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How to Add Salt to a Water Softener

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If you own a water softener at home, you should know that refilling your brine tank with the appropriate salt is the key to keeping your water softener working properly.

Depending on the type and model of your water softener, you might need to add salt more or less frequently. Nevertheless, the process of adding salt to a water softener is generally quite straightforward and easy to do. Also, adding more salt to your water softener's brine tank as needed allows the regeneration cycle to work properly and keep your water soft.

This article outlines everything you need to know about adding salt to a water softener. Read on!

How to Add Salt to Water Softener

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to add salt to a water softener:

  • Before adding any salt to your brine tank, make sure that you break up or loosen any of the remaining salt. You can do this with a broom handle or any other similar long object.
  • If there's any encrusted salt on the sides of your brine tank, loosen and break it off so that it falls to the bottom of your tank and break apart any large pieces that have stuck together.
  • If there's a salt bridge in the brine tank, break it up using a broom handle. If it is difficult to break apart, try pouring some hot water over it first to soften it up.
  • Check the manufacturer's instructions first to see what type of salt your water softener requires. Some require solar salt, while others require evaporated salt or rock salt.
  • Next, open the lid to your water softener's brine tank and slowly pour the salt in, taking care not to spill any.
  • Once you have added the desired amount of salt, close the lid to the brine tank and allow the regeneration cycle to begin.
  • After the regeneration cycle is complete, your water softener should be working properly again.

How Much Salt Does a Water Softener Use?

For every regeneration cycle, you only need to use between 6 and 8 pounds of salt, depending on the size of your brine tank. This equates to about one 40-pound bag of salt each month, or 12 40-pound bags of salt each year.

Water softeners usually regenerate at least once a week. At this rate of regeneration, if the water softener regenerates between six and eight times per month, it should use a single 40-pound bag of salt per month. Water softeners are pretty efficient, and the amount of salt they need today is far less than the traditional salt-based softener.

How Much Does Water Softener Salt Cost?

The cost of a water softener salt depends on a few factors. These include:

The Size of Your Water Softener Unit

The size of your water softener unit will have an impact on the amount of water softener salt you need to purchase. The larger the unit, the more salt it will require for regeneration.

The Type of Water Softener Salt

There are different types of water softener salt available on the market. These include solar salt, evaporated salt, and rock salt. The type of salt you choose will impact the cost of your purchase. The most common options when it comes to your water softener and adding salt include sodium chloride and potassium chloride.

However, it's recommended to use sodium chloride and not potassium chloride because potassium chloride behaves more like a conditioner, and it doesn't remove hard minerals like sodium, making it less efficient.

The Quantity of Salt You Need

The quantity of salt you need will be determined by the size of your unit and the hardness of your water. If you have a large unit or hard water, you will need to purchase more salt.

Your Water Usage

Your water usage will also play a role in how much salt you need to purchase. If you have a high water usage, you will need to purchase more salt.

The Hardness of Your Water

The hardness of your water will impact the amount of salt you need to purchase. If you have hard water, you will need to purchase more salt. The harder the water, the more often resin beads will need to be regenerated, and the more salt you'll go through. Once you know the hardness level your water softener is set at, then you can determine the amount of salt to be added to your water softening system.

The Type of Water Softener

The type of water softener you have will also impact the amount of salt you need to purchase. If you have a salt-based water softener, you will need to purchase more salt. If you have a potassium-based water softener, you will not need to purchase as much salt.

How Often Should You Add Salt to a Water Softener?

Now that you know how much salt should go in a water softener, how to add salt to a water softener, and how much salt a machine uses, let's dive into some of the ways to determine if it's time to refill the brine tank.

Inspect the Brine Tank Regularly

Inspect the Brine Tank Regularly
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The first step is to get in the habit of inspecting your brine tank regularly. Conduct regular checks of the water softener's salt supply. You want to make sure that the salt level is where it should be and that there are no cracks or leaks in the tank. This is as simple as opening the brine tank and ensuring it's at least half full. If it's not, refill it immediately and establish a schedule for doing this.

Account for Your Water Softener's Age

The age of your water softener determines how much salt it uses. Older water softeners can be less efficient and may require more maintenance. As such, it's important to take your machine's age into account when determining how often to add salt. If your water softener is relatively new and best water softener shower head, you can probably get away with refilling it every few months.

However, if it's getting up there in years, you may need to add salt more frequently. Some of the modern systems may even alert you when the salt level falls below the adequate level. If you have a new water softener model, adding salt to the water softener can typically be done after about 6 to 8 weeks. However, always check the salt level to ensure the softener is working optimally.

Water softeners have a lifespan of 10 to 20 years. When your softening system surpasses 7 to 10 years old, you'll notice that it needs more salt to do its job. This is especially the case when the resin bed needs replacing.

Check for Salt Bridges Regularly

One thing you need to be aware of is salt bridges. These are clumps of salt that can form in the brine tank, which can prevent the salt from dissolving properly. Underneath the salt bridge, there is usually an air pocket, and underneath the air, the air pocket is whatever brine solution the tank still contains. As a result, your water softener won't work as efficiently.

Check for Salt Bridges Regularly
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If the salt level appears to be suspiciously consistent for longer than usual, take a small shovel and jab the top layer of the salt in the tank. If you have a salt bridge, the salt will cave in, and you'll make a hole that reveals your actual salt level below.

FAQs on How to Add Salt to Your Water Softener

How to add salt to a water softener?

The easiest way to add salt to a water softener is by using a funnel. Pour the salt into the funnel, and then carefully pour it into the opening of the softener. You can also use a scoop to add salt, but be careful not to spill any.

Where do you put water softener salt?

You can put a water softener salt in a brine tank or in the softener itself. If you have a brine tank, pour the salt into the tank. If your softener doesn't have a brine tank, pour the salt into the softener.

Final Thought on How to Add Salt to Your Water Softener

Adding salt to a water softener is important for keeping the softener running properly. The process is easy. Just open the lid of the brine tank and add salt. Conduct regular inspections to ensure that the salt level is where it should be. Expect to use roughly one-40 pound bag of salt and add it to the softener every 3-4 months. This will help keep your water soft and free of minerals.

 

 

Kristina Perrin

Kristina Perrin

Kristina is an expert DIY home remodeler and mom to three. When she's not cooking or experimenting with new recipes, you can find her working on new home improvement projects or writing about her favorite kitchen appliances or DIY projects on Kitchen Infinity blog.

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