How to do water softener maintenance for Rheem, GE, Waterboss and Aquasure (AVOID Doing This!)

Water softener maintenance is an important part of maintaining your water softener. Not only is it important to keep your water softener in good working order, but it is also necessary to make sure that it continues to function properly. Over time, water softeners can start to show their age, and if the softener is not maintained on a regular basis, it can become unreliable and in need of a good overhaul.


It is important to note that a water softener is a large machine, and it requires a lot of maintenance in order to operate properly. The good news is that it is not particularly expensive or difficult to maintain a water softener, and as long as you have a few simple tools, you can take care of it yourself. Keep reading this article to learn more about what maintenance your water softener needs, and how to go about doing it.

Water softeners remove calcium from the water. This can make the dishes and laundry look nicer. It also makes it easier to maintain your shower and faucets. Your water heater should also last longer. Water softeners are quite expensive but they can be a great investment as they make your appliances last longer. They need proper maintenance though. Let’s take a look at how this can be done.

Overview of a water softener. Image by PlumbingInstantFix. All rights reserved.

What maintenance is required on a water softener?

While it is important to keep your water softener clean, you don’t want to take it apart and put it back together. It is important to clean and maintain the inside of your water softener. This is done by adding a cleaning liquid to the tank. Each model is unique so check your manual to see what cleaner you can use. After a few years, you will have to remove the salt and clean this area as well.

Some water softeners (such as magnetic ones) don’t require a lot of maintenance. Other systems just need to be refilled with gas or chemicals.

Most water softeners use salt and these systems need more maintenance. Let’s study this in more detail below.

Other than this you will have to add salt and check that your device is working properly. It has to regenerate (mix the salt and resin pallets) from time to time. The salt reactivates the resin pallets. These pallets remove the calcium from the water. If there is a problem, most water softeners will provide an error. You can use Google to see what the problem is. 

You also have to replace the resin beads regularly. Check the color and consistency to check if they have to be replaced.

It is also important to keep the outside of your water softener clean. Doing so will prevent your water softener from developing rust or other contaminants. If you have a filter next to your water softener, it is important that you clean and replace it from time to time.

You can open up the lid and add salt. Image by PlumbingInstantFix. All rights reserved.

 It is also important to regularly inspect your water softener’s hoses, fittings, and electrical components, making sure that they are all in working order. It is important to remember that water softeners are large machines, and many parts of them can become rusted, dirty, or even damaged over time.

Check your water softener’s settings

It is possible that you still get hard water. This might be due to the settings of the water softener. Some areas have harder water than others. This means that the water softener should work harder. You can adjust this on the device itself. Consult the manual on how to do this. It is often quite easy and makes the water quality a lot better. It can make the water saltier though so don’t overdo it. It can take some experimentation to get it right. You can also get a lab test to know how much calcium you have in the water. This will make it easier to adjust the water heater and find the optimal setting. 

Another issue might be that foam is building up in the tank. It might be needed to add new salt and let the machine regenerate. If the issue persists, you might want to contact a plumber to see what is going on. The manufacturer might be able to help you out as well.

Water softeners might smell bad as well. Make sure that the water that you get inside your home is clean. You might need to add another filter if there is an issue. It is also possible that your water heater has stopped using salt. It is possible that it is not turned on or has to regenerate if this happens. The salt can also clog and this has to be removed.

Water softeners are quite expensive so it is important that you take care of them. You should check them every quarter to make sure that it works properly. A lot of cities are forbidding water softeners as they add salt to the sewage. This makes it harder to process the wastewater as the salt has to be removed from the water.

Water conditioners are proposed as alternatives. There are a lot of types, from magnets to chemicals but they generally don’t work as well as water softeners. It is possible that they will evolve in the coming years and that they will get better. At this point water softeners still, work better. 

Not every home has a water softener. In some areas, it is not really needed as the water is not that hard. Other people didn’t install one to save money. It is also possible that there was no space in the house to install one. These devices are relatively new and not a lot of homeowners have one. Some plumbers specialize in installing and maintaining them but not every plumber has a lot of knowledge in this area as they are not that common in some areas. 

Let’s take a look at the effects that you should get from your water softener. If you don’t get these, you might have to check the system or installation.

How long does it take to see the effects of a water softener?

If you’re anything like most homeowners, you probably want to know how long it takes to see the results of installing a water softener.  Water softeners are quite expensive and you want to know if it was worth it. 

There are many other benefits that come with a water softening system. For instance, with softer water you can get rid of things like soap residues and limescale deposits on your faucets and shower heads. In addition, you also won’t be as worried about clogged drains or pipes because there won’t be as much buildup from the minerals in the water. With all these benefits in mind, let’s take a closer look at how long it takes to see the effects of a water softener.

It’ll take about 3 months for your water to start looking and feeling better after you install a water softener. For instance, you’ll notice that your dishes and glasses look cleaner. 

You might notice improvements earlier but after 3 months you should see the effects of a water heater kicking in.

Plus, your water will taste better, so there’s less need to use things like bottled water or water filters. You’ll also notice that your soap doesn’t create as much residue on your shower heads, faucets, and other fixtures in your bathroom. Your water will also flow a lot better, so you’ll have less clogging and buildup in your drains.  

6 months of results from your Water Softener

After 6 months, you might notice some smaller benefits to having a water softener. For instance, you might notice that your soap lasts longer since you won’t be using as much for each cleaning task. You might also notice that your skin looks and feels healthier since it’s not as dried out from hard water. You can also expect that your water bill will be slightly fewer thanks to the softener removing many of the minerals that would normally be added to your water bill.

 12 months of results from your Water Softener

After 12 months of using your water softener, you should really see the long-term effects of this device. For instance, you might notice that your water bills have gone down in certain areas. You might also notice that your plumbing fixtures have less limescale buildup, which can help extend their lifespans. You might also notice that your dishwasher or washing machine works better at cleaning your dishes and clothes. Overall, you’ll likely notice that your household appliances are operating more efficiently because they’re working with softer water.

Water softeners are a great way to get rid of limescale and other minerals in your water. These minerals can cause damage and build up over time. However, a water softener can help clean up your water, making it more effective for household tasks and easier to get rid of when it’s time for repairs and maintenance.

It is important to maintain your water softener if you want to see these results.


Water softeners are essential for most household water supplies, but it is important to remember that they require regular maintenance. While it can be somewhat inconvenient to schedule a service call or to have to turn off the water while the service is being completed, it is important to remember that water softeners are large machines, and they require regular maintenance to ensure that they continue to operate properly. You can generally do this maintenance yourself.

Some water conditioners require less maintenance but they generally don’t work as well as water softeners. 

Check the manual of your GE, Rheem, Waterboss, or Aquasure water softener for more specific instructions on how to maintain it.