How To Manually Regenerate Water Softener? (Step by Step)

Water softeners effectively remove hardness causing minerals like calcium and magnesium ions from your source water. This helps lower the hardness of your water and thus making it safe for your consumption and increases the life of your fixtures and appliances as well.

However, since these hardness causing minerals are retained at the resin bed, they may accumulate in the bed over continued usage. This accumulation leads towards poor working efficiency of the water softener and your softener may even cease to operate as well.

To cope with this, you will have to run the regeneration cycle of your water softener so that it can work optimally and with high efficiency. If you’re wondering about how to manually regenerate water softener, here’s an insight into regenerating water softener manually.

Keep in mind, there are certain tools required for this to work followed by precise steps that you will have to follow.

Tools And Materials Needed:

Tools And Materials

In some cases, there are water softeners that are equipped with an automatic regeneration system that runs on a time cycle. These systems often detect when regeneration is required. However, there are cases where these systems fail, and you will have to manually regenerate.

Regardless of whether you have a water softener with or without a functioning automatic regeneration system, you may have to run the regeneration cycle manually.

There are different tools and materials needed to manually regenerate water softener. These tools vary depending on the make and model of your water softener. Generally speaking, you will need the following tools and materials for most models of water softeners.

These include:

  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Pliers
  • A container or a bucket – for holding the brine solution
  • Salt – to be added to the brine solution
  • Funnel or a small-medium sized scoop – for adding salt to the brine solution
  • Additional tools for your personal protection – Gloves and glasses

Once you have gathered all the tools and materials needed, there are specific steps that you need to follow to manually regenerate a water softener. Here’s a detailed insight into this:

Steps To Manually Regenerate A Water Softener

Manually regenerating a water softener involves a preparation stage, followed by a regenerating stage, and some final steps. Here’s what you need to do:

Preparation steps:

Preparation steps involve certain precautionary steps that you need to take to ensure your safety and avoid accidents. These steps will also prepare the water softener for the regeneration process.

  • Wear personal protection equipment – Put on the glasses and wear gloves before working on the water softener internals.
  • Turn off the water softener – For starters, you need to disconnect the power supply to your water softener. Doing this will keep you safe in case of any accidents or hiccups.
  • Disconnect the water softener from the source water supply – Disconnecting the source water supply to your water softener is crucial to avoid creating a mess. This is a precautionary step and will lower the chances of accidents or cases where you can hurt yourself.

Regeneration process:

Once you have followed the preparation steps, you have to begin the regeneration process. This includes following the steps mentioned below:

  • Open the brine lid – Using a screwdriver or pliersopen the brine lid and set it aside while you top up the salt tank.
  • Add salt to the salt tank – Using a funnel or a scoop top up the salt tank with salt to the appropriate levels. There might be some sort of indication that will help you fill up the tank to the maximum levels. More detail on the maximum limits of salt can be found in the user manual of your water softener as this information is model specific.
  • Put the brine lid back and reconnect your water softener – After topping up the salt tank, put on the brine lid, turn on the water supply and re-connect the power supply of your water softener.
  • Find the dial or control valve of your water softener to initiate regeneration – Depending on the make and model of your water softener, it will either have a control valve or dial for initiating the regeneration cycle. In the case of a control valve or lever you will have to rotate it to force the regeneration cycle. In other cases, you will have to find a dial and turn the dial using a screwdriver to set the water softener to regeneration mode.

Final steps:

After initiating the water softener, it is all about letting the water softener do its thing. Here are some final steps that you need to consider.

  • Let the system run and flush out the hardness causing ions from the resin tank – Once the regeneration process starts, you need to let it flush completely. This will remove all of the calcium and magnesium ions that are accumulated in the resin beads. This process will also discard the salt brine solution present in your water softener along with any wastewater containing salt residuals from the tank.
  • Let the system complete the regeneration cycle – A regeneration process is time consuming and can take anywhere up to 45 – 120 minutes. After a complete cycle your system will now be able to be used again. This process will ensure your water softener works with its maximum efficiency and provide you with softened water without any hiccups.

That’s all you need to do to manually regenerate your water softener! Furthermore, here are some additional tips for maintenance to help you ensure optimal functionality of your water softener.

Tips For Maintenance:

How To Manually Regenerate Water Softener? (Step by Step)

Periodic maintenance of a water softener is crucial to ensure your system is up and running flawlessly for several years. There are certain tips that you can consider for maintenance of your water softener.

Regular Cleaning And Inspection:

Regular cleaning and inspection is something that can significantly improve the lifespan of your water softener. All you have to do is clean out the brine tank every once in a while.

To do this more efficiently, you can clean the tank every time you need to regenerate your water softener or when it runs out of salt. When the brine tank is empty, this will allow you to remove the residual salt rocks, or any sludge build up in the tank.

Sludge is usually formed in the brine tank if it has not been cleaned in a while. This is usually found at the bottom of the tank and can be removed by simply scrubbing it off. Once you have scrubbed all the sludge off, you can further clean the tank using detergents and brushes.

This process will roughly take 10 minutes and ensure your water softener is not malfunctioning.

Proper Salt Level:

The entire working of a water softener is dependent on salt. If your salt tank is not filled up, it will lead towards a poor efficiency of the water softener. This is why it is crucial to check and ensure your brine tank is filled with the proper salt level.

Similarly, it is also crucial to get a high quality salt for your water softener. There are different varieties of salts available ranging from low-cost to high-cost ones.

Low-cost and cheap salts often have impurities that may affect the working of your water softener. For optimal results, you should always opt for a high quality salt.

Early Detection Of Issues:

Since water softeners have multiple technical and electric parts like motors, it is important to check if they are working properly. Sometimes, a faulty motor can result in a poorly performing water softener.

If such issues are left undealt with, it could lead to costly repairs. Similarly, other parts like the venturi valve, brine line and the filter screen are susceptible to blockages. These blockages can be detected by observing the flow of water from your water softener.

In case of blockages, you can simply clean out the affected areas for a quick and easy solution. This will also prevent your water softener from ending up with blocked parts and further damage to the system.

Conclusion | How To Manually Regenerate Water Softener?

Manually regenerating a water softener is not a complex task and involves easy steps. All you have to do is fill up the brine tank with salt, find the control valve or dial and set it to regenerate. This will help your water softener regenerate if the auto-regeneration system fails.

Once set to regenerate, it will take about 45 – 120 minutes till you can re-use the water softener. Another important consideration with water softeners is that their life and functionality can be improved significantly by ensuring proper maintenance like simply cleaning the softener and rectifying issues early.


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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