Water Softener Salt Guide – Everything You Need To Know

A lot of people have a water softening system installed into their homes. When you have a water softening system, you will have to keep topping the system up with salt in the brine tank.

Water Softener Salt Guide - Everything You Need To Know

However, you may have wondered what this water softener salt is or what the salt does in your softening system.

In this article, we have put together the ultimate water softener salt guide. Thus, you will learn everything you need to know about salt in your water softener system.

What Is The Salt Used In A Water Softener?

Some people suffer with hard water, which is water that has a build up of minerals. This can cause negative effects on your appliances and can cause dry skin or hair when washed with.

Therefore, households have begun installing water softening systems, to help combat the hard water in their homes. There are various models of these systems around, yet they all do the same things.

All water softening systems use a brine tank and solution. This solution helps to keep the resin beads in the tank working. The resin beads are used to remove the minerals in the water that causes hard water.

The brine solution that is used in all water softening systems is used with a mixture of salt and water. Then occasionally you will need to top up this solution to keep your system working effectively.

The best salt to use in your brine tank will vary depending on the model of your system and the manufacturer’s requirements.

How Does The Salt Work In The System?

In the resin tank, your natural water will be softened. This is where the ions exchange and the harness ions are removed. These can include the calcium and magnesium ions and minerals from the water.

How this works is when the hardness ions pass by the sodium ions and exchange happens. This is where the sodium and hardness ions come into contact, and the sodium ions are stronger and take away the hardness. Hence, the water then becomes soft.

It is important to remember that as this process happens, the resin beads in the tank will eventually become saturated with hardness ions.

This is why it is important to keep topping the tank back up with salt, otherwise, the beads will stop working. Then the system will become ineffective, and your water will remain hard, instead of becoming soft.

Therefore, the brine tank is a really important aspect to the water softening system during the regeneration process. While this process happens, the salt ions are pumped through the resin beads.

This helps to desaturate the hardness that has built up in the resin beads. As a result, to make sure the regeneration process happens regularly enough, you need to make sure that you keep your brine tank filled with plenty of sodium ions.

Thus, the system needs to be topped up with water softening salt.

How Much Salt Do You Need To Use?

The manual that comes with your water softening system will give you advice on how much salt you should be adding to your system.

However, the amount of salt you need to add and how often you will need to add salt depend on the water usage of your household.

For example, a typical household with a family of 4 people will have around 300 liters of water every day. However, to judge how much salt you need to use will depend on how hard your water is, and the requirements of your water system.

Ideally, you should be checking the salt levels of your water softening system at least once a month. Then you should be refilling the brine tank when necessary, to keep the tank working properly.

Different Types Of Salt You Can Use

There are multiple types of salt that you are able to use in your system. However, the two most common salts are table salt (sodium chloride) and potassium chloride salt.

With that being said, potassium chloride is a much more expensive salt to use and is seen as much less effective than table salt. With table salt, it is suggested to be used in block or tablet form.

In addition to this, there are water softening salt tablets available. Generally, this salt is sold in small pellets in sacks.

They can be used in the majority of water softening systems. Also, you can purchase block salt, which are slightly more expensive than tablets, but they last a lot longer.

However, when choosing your salt, always follow your manufacturer’s advice.

Can This Extra Salt Be Harmful?

Naturally, you want to be careful on how much salt you are having in your diet. However, small amounts of salt that is added to your system is used to clean the resin beads of hardness.

Although, some people do need to be careful on how much salt they consume. Yet, there are ways to deal with this, like the following:

  • Avoid processed foods.
  • installing a separate cold water tap, which isn’t connected to the system.
  • Using a system that uses the minimal amount of salt.

Is This Salt Safe For Pets?

Is This Salt Safe For Pets

As long as you follow the manufacturer’s advice, then this salt is safe when used in a water softening system. You shouldn’t use this salt as an alternative to cooking salt. It shouldn’t be used in cooking or eaten.

Also, there are some species of fish that react badly to softening water. Therefore, it is best to seek advice from a professional, about your fish’s water needs before giving them softened water.

Therefore, salt for a water system should be stored far out of reach of children and pets, and only used in a water system.

Can You Use It In A Dishwasher?

It is known that dishwashers which use softened water will make your dishes cleaner and sparkle more. There are some dishwashers that will naturally soften the water, which asks for you to use dishwasher salt.

Thus, you could use softener soft in your dishwasher, but you don’t need to as your system will have already softened the water.

Other Uses For Softening Salt

Water softening salt is used with water to make softer water. However, this salt should never be used for cooking purposes. Although, this salt can be used to melt snow or ice, kill weeds and clean metals. Also, it can be used as a slug repellant.

Can The Salt Expire?

You want to make sure that you keep the salt stored in a dry place. This will allow the salt to last for a very long time.

Although, if you notice a thick sludge or hard crust in your brine tank, then this could be a sign that your salt is bridging. This is a salt barrier which will prevent the water and salt mixing together in the brine tank.

Seek advice from an expert if you notice salt bridging and how to avoid it happening.

Can You Recycle Water Softening Salt Bags?

Everyone is becoming a lot more environmentally friendly, and as you use a lot of salt, you may have wondered whether the bags can be recycled.

Due to salt being very soluble in water, the packaging used, has to keep the salt dry. This is so it will last longer, and makes sure it is protected.

As a result, the majority of the packaging that this alt comes in is not recyclable at the moment. Due to being made with different types of plastics, which not all facilities are able to recycle at the moment.

Final Thoughts

Salt is a really important element in your water softening system. It is important that you keep the brine tank topped up with salt, so that the system will continue to work effectively and turn your hard water soft.

If you have issues with your water softening system and the salt, then you should seek professional advice on how to deal with it.

We hope you have enjoyed this article and guide. Now you should have a better understanding of the salt that is used in a water softening system and how it works.

Mandy Anderson