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Water Softener Resin Replacement Guide: How Long Does It Last?

Scott Winfield
Last Updated on
by Scott Winfield

Are you cleaning things up around your house and fixing them for spring? Have you been having issues with your water softener resin?

If yes, then here is your guide on how to replace your water softener resin on your own.

How to Replace Resin in Water Softener

With adequate preparation, you should be able to perform all these steps quickly. Most people who want to replace their water softener resin need a few hours to do this job with care and precision.

Plumber maintaining a water softener

Make sure you have the necessary tools and materials to perform the replacement: a 4-in-1 screwdriver, a riser tube, gravel and new resin.

1 – 2 hours 30 minutes.

Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing Water Softener Resin

  1. Measure your tank

    You should look at your tank to see how much resin you’ll need. If you don’t know how your water softener works, there’s a valve head in the upper part of the tank that allows water to flow through the resin inside the tank.

    The hardness ions will exchange themselves for sodium ions, and the water will pass through the carbon to test it. That will happen at the bottom of the tank where water flows through the softener tube toward the tank’s base.

    Many professionals install such containers in the same manner, and you can confirm that yours has the correct amount of resin according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

    Measure your tank to ensure it has enough resin before you start. There’s nothing you can do until you know that you have the necessary resin levels. It’s cheaper to order it yourself, and you can add it quickly.

  2. Order your resin

    Make sure to buy the correct resin for your tank. You shouldn’t buy the cheapest option to save money. You must purchase resin that is specifically designed for your tank or situation.

    If you buy cheap resin, then you will have to replace it more frequently to avoid water contamination, which will increase the hardness in your water to the point where it can damage your shower, bathtub, and other home appliances.

    Additionally, there are a few health risks involved.

  3. Turn off your water valve

    Turn your water valve until the water stops flowing or you hear noise throughout the pipes. You must completely close the valve and ensure that there are no leaks before continuing.

  4. Remove the water hose.

    To take out the water hose, remove the top cover of the water softener tank, open the motor’s lid (a screwdriver may be necessary here) and turn it off, then disconnect the water hose from the water softener.

    You’ll move back to the tank in time, but it should only be possible to work on the tank during this time to avoid damaging the waterline.

  5. Take out the water softener resin.

    You can reach the resin now in the water softener tank. It should be loose, and you’ll want to remove it with rubber gloves, but you can also use latex.

    You should withdraw all the resin until there is only gravel at the bottom. Shake the gravel loose until you’re able to remove the resin from the tank again.

    Resin is sticky, and you must be careful while taking it out to ensure you don’t remove the riser tube. Don’t pour the old resin into the riser tube after you extract it. Throw it in the trash.

  6. Replace the resin.

    You can replace your water holder’s resin by having it flow into your tank’s gravel. You should pour the resin until it fills every part of the tank.

    It should rise until almost the upper rim, but there should be a hole in the upper part that permits water to sit when it falls to the bottom of the tank.

    You’ll have to make sure that resin doesn’t enter the riser tube while you pour it into the tank. You can place it carefully and be careful that you don’t bend the riser tube or adjust its path.

    If you’ve never opened the water softener tank, you may be scared of damaging the riser tube, so you should move slowly to avoid denting it.

  7. Close the motor’s lid.

    You must firmly close the motor’s lid, and you might have to use a screwdriver to fasten the screws. Remember to place the tank’s top cover back in its original spot, then confirm that there are no leaks when you reopen the water valve.

    Check the tank when replacing the resin to ensure there are no leaks and confirm that the water doesn’t flow toward the base.

How Often Should A Homeowner Replace Their Water Softener Resin?

Homeowners should replace water softener resin approximately every 20 years depending on your home’s water lines and mineral saturation.

Replacing the Resin
Replacing the Resin

How Do I Know if My Water Softener Resin Is in Poor Condition?

You can use cheap test strips from home improvement stores to review the hardness and sodium ion levels in your water softener resin. You should perform the tests if you notice mineral saturation on your sinks or in your shower as well.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace Water Softener Resin?

It costs around $150 to replace your water softener resin.


You can replace the water softener resin if you’re familiar with the water softening tank and you know how to perform the procedure. Make sure that you’ve read the instructions on turning off the water valve, then remove the motor’s lid and take out the resin before you proceed.

Remember to make sure the motor is working properly and covered again before turning on the water valve.

It’s crucial to have clean resin because you’ll keep your appliances in great condition for a longer time, and you’ll also avoid bacteria and fungi accumulating in the water resin.

If you have any further questions, or if your tank and resin bed are still under warranty, you can contact a professional for more details and assistance.

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Scott Winfield
Scott Winfield
My name is Scott Winfield and researching and writing about water filters and other strategies to purify water has become my full time passion in recent years. I'm glad that you found our site and you can look forward to authoritative and well researched content here to help you get the best in water.
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