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Water Softener Installation, Repairs and Service

Are you tired of dealing with hard water and its adverse effects? Are your clothes losing their softness, your dishes coming out spotty, and your hair feeling dull and lifeless? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

At Trojan Plumbing, we know the importance of a properly functioning water softener. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you understand everything you need to know about water softeners, from how they work to how to install and maintain them.


What Are Water Softeners?

Simply put, water softeners are devices that remove the minerals that make water hard, such as calcium and magnesium, and replace them with softer minerals like sodium or potassium.


How Do Water Softeners Work?

Water softeners use an ion exchange system to remove hard minerals from water. The water flows through a resin bed in the softener tank, exchanging the hard minerals for softer minerals. When the resin bed becomes saturated with hard minerals, the softener regenerates, flushing the hard minerals out and recharging the resin bed.


Common Types of Water Softeners

Several common water softeners are salt-based, salt-free, and dual-tank. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, and the best type for you depends on your needs.


Salt-based is the most common type. They use salt to regenerate the resin bed, and they are very effective at removing hard minerals from water.


Salt-free use different technology to remove hard minerals from water, such as template-assisted crystallization. They don’t require salt, and they are a good option for people concerned about their salt intake.


Dual-tank has two resin tanks, which allows them to provide a continuous supply of soft water. As a result, they are a good option for larger households or businesses that use a lot of water.

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Factors to Consider When Choosing a Whole Home Water Softener

When choosing a softener, there are several factors to consider, including the hardness level of your water, your water usage, and your budget.

Water Hardness Level

The hardness level of your water will determine the size and type of softener you need. You can test the hardness level of your water using a test kit.

Water Usage

Your water usage will also determine the size of the water softener you need. For example, you’ll need a larger softener if you have a large household or business.

What Is Your Budget

Water softeners come at different prices, so it’s essential to consider your budget when choosing a softener.

Water Softener Installation Preparation

Preparation for Installation

Before you install your softener, you’ll need to turn off the water supply and drain the pipes. You’ll also need to choose a location and ensure that it’s close to a power source, existing plumbing, a water supply line, and a floor drain.

Tools and Materials Needed

You’ll need several tools and materials to install your softener, including a wrench, pipe cutter, tubing, and fittings.

Installation Process

Location and Placement

Choose a location near your main water supply and where it will be easy to connect your water softener to the pipes. Remember that you’ll also need to connect to a power source and a drain.

Connecting the Softener

Once you’ve chosen the location, you’ll need to connect to the pipes. This involves cutting the lines, attaching the tubing and fittings, and connecting the softener to the pipes.

Adding Salt or Potassium

After you’ve connected to the pipes, you’ll need to add salt or potassium to the tank. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to determine how much salt or potassium to add.

Common Installation Issues and How to Avoid Them

One common issue with installations is leaking. Ensure all connections are tight and secure and check for any leaks before turning on the water supply. You will also want to check to make sure you have the drain line, overflow drain, brine tank, bypass valve, drain tubes, hose clamps, and brine solution added to the tank. Make sure everything is hooked up properly to ensure your system functions correctly

Water Softener Repairs

Signs of Issues

Some signs that your softener may need repairs include decreased water pressure, cloudy water, and increased salt usage.

Common Water Softener Problems

Salt Bridging

Salt bridging occurs when a hard crust forms in the salt tank, preventing the salt from dissolving and regenerating the resin bed.

Resin Fouling

Resin fouling occurs when the resin tank or bed becomes contaminated with organic matter or iron, reducing the softener’s effectiveness.

Control Valve Issues

Control valve issues can cause the softener to regenerate too often or not often enough, leading to decreased efficiency.

DIY Troubleshooting and Repair Tips

Some simple troubleshooting and repair tips include checking for leaks, cleaning the resin bed, and replacing the control valve.

When to Call Trojan Plumbing?

If you need more help to be comfortable troubleshooting and repairing your water softener, it’s best to call us. At Trojan Plumbing with our plumbing services we can diagnose and fix any issues you have.

Maintenance and Care for House Water Softeners

Regular Maintenance Tasks

Regular maintenance tasks for your water softener include cleaning the resin bed, replacing the salt or potassium, checking the control valve, and checking to see if your bypass valve and drain hose are correctly working.


To clean the resin bed, run a special resin cleaner through the softener according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Resin Bed Replacement

If your resin bed is severely fouled, it may need to be replaced. This is a job best left to Trojan Plumbing.

Salt or Potassium Refilling

To refill the salt or potassium, add more to the tank according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

How to Prolong the Life of Your Water Softener

To prolong life, regularly test the quality of your water, choose the right type of salt or potassium, and prevent salt bridging by not overfilling the tank.

Water Quality Testing

Regular water quality testing will help you identify any issues with your water softener and ensure it works properly.

Choosing the Right Salt or Potassium

Choose the correct type of salt or potassium for your water softener, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for refilling the tank.

Preventing Salt Bridges

Prevent salt bridges by not overfilling the tank and breaking up any salt bridges that form.

Water Softener Cleaning Schedule

Create a regular cleaning schedule for your water softener to ensure it’s always functioning at peak efficiency.

Congratulations! You’re now an expert on water softener installations and repairs. Remember, a properly functioning softener can improve your water quality and make your daily tasks easier and more enjoyable. In addition, regular maintenance and care will ensure that your softener lasts for years to come. Don’t hesitate to call Trojan Plumbing if you need any help with installation, repairs, or maintenance. We’re here to help!

Frequently Asked Questions About Water Softener Installation and Repairs

What are the signs that my water is hard?

Some common signs that your water is hard to include spotty dishes, dry skin and hair, and mineral buildup on faucets and showerheads.

How do I test the hardness level of my water?

You can test the hardness level of your water using a test kit, which can be purchased at most hardware or home improvement stores.

How often should I replace the resin bed in my water softener?

A resin bed should be replaced every 10 to 15 years.

How often should I add salt or potassium to my water softener?

Depending on how often it regenerates and the manufacturer’s instructions, you should add salt or potassium as needed.

Can I install a water softener myself?

While it is possible to install it yourself, it’s recommended that you hire a professional plumber to ensure that the installation is done correctly. We at Trojan Plumbing do this for you.

How often should I clean my water softener?

It would be best if you cleaned your softener every six months to ensure its functioning at peak efficiency.

Can I use a salt-free water softener on well water?

Salt-free water softeners are not recommended for well water, as they are ineffective at removing certain minerals often found in well water.

What’s the difference between a salt-based and salt-free water softener?

Salt-based uses salt to remove hard minerals from water. In contrast, salt-free softeners use different technology, such as template-assisted crystallization, to change the structure of hard minerals so they don’t adhere to surfaces.

What should I do if my water softener isn’t working properly?

If your water softener isn’t working correctly, first try to troubleshoot and repair it yourself. If you’re uncomfortable doing so, it’s best to call Trojan Plumbing to diagnose and fix the issue.

Do I need a permit to install a water softener?

In most cases, you don’t need a permit to install it. However, confirming with your local building authorities is always a good idea.

How much does it cost to install a water softener?

The cost can vary depending on the type of softener, the size of your home, and other factors. It’s best to get a quote from us to determine the cost.

What’s the lifespan of a water softener?

The lifespan of a water softener can vary depending on the type of softener and how well it’s maintained. On average, a well-maintained one can last up to 15 years.

Is it safe to drink water from a salt-based water softener?

The water from a salt-based water softener is safe to drink, but it can be high in sodium, which may not be ideal for people on a low-sodium diet. A salt-free softener may be a better option if you’re concerned about your sodium intake.

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Areas We Service For Water Softeners

Trojan Plumbing services the entire Treasure Valley and majority of Southwest Idaho. Including the McCall, Donnelly & Cascade Idaho Areas. Below are the cities we service in the Treasure Valley with their associated service pages. Go to one of our city pages to see what services we provide in your area. 

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