How to Stop Water Softener Regeneration? A Comprehensive Guide

An elevated level of calcium and magnesium causes hard water, and it is usually found in rainwater. When rainwater enters the ground, this hard water can find its way into your well and, ultimately, your home. When this occurs, you’ll battle with challenges like pipe corrosion and increased energy costs to heat water due to the scales formed in the water heater.

Water softener helps remove the hardness in water for improved usage. If your water softener leaks during the regeneration process, you may need to stop the process and fix the issue. There are also many scenarios where pausing the renewal process is essential.

How do you stop water softener regeneration, no matter your reason? There are several ways to achieve this, depending on your basis for stopping renewal or preference.

You want to safely stop the regeneration process without damaging the system. It should also work as usual when you turn it back on. We’ll see all the primary regeneration methods shortly. But first, let’s see what water softener regeneration is and how it works.

What is Water Softener Regeneration, and How Does it Work?

Water softens the resin tank, where resin beads trap calcium, magnesium, and other chemicals, causing water hardness. Over time, these hard particles fill the resin tank, making it difficult to continue its water-softening process. At this point, a regeneration process is essential.

Thankfully, the water softener system is timed so that regeneration occurs before it gets to a dire state. Regeneration flushes the resin tank of all hard water chemicals so the system continues to work effectively.

Salt is deposited in a separate tank with water in a chamber below. The salt and water form a brine solution that the system sends into the resin tank to flush the system. The flushing occurs for about 10 minutes to ensure all the chemicals are removed. After flushing, the contaminated water is sent into the waste water tank.

Why do You need to Stop Water Softener Regeneration?

Why do You need to Stop Water Softener Regeneration?

Regeneration occurs in circles based on usage and the water’s hardness. It is vital in water softening, so why would anyone want to stop it? There are many reasons why people would want to prevent water softener regeneration, whether during or before the next circle. Let’s see some of the rationales.

1. To Fix Leakages

Fixing leakages is one of the most common reasons people stop their water softener regeneration. Sometimes the fittings may be damaged, leading to leakages. Water dripping from the tank can damage your flooring and walls or cause accidents. This is why fixing any leak from the regeneration is an immediate priority.

The best time to spot any leak is during regeneration, as the water is flushed from the resin tank into the waste tank. If you notice a leak, you need to stop the water softener regeneration process so you can fix the issue and prevent further damage.

2. To Travel

Another reason people stop their water system regeneration is when they need to be away for some time. This is obvious as the softener will be idle during this period and will not require flushing. Stopping regeneration will save water and prolong the lifespan of the softener.

How to Stop Water Softener Regeneration?

How to Stop Water Softener Regeneration?

There are several ways to stop regeneration, depending on your needs. Are you stopping the system during a regeneration process or before it starts? This is a question you must answer before proceeding with these methods. Thankfully, most ways are easy to accomplish using simple tools and steps.

Method 1: Detach the Water Softener

Detaching the water filter from the tank and diverting the water away is one of the fastest ways to stop regeneration. It is often employed when a leak is discovered and a quick solution is required. With a leak, there’s hardly any time to go through a rigorous process of stopping regeneration.

The two-step process of unplugging the water softener and diverting the water will stop regeneration. Only disconnecting the softener may stop renewal but won’t prevent water from entering the system, which may continue the leak.

Method 2: Stop Using Water

Demand-initiated regeneration systems are programmed to start after a specific water volume has flowed through the system. If you stop using the softener, the volume target will not be triggered, and the regeneration process will remain paused.

This type of regeneration is valuable when going away for a long time. You will not require any particular process. This is the easiest method to stop renewal but is only possible for demand-initiated systems. Some modern systems regenerate after a specific period of no use to prevent the buildup of harmful pollutants in the resin tank. Such modern systems will require more to stop regeneration.

Method 3: Switch off the Water

Switching off the water is another easy way to stop regeneration. Shut off your home’s main water supply to prevent water from entering the softener. Remember that shutting the whole water off will affect all the faucets in your home and prevent you from using water.

Find the control valve, which is usually in the main water line. This valve controls the water flow into your softener; turning the valve will stop the water. Turn the valve clockwise to close the pipe.

Method 4: Bypass the Softener

Most water softeners have some sought of bypass valve or lever that can take the water straight through the plumbing rather than through the water softener. While this valve can be used when you don’t need to soften water, it is also a valuable way to stop regeneration.

Regeneration can only work with water filling up the brine tank. Combining the bypass valve and unplugging the softener will provide a sure way to stop the softener revival. This valve is often located behind the control head of your softener. If you need to know what this control head is, it is the box with a timer on the resin tank.

Method 5: Skip Regeneration Cycle

Manufacturers are aware of the potential need to stop this flushing system which is why most softeners have a fixture to skip the regeneration cycle. Activating this skip system varies depending on the type of softener.

Softeners with a mechanical dial are the conventional styles and only require turning the dial clockwise to stop regeneration. Electrical water softeners have specific buttons tagged “regeneration” or similar that you must press and hold till water stops flowing. Non-electrical systems have nuts instead of buttons that you can turn with a number 2 screwdriver.


Preventing regeneration is often straightforward, but you need clarification on the numerous scenarios and methods. Here is an FAQ section that answers some of your questions.

How long is a regeneration cycle?

Completing a typical regeneration process takes about one hour and thirty minutes. The entire regeneration process has various steps that ensure the softener can continue to remove hard minerals, some of which are backwashing and flushing.

Can I use water during the regeneration circle?

You can continue to use water during the regeneration period, as most systems have reserved tanks with specific gallons you can use while regenerating.

Why is the water still hard after regeneration?

The water may retain its hardness even after regeneration when it is not done correctly.

Can regeneration happen without salt?

The short answer is no; regeneration cannot occur without sodium, as it is essential to form the brine solution that removes calcium and other hard minerals from the resin tank.


Regeneration helps to renew the resin tank by removing all the hard minerals from hard water that is now stuck to the resin walls. While this process is essential, stopping it may sometimes be required. Thankfully, several methods exist to prevent regeneration. The approach to choose depends on your system type and whether you’re stopping during or before the process.