How Often Should My Water Softener Regenerate? Find Out The Answer

Many people might ask, “How often should my water softener regenerate?” several times. Well, this question is no stranger, especially for those who frequently wake up at night and hear your machine work many times.

However, many rambling replies on the Internet might not satisfy you. For your peace of mind, we have written this article to provide you with enough necessary information.

Check it out now!

How Often Should My Water Softener Regenerate
How often should my water softener regenerate?

How Does Water Softener Regeneration Work?

In a water softener, regeneration is called the most technical part. Let’s figure out its performance. 

water Regeneration process
Regeneration process via waterfilterguru

Resin is a softening material that allows hard water to pass through. Once it traps and holds onto all the hardness minerals in the water, brine, which means a saltwater solution, must flush through the system to clean it out. 

The process normally involves loading the block salt into the water softener for about 10 minutes, and the machine will clean each cylinder at a time to make sure that your home can use softened water without interrupting. Of course, hard water will never leak into your system. 

Besides, the water is utilized to move the brine regenerating through the machine and continue flushing it to prepare for the next service cycle. Remember that the number of liters necessary for each regenerating progress depends on the size, design, and efficiency of the water softener.  

How Often Should My Water Softener Regenerate?

The frequency for your water softener to regenerate varies when it comes to many machines. Specifically, some devices regenerate daily, others work every few days, and some work once per two weeks or one month. 

Numerous factors are deciding this cycle, such as the tank volume, the hardness level, and water usage.  Let us take an example. A large tank that needs to treat much water in a concrete time will ask for daily regeneration. Similarly, regeneration must also occur every single day in case of extremely hard water. That’s why a machine can regenerate once per two weeks whereas the other can work many times per day.

Although your softener is able to run many times a day, the experts recommend that it should frequently regenerate after at least two days. It contributes greatly to keeping the resin bed always active.

What Are The Factors Determining Your Water Softener Needs Regenerating?

Now we will go into details of some factors determining the regeneration of your softener that we have mentioned roughly above:

The Hardness Level Of Water

Your machine must regenerate many times, which are about a few times a week when the water is relatively hard.

How Much Water You Are Using

The need for regenerating your softener will base on how much water your home uses. The more water you are using, the more often your unit needs to recharge. Some households with many people will have higher water usage than those having fewer water needs. 

The System Age

The electric water softener must regenerate more frequently when it only has one tank. Plus, it loses its capacity after a long time of usage. 

Capacity Of Resin Tank 

One more thing to consider, if your resin tank capacity is large, as well as the water usage, is high, regeneration, of course, occurs many times. Especially, the water softener will have to regenerate a lot when there is only one tank, as we have mentioned above.

The Amount Of Iron In Your Water

Also, if the amount of iron in the water at your home is high, you will need more frequent recharging. 

Chemical Deterioration

Oxidants like chlorine will cause chemical deterioration, which reduces capacity as a result. 

Control Valve 

Control valve
Control valve

Which kind of control valve also decides this frequency of recharging. The common one packs a clock, allowing you to set for a concrete period, like daily, weekly. Therefore, regeneration still takes place during the use of the low water, no matter if the resin is full or not. 

Moreover, you can set the system to operate at midnight when you want to remove untreated water from your home. Consider carefully as you may be awakened by the sound when it runs.

“Metered” is another type of valve, which is related to water usage. This meter can keep track of the water usage well by setting a threshold to trigger the regeneration performance. 

Due to the more flexible demand regeneration, the machine will conserve both water and salt, which is on another level compared to the previous type. 

People tend to prefer this one when it comes to another valve type called “true demand”. Exactly as its name implies, this non-electric and demand-operated valve recharges the resin according to the actual water usage. 

Its performance is highly praised compared to a timer as it only triggers if necessary, that’s why you can save wastewater and salt at the same time. 

How Long Does It Take For A Water Softener To Regenerate?

Normally, the average regeneration of a water softener often needs up to 90 minutes as it requires multiple steps. Depending on the hardness level of your water, it uses about 25 gallons of water. 

We all know that you might be concerned about how wasteful the systems are, but the benefits that a water softener brings can outweigh all the potential downsides. For instance, they can save you water on housework like washing dishes or laundry.    

Can A Water Softener Regenerate Too Often?

As mentioned earlier, the type of control valve your water softener has plays an important role in deciding the regeneration. Your unit will operate when the valve asks to start the process. There are two different types of regeneration that we will cover in-depth now, let’s take a look!


Regarding “demand-initiated regeneration”, the process of recharging varies totally with your demand. In detail, the control valve is responsible for following the water usage and setting a “regeneration mode” for the water softener to work until it gets a predetermined amount of water. 

A high level of water you use will make the unit regenerate more. This demand will also depend on the number of users at your home, or the tank size as well. 


How to set time on your water softene
How to set time on your water softener

“Time-initiated” means that the clock appearing on your control valve determines the process of regenerating. This type of regeneration sets a timed schedule to activate the regeneration system. It might be a few particular days, like twice a week, or at a specific time of that day in case of low water need, which is up to you. 

How frequently your water softener regenerates has no hard rule. We recommend that you try to understand the way your machine works as well as other specifications to detect the right time for recharging easily. It will be best if you consult the instruction or a water expert. 

For example, a tank at the average size with a hardness level from seven to ten grains per gallon will need to regenerate at least one time in up to 2 weeks. And the process will repeat itself afterward. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does My Water Softener Know When To Regenerate?

Two common types of regeneration that we have mentioned above are the key factor for the water softener to know when to recharge. They include demand-initiated and time-initiated regeneration.

The former type tracks the needed water and triggers the unit to regenerate when a specific amount of water passes through. Meanwhile, the latter one requires your machine to operate a certain number of times a day, or a week. These settings will lie on the information that a built-in timer provides. 

It is worth mentioning that demand regeneration brings more efficiency, but it occurs more randomly when the water level is low. Of course, you can schedule this process on the system’s menu for more convenience. 

How Do I Know If My Water Softener is Regenerating?

It is quite easy for you to realize when your water softener is regenerating. It often makes some clear noises when the saltwater solution is washing over the resin of your machine, like a motor hum or running water. 

When the regenerating performance occurs at night during low water usage, you might not hear when it is operating. However, you can determine whether the system has recharged yet afterward when you check the hardness level of water. More hard water means that the softener fails to regenerate.

Another way to figure out is to taste the water. The scale only forms on the surface of the water when your unit has not regenerated, and you end up with hardness minerals. 

Final Thoughts

We believe that we have given you an in-depth explanation on the question “How often should my water softener regenerate?”. Now you can check whether your water softener has been set up for optimal regeneration or not. 

If you have any other concerns related to this machine, do not hesitate to leave them in the comment section below. 

Thanks for reading!

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