How Can Water Softener Resin Beds Go Bad And When Do They Need To Be Replaced?

Water softeners are an incredibly handy item in your home to help you avoid issues relating to hard water.

How Can Water Softener Resin Beds Go Bad And When Do They Need To Be Replaced

Softeners are usually relatively easy to manage, but the resin bed within a water softener does need to be monitored as it can sometimes lead to the softener no longer working as effectively.

In this article, we are going to be looking at what exactly a resin bed is and when they need to be replaced. Let’s get started.

What Is A Resin Bed?

Resin beds are a key component of a water softener, as they house the all-important resin beads. Resin beads are the tiny beads that create the softening process, also known as the “ion exchange”.

The ion exchange happens when the minerals that cause hard water enter the water softener and come into the contact with the beads. The minerals will bind to the beads and when this happens, the minerals will be taken from the water, and exit the tank.

When we speak about the resin bed, we are referring to the resin beads as a whole and the area where they are contained.

Can A Resin Bed Go Bad?

This all depends on the water softener that you have as well as the water quality in your home and how much wear and tear your softener is subjected to.

Certain resin beds can last as long as the softener itself, whilst others might have to be replaced every decade or so.

However, damage is always possible. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common ways that a resin bed can be damaged.

  • Iron in Your Water: Iron in your home’s water supply can be a danger to the resin bed of a softener as it can coat the exterior layers of the beads. This then makes it much more difficult for the minerals to attach themselves to the beads, which can lower the efficiency of your water softener.
  • Chlorine: The largest perpetrator when it comes to the degradation of a resin bed, chlorine can destroy the glue that holds the resin beads together and render them ineffective. Most municipal water contains some chlorine, but too much can greatly reduce the lifespan of your water softener. 
  • Water Hammering: This is a term that refers to the force that is behind the water that will flow through your plumbing whenever a faucet is turned on. Too much water hammering with an excessive amount of force can damage a resin bed when the water shoots directly into the tank. 

How Do You Know That A Resin Bed Needs To Be Replaced?

An easy way to spot that your resin bed isn’t as effective anymore is if you start experiencing issues that are similar to those associated with hard water in your plumbing, including the following:

  • A Buildup of Scale Around Faucets and Pipes
  • Water Tasting Unpleasant or Unusual
  • Soap Not Lathering
  • Issues With Laundry
  • Hard Water Staining
  • Iron Staining

If you experience any of these problems, it might be time to check the resin bed of your water softener.

Preventing Resin Bed Damage

There are a few ways to maintain the integrity of your resin bed for longer, so let’s take a look at how to do so.

  • Yearly Maintenance Schedule: Getting your water softener checked over by a professional is a useful way to keep your resin bed in good condition. They’ll be able to tune up the softener in general as well as check for any problems with your resin bed.
  • Water Filtration System: Installing a water filtration system is a great way to ensure that no premature damage comes to the resin bed of your water softener. A filtration system is able to remove any contaminants that can cause issues, including the aforementioned iron and chlorine that can get into the system. 
  • Clean The Resin Bed: Cleaning the resin beads is a necessity to maintain your water softener and the beads themselves. You can do so without having to open the tank, but make sure to check if the beads look discolored or flaky beforehand. If they do, you will need to clean them with an iron-removing chemical. You should also make sure that you only clean the resin bed when the salt in the softener brine tank is running low. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, our guide has helped you learn a little more about resin beds, including how they can become damaged and what to do to protect them. Your water softeners are sure to last for years to come with a little bit of effort and help from our top tips!

Mandy Anderson