Signs Your Water Softener Needs Service or Repair


Water softeners are a great addition to many homes, and when they are working properly they provide plenty of benefits, ranging from cleaner, more comfortable clothing and towels to healthier skin and hair. When they are not working, though, you want to get repairs done quickly so you can get back to enjoying that nice soft water every day. Here are a few early signs that there might be a problem so you can stay on top of the repairs.

Dishes Appear Cloudy

If you notice that your dishes are not as bright and clean as they have normally been, you should check your water softener first. The minerals in hard water often leave water spots or deposits on your glass dishes, so this is a quick way you can spot a problem.

Soap Isn’t Lathering as Well

You may also notice that when you’re soaping up in the shower you have to use a lot more soap and you’re not getting those luxurious, sudsy bubbles that you were before. That could be a result of hard water, which makes soaps more difficult to lather.

Skin Feels Itchy and Dry

Another time you might feel the water softener not working is when you shower or bathe and get out feeling itchy and dry. Soft water is better at moisturizing your skin, so that itchy, dry feeling is not something you would normally experience.

You’re Not Replacing the Salt as Often

This is one that you may not notice right away, but something you will see gradually over time. If you normally replace a bag of salt about once a month, then you go for two or three months without needing to replace it (and with no substantial change in your water usage habits), that means the tank isn’t using up the salt correctly, and it likely means that your water softener has malfunctioned.

Troubleshooting the Issues

The easiest way to find out if something is wrong with your water softener is to call a professional to come and inspect it, but there are also a couple of things you can do on your own to check the system. Simply making sure your system is plugged in and the clock is properly timed for the backwash cycles can save you a lot of headache in the long run. You can also check hardness settings if your unit comes with those to make sure that they are still on your preferred level.

You may also need to clean out the resin bed if your water softener requires it, but in many cases it’s better to call a professional for this. They can also inspect for problems in the supply tank that feeds salt to the unit. Other issues might include a malfunctioning resin rinsing system that has clogged the intake. In the absence of an obvious way to fix it yourself (such as plugging it back in if it came unplugged), it’s often best to leave it to the professionals so you don’t risk injury to yourself or others, or the chance that you will cause even more damage.

How to Choose the Right Type and Size Water Softener

water softeners

A water softener can have many benefits for your home, your appliances, and your personal comfort, but before you just head out and purchase the first water softener you see, it’s important to know about the different types and sizes out there so you can find the one that is best for your home and your budget.

The Role of Water Softeners

All water softeners, regardless of brand, type, or size, are designed to remove minerals that are making your water “hard”, which generally includes calcium, magnesium, and iron. They replace the minerals with sodium so you don’t have to deal with mineral deposits and buildup in your appliances, scratchy clothing, and dry, itchy skin.

Why Size Matters?

 A properly sized water softener will last longer, ensure the water is soft all of the time and maintain proper water pressure.  A water softener that is to small will have to regenerate more often to try and keep up, will wear out sooner and you will probably not be very satisfied with the quality of water it’s providing.  If your water softener is undersized it isn’t able to regenerate often enough to keep your water soft.  Also, when you are using a lot of water at one time, say 2 or 3 showers are being used, the water softener may not be able to soften the water fast enough to keep up with your demand and it will reduce your water pressure.

We have people contact us regularly who are frustrated with a water softener they purchased from another company because it just isn’t working properly. The most common complaint is the water softener is using salt but the water isn’t soft.  One cause is they didn’t install a properly sized water softener, usually because the wanted to save a few extra dollars instead of doing it right the first time.

3 Important items to Consider When Sizing a Water Softener

 It’s really easy to become confused when looking for a water softener. Here are three major criteria that will help in choosing a properly sized water softener.

  1. Water Quality: It’s really important to have the water tested for hardness. Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon (gpg), soft water is less than 1gpg, 3.5gpg is hard, 7gpg is very hard anything over 10.5gpg is extremely hard.
  1. Peak Flow Rate: The number of gallons of water that can be used at any given time is determined by the number of bathrooms, kitchens etc that are in the home. The size of the main water line is also important.  If you have a 1” water line and the water softener has 3/4 “ internal plumbing than you may have times when the water softener isn’t able to soften the water as fast as you want to use it and will then notice a reduction in your water flow.
  2. Gallons of water used per day: For many water softeners this the most important factor in sizing. If you have a large family or use a lot of water, such as regularly using a big garden bathtub, the water softener can’t keep up with your demand and the water becomes hard.

As part of doing your research we recommend inviting any water softening company you are considering to test the hardness of the water and perform a plumbing audit, before making a recommendation and providing you with a quote.  The plumbing audit will allow them to not only examine the plumbing size and determine the number of gallons of water per minute (gpm) needed but they can also determine what is necessary to properly install the system, should you choose to work with them.

The Basics on How Water Softeners Work

water softener

You might have heard about all the potential benefits of a water softener, and if you live in an area with high levels of minerals in the water, this device can definitely improve your quality of life and the longevity of things like clothing and appliances. There are a lot of different options to choose from when you do get water softeners, so it’s important to understand the basics on how they work.

What’s in the Water

The vast majority of homes throughout the U.S. have water that is considered “hard”; what that means is that it has a high mineral content picked up when the water travels through deposit-rich areas on its journey to your home. These deposits often have things like limestone, calcium, and magnesium that get into the water and impact the quality of that water. While they won’t necessarily harm you, these hard water minerals can take a toll on your quality of life.

The Ion Exchange

The best way to eliminate these minerals from your water is with a water softener. These devices utilize a process called ion exchange, employing electrical attraction and chemistry to remove minerals and provide your home with cleaner, better water. When ions are injected into the water, they look for other ions that have either a positive or negative charge to which they can attach. The resin inside the softener tank is designed to attract minerals that are attracted to it, releasing salt into the water in exchange.

The Regeneration Process

Over time the softener will run out of salt that can be exchanged for hardness minerals, and the appliance must go through regeneration. During this process the tank will expel the minerals it collected through a drainage system, then refill with the sodium so it can continue the ion exchange process. Depending on the system, this process might be triggered by a timer (it happens at regular intervals) or by a meter (it happens only when the appliance reaches a certain level of minerals).

Benefits of Water Softening

There are many different reasons that homeowners choose to get a water softening system installed in their home. Some of the primary benefits that these systems can provide include:

  • Clothing that retains its color and softness better than in hard water
  • Hair and skin that feel softer and healthier, rather than feeling dried out
  • Longer-lasting appliances that are not damaged by buildup of minerals
  • Money savings, since you will use less detergent and soap
  • Dishes that are cleaner and do not have hard water spots
  • Ease in cleaning surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen
  • No soap scum buildup in the shower, bathtub, and in sinks

If you would like to find out more about how affordable these benefits can be, talk to a water softener company in Utah today to find out more.

4 Signs You Have Hard Water

water spicket

The vast majority of homes in Utah have hard water flowing from their taps, showerheads, and faucets. Without some type of water softening system, the hard water can cause significant damage to your home and your personal belongings. If you currently have hard water, here are four signs you can look for to determine whether you need a water softener in Utah.

1: Spotting or Film on Dishes

When dishes are washed in hard water, which is water containing high amounts of calcium and magnesium, you notice they are covered with little white spots or with a white film.   This can be frustrating and embarrassing when you’re serving friends or family.  Many people add products like jet dry to their dishwasher to chemically soften the water and this can provide limited benefits .  A water softener removes the calcium and magnesium from the water so when the dishes dry the minerals aren’t in the water to leave a residue and they are clear, shiny, and look clean.

2: Dry and Itchy Skin

Just like hard water leaves a film on your glasses and dishware, it also effects your skin and hair in a similar way causing skin to feel dry, tight and itchy after bathing or showering.  Men also notice that their skin is more irritated when shaving, a customer recently stated that when he shaves in hard water it feels like he’s “ripping the skin off his face.”  Soft water will even feel different when rinsing off.  Many describe their skin as feeling “squeaky” when they shower in hard water and “silky” when showering in soft water.

3: Damage to Appliances

There are several appliances in your home that are impacted by hard water, including your water heater, dishwasher, and washing machine. Just like your clothing and skin, these appliances are susceptible to the problems associated with hard water. The minerals  will often build up inside the appliances and can ruin it prematurely by clogging pipes and damaging internal parts.

4: Scale Build up on Faucets and Shower Stalls.

The hard water build up in appliances is difficult to see because it’s in the internal components but we do see it on faucets, shower stalls and as rings in the toilet.  We didn’t have a water softener in the home I grew up in and my mother would insist that the last thing we did when doing the dishes was wipe down the faucet with a dry towel.  If we didn’t it was very easy to see the white residue that would be left behind when the water evaporated.  When we installed a water softener the faucets stayed looking nice, without wiping them off all of the time, the rings in the toilet stopped accumulating and the showers didn’t required the regular extensive scrubbing to remove the hard water spots.

To prevent these damages, call Kinetico Utah and find out all the options available for installing water softeners in your home.

5 Indications That Your Water is Hard

clothes hanging

5 Indications That Your Water is Hard


The water that comes through your tap might not be the best water for your skin, clothes, appliances, and pipes. The vast majority of homes in the U.S. have “hard” water filled with minerals that can take its toll on your daily life. Fortunately you don’t have to suffer the negative consequences of hard water because water softeners will reduce or eliminate the minerals that are making that water so hard. Here are five sure signs that you need a water softener system and should call a water softening company.


1: White Residue Everywhere


If everything that comes in contact with your water has a white residue on it after a while, it’s probably the result of minerals from hard water. Check out your coffee pots, pots and pans for cooking, and even your shower tiles and bathtub for signs of stains, rings, or white filmy residue. While this is generally not harmful to your health, it can make appliances and showers look dingy and dirty and is probably also harming the interior of your water using appliances and home fixtures.


2: Clothes that Still Look Dirty


If you are examining your whites after they come out of the washer and dryer and you find that they look a little gray and dingy, your washer might not be able to properly do its job because of hard water. You may even notice that stains and dirt are not coming out, despite several washings, or that your colors are starting to look a little dull over time.


3: Uncomfortable Linens


The minerals in hard water can actually have an impact on the fibers in your clothes and towels. If your previously soft shirts, sheets, and towels are starting to feel itchy and uncomfortable, it could be that they have become damaged from hard water. In many cases this is costing you a lot of money over time because you’re constantly buying new towels, linens, and clothes when your old ones feel uncomfortable and wear out.


4: Itchy Skin and Dry Hair


When you shower in hard water, soaps and shampoos leave behind what is called “soap scum”, a film that is difficult to rinse out of your hair and off your skin. This residue on your skin and hair often causes excessive dryness and may even harbor bacteria that leads to skin irritations and dry skin conditions.


5: High Repair and Water Heating Costs


The minerals in hard water vary by location, but generally include some mixture of calcium, magnesium, and iron. As they flow through your appliances and water heater, these minerals build up and can cause clogs or other water flow problems. That often means replacing appliances and fixtures because they don’t work properly, and it could also be impacting the proper operation of your water heater.


Learn more about the water filters and water softeners available at Kinetico Utah to eliminate these five problems in your home.


Frequently Asked Questions about Water Softeners

water softener

Water softening is one of the surest ways of having clean water in your home.  As water comes in contact with the earth calcium and magnesium dissolve into the water making it hard.  A water softener removes these minerals from the water  which makes the water soft.  Hard water can cause skin to be dry and itchy.  It also leaves white spots or a film on dishes, faucets and toilets and builds up in plumbing and appliances causing them to not work as effective and shortens their life.

Here are some of the most frequently asked question about water softeners:

How Does A Water Softener Work?

The process a water softener uses to remove the minerals from water is known as ion exchange.  Calcium and magnesium are removed and replaced, or exchanged, for sodium ions The most important component of water softeners is a tank containing small polystyrene beads.  As water flows past the beads the calcium and magnesium are attracted to and attach themselves to the beads and in place of the minerals a very small amount of sodium is added to the water.  This process is instantaneous, so the water is softened as you use it in your home.

After several hundred gallons of water have been softener, the polystyrene beads become coated with  minerals and the water softener will regenerate them. This process involves running a salt brine solution across the beads and the minerals are removed and flushed down the drain. 

How much salt is added to my water?

The amount of salt added by the water softening process is very minimal and is dependent on how hard the water is.  The harder the water the more salt the water softener adds to the water.   For most of the water in the Salt Lake area there will be about 25mg of sodium added to an 8oz glass of water.  As a comparison, an 8oz glass of milk contains 125mg of sodium.  

Does Soft Water Really Feel Soft?

The “soft” in soft water doesn’t actually mean soft; it means that all the hard minerals, calcium, magnesium, etc., have been removed. If you want to know how it feels, put baking soda into hard water. It will make the water softer to touch, or more accurately, slicker.

Here’s a fun fact: You can save on bath and laundry products when using soft water. It reduces soap use, which is why many Laundromats and Hotels have water-softening systems.

Water softening is one of the most effective ways you can experience better water in your home.

Contact us for more information about quality water softeners and water filtration units in Utah.

How Soft Water Can Affect Your Body

Drinking Water

Do you ever wonder what is in your tap water and the impact it has on you and your family?

Not all water is the same, and quality can vary widely even from one city to the next. The vast majority of homes have “hard” water, but the degree of hardness depends on where you live. A survey shows that three out of four homes in the United States have hard water, which is determined by the level of magnesium  and calcium in the water.  Though it’s not harmful to your health, hard water can impact  your household tasks, clothing, and grooming. This is where using a soft water system comes in handy.

With the right water softener, you can produce a continuous supply of soft water that is not just good for your home, but also to your body.

Helping Skin Become Softer

Have you spent  money on fancy facial soaps, cleaners, and toners and you still haven’t been able to achieve the youthful-looking skin you desire? If you always have dry, dull skin, the hard water coming out of the shower is probably to blame.

Before you give up and throw your hands up in hopelessness, you may want to try a water softener system. Soft water has been proven to prevent breakouts and clogged pores, making your skin softer and cleaner.

Helping Your Hair to Shine

Hard water and shampoo are not compatible, which leads to dryness of the scalp. The impurities in water can make it difficult to wash off the shampoo, which can make your hair feel rough, dehydrated, and tangled.  Good water quality can do wonders for the health and wellness of your hair.

You no longer have to endure dry skin and hair. We offer top quality water softeners that are designed to give you the best water possible. Our water softening systems may be the perfect solution to your hard water issues. Contact us today and we can discuss the benefits of soft, filtered water.

How Hard Water is Making Your Life Harder

Hard Water

While hard water may not be a serious threat to your health, it can certainly have significant effects on other areas of your life, making household tasks more difficult and causing long-term damage to your clothing, skin, hair and appliances.

The average American family of four uses about 400 gallons of water every day, for everything from showering and cleaning to washing dishes and doing the laundry. If you have hard water it can have a significant impact on your daily life.

Disadvantages of Hard Water

Hard water in the laundry, for example, can cause soap curds to lodge in the fabric during washing and leave clothes feeling rough and stiff. It may cause graying of white fabrics and the loss of brightness in colored ones. Over time you may even start to notice an undesirable odor, and it could shorten the useful life of your clothes.

Dishes and glasses washed in a dishwasher using hard water may end up spotted when dry. Hard water can also cause a film of dots on glass shower doors, shower walls, bathtubs and sinks that require significant scrubbing and harsh cleaners to remove.

Bathing with hard water is discouraged as it leaves a sticky coat on the skin, doesn’t lather as well (so you have to use more), and may not remove bacteria and dirt as effectively. Soap residue may even lead to irritation and dryness, and make hair dull and difficult to manage.

Hard water also contributes to inefficient and costly operation of water-using appliances. When limescale forms in kettles and water heaters it may cause breakdowns. Heated hard water forms a scale of calcium and magnesium minerals that can damage appliances such as your dishwasher or washing machine. Pipes can also clog due to the mineral content of hard water, reducing water flow and demanding pipe replacement. In extreme conditions, it may cause breakdown in commercial equipment such as boilers, cooling towers, and other large-scale equipment.

Benefits of Adding Soft Water

As much as possible, we want options that contribute to making lives better. Soft water is less harsh and preserves the color and texture of clothes, the softness of skin and hair, and the efficiency of water-using appliances.

Here at Kinetico Utah, we believe everybody deserves soft water to make life easier and cleaner. We offer home filtration systems that soften water to make everyday activities a breeze. Contact us today to find out more about your water treatment options.

Banana Filters

Ripe Banana

Having a recycle-first mindset can open a person to a world of new possibilities regarding the use of everyday items they would otherwise throw away. One of the most surprising items that’s proven to have a multitude of different uses is the humble banana peel. The fruit refuse has uses as silver, leather, and plant polisher, but it can also be a water filter.

Banana Guardians

According to a report published in ACS’ Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, minced banana peels have a better performance rate in filtering away potentially toxic chemicals from water. These chemicals include lead and copper residue from mining processes, runoff farms, and industrial waste. Allowing such toxins to enter the water supply can have adverse effects on people’s health, as well as the environment.

The current methods available to large-scale industries in dealing with such threats are expensive, and can even produce toxic residue. Previous studies have shown that similar plant wastes, such as coconut fibers and peanut shells, can remove toxins from the water. This is the reason researchers hypothesized that a similar plant waste, like the banana peel, can perform a similar function.

An apparatus using the minced banana peels quickly removed metals from the contaminated water just as well as—or better than—the other materials. According to the report, the banana peels could be used up to eleven times before they start losing their metal binding properties. The team adds the economic benefits of using banana peels as a filtration alternative is a significant factor, considering its low cost.

Industrial Only

Homeowners, however, shouldn’t make the mistake of putting minced banana peels in their water supplies and expect it to become more potable. This is because banana peels can attract and bind heavy metal toxins, but can’t do the same for dirt and bacteria.

The only way copper and lead can reasonably be present in a home’s water supply – other than outside contamination – is pipe corrosion.In this case, a complete replacement of the plumbing may be a safer long-term solution. There are hundreds of different solutions for every water filtration need, and most of them are right here. Contact us today about the situation you’re facing, and we’ll work with you to find the best and simplest answer.

How Soft Water and Hard Water Behave Differently

Hard & Soft Water

Some people think that all water is the same regardless of where it comes from. The truth is that water quality varies widely throughout the country. Some water may be deemed ‘hard’ or ‘soft,’ and that can have a significant impact on your daily life. Read on and discover the difference between hard and soft water.

Hard vs. Soft Water

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 85 percent of water in the United States is “hard,” meaning it contains high amounts of calcium and magnesium because it comes in contact with rock and soil. Soft water, on the other hand, contains relatively few elements, and in some cases none at all. Soft water can occur naturally or be produced with treatment devices that reduce elements of water hardness.


Certain minerals in hard water make soap and other cleaning products less effective, hampering their ability to properly lather. Hard water also creates soap and buildup in the showers, requiring more intense cleaning effort and increased use of chemicals to clean the bath.  Soap lathers easily when you have soft water, meaning you can use less (and save money on personal hygiene products), plus you won’t have to spend all your free time scrubbing hard water stains from your bath fixtures.


Similar to your bath soap, minerals in hard water interact with detergents that you use to clean your home and your laundry. This impacts its ability to clean dirt and stains, and requires that you use more detergent to clean your clothing. With no minerals to interact with your detergents, soft water can decrease the need for detergent by up to 50 percent.

Energy Usage

Gas water heaters using only hard water will consume more energy than those that use soft water, lowering the system’s energy efficiency and increasing water heating costs. In addition hard water residue can build up in a water heater over time and lead to deterioration sooner than if you had soft water. Soft water cuts overall energy cost and helps preserve the life of your home appliances.

Pipes and Stains

Hard water can cause buildup in pipes and the heater, which impedes water flow and can eventually block the pipes entirely, leading to potential flooding and/or expensive pipe replacements. It can also cause your small appliances around the house to deteriorate faster, such as your dishwasher and washing machine. In the long run it will cost you a lot more to pay to replace these things more often than if you paid for water softening technology.

A water softener removes the calcium and magnesium from the water and will protect your appliances, reduce cleaning time, and will help skin and hair to be softer and less dry.  A Kinetico water softener also uses no electricity, uses 70% less salt and will provide a couple of decades or reliable, trouble free service.