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Perhaps you recently added salt to your softener’s brine tank yet it already looks like it’s time to add more. Now you’re wondering if your softener is working properly and how much salt an average softener should go through?
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…
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.
When high-efficiency (HE) laundry washers were introduced a few years back, many consumers suddenly began paying more attention to the laundry soap they were buying. High efficiency machine manufacturers warned that using “regular” laundry soap rather than an “HE detergent” could void the machine’s warranty.
So what about a water softener system? Does it matter what type of soap is used after a water softener or conditioner is installed?
Why Hard Water Requires More SoapPrior to the installation of a water softener, hard water probably made it difficult for you to get much of a suds. Hard water is known to complicate soap and detergent dissolving in water.
In fact, you may remember dumping a big scoop of laundry detergent into a top-loading washer and waiting…only to see very few suds form. That’s because nearly twice the amount of soap must be used with hard water to achieve the same results as when operating with softened water.
The minerals that make water "hard" (calcium and magnesium) interfere with the cleaning action of soap. Soap is attracted to these hardness minerals and that is why soap produces fewer suds and is less effective in hard water.
Hard water also makes it difficult to rinse soap from clothing. You may have noticed some of your clothes coming out of the laundry process feeling stiff or looking dingy. Yes, hard water limescale is clinging or adhering to that favorite pair of jeans! Washing clothes in soft water means you’ll not only need less soap to get your clothes clean, but also will be able to completely rinse the soap out of your clothing.
What Type of Soap Should I Use with a Water Softener?If you’ve recently installed a water softener (by the way, you’ve made a great choice—congratulations), you should try to use as pure a soap as possible. Softened water actually maximizes the effectiveness of soaps and detergents. We recommend you use clear liquid soaps that are free of perfumes and dyes.
Many soap manufacturers assume their products are being used with hard water and add water softening agents and fillers to soaps, shampoos and detergents. This means that you’re paying for a filler or additive that you don’t need–and you’ll get a lot more for your money by purchasing pure soaps. A variety of online sites sell pure soaps and detergents.
Softened water has the ability to remedy “hard water” problems.Claims such as “softened water can save you money” were put to the test in an independent study funded by the Water Quality Research Council.* The study found that consumers can cut back on laundry detergents by 50 percent and reduce dishwashing soap by 70 percent when washing with soft water.
And when it comes to laundry stain removal, the study showed significant cost savings in energy expenses as washing machine temperatures were lowered from hot to cold and still maintained the same stain removal efficacy–when washing with softened water.
You’ll also find that with softened water, you can use less shampoo to create even greater lather and there’s no longer a need to buy “rinsing agents” for spot-free glasses and dishes!
Not sure if you have hard water? Tabor Water Solutions can provide you with a free water test and help you understand the available water treatment solutions....and as usual, no gimmicky parlor tricks or high pressure sales tactics, just solutions. Give us a call!