Choose Wisely: Tips on Selecting and Maintaining a Home Water Softening System

Hard water is a common issue in many households, as minerals like calcium and magnesium can build up in your home’s plumbing system and cause various problems. These issues range from reduced soap lather, soap scum, damaged appliances, and even decreased energy efficiency. R.A. Nichols Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can help install a water softening system to effectively mitigate these effects, providing your family with softened water that’s gentle on your skin, hair, and household appliances.

Selecting the right water softening system for your home, however, can be a challenge with the various models and options available in the market. In addition to choosing the perfect system for your specific needs, it’s vital to maintain it properly to ensure its longevity and efficiency. R.A. Nichols Plumbing, Heating & Cooling will explore the essential factors you need to consider when selecting a home water softening system and detail key maintenance practices that can keep your system operating optimally for years to come.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Water Softening System

With various types and brands of water softening systems on the market, it’s essential to consider the following factors to make an informed decision on the best fit for your home:

  1. Water Hardness Level: The level of water hardness in your home will significantly affect the type of water softening system you need. Have your water tested professionally to determine its hardness level, allowing you to choose a system with the appropriate capacity to handle your specific needs.
  2. System Type: There are different types of water softening systems, including salt-based ion exchange, salt-free, and reverse osmosis. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, so research which system best suits your requirements, budget, and preferences regarding water taste and eco-friendliness.
  3. Size and Capacity: Water softening systems come in various sizes and capacities, designed to accommodate different household water usage levels. Choose a system that’s capable of handling your family’s daily water consumption without overburdening the equipment.
  4. Budget and Operating Costs: Consider the initial cost of the system, as well as ongoing expenses such as salt, filters, and energy consumption. Opt for a system that fits within your budget and offers reasonable operating costs.

Proper Installation and Setup

Once you’ve selected a water softening system, it’s essential that it’s correctly installed and set up by our professional plumber. Improper installation can lead to inefficiency, wasted resources, and even damage to your home’s plumbing infrastructure. Our qualified plumber will ensure the system is installed according to manufacturer guidelines and that all necessary plumbing connections are securely in place.

Additionally, your plumber can help you set up the system by adjusting the settings to accommodate your specific water hardness level and household needs. Proper customization will optimize the system’s performance and deliver the best results for your home’s water quality.

Routine Maintenance Practices for Your Water Softening System

Regular maintenance is crucial for ensuring that your water softening system operates effectively and has a long lifespan. Follow these maintenance tips to keep your system in excellent condition:

  1. Check Salt Levels: For salt-based systems, regularly check and replenish the salt in the brine tank. Monitor the salt levels monthly and top it off when necessary.
  2. Clean the Brine Tank: Over time, salt can build up in the brine tank and reduce the system’s efficiency. At least once a year, empty and clean the tank to remove sludge and debris.
  3. Inspect and Replace Filters: For salt-free and reverse osmosis systems, inspect the filters regularly. Replace them according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule to maintain optimal performance.
  4. Monitor System Performance: Keep an eye on your system’s performance by observing any changes in water quality, taste, or pressure. These changes can indicate potential issues that may require professional attention.

When to Call Our Professional for Water Softener Maintenance

While routine maintenance tasks can often be performed independently, there are instances when our professional plumber is warranted for water softener maintenance:

  1. Troubleshooting: If you notice a decrease in system performance, unusual sounds, or leaks, our professional plumber can diagnose the issue and recommend an appropriate solution.
  2. System Upgrades: If you need to upgrade your water softening system due to increased water usage, our plumber can help guide you through the process and ensure the upgraded equipment is installed correctly.
  3. Warranty and Service Plans: Some water softening systems come with manufacturer warranties or service plans that require periodic professional maintenance. In these cases, hiring our professional ensures your system stays compliant with warranty or service plan requirements.


Choosing and maintaining a water softening system for your home is a crucial step towards improving your water quality and preventing the negative effects of hard water on your plumbing, appliances, and overall health. By considering essential factors and properly maintaining your system, you can enjoy softened water that’s gentle on your skin, hair, and home for years to come.

Don’t let hard water wreak havoc on your household – our team of skilled plumbers in Plainsboro is here to help you select, install, and maintain the perfect water softening system tailored to your specific needs. Contact R.A. Nichols Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today to start enjoying softer, better-quality water in your home.

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