Can a Water Softener Explode? (What 3 Signs & Prevention)

Water softeners tend to have a longer life than most other water-based appliances, but they can explode. Do not worry. Your water softener is not a bomb! You can prevent the unfortunate incident with due diligence and proper maintenance.

Understanding Water Softener Explosions

Water professionals are of the view that new water softeners are not as likely to explode as older water softeners. Technically, it is not a highly likely incident. The water tank collapses due to factors like abnormal pressure and vacuum.

The Role of Maintenance in Prevention

You do not want to have clogged water softeners because they are more likely to explode. You may wonder, “How do water softeners explode?” Your water softeners are designed to remove hard minerals from water.

When the water softeners become old, and you do not ensure regular maintenance, the hard minerals build up in the water supply valve or the water tank. As a result, undue water pressure builds up, which leads to water leakage or explosion.

The more you use your poorly maintained old water softener, the more likely it is to explode. In other words, the water supply valve or the water tank of your old water softener becomes clogged when you do not service your old water softener. Old age, excessive usage, and poor maintenance are the main culprits.

Structural Integrity and Brand Quality

Can a Water Softener Explode

In many cases, water professionals have observed that the built quality, structure, and life of a water softener can be blamed for the disaster. For instance, you may have heard that a particular brand of water softener is better than the others.

Any brand of water softener is considered better than others when it comes with a strong structure and better design. A strong structure protects the water tank from the explosion as long as possible. The water pressure inside a damaged, clogged, and old water softener threatens the structural integrity of the water softener.

Plastic Injection Molded Water Softeners

Some water softeners are built using the plastic injection molding process. These water softeners do not last long as they cannot face pressure. They are relatively cheaper, but they need more care and attention than the expensive water softeners. You need to keep in mind that a relatively expensive water softener is expensive due to its high built quality and structure.

External Factors and Safeguarding Measures

Even a well pump failure can lead to a water softener explosion. While a closed valve can cause a water softener explosion, low water supply pressure is more common. The water supply pressure changes when the city administration starts working on your water supply line.

Your repaired water softener is more likely to explode due to any reason. It is always best to install a vacuum breaker while using a repaired water softener. A vacuum breaker can protect your water softener from dangerous water pressure.

A bad pressure-reducing valve is a good tool because it works when your water softener faces unusual water supply pressure. It can be an effective solution to a clogged filter problem. Make sure that you install a vacuum breaker or a pressure relief valve while installing a water softener.

Resin Tank Issues and Regeneration Cycles

The iron deposit in your resin tank is an issue. It affects the regeneration cycles of your water softener.

You might wonder, “Can a water softener explode?” Read the article below to have detailed information about the factors that lead to water softener explosions and how to prevent them:

Key Takeaways on Can a Water Softener Explode

  • Water softeners can explode.
  • Water softener explosion is not common.
  • Clogged water pipes can lead to water softener explosions.
  • Old water softeners are more likely to explode.
  • Excessive usage and poor maintenance can lead to water softener explosion.
  • Low-built quality can lead to water softener explosion.
  • Low water supply pressure can lead to water softener explosion.
  • Sudden changes in water pressure can lead to water softener explosion.
  • Well pump failure can lead to water softener explosion.
  • An abnormal vacuum can cause a water softener explosion.
  • Clogged filters can lead to water softener explosion.
  • The presence of hard minerals in filtered water indicates that your water softener can explode.
  • Scale build-up in your bathroom shower indicates that your water softener needs maintenance.
  • Low water pressure of the water coming out of the water softener indicates that your water softener can explode.
  • You should clean your water softener regularly.
  • Make sure that the regeneration cycles are occurring properly.
  • Make sure that your water softener is not using too much salt.
  • Make sure that your water softener has a properly functioning water supply.
  • Avoid plastic gaskets, O-rings, and screens.
  • Unplug the water softener for periodic maintenance.
  • You should install a vacuum breaker or pressure relief valve to protect your water softener.
  • Read the manual before the water softener installation.
  • Seek professional help and guidance for water softener installation.

Signs of a Water Softener Explosion

You should be careful if you notice the following signs of a water softener explosion:

  • Hard minerals in filtered water.
  • Scale buildup inside Jacuzzi, bathroom shower, or around the kitchen sink.
  • Low water pressure.

How to Prevent a Water Softener Explosion?

Water experts say that it is not difficult to prevent a water softener explosion. You have to properly clean your water softening system. In some cases, you may consider cleaning up the water supply pipes once in a while.

The goal is to stop the scale buildup. Hard mineral deposits inside the water valve or the water tank affect the water pressure inside your water softener. Water pressure threatens the structural integrity of your water-softening system.

Clean plumbing can help reduce scale buildup inside the water valve. It ensures that the water pressure does not become low. You can also turn off the water softener while cleaning your plumbing.

The resin tank explosion is a problem. In some cases, water professionals argue that you should avoid buying cheap water softeners because cheap water softeners come with poor built quality. They are made using the plastic injection molding process, and they cannot withstand high pressure.[ix]

People usually fall into a trap when they visit large retailers that offer mass-produced water softeners. It is one thing to buy an affordable water softener and another to buy a weak water softener. Weak water softeners are more likely to have resin tank explosion than strong water softeners.

What makes your water softener weak?

The plastic injection molding process used to make different parts of your water softener can account for its weak structure. These parts include the gasket, O-rings, and screens. The main job of these parts is to hold back the resin.

So, they continuously face pressure. You do not want low-quality plastic gaskets, O-rings, and screens to face high water pressure. A resin tank explosion becomes imminent when low-quality plastic gaskets, O-rings, and screens face increasing water pressure.   

Should I Turn Off My Water Softener?

You can shut down your water-softening system while cleaning it. It is always a good idea to clean your plumbing while your water-softening system is off. Just unplug the water softener, and your system will shut down.

The manufacturers provide detailed guidelines in the manual. The guidelines are developed keeping in mind the brand and model of your water softening system. You can follow the guidelines, and everything will become easy for you.

You can also use the bypass valve. It won’t stop water flow through the water softener, but it will prevent the water regeneration cycle. Remember, there is nothing wrong with seeking professional help. You can always consult your nearest water professionals.

Why My Water Softener Exploded When I Went On Vacation?

Usually, people fail to turn off their water softeners when they go on a vacation. Failure to do so will affect the proper functioning of your water softener. Suppose that you have installed an affordable water softener.

Your water softener has a plastic gasket, O-ring, and screen that hold the water. You leave your water softener unattended for a long time, and the water supply pressure changes abruptly. Your water softener will likely explode in such a scenario.

There are some methods to mitigate the chances of a water softener explosion when you go on a vacation. The first one is to install a vacuum breaker or a pressure control valve while installing the water softener.

The second most useful step is to install a high-quality or relatively expensive water softener. High-end water softeners are expensive for a reason. They do not contain low-quality plastic gaskets, O-rings, or other parts.  

Can a Water Softener Explode – Final Thought

Yes, your water softener can explode. It seems highly unlikely if you have a brand-new water softener, but it is more common for old and poorly maintained water softeners. Sometimes, water softeners explode because they face abnormal vacuum and high-water pressure.

High-quality water softeners are deemed more expensive. It is true that water softeners do not require too much maintenance, but they can explode, leak, or get damaged when you do not do regular cleaning and periodic maintenance.

Poor installation and maintenance can also cause water softener explosions. The presence of hard minerals in your water supply can affect the well-being of your water softener.

It is always advisable to install a pressure relief valve with your water softener. A pressure relief valve protects your water softener against undue water supply pressure. It is not a good idea to leave your water softener without proper maintenance, unattended for long periods of time.

Strong structures of high-quality water softeners can help prevent resin tank explosions. You should read the manual and seek professional help for water softener installation.


This is my blog about the ways and solutions that can help you improve your health by taking more value from drinking water. As improving health means a lot to me, I decided to create the Water On Top project with the purpose to reveal the benefits of water, the finest products to take our daily water to another level, and much more great stuff about water that I believe is on top of our nutrition.

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