself worried about your water softener not doing its job and no longer softening your water? At times, it becomes necessary to ensure that the water softener is still working properly. How to tell if your water softener is working properly?

This can be a subtle thing to detect, but here are some helpful hints to keep in mind. One of the first things you’re likely to notice if your system isn’t functioning properly is that there are hard water spots on your shower door and faucets, which look like white blotches of minerals. Hard water spots usually come from periods of exposure to water with high mineral content instead of soft water. You may also find that your water feels harder too. If you notice that you experience itching or dryness on your skin after a shower, this could be a red flag that’s something wrong. 


How To Tell If Your Water Softener Is Working?

Sudden Changes to Your Home’s Water Pressure

How To Tell If Your Water Softener Is Working Properly If your water pressure drops, that could be because there’s a build-up of salt in your brine tank that’s causing problems with your water supply.

Change in Water Taste

If there’s too much salt in your water softener, you might notice a salty film on the inside of your dishwasher or your faucets. Your water might taste saltier too. Do remember that the salty taste increases as the levels of minerals in your water increase. To fix this issue, you might need to clean the brine tank and replace the water and salt.

Nothing’s Happening to Your Water Quality

If your water seems just as hard as ever after having water softening systems installed, this indicates that they are not working at all. 

At this point, you may need to check that all of the components of your water softeners are set up properly.

Scale and Mineral Buildup

Do you see hard water spots?

If you see mineral buildup on shower walls and glass that can be a sure sign that your water softener is not working properly.

Dry and Itchy Skin

How To Tell If Your Water Softener Is Working - Dry and Itchy Skin

Another way to find out if your water softener has issues is after you’ve washed. Hard water can leave magnesium and calcium on your skin. It can feel itchy and dry. With softened water, your skin should just have a softer feel to it. 

This may be an indicator that you do not have enough salt pellets in your brine tank. Check the salt level. If there is enough, your salt system may have stopped working and will need to be serviced.


Water Softener Testing: How To Tell If Your Water Softener Is Working?

One of the best techniques regarding how to tell if a water softener is working involves testing the water itself. 

After installing your system, many technicians will conduct water softener testing to scientifically demonstrate that the water coming from your faucet is now soft.

You should periodically conduct your own such tests to ensure your softener is running properly. This will alert you to deviations in your water that may suggest something is wrong with the softener.

Water hardness test kits are widely available in home hardware stores and even online. They will provide a reading that details your water’s condition.

“Soft water” is categorized as containing between 0-17.1 mg of minerals per liter of water. Anything in excess of this (especially if it deviates from your system’s norm) should alert you of issues.

The Soap Test

Another easy way to check for a malfunctioning water softener is to see if your soap lathers and bubbles. 

Pure liquid soap will do this when mixed with soft water. If the water is hard, the same soap won’t function properly.

It’s not a totally scientific test and you probably don’t want to rely solely on it — but it can help confirm suspicions and indicate that more tests need to be done.


Frequently Asked Questions


Is My Softener Working If It is Full of Water?

It may work for a little bit, but after too much time, it will fail to work and start having issues to where it will no longer be making soft water due to not being able to drain properly.

How to Tell if Whirlpool Water Softener is Working?

You can tell if your whirlpool water softener is working by checking to see how much salt is in its week to week and if it is going down at all or not. If it is then it is regenerating.

Another thing you can do is a manual regeneration to see if it runs and is working properly.

The last easy thing to make sure that your water softener is working is to do a soap test to make sure that you have soft water.

Can You Put Too Much Salt in a Water Softener?

Yes, you can put too much salt in a water softener. You need to leave at least 4-6 inches unfilled for salt in the brine tank, if not more, depending on what the manual says for the water softener that you buy.

Why is My Water Softener Brine Tank Dirty?

By creating soft water, you are taking out impurities from the water and filtering them out, along with getting minerals out with the ion exchange. This means that you can catch dirt or grime in the tank as well.

You may also have a full filter that needs to be changed to do its job again and keep the bigger particles and impurities out of the water.


How To Tell If Your Water Softener Is Working: Summary

Many things can go wrong with a water softener, and knowing more about what can go wrong and checking to make sure that it is working properly before having to call on someone else to come service it can help save you a lot of money.