How a Water Softener System Can Affect Your Water Heater

Here’s a fun fact about Texas that you probably didn’t know. Our state ranks as one of the highest for water hardness in the country. Hard water means that there are high levels of certain minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Hard water isn’t bad for your health but it can damage plumbing fixtures, and home appliances over time.


For that reason, many of our customer choose to install a water softener system in their homes. A water softener system offers many benefits – from preventing mineral buildup in pipes to making it easier to clean clothes and dishes.

However, one issue with a water softener system that you should be aware of is its impact on your water heater.

Why soft water can shorten the service life of a water heater

The average service life of a tank water heater is 8-12 years. One of the most common reasons why a water heater needs to be replaced is corrosion inside the tank. To prevent corrosion, most water heaters are designed with an anode rod that is inserted into the tank and essentially absorbs most of the corrosive elements. In other words, the anode wears out to protect the metal lining of the water heater tank.

When a water softener system is installed, it removes the “hard” minerals and replaces them with “softer” ones such as sodium. Soft water can actually corrode the water heater anode faster. When the anode wears down, the corrosive elements will move on to the tank. So if left alone, a water softener system can actually shorten the lifespan of a water heater.

What to do

Luckily, there’s an easy solution to getting the most out of your water heater. If you have a water softener system, you should have the anode rod of your water heater inspected and replaced more frequently. This is a fairly simple process – and certainly much cheaper than replacing the entire water heater unit.

Water heater service and installation in Amarillo

With proper maintenance, you can take advantage of the benefits of a water softener system and maximize the service life of your water heater. For quality installation and service, talk to the pros at Pratt Plumbing. Schedule a consultation at (806) 373-7866.

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