Common Water Softener Problems and Solutions

A few months ago I realized that my water softener is not softening water. We even start observing limescale build-up on washroom sanitary. This was a thing to worry about, as we operate the dishwasher daily. I called and consult different professional and expert plumber but still, the problem was there. In the meantime, I researched a lot about the water softener problems and got to know that, it’s all because of salt build up inside the tank.

And you know what; it took 10-15 minutes to fix the problem that I have been trying to solve for the past couple of months.

Since I researched a lot about water softener problems so I decided to get other some benefit from it.

Time is precious and so money is.

Don’t waste it on different plumbers for guessing the problem.

Therefore, for your convenience, I have jotted down all the possible problems of water softener in this article.

Just scroll down to find your desired water softener problem and get the solution right now.

Here you go!

10 Possible Water Softener Problems:

water softener problems

Problem 1: Low Water Pressure:

Possible  Reason:

There could be numerous reasons behind low water pressure such as:

  • The sediment filter may be clogged
  • The resin bead may be clogged
  • Resin bead may break and clog a fixture


  • If the sediment filter is clogged, clean or replaced the sediment filter
  • If the resin bead is the culprit, then clean the tank and set the water softener to regenerate more.
  • If you feel that resin bead has clogged a fixture then clean the fixtures and flush the pipes.

Problem 2: Hard Water and Soft Water Get Mixed Up

Possible Reason:

This problem is caused by the improperly cut distributer. If it is cut too short, the distributor can’t reach O- ring in the control valve in the brine draw thereby producing the mixed water.


Put the water valve in brine draw and see how long it takes for saltwater to reach the drain, if salty water reaches the drain, chances are distributor is short. Check both O- ring and distributor.

Problem 3: Water Meter Is Not Working

Possible reason:

When the water meter is not working properly and not showing any water usage display. Probably, the reason could be:

  • The water flow meter might be broken
  • The timer may become faulty


The water meter displays information about water usage. If it does not do so, then it is recommended to

Either Replace the water flow meter or replace the timer with a new one.

Problem 4: Water Leakage

Possible reason:

Sometimes water leaks through the drain due to piston seal failure despite being valve in the service position. Also, it may be because of cracked water-carrying components.


Check the piston and pinched or torn. The seal should be replaced. If you found any foreign material between the piston seals and piston try to get rid of it. if it’s because of any crack in the water carrying component then replace it with a new one.

Problem 5: Brine Tank Is Filling With Water Instead of Drawing Brine Into the Softener:

Possible reason:

This happens when the control valve is in the brine draw position but is refilling the tank instead. The culprit is the back pressure on the injector.


Check the drain flow during brine draw. If there is no flow the drain line or control valve is plugged. If there is large flow water is bypassing internally. You need to check the blockage in the control valve or drain and repair it.

Problem 6: The Brain Tank Is Overflow:

Possible reason:

The control valve is putting too much water in the brine tank. This is less likely to happen if the valve is installed with a safety brine valve.


Look at the O-ring inside the brine valve to check if it’s pinched or missed.

  • Check to make sure that the refill time is properly set on the valve timer.
  • Access the brine line flow control.
  • Inspect the brine valve to see if it’s stuck in the open position.

Problem 7: Water Softener Is Producing Quite Salty Water:

Possible reason:

Following are the possible reason for salty output water

  • The drain hose may be clogged
  • Water softener rotor valve may be faulty
  • Rotor valve seals may be leaking


Try to unclog the drain hose. If the rotor valve or its seal is the culprit, then replace it with the new one. Because the rotary valve directs the water to a softener to soften it and flush the resins filter.

Problem 8: The Softener Is Producing Hard Water:

Possible reason:

Sometimes softener produces hard water. Producing hard water is not a softener’s job.  The following could be the possible reason behind it:

  • Salt tank might be empty
  • Salt bridge may be formed in the tank
  • Depleted resin
  • Venture may be clogged or damage
  • Rotor position may break
  • Switch or failed timer


Once you have found the culprit behind this problem, try to solve it by:

  • Replace the water softener resin bead
  • Cleaning or Replacing the water softener venture
  • Replace the water softener rotor position switch
  • Replacing the water softener timer

Problem 9: High Amount of Iron in Softened Water:

Possible cause:

Sometimes water softeners can’t hold iron and thereby start releasing a high amount of iron in the water. Possibly the problem lies in the regeneration process.


For this, you should increase the regeneration frequency. You can also use different water softener cleaners through your system to get rid of iron.

Problem 10: Dirty or Faulty Resin Beads:

Possible cause:

Resin beads are termed as faulty if they fail to trap calcium and magnesium. Also, you will notice parts of the resin bead in the output water.


If you notice your system recharging more frequently, or you find small parts of beads in your water you need to replace the beads or clean them.

Some Important Considerations:

Water softeners are really very helpful and affordable products, but they require regular checkup. Checking up is minimal and very cheap. Few practical and very handy tips are given below.

  1. Check the salt regularly
  2. Use good salt for softener.
  3. Know how to clean Water Softener Brine Tank
  4. Know how to spot issues
  5. When in doubt, Call experts

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