Immediately after turning on a water softener it will start softening your water, however, it can take a couple of days for you start noticing all the positive effects of your new system.

This is due to the fact that the piping and appliances in your house will still be filled with hard water and possibly scale build-up. Getting rid of this can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to up to several years.

Let's have a look at why this is and how you can speed up this process.

How Long Does It Take To Get Soft Water After Installing A Water Softener?

After installing and turning on your water softener all the water leaving your water softener will be soft. However, depending on where in your house, and whether you are using hot or cold water, it may take a while before you will see soft water coming out of your faucet.

The route towards your cold water tap will probably be quite short, and therefor should not take much more than a couple of minutes.

Hot water however, has to go through your water heater. Depending on the size of your water heaters' tank this could take several days.

Therefore, it may take a while for you to start noticing those nice benefits of soft water in your shower.

Furthermore, depending on how long your house has been running without a water softener, there could be a significant amount of scale build-up in your piping and appliances.

As soon as soft water start pouring through this it will slowly start to dissolve this existing build-up. Until this is fully cleared away your water may still contain some hard water molecules.

One thing to keep in mind is that this process may lead to some minor leakages in some of your appliances, especially those that deal with hot water.

How Long Does It Take To Get Soft Water After Regeneration?

At some point your water softener system will have to regenerate in order for it to keep functioning. If you happen to be using water during regeneration, depending on your water softener model, it is possible that hard water will have entered your piping or perhaps your water heater tank.

Just like after installing a new water softener system it can take a couple of days for this hard water to be fully flushed out. To avoid any of such problems it is therefor important to carefully determine when to regenerate your water softener.

How To Tell If Your Water Softener Is Working

When testing your new system you might be looking for ways to tell if your system is actually working. The most accurate way to do this is using a simple water hardness test strip.

Such a test can tell you whether the water coming out of your faucet is at the desired hardness level.

Alternately you could do a soap test, this should be able to give you a rough estimate whether your water softener is working.

  • Step 1. - Fill a bottle or a sealable container about halfway with the water you want to test.

  • Step 2. - Add a couple of drops of liquid soap.

  • Step 3. - Close the bottle or container and shake vigorously for a couple of seconds.

At this point there should be a lot of soap bubbles right on top of the water. If there are no bubbles and your water appears a bit cloudy this could indicate your water is still hard and that your system is not working the way it should.

Still Hard Water With Your New Water Softener

If the test result indicates that your water is still hard there may be something faulty with your system, here are a couple of things you can check.

First start with checking whether water is actually flowing through your system, perhaps you've accidentally opened your water softeners' bypass valve. Or maybe something has gone wrong during installation causing your water softener to leak.

Second let's see whether there is enough or maybe too much salt in your system. Perhaps there is some salt mushing in your brine tank that has clogged a valve or your system might not be using any salt due to a salt bridge.

Now that we've got that covered be sure you have correctly set up your system according to the right water hardness level.

Differences To Expect Before And After A Water Softener Installation

Before installation, you will have noticed the disadvantages of hard water in your daily life. Now that your system is working you should start seeing some noticeable differences due to the benefits of soft water as well as the benefits of your water softener system.

Now that you have soft water you will be able to save costs on the amount soap needed, as well as time that no longer has to be spent on cleaning white spots of glasses, dishes, or other surfaces. Furthermore, your clothing will feel and smell as new because there is no more limescale and soap scum embedded in your favorite sweater.

However, keep in mind that there could be some minor and often temporary disadvantages to your water softener.

If you have a lot of existing scale build-up in your home, some of it might have creeped into rubber seals or other water connections throughout the years. As the scale build-up slowly starts to dissolve the can sometimes lead to small holes to open up around these connections.

Therefore, it is good to be aware of some minor leakages that might occur throughout the next couple of months. Once detected, the best thing to do is to disassemble the leaking coupling and thoroughly clean it to remove all scale build-up before reassembling it.

Will A Water Softener Remove Scale From Pipes?

Like in nature limescale will eventually dissolve as it comes in contact with soft water, this is however a slow process and depending on the amount of scale build-up present in your home it could take several years for your pipes to be completely clear from scale build-up.