Signs Your Water Softener Isn’t Working Properly

Having contaminated water is bad for your health, your appliances, and your clothes. If you’ve noticed signs that you have hard water, you have likely invested in a water softener to address the problem. However, not all water softeners are created equal, and even the ones that boast having superior quality can malfunction. Water softeners can fail to remove the iron and chloride in your water even when they function at total capacity.


Here at The Science of Water, we’ve had hundreds of customers come to us looking for help because their water softeners weren’t working correctly. The only surefire way to know your water softener is failing is to get a water test, but there are also some telltale signs to let you know your water softener likely isn’t up to speed.



Your Water Isn’t Clear

A working water softener should leave your water crystal-clear and refreshing from the tap. If your water is cloudy or looks murky, it’s a definitive sign that your water softener isn’t doing its job. While dingy water may be the product of air bubbles and will often clear up after a few minutes, it can also be a sign that there are minerals like calcium and magnesium building up in your water supply.


Your Laundry Still Comes Out Feeling Like Sandpaper

One of the most recognizable signs that your water softener isn’t working is its effect on your laundry. Those expensive, plush bath towels you bought at Target? They will be one of the many casualties of inadequate water softeners if you don’t fix the problem.


When your water softener doesn’t work properly, it can cause your clothes’ bright colors to fade and affect their fabric quality. So, if your towels feel like sandpaper, there may still be an excess of minerals in your water, and your softer is definitely to blame.


Your Water is Salty

Water softeners use sodium to treat your water, and in most cases, you shouldn’t taste it. You may also see a thin film on your faucets or appliances leftover from your filter. However, if either one of these issues pops up, don’t panic. Your softener just needs a good cleaning and a refill. If that doesn’t fix the problem, you’ll want to call a professional and have your water tested to assess the situation.


You Are Cleaning Hard Water Spots

Cleaning a house is tricky enough without the additional elbow grease needed to remove hard water spots. If your shower doors, wine glasses, and windows are plagued with those dreadful spots after cleaning, it may be time to check your water softener. Those spots are telltale signs of hard water, which most water softeners often treat. So, if you still see them around, adjustments need to be made.


The Water Pressure Is Suddenly Off

While many things can affect your water pressure, one of the most common culprits is a buildup of calcium and minerals in your shower head. If you don’t get your water softener serviced regularly, you will eventually see a change in water pressure not just in your shower but also throughout your home. Such a shift makes your appliances working harder, which results in higher bills for your household.


You Don’t Feel Clean

Hard water tends to affect our skin and hair in a lot of unpleasant ways. Iron is one of many minerals that makes soap struggle to lather efficiently. Hard water robs our bodies of moisture, leaving our skin feeling dry and itchy and our hair looking dull and flat. People with sensitive skin will feel its effects even more and may even develop rashes or peeling skin and dandruff. If your showers aren’t leaving you feeling refreshed, it might be time to have your water tested.


Your Soap Doesn’t Lather

Calcium and magnesium don’t play well with soap, and when you have hard water, your soap won’t lather appropriately. If you’re doing the dishes and you just can’t seem to get a good lather going, then your water might be to blame. A great way to test this theory on your water is with Castille soap. Castille soap is pure soap, and it won’t lather at all if your water is hard. It’s not an entirely accurate method, you’ll need a water test to be sure, but it’s a quick and easy sign to tell you whether your water softener is doing its job.


There’s ‘Stuff’ Floating in Your Water

A glass of tap water should be clear and contaminant-free. But many things can find their way into your water if your whole house water filtration system isn’t effective. A few of the things you’ll see floating in your water include soil and sediment, minerals, and sometimes even plastic. So, if you see something floating in your water that shouldn’t be there, it’s not your eyes playing tricks on you.


You’re Not Replacing the Salt on Schedule

Not all water softeners require the same level of maintenance. But if you have a water softener that uses salt, it may require more maintenance than most. Salt helps filter contaminated water, and if you aren’t replacing your supply as often as you should, it can negatively impact your water quality. You may notice that your water tastes off or looks like it did before you installed your system, and that’s because your softener is malfunctioning.


You Fail Your Water Test

Even if you have a trusted water filtration system in place at home, you should still get regular water tests to ensure it’s working efficiently. Of all the signs your system isn’t working correctly, this is the most apparent and effective sign. When you test your water, you’ll be 100% sure whether your system is effective. If your water test comes back showing that minerals are still present, you can turn to us to find a customized solution and address your water problems.



The Science of Water

Our water needs are essential because water is the basis of every part of our life. It’s vital to our health and our overall peace of mind that our water is clear and worthy of drinking. If you aren’t sure if your water is up to par, our team at The Science of Water can help. Let us perform a complimentary water test to see what solutions we can offer you and your family.


If you’re interested in taking a free water test or learning more about our services, contact us at (352) 745-7070 or (904) 580-0000.



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