Are Water Softeners Bad for Water Heaters? 


Soft water can prove harmful to some individuals who have been sensitive to high salinity or sodium levels. These include diabetics and those who have high blood pressure problems. Because water is softened using a process such as ion exchange, and sodium ions are exchanged, salt in it is harmful to patients with or high blood pressure.

Water heaters are devices that are commonly used to heat water. These heaters generally work well for about 10 years. The metal gets spoiled after some time by being in hot water continuously.

If you have a water softener system, you should inspect the anode rod of your water heater. These are specially designed to be corrosive and need to be tested every six years. Once the anode rod is rusted, the risk of your water heater going bad and leaking at the same time increases significantly.

There are a variety of benefits to be gained from adopting a water softener system. Its use also helps us from stopping the mineral build-up in the pipe and making it easier to clean clothes and utensils. There is a problem with the water softener system that you should be aware of, I will tell you about some such problems;

Is your water softener having the following problem?

1. Float Valve is Set Slightly Higher

The float valve is used to control the water level in the water softener compartment. It is a well-designed one. I have experienced that when the float valve is set, it is set too high, causing problems.

Therefore it should not be placed too high, because increasing the height makes the water softener unable to carry out its work efficiently.

2. Sometimes Water Softener Doesn’t Take Salt

If you feel that the salt level in your water softener is not depleting. The main reason for not using salt as a water softener is the formation of salt bridges. Then you need to test your system.

If you want to fix the salt bridge system, first of all, you turn off the water from the coming tap. Next, take a long stick and use it to tap the salt crust until it breaks. Then your water softener will be ready to take the salt.

3. Leaking Water Softener

Leakage in water softener components is a huge problem. Just like leaks in water or gas lines and tanks, leaks in water softeners also have a major problem. In this situation, it is very difficult to detect the leak in the water softener.

The only way to detect such a leak is to thoroughly inspect the entire softener. Depending on the condition of the leak, you can decide whether you want to repair or replace the damaged component.

See also: How to fix water heater leaking

What do you understand about hard water?

Hard water refers to water that has high levels of certain mineral salts such as calcium and magnesium. Hard water will not prove to be bad for your health, the lack of magnesium slows down the growth of our body. But over time it can damage plumbing, fixtures, and home appliances.

For this reason, we understand that everyone should have a water softener in their homes. It is necessary to install the water softener system. This will help in the full development of our bodies.

How to Avoid Your Water Softener Problem?

To avoid the problem of water softener mentioned by me above, you should install the softener system properly. Most people choose to install water softener systems in homes. Water softener systems offer many benefits.

The average service life of a tank water heater is around 8-12 years. When you think of replacing a water heater, one of the most common reasons for replacing it is the rust inside the tank.

water heaters are designed with an anode rod

Now almost all water heaters are designed with an anode rod to prevent corrosion. When a water softener system is thought to be installed, it removes the “hard” mineral ions and replaces them with “softer” mineral ions such as sodium.

Coldwater can wear out the anode rod of the water heater faster. When the anode gets damaged, some corrosive elements get into the harmful tank. Here’s an easy way to get the most out of your water heater. If you have a water softener system, you should inspect the anode rod of your water heater.

See also: Can an Old water heater make you sick?

There are some Myths about Water Softeners

1. Water softeners are the reason why water is salty

It’s true that almost all water softeners require salt, but you don’t get the salty taste in your water. A water softener uses a special ion-exchange process to convert soft water into hard water, and remove minerals such as magnesium and calcium from the water.

2. A water softener can purify water 

What most people think is that water softeners are used to purify water. In fact, the main function of a water softener is to decrease the hardness of the water. They are used to soften water as well as an excellent means of removing metals or minerals. 

However, not all types of water softeners have the capability to completely filter out contaminated water. In fact, if one drinks contaminated water every day, he/she has to face various kinds of diseases.

That’s why all people should drink purified water only. To keep your family healthy, you can get a reverse osmosis system installed in your home.

If the water coming into your house is rich in iron and sulfur, you can also resort to an in-home filtration system to get rid of this problem. We would like to remind you that you should keep changing the tools of your water softener after a regular time interval so that your water softener keeps working smoothly.

3. Using soft water leaves an oily film on the skin

Some people believe that when they take a bath with soft water, their skin becomes oily, and they start feeling confused. 

Now you will feel a greasiness on your skin, and some might even call it bad. People get confused due to these myths spread in society, but the truth is just the opposite.

In fact, when you take a bath with hard water, it deposits grime on your skin and makes your skin sticky and oily. When you take a bath with soft water, you feel oily on your skin after bathing, but oily skin is natural and free of dirt.

See also: Bradford White Vs AO Smith – Which Water Heater is Better

How to know if the water softener is affecting the water heater?

If you live in a place where hard water is found, then the only option you may have to install a water softener to overcome this problem.

Hard water is water that is used for your drinking and other things, along with water, many other types of minerals are also found which are harmful and they can cause different types of problems.

Common Issues of Hard water and Soft water

Soft Water Issue  Hard Water Issue 
Soft water is not as abrasive as hard water, so it does not damage our clothes Skin feels oily after washing hands or bathing
Plants grow well with soft water This can make your skin greasy and oily
It is needed in the fish farming aquarium You get a strange taste or strange smell in the water
Heart patients should stay away from soft water as it can increase the blood pressure of the heart It also blocks the showerhead and pipes

For this reason, people living in Greater San Diego are the only option to get rid of this problem by installing water softeners in their homes. Hard water is common throughout the region, and this decision should be made based on where you live.

Many people do not want to understand that water softeners can harm their bad water heater, due to which we may have to change the water softener instead of our water heater.

Check Your Anode Rod

It is also important to know that your water softener is used to reduce the efficiency of your water heater. The main reason for shortening the life span of a water heater can be called an anode rod.

In fact, where the truth is that many people do not know the essential things about the anode rod, it plays a major role in the smooth running of the water heater.

The anode rod is usually a rod made of aluminum or magnesium; If you do not use, your water heater may start leaking from the location of the anode rod.

If it is not treated, your water heater will rust. One reason for this problem can also be that water and steel do not match each other. The nominal electrical current and the corrosive mineral that builds up inside the water heater all eventually cause the water heater to fail.

Due to the presence of water in the anode rod, it gets rusted, which completely spoils the material of the anode rod.  Once the anode rod wears out, water will continue to corrode the tank and eventually cause the tank to deform.

My Expert Advice

I can’t force you whether you should or shouldn’t install any water softener. There are some people who have not repaired their water softener for many years, yet their water softener is working smoothly. 

I have seen that the water softener experts ask to replace the anode rod after a certain time period. But if you look at the current water softener models, you will find that it has become difficult to replace the anode rod in the current devices.


I have mentioned several reasons above, which can greatly shorten the life of your water heater. As I mentioned, corrosive fumes and high water pressure all affect water heaters in general. Actually, it is often seen that water softener is mostly the cause of premature failure of water heaters.

Water softeners are more important for people who live in areas with hard water. However, in the end, the conclusion is that water softeners can shorten the life of your water heater.

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