Water softener resin replacement (simple step by step at home)

Water softener resin replacement is done when your resin beads reach their life expectancy or in case they are damaged do not provide softened water.

Water softener resin replacement

Water softener resin life span

Water softener resin does not last forever they last for about 15-20 years, but this depends on the quality of water.

Once the resin reach its life expectancy your water softener does not give out soft water and at this time the resin bed needs to be replaced. 

Let’s learn set by step guide on Water softener resin replacement.

Water softener resin replacement

Water softener resin replacement is a task anyone can do at home you don’t require specialized personnel to do that job.

You only need someone to help you hold the tank as you unscrew.

How do you know it is time to replace the resin?

If your water softener does not give out soft water

If the resin has reached its life expectancy most of the brands last for 15-20 water but in case your water is chlorinated, it may last less than indicated years.

Check if your system is using salt at a regular rate if it is and your water is still hard after softening processes then the resins are damaged.

In such a case may be the resins are fouled by iron, metal particles, manganese, silt, and organic compounds.

When the resin is fouled you first try to clean the resin beads using resin cleaner.

If still after cleaning resin still no soft water the resin needs to be replaced.

In addition to the above, there is a case your system is not using the required salt or any salt.

The resin beads are not supplied with enough salt needed, such incidence the resin beads are okay but a bad valve head mostly causes the problem, and you should fix the valve.

Step by step guide on water softener resin replacement

Gather all the required material

Make sure all the needed material you have them at hand not to open the system and find out what needed is not there.

What you need is:

How much resin do you need?

Measure the resin tank to determine how much resin you need.

Some tank has the sticker somewhere that tells you the size of the tank.

If the sticker is written 1035. 10 in tank width and 35 is height.

If there is no sticker you need to take measurement yourself.

Measure the height of fiberglass and not the decorative plastic jacket or cover placed over the fiberglass to protect the tank.

Then measure the diameter of the tank. Measure the width or use the string to measure around the tank divide by pi 3.14. For instance, if your width or circumference is 30 divide by 3.14 so the width inch is 9.5. Then round down to the whole number, so that is 9 inches.


Width -9inches

Height -35 inches

So your tank size is 9″ x 35.”

Refer to the chart below to see how much resin you need

For the above example, you need 0.75 Cu. Ft. resin

Common Tank Sizes and Amount of Resins Inside

8″ x 35″ 0.64 cu. ft. ( 20,480 grains )

8″ x 44″ 0.75 cu. ft. ( 24,000 grains )

9″ x 35″ 0.75 cu. ft. ( 24,000 grains )

9″ x 40″ 1.00 cu.ft. ( 32,000 grains )

9″ x 48″ 1.00 cu. ft. ( 32,000 grains )

10″ x 35″ 1.00 cu. ft.( 32,000 grains )

10″ x 40″ 1.00 cu .ft. ( 32,000 grains )

10″ x 44″ 1.25 cu. ft. ( 40,000 grains )

10″ x 54″ 1.50 cu. ft. ( 48,000 grains )

12″ x 52″ 2.00 cu. ft. ( 64,0000 grains )

13″ x 54″ 2.50 cu. ft. ( 80,000 grains )

9″ x 48″ – 1.0 cu ft.

10″ x 54″ – 1.5 cu ft.

12″ x 48″ – 2.0 cu ft.

13″ x 54″ – 2.5 cu ft.

14″ x 65″ – 3.0 cu ft.

 The standard 9″ tank uses 1 cu. Ft., the 10″ diameter tank uses 1.5 cu. Ft.

After you know how much resin you need to purchase the right size.

Turn off the main water supply valve and disconnect from electrical – that is your water source to the system

Unscrew the system. Remove the fasteners/ all plumbing that holds the valve head to the bypass valve. You can use screw their easy fasteners to remove

Disconnect the valve head carefully and set aside. At this point, you may need someone to help you to hold the tank as you remove the valve head.

Remove the fiberglass inside the decorative plastic jacket or cover, pour out the old resin beads and gravel (At this point you need a helper to lift the tank).

The old gravel you can save them and reuse them but in bad condition discard them.

Water softener resin disposal

Try to dispose of the old resin on a container for disposal.

The resin is non-toxic can be spread on the flower bed or lawn.

Some tanks do not have gravel, and it is not a must you use them. If your tank inches are less than 12 inches, you do not need gravel.

The gravels are meant to prevent loss of water softener resins

Put the tank upright and clean your tank

How to clean water softener resin tank

You can use the bleach or dish soap to clean the resin tank

Mix a few drops of dish soap with 1-2 gallons of water

Pour the soap mixture inside resin tank and scrub using a scrubbing brush or long-handled brush.

Dump and rinse the soap mixture with water

Place the new raiser tube/distributor tube inside the resin tank. Cut the riser tube to the correct height (an inch above the resin tank top). Tape the opening of the riser tube so as gravel and resin won’t get inside.

If your tank needs gravel put them first at the bottom of the tank, then use a funnel to add the new resin.

Do not fill the tank more than ¾ full. The tank requires enough space on the top for regeneration.

Return resin tank to place and assemble all parts back to normal.

Backwash the system and you can run regeneration.

Check for leaks and you are done.

Bonus video on how to replace resin in a water softener

More articles on resin

  1. Water softener resin types
  2. Best water softener resin cleaner
  3. How to clean water softener resin tank