How Often Add Salt to Water Softener? – Illustrated Guide

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Keeping your water softener in good shape is a relatively easy process. The major tip is to ensure that your water softener has enough salt at all times. This may be tricky if you have no idea how the water softener works. To keep your softener working diligently, you need to be able to answer these three questions;

  • When do I add salt to a water softener?
  • How much salt should an average water softener go through?
  • What type of salt should I add to my softener?

Once you can figure these out, then you are good to go, and your softener should be working effectively. So let’s get right into it.

Read more about: Best Water Softener – Tested and reviewed in 2020

How do You Know When a Water Softener Runs Low on Salt?

It is advised that you check the salt in your water softener once or twice every month.  Your water softener will need more salt every time the salt level is below 6 inches at the bottom of the brine tank. 

parts of the water softeners

Great! Now you can identify every parts of a water softener.

You can check the salt level in your water softener manually or with a salt monitor. If you are checking manually, lift the cover of your tank and observe the salt level, if it’s lower than 6 inches or less than half full, then add more salt.

A salt monitor, on the other hand, is easier to use. The monitor is usually connected to a part of your water softener and gives an alert once the brine solution requires more salt.

How Much Salt should be in a Softener Tank?

Experts in water treatment typically suggest that a water softener should have enough salt up to three or four inches above the level of water in the softener tank. However, what happens when you are unable to see the water level in your tank, and you cannot know when the salt is three or four inches above it? This solution is simple. Just add enough salt that will be at least half full in the brine tank.

right salt level of water softener tank

Awesome! Now you know how much salt you should put in your softener tank. Hint: 4 inches above water level.

Going by this, you may need to add up to 40 lb of salt to your softener monthly. This is the average recommendation for a family of four with water that has about 7 to 10 grains per gallon hardness level. Some house owners add about three bags of 40 lb salt to their softeners at a time; this way, they will not necessarily have to add salt to the softener until the next three months.

How do I Add Salt to my Water Softener?

The best way to add salt to your softener bank is to fill the tank up then allow the salt level to get to the bottom. When the salt level is low, you can now add more to the brine tank. Waiting for the salt to reach the bottom level with your tank full prevents hard salt masses from forming inside your tank. When you have hard mass or clumps of salt in your brine tank over a long period, this may result in frustrating maintenance issues.

add salt to your softener

Yah! Adding salt to your water softeners tank is simple as that.

Also, adding salt to your brine tank without allowing the salt level to get low first may cause you to have salty water eventually as the water in the tank keeps flowing around hard salt clumps in the middle.

Salt clumps may also cause the brine well in your tank to get blocked. The brine well is a plastic tube inside your tank that has holes in it, allowing water to move in and out from the brine wand to the salt area. When your brine well gets blocked, the tank will have lesser brine solution to clean, and you will often get hard water even when there is salt in your tank.

Will Running Water Softener Without Salt Ruin it?

Running your water softener without salt for some time will not necessarily ruin it, but you will not have soft water to use for some time until you add salt to your water softener. Even after you add salt, it will still take a while for the water to become soft. This occurs because it takes more than one regeneration cycle (about two or three days) for your water softener to return to normal functioning.

However, running your water softener without salt may cause stains on your glass shower doors of cause residue to forms around your faucets. As time goes by, your water begins to form lather less quickly, causing you to use more soap for laundry or shower.

Problems Hard Water Can Cause

You don’t want that water stains, do you?

If you continue running your softener without salt, the hard water running in your home may begin to cause build-up that can cause severe damage to your water running appliances, including your faucets, fixtures, and the brine tank itself.

Based on 2009 WQA Research. Learn more

Why Does My Mater Softener Use so Much Salt?

The salt requirement of your water tank depends on several factors. These include the level of water hardness and the quantity of water you consume in your household. If the hardness level of your water is above 10 grains per gallons, then you will require more than a 40-pound bag of salt monthly or more than 10 pounds of salt per week. The same goes if you use more water than an average family of four in one month. This will result in your softener regenerating more frequently, thereby using more salt.

Your water softener will also require more salt if the level of iron is over two parts per million. If you have a water specialist, you may want to speak with them about the level of salt your brine tank takes. A specialist may adjust your softener valve such that it conserves the water but uses more salt.

Also, if your brine tank is smaller or older, you may need to add salt or frequently.

What Salt is Best for a Water Softener?

There are different types of salts for water softeners. There are rock salts and evaporated or solar salts. The lesser the impurities, the better a salt is for your tank. Typically, rock salts are the cheapest but contain more impurities. However, evaporated salt pellets with over 99% purity rate are suitable for water softeners. The best way to determine which salt is best for your softener is to check the manual or consult a water specialist.

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