Can a Water Softener Hurt Your Plumbing?

July 6, 2018 7:27 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Do you ever come out of the shower feeling “squeaky” clean? If you answered “yes,” then that probably means that your water is too hard. Household water typically contains minerals, which is not automatically a bad thing, unless the amount of minerals in the water is too high. Water is typically considered hard when it has about one grain of minerals per one gallon of water. Hard water can be harmful to your hair and skin, but it can also take a toll on your plumbing, your appliances and even your energy bill.

Water softeners are installed to reduce the amount of minerals in your household water and make it “softer,” which allows for the following benefits:

  • 30 percent savings on your water heating energy
  • Increase the life of appliances that use water
  • Fewer water spots on dishes
  • Cuts cleaning time for showers and sinks
  • 50 percent less soap/cleaning detergents required for cleaning and laundry

As your local source for plumbing installation in Colorado Springs, CO, we know that, while soft water has many benefits, there are a few drawbacks as well.


While hard water can take a toll on your water boiler, extremely soft water with a high volume flow rate can cause damage as well. The copper tubing of the boiler can actually get pits in it from soft water, if the flow rate is high. To avoid this problem, be sure to reference the manufacturer’s recommendations for the optimum water treatment levels.

Septic system

Water softeners can also cause damage to your septic system. When a water softener regenerates, salt is sent through the system to remove any mineral buildup. It’s this salt that can negatively affect the bacteria levels in your septic system. One way to avoid this is by installing an electronic control that can be set to regenerate your water softener only when needed, rather than at predetermined intervals.

Drinking water

Hard water is typically perfectly safe to drink. In fact, the added minerals are often beneficial to your health. If you have a water softener, however, a lot of those minerals are removed and a small amount of sodium is added. While softened water is still well within the safe drinking zone, the added sodium may be an issue for certain individuals. Other people sometimes miss the taste of the added minerals in hard water as well.


While water softeners are typically harmless to the environment, they can occasionally cause damage when going through their regeneration cycle. As mentioned, salt is used in the regeneration process. In this process, excess salt, magnesium and chloride is flushed down the sewer pipes, which can mean a high concentration of pollutants entering the water system at a rate that water filtration systems cannot keep up with.

Overall, water softeners are beneficial to your home’s plumbing, if they are installed and used appropriately. If you are looking for reliable and expert plumbing installation in Colorado Springs, CO, be sure to contact Affordable Rooter Plumbing, Sewer, and Drain!

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