If you own a water softener, you’ll want to check your softener’s brine tank a least once each month to make sure you have enough salt.
How often Should You Add Salt to the Brine Tank?How much salt you’ll need to add will depend on the level of “hardness” in your water and the quantity of water your household consumes. Industry standard is that the average family of four with hard water (7-10 grains per gallon hardness level) will use about 9 to 10 pounds of salt each week or one 40-lb bag of salt each month.
Having mentioned the industry standard for salt usage with a water softener, it is important to note that most water softening systems in the industry can also be adjusted to use more or less salt on a monthly basis.
The amount of salt used for each regeneration cycle will determine the amount of gallons of water that can be softened before needing to regenerate.
So there is an inherent trade off:
1) increase the amount of salt each regeneration cylce and decrease the amount of regeneration cycles over time or…
2) decrease the amount of salt each regeneration cycle but increase the amount of regeneration cycles over time.
Salt Usage IncreaseYou may find that you’re going through more than the “one-a-month” bag of salt…
- If you have a larger capacity water softening system than the industry standard of 9″ or 10" diameter softening tank
- If your water is very hard (above 10 grains per gallon hardness)
- If your water has an iron level over two parts per million
- If your family size has changed. A larger family generally consumes more water which will cause your softener to regenerate more frequently, and thus use more salt.
- If you have adjusted your valve settings for the softener to regenerate more often and thus consume more salt.
- If your area is experiencing drought conditions, your water treatment professional may adjust your softener’s valve settings to conserve water, but use more salt.
- Fortunately, the valve control on many water softeners and conditioners will do all of the calculations for you regarding when to regenerate. Then you’ll just need add more salt as it is used up. Many homeowners buy and add 120 pounds (three 40-lb bags) of salt at a time so they only have to add salt once every three months.
Why Does the Salt in my Brine Tank Seem to Dissolve so Quickly?You may notice a difference in how quickly the salt in the brine tank seems to dissolve. This could be because you’ve changed the type of salt you’re using. For example, if you’ve gone from solar to evaporative pellets, some salt types are denser than others. Talk over the type of salt you’re using with your Tabor Water Solutions' water treatment specialist or check your system’s owner’s manual as settings can be adjusted per type of salt used.
What if I Forget to Add Salt?If you forget to check salt levels in the brine tank and run out, you simply won’t have soft water. Suddenly seeing spot on your glass shower door might be a dead give away. If you do run out of salt, keep in mind that it may take 2-3 days to get softened water throughout the house again (it usually takes more than one regeneration cycle). To guarantee a satisfactory production of softened water, the salt level should be kept at least half-full in the brine tank at all times.