Our daily struggles with hard water problems necessitate the use of a water softener. If we choose a good quality water softener that uses an ion-exchange process, the overall maintenance is quite low, other than adding salt to it on a regular basis.
But how do you know when it's time to add the salt?
We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you decide when to add salt, how to check the salt level, and what happens if you forget to top up.
Because salt is required for the water softening process, it is critical to understand when to add more to the system. The type of water softener, brine tank size, water hardness, and household water usage all influence how much salt you require and how frequently you must replenish your softener's salt supply.
The most convenient way to replenish your water softener's salt supply is to keep track of when you last refilled it. However, the schedule is also affected by a few critical factors, such as
Water hardness in your home: The amount of hardness in the water supplied to your home influences how frequently your water softener must regenerate. Where the water is harder, the resin will exhaust faster and thus must be cleaned more frequently, requiring more brine solution and salt to be added.
Water usage in your home: If you use more water than usual in your home during a month, you may need to add salt to the softener sooner than usual.
Water softener type and age: The type of water softener you use, its size, and age all influence how frequently you need to refill the salt.
With a few pointers, you can ensure that you're adding the proper amount to keep your system running smoothly:
1. Examine the tank's interior.
Lift the cover of the brine tank and look inside to check the salt level. If the salt appears to be dry and the tank is less than half full, refill until it is slightly more than half full. Also, if the salt appears wet or the water level is higher than the salt, it's time to fill the tank halfway.
2. Consider the age of your softener.
The age of your water softener has a significant impact on salt consumption. If your softener is more than ten years old, it may use more salt than a more recent, more efficient system. Newer models also operate on a demand-initiated cycle, meaning they regenerate only when needed rather than on a predetermined schedule. The most recent systems also include low salt indicators or even a remote monitoring alert to notify you when you are running low on salt and make water softener maintenance easier. Overall, because newer models are more efficient with salt use, they only require salt every 6-8 weeks.
3. Bridging should be avoided.
In order to ensure that your softener is getting enough salt, inspect it every two to three months to ensure that a salt bridge hasn't formed. If the salt level in your tank does not appear to be decreasing after months of use, or if you notice you do not have soft water, you may have a salt bridge. To avoid this problem, install your softener in a low-humidity area whenever possible, use high-quality salt, and keep your brine tank no more than halfway full of salt.