Does a home warranty cover water softeners?

Check water softener coverage to avoid costly surprises later

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Most home warranties cover water softeners — but there’s a catch. It’s not typically part of standard coverage. Instead, you’ll likely need to add on extra coverage or upgrade to a more comprehensive plan to include your water softener.

Key insights

Most home warranties cover water softeners as an add-on.

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Most companies will repair or replace your water softener if it’s included in your home warranty coverage.

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There is typically a service charge ($60-$125 per call) and a claim limit on repairs.

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What water softener services does a home warranty cover?

As with most appliances, home warranty coverage for a water softener includes vital internal mechanical parts and issues resulting from normal wear and tear. Depending on your home warranty provider, the coverage limit for a water softener can range from around $125 to $1,500 or more. (That limit doesn’t include any required service fee.)

Coverage limits refer to how much the home warranty company is willing to pay to diagnose, repair or replace the covered appliance. These rates vary by company and can refer to the item covered or an annual limit covering all claims.

Potential exclusions to water softener home warranty coverage

Components like water filters, reverse osmosis filters and water purification systems aren’t typically included in home warranty coverage for water softeners, and neither is damage due to an insufficient or excessive water supply. Your claim may also be denied if the problem is determined to be a preexisting condition or if it’s a result of improper water softener maintenance.

Some high-end water softener brands may also be excluded if the unit needs to be replaced, so it’s important to verify coverage for your brand of water softener before adding it to your home warranty.

What to do if your home warranty doesn’t cover water softener

A water softener replacement can cost $200 to $6,000. If your current home warranty coverage doesn’t include your water softener, you may be able to add it to your plan. Some companies let you add extra coverage within 30 days of your initial purchase, but some may let you add coverage at any time.

It’s important to note that adding an appliance to your plan late may require an inspection or a waiting period. An addition will also increase your home warranty cost, but it may be worth it if the add-on covers your repair or replacement costs.

If you’re already having trouble with your water softener and want to add it to help alleviate the cost of repairs, it may be denied due to a preexisting problem. If you’re worried about a preexisting condition, be sure to check to see if the manufacturer’s warranty still covers your water softener.

All hope is not lost if your home warranty doesn’t cover your water softener. Here are tips to keep your water softener in top shape:

  • Check salt level every four to six weeks.
  • Use the proper salt — rock salt is cheaper but may contain impurities that will clog the water softener.
  • Regularly clean the brine tank.
  • Watch for salt bridges and remove them if found.
  • Keep an eye on water softener resin if water isn’t as soft as it should be.
  • Add a prefilter to help with sediment that can build up and clog the softener.

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    What does a home typically warranty cover?

    Home warranties usually cover large appliances, built-in microwaves, water heaters and systems like HVACs, plumbing, ductwork, pool heaters and well pumps. Some plans also cover additional items like pest control, septic systems, central vacuums, sump pumps and more.

    What is the life expectancy of a water softener?

    Water softeners typically last between 10 and 15 years. You can ensure the full life expectancy of your water softener by using pure salt and conducting regular maintenance.

    How often do water softeners need maintenance?

    Most manufacturers recommend having a professional service your water heater once per year.

    How can I tell if my water softener isn’t working properly?

    The biggest signal that something’s wrong with your water softener is signs of hard water when you wash dishes or shower. Look for mineral deposits that leave a film on glasses and other dishes. You may also have lower water pressure than usual.

    Bottom line

    While you can get water softener coverage in a home warranty, it’s rarely included in standard coverage. However, most home warranty companies give you the option to add coverage for a water softener. Keep in mind that the home warranty company may deny your claim due to any preexisting condition or improper maintenance.

    Article sources

    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:

    1. U.S. Department of Energy, “Purchasing and Maintaining a Water Softener.” Accessed April 11, 2024.
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