When you install a water softener in your home, you are changing the way that water flows through your pipes. Instead of flowing directly to your taps, your water will first go through your water softener’s tank soon after it enters your home. Some homeowners wonder whether or not this disruption in the flow of water will reduce water pressure in their homes. Today we’re going to address that concern by talking about whether or not water softeners reduce water pressure and why in many cases a water softener can actually improve water pressure in your home!
Does the presence of a water softener automatically reduce water pressure?
As we mentioned above, installing a water softener disrupts the normal flow of water through your home’s pipes. When water enters a softener’s tank, it must be pushed through the softener’s resin bed in order to be softened. This process slightly reduces water pressure, simply because it has to go through the softener instead of flowing directly to your taps. However, this reduction in water pressure is extremely minimal and in most cases is not even recognizable.
How can issues with your water softener reduce water pressure?
Although properly-working water softeners typically have a negligible impact on water pressure, malfunctioning water softeners are a different story. In particular, there are two scenarios in which a water softener can have noticeable effects on water pressure:
- The softener was installed improperly. Water softeners should be installed by reputable and accredited contractors like EPA Water. If you work with a low-quality contractor, there’s a chance that your water softener will not be installed properly. The most common installation issue is improper sizing of the softener, but other mistakes during the installation can cause mechanical problems with the unit. Installation issues can cause a water softener to reduce water pressure, even if the softener is a high-quality product.
- The resin bed is damaged by chlorine. Another issue with water softeners that can reduce water pressure is damage to the resin bed caused by exposure to high levels of chlorine. If your water is high in chlorine, it can damage the resin beads inside your softener. These damaged beads will settle at the bottom of your tank, which reduces the unit’s throughput. Luckily, chlorine can easily be removed by installing a carbon or reverse osmosis filter in front of your water softener.
In most cases, a water softener will improve your home’s water pressure
The whole reason people install water softeners is because their homes have hard water. One of the biggest issues with hard water is that the minerals in the water accumulate inside of pipes over time. This reduces the available space for water to flow through your pipes, which can drastically reduce your water pressure and even lead to complete clogging. That’s why a water softener will almost always improve water pressure in homes that have hard water. The softener will remove the minerals from the water before they have a chance to build up in your pipes, which will keep water flowing freely throughout your home.
Think your water softener is reducing water pressure? Test it with the bypass valve
If you suspect that your water softener might be reducing your home’s water pressure, there’s an easy way to test your theory. Most water softeners have a bypass valve that, when turned on, will prevent water from entering the softener. Instead, water will flow through your pipes exactly as it would if the water softener wasn’t there. Try running your water with the bypass valve turned on and compare it to the pressure when the valve is turned off. If you notice a significant difference, contact EPA Water so we can inspect your system and determine if the problem is stemming from an issue with your softener.
If you have any questions about whether or not water softeners reduce water pressure, or if you’d like a water system serviced or installed in your home, contact EPA Water Consultants, your water softener and water filtration system dealer in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We provide service all over Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including towns like Macungie, Malvern and Quakertown, PA.
photo credit: sfxeric via photopin (license)