How Often Do I Add Salt To My Water Softener?

Written By Matthew
Last Updated February 26, 2022

How often do I add salt to my water softener?

If you want to save money, you should only add salt when really dirty water. 

The best way to know how much salt to use is to measure the water coming out of the tap. Adding too much salt will cause your water softener to work harder, which will increase energy consumption.

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Maintaining your salt supply is also important for several reasons:

  • It helps prevent scale buildup in your pipes and on your equipment.
  • It prevents corrosion from forming inside your system.
  • It keeps your water softening chemicals working properly.

How to add salt properly to the water softener?

The proper way to dump bags of salt in your softener is to pour them into the tank through the top opening. If you have an automatic feeder, it may be necessary to open the valve first.

You can also add salt by pouring it directly into the softener's brine tank. This method works well if you are adding a large quantity of salt.

You can also add salt using a bucket or other container filled with water. Pour the water into the tank until the level reaches the bottom of the tank.

Does water softener salt expire?

The type of salt used in a water softener does not usually expire. It might only happen if the salt contains magnesium chloride (magnesium sulfate).

Magnesium chloride reacts with chlorine to form magnesium hydroxide (a common household cleaner), eventually forming insoluble buildup in your plumbing system.

This problem occurs most commonly in areas with a high concentration of chlorinated drinking water.

What happens when I run out of salt?

When you run out of salt, you need to flush the softener. The technicians in the water softener do know the exact period of time required to flush the system. They will tell you what to do at the end of each cycle.

Flushing the softener will remove any remaining salt from the system. It will also help clean out the water softener itself.

You can avail water softener salt delivery that saves you time and effort. You can get it delivered to your doorstep at your convenience.

What type of salt can you use?

The salt for your water softening systems must be non-corrosive. Some salts contain harmful substances such as copper, lead, zinc and mercury.

These metals can damage your water softener and your home's plumbing system.

Many water softener specialists or water softener services recommend using sodium chloride (table salt) because it is inexpensive and easy to store.

However, some people prefer potassium chloride (potassium bicarbonate) instead. Potassium chloride dissolves more slowly than sodium chloride.

Water treatment process

There are proper regeneration or regeneration cycles that technicians in water softeners perform every month. 

These cycles are to keep the water softener running smoothly.

Regeneration cycles involve flushing the water softener and then re-adding salt.

When you run out of salt during a regeneration cycle, the technician will turn off the water softener and let it sit overnight. He will then turn it back on the next day.

He will flush the system again when you run out of salt before completing the regeneration cycle.

  • For built-in tanks, the regeneration cycle takes approximately one hour. For portable units, the regeneration cycle takes about 15 minutes.
  • For plastic tank systems, the regeneration cycle lasts longer than 30 days.

What happens when your tank with salt malfunctions?

If you lose all of your salt, you must replace the entire unit.

The water quality produced by a water softener depends on the amount of salt added to the tank.

  • Water softener maintenance

It is important to maintain your water softener regularly. A properly maintained water softener will last longer and produce better results.

Regular maintenance helps prevent clogs and other problems.

Some of these maintenance tasks include:

  1. Checking the level of the brine solution in the tank.
  2. Flush the filter cartridge.
  3. Check the amount of salt stored in the tank.
  4. Checking the condition of the resin bed.
  5. Checking the flow rate of the pump.

The effects of water hardness

Hard water makes the minerals in your tap water more difficult to dissolve.

As a result, the water softener cannot effectively soften your water.

Hard water causes the following problems:

  1. Scale buildup.
  2. Corrosion of pipes and fixtures.
  3. Poor performance of dishwashers, washing machines, and clothes dryers.
  4. Build up calcium and iron deposits in faucets and showerheads.
  5. Increased soap scum buildup.
  6. Reduced effectiveness of detergents.
  7. A reduction in the life span of appliances such as toilets, showers, and dishwashers.
  8. An increased risk of developing kidney stones.
  9. Reduction flow of water through pipes.
  10. Increase in energy costs.

How to determine the level of water hardness?

Certified water specialists can test for water hardness.

They use a special meter called a dial indicator to measure the hardness of your water.

Dial indicators work like a thermometer. You place them into the cold water supply line of your home.

The dial indicator shows how much heat is being absorbed by the water.

The higher the temperature reading, the harder the water. To find out if your water is hard, call your local plumber.

He may be able to provide an estimate for testing your water.

In some areas, there are government programs that pay for testing services.

Hard water effects

When the water hardness level reaches 200 parts per million (ppm), the water becomes very hard.

It means that the water has high levels of calcium and magnesium ions.

These elements cause scale formation, corrosion, poor cleaning action, and reduced efficiency of appliances.

The water quality will also become less effective at removing dirt from clothing.

You should check the hardness of your water every month or two.

If it rises above 300 ppm, you need to add more salt to your water softener.

The final verdict

Every water softener owner wants their system to last forever.

However, this is not possible.

Your water softening equipment will eventually fail.

To ensure that you have a reliable system, perform regular maintenance checks.

Call your local plumbing company for help.


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