If you are wondering how salt affects your water softener, this short read is for you. Your water softener can effectively treat hard water issues with the right amount of salt. But without maintenance, the issues can’t be solved.
Many homeowners buy salt for compliance with the instructions but don’t know how it affects the tank. They might not even be confidently knowledgeable on how many bags of salt for water softener.
Here’s a quick guide on the salt and water level for your water softener to continue doing its job.
Table of Contents
- What is the role of salt in water softeners?
- How much salt does a water softener need?
- Is it okay to have a lot of salt in a water softener?
- How often do I need to add salt to my water softener?
- How do I know the salt level on my water softener is low?
- What are the kinds of salt that I can add to my water softener?
What is the role of salt in water softeners?
Have you ever wondered where the salt goes if it is added to a water softener tank? Your soft water doesn’t even taste salty after being treated. So what does salt do, and where does it go?
Salt is chemically known as sodium chloride. It is added, and the sodium component is the one that is used inside the brine tank. A water softener has a separate brine tank where water and the salt will come in contact to have a brine solution.
The salt solution, transferred into the other tank, will release into the drain magnesium and calcium. They are responsible for the water hardness. Shortly, the salt’s used to make a brine solution and break down the components that make the water hard.
How much salt does a water softener need?
Water softener users typically follow how much salt is recommended without knowing how much salt the machine uses. In general, you should maintain the water level at a slightly lower level than the salt.
This rule is because water needs to absorb the salt properly to make the tank’s right brine solution. If the water level is relatively high, it will not make the exact concentration needed for the regeneration process.
Remember that a water softener works efficiently, so whenever the salt level is relatively low, it won’t provide you with the quality of soft water it promises.
In a household of three people, the salt level should not more than half-full. This salt level also applies if the water around your area is not that hard.
A larger family would have to maintain their salt level of around three-quarters full, or when the water’s hardness in their place is more than 20.
When you consider the bags that can be consumed, a typical family of 4 usually consumes 40-50 lb bags of salt per month. This amount could vary depending on the hardness of water and the people’s consumption in that household.
Is it okay to have a lot of salt in a water softener?
While the general rule is to have more salt than water inside your tank, having too much salt can also have implications for the quality of water and the device. When the salt level is way too high than what is recommended, bridging can happen.
This bridging is the process where there are a solidification and buildup of the regenerant. This can affect the regeneration process, making it less efficient.
How often do I need to add salt to my water softener?
Regeneration – the process when salty water flows and then fills up the softener tank, will then undergo a rinsing cycle where the salted water actively washes the hard water’s minerals.
As your water softener continues to dissolve salt during the regeneration process, you will at some point need to add salt pellets again.
How often you will add salt will depend on a lot of factors. The first factor to consider is how much water you use. As you consume more, your water softener will have to treat more hard water.
It is generally recommended to check your salt level at least once a month. For satisfying and efficient soft water production, you should maintain the salt level half-full most of the time.
How do I know the salt level on my water softener is low?
Checking the salt level will signal you if it’s time to add salt pellets to your tank. Look at your brine tank and review for the water level. If you see encrusted salt on the sides, loosen the chunks carefully.
When you see a water layer at the bottom part of the brine tank, consider adding salt by then. How much water you should have can also be found here.
What are the kinds of salt that I can add to my water softener?
Your water softener may need a specific kind of salt to make the brine. There are typically three types of salt that are sold for residential and commercial use. These are solar salt, rock salt, and evaporated salt.
Rocks salt occurs naturally and is commonly used for water softeners. It contains around 98-99% sodium chloride and has a water insolubility level of about 0.5-1.5%. This insolubility level is high compared to other salts so that cleaning will be more often.
Solar salt is mainly from seawater through an evaporative process. It has low water insolubility of about 0.03% but has a lower sodium chloride level of around 85%. Most shops have this salt in both crystal and pellet forms.
The last kind is the evaporated salt, which is taken from underground mining. Salt deposits in these sites are dissolved, and moisture evaporates using coal or natural gas. It has a high sodium chloride content of 99.6-99.9%.
Considerations in choosing the kind of salt for your tank include how much salt is used, the type of salt that the water softener recommends, and how often the tank needs to be cleaned.
Knowing how many bags of salt for water softener will keep you one step ahead in getting the right quality of soft water. This ensures that your tank is efficiently doing its job and getting the soft water you deserve. You will never comply with the instructions again because the salt level your water tank needs can now be maintained more effectively.