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A Few Important Things To Know About The Salt In Your Water Softener

If you're planning to buy a water softener, you'll need to understand how and when to replace the salt. Salt is needed for the process of removing hard minerals from water, and it is slowly used up as water passes through the softener. Therefore, you'll need to frequently replace the salt in the tank. Here are a few things to know about maintaining the salt in your new water softener.

How To Tell When You Need To Add Salt

The brine tank should always be a little more than half full of salt. If you look in the tank and the level is lower than that, add enough salt to bring it just above the half-tank mark. The frequency you'll need to add salt varies, so you should look inside the tank at least once a month to see if more salt is needed. If you buy a used or reconditioned older water softener, you may have to rely on visually inspecting the tank to know when to add salt. If you buy a newer model, it will probably have an indicator light that lets you know it's time for salt. Newer models are also more efficient, so you won't have to add salt as often as you do with an older softener.

There may be times when you look in the tank and the salt seems to be at the normal level although your water doesn't feel soft any more. Also, you may have noticed the salt level isn't dropping like it usually does. This might be due to a salt bridge that is keeping the salt from contacting the water underneath it. It might also be due to old salt clogging the bottom of the softener.

To remedy this problem, poke the top of the salt to see if it will collapse. If the problem is a bridge, the salt will fall apart when you press on it. If the problem is clogs in the tank, you'll have to empty out all the old salt and replace it with new. You can usually avoid problems like this by not overfilling the brine tank with salt.

How To Buy Salt For A Water Softener

When you buy your new water softener, be sure to ask about the type of salt to use in the tank. You can also check the owner's manual for your appliance. You can buy different kinds of salt, and if you're not sure what kind to buy, choose one of the purest varieties. High-quality salt helps your softener work more efficiently, so it is probably a better choice than the economy salt that is available. Your plumber can let you know for sure what type of salt to use and how to maintain the brine tank properly.

You may be able to get the salt from the same place you bought your water softener. Some companies that sell softeners also provide home delivery of salt on a set schedule so you never run and you don't have to lug home 40-pound bags of salt from a store. For more information, talk with a company like Water-Pro.