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Water softeners are designed to last a long time – at least 10-15 years – but if you think yours might be in need of some TLC, or an upgrade, what is the best thing to do? The first thing is to look for signs that your system might be in need of repair.

If your water starts to taste yucky, and you are seeing lime scale reappearing in your bathroom or kitchen, then it might be that your water softener has seen better days and needs a repair or an upgrade.

You can try a few routine things yourself to see if that improves the quality of your water – clean out the brine tank to make sure there are no salt blockages, and always use the correct type of salt for your system. Have a look to make sure none of the outlets are blocked and that all of the settings are correct.

One of the issues which can go wrong with water softener systems is the life of the resin beads inside. Particularly hard water can shorten the lifespan of the resin so if you start to see what looks like sand in your water, then that can be a sign your resin needs replacing.

Try running a cleaning programme on the softener system, using approved cleaning products, but if cleaning the system and replacing the resin doesn’t make any difference to your water quality at home, then it’s time to get help.

If none of your own attempts make any difference, then it’s worth calling out an engineer to take a look at your water softener system and give it the once over. They can look for issues like valves which need replacing, or internal blockages which you might not be able to see.

They will advise you of any changes you need to make, or if the system needs repairs or new parts installing and they will be able to do it for you, to get your system back up and running. Or, worst case scenario, they’ll let you know if there is no repair possible and that you need to start shopping for a new one.

But if your system is over 15 years old, you might be pleasantly surprised by how much the technology has advanced in that time, and how much more efficient the current, modern systems are. Whatever you do, don’t be tempted not to replace the softener to save money.

Hard water will cause damage to your appliances, your plumbing system and can create problems with skin and hair. Over time, the effect on your appliances will mean your energy bills will rise and you might face appliance repair or replacement bills.

Sorting out your water softener system, whether it’s replacing parts to repair the old one, or choosing to invest in a brand new system, will help save you money in the long run, as well as keeping your home and health protected against the effects of hard water.