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How to Put Salt in Water Softener

How to Put Salt in Water Softener Effectively

Have you checked your water softener to see how much salt is left? If so, do you think you need to add more salt to the tank, or is it just enough?

For ion exchange to occur, you must add salt inside the tank so that the beads in the resin give up the hard water ions, mainly magnesium and calcium, and then replace them with sodium ions from the salt.

It is essential to know when and how to put salt in water softener. Why? If ion exchange doesn’t happen, you will end up with cloudy dishes, spotty faucets, and scaly bathroom walls, all characteristics of hard water.

Your water softener basically won’t be serving its purpose.

Remember, the water needs to run smoothly, which means there are certain things you need to take care of, such as how much salt you should use, the kind of salt to use, and how often you should refill the salt tank.

Let’s dive right in.

How to Put Salt in Water softener

Before we go profound with so many details, let’s first deal with what I would call the nuts and bolts: How to put salt in the water softener.

Well, it is not as challenging as some of you might think. In fact, it is so simple anybody can do it. Here is how to go about it:

First, you need to determine your salt level, and to do this, just check inside the salt tank and observe the condition of the salt. If you notice that the tank appears less than a quarter full and the salt is waterless, you simply need to add more salt.

Sometimes water levels inside the salt tank supersede the salt levels, or rather the salt is just too wet. If that is the case, you also need to refill the tank.

With your bag of salt ready, open the brine cover and gently pour in the salt till it reaches your desired levels. If you add in too much salt, you will have to deal with bridging, a situation where salt solidifies and becomes compact, thus preventing proper regeneration.

What Kind of Salt for Water Softener?

Some would ask, does it matter what kind of salt you use in your water softener? Of course, it does. See, there are different kinds of salt available in utility stores near you. But that doesn’t mean you can just go and pick up any salt for your softener.

Remember the chemical and ionic reactions in your science class? Now that’s what happens during regeneration. Therefore, your water softener should either be potassium chloride or sodium chloride.

However, most water softener manufacturers recommend using sodium chloride for their machines.

See also: Best dual tank water softeners

What happens if I stop putting salt in my water softener?

Assuming you use the typical water softener that requires frequent regeneration to continue giving you soft water.

When you stop adding more salt to the brine, regeneration stops because the resin has inadequate sodium ions for the ion exchange. It becomes highly saturated with dissolved ions of magnesium and calcium.

As you know, saturated resin can’t take in more of the water’s hardness. So, the ions of magnesium and calcium remain in the water. And because they had reacted with other elements such as chlorine, they form salts such as magnesium chloride and sodium chloride.

If regeneration doesn’t happen, these compounds get into the house water supply. Certainly, you will notice white spots on your faucets and bathroom walls. Your dishes will become cloudy, and you may itch after taking a shower.

Simply, what you are having now is hard water flowing through your taps. Therefore, you should never stop putting salt in your water softener. Without salt, there is no ion exchange, and without ion exchange, eventually, your resin becomes saturated.

Unfortunately, nothing happens to your hard water situation.

How often to put salt in water softener

Assuming that you know how to put salt in your water softener, have you thought of how often you should do it?

Probably yes, but I also understand that life gets busy, and sometimes we forget when to do some regular house chores such as adding salt to the water softeners in your home. No doubt you experience this occasionally, and when the brine is deprived of salt, all you get is hard water through your taps.

Ensuring your salt tank is always packed is one way to go about it but then you risk bridging.

Note that some factors influence how often you need to add more salt. Let’s have a look at some of them:

1. How much water do you use?

Now, if your household consumes a lot of water, it means that a lot of water goes through the softener for treatment. More water means more water hardness minerals trapped, which means more frequent regeneration. And since regeneration uses salt, you will need to constantly add in more.

2. How hard is your water?

If your water supply has a high amount of hard water minerals, it means the resin gets saturated faster, and ion exchange needs to happen more frequently. During ion exchange, salt is used to eliminate the hard water ions. Consequently, you will use more salt than if your water wasn’t as hard.

3. How large is your salt tank?

The brine tank’s size also determines how frequently you will need to add more salt. A larger tank means it can hold more salt, so you’ll have to refill less frequently than a smaller tank.

See also: Merits and demerits of using salt-free water softeners

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FAQs: How to Put Salt in Water Softener

Is it bad to let water softener run out of salt?

Your water softener should never run out of salt. For ion exchange to occur, you need the salt to get rid of hard water ions from the resin, or else the resin becomes saturated, and all you get is hard water.  Besides, salt is necessary for maintaining the quality of the machine and ensuring maximum performance.

Can you put too much salt in a water softener?

Sometimes you get too busy and want to reduce how often you refill the brine, so you add too much salt into the tank. Unknowingly, you risk bridging, which is basically the solidification of salt, preventing proper regeneration.

How much salt do you put in a water softener?

Do not put too much or too little salt in your wat softener. Just ensure that it is slightly above one-quarter full and three or four inches above the water level.

While knowing how to put salt in the water softener is essential, it is also crucial that you understand the type of salt to use and how often you should refill the brine.

Failure to do these will result in poor regeneration or no regeneration, which means you will still have hard water running through your taps.

Reference

Atlas Care: WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER LET YOUR WATER SOFTENER BECOME SALTLESS

Erie water treatment: Service Manual WATER SOFTENER

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