How To Replace a Water Softener Resin Bed


Replacing your water softener resin bed can look like a daunting task. However, replacing this important part of your water softener is not as daunting as it looks. Even though most resins don’t need to be frequently replaced, your softener’s regeneration cycle can reduce its life. Therefore, we’ve put together an ultimate guide on how to replace a water softener resin bed to help you out.

Step 1: Diagnose the problem

Before you move to replace the resin, it’s very important to check if your unit is operating properly. If you’ve noticed no soft water is coming out of your water softener or it quickly runs out of soft water and regenerates, there is a high probability your resin bed is damaged. The normal life of a resin bed is 10-15 years. 

That said, the main culprit responsible for damaging your resin bed is chlorine. Chlorine separates your resin from the glue which holds resin beads together rendering the beads ineffective. Also, iron mostly available in well water or city water can coat the bead’s outer layer. As if that is not enough, water hammering can also cause direct damage to the resin bed due to the water force flowing through the pipes. 

So how do you know your water softener resin bed is faulty? It’s very simple. The first step is to find out if your unit’s salt consumption rate is at its normal rate. If you find out the consumption rate is normal, and there is no sign of soft water, then probably the resin bed is damaged. It could either be damaged by chlorine and the brine can no longer regenerate it or it could be saturated with iron deposits.

Step 2: Determine which type of resin is used

Determining the type of your unit’s resin bed is very important. The type of your unit’s resin bed is normally indicated in the owner’s manual. Most of them are hi-cap (high capacity) resin. You will also find some units using fine-mesh resin – especially those used with well water to trap ground water metals. Fine-mesh resins are frequently replaced due to the iron minerals trapped hence reducing its water softening ability.

Step 3: Replace the resin bed

Now this is arguably the most tricky part of the whole process. To begin with, watch out for the O-rings and the seals positions so that you can reinstall them in their right places. Also, it’s important you purchase essential tools such as a riser tube, resin funnel and gravel – if needed.
The next step is to rotate the softener valve towards the bypass position. Proceed to the next step which is starting a manual regeneration by turning on a dial located on the valve head. This process will let off internal water pressure.

Now the next important thing to do is to disconnect your water softener’s control valve from any power, brine and water line. To effectively do this, you might require help to unscrew the control valve. Follow this by removing the distributor tube and the control valve concurrently. Now we move to the fun part where you need to dump out the water and the resins. Alternatively, you could remove them using suction.

Before you begin to install your new resin, make sure the newly purchased riser tube is of similar height to the one you’ve just removed. Next, proceed to insert the resin isinto the resin tank of your water softener. After this, refill the softener and then have the valve head reinstalled. Finally, have your unit reattached back to the bypass valve before turning the valve to “in-service” position.

Step 4: Check for leaks

After every repair conducted on your water softener, conducting a thorough leak check process is a must. If you have keenly followed all the above steps and conducted a proper job, you’ll not spot any leakage. However, if you spot any leaks just work more diligently to repair it and enjoy your soft water.

Final Thoughts

Was that post helpful? Well, properly replacing your water softener resin is very important. Always go for reputable softeners such as Fleck Water Softener which come with a complete user’s manual. Additionally, a 10-year warranty attached to such products assures you of uninterrupted supply of soft water at your home. Feel free to share this post or leave us a comment in the comment section below.