How to Add Salt to Water Softener? Safely Refill with Salt

Refilling salt into your water softener is a crucial maintenance task. The process only takes a few minutes – simply open the brine tank, pour in the salt pellets to the proper level, replace the lid, and initiate a regeneration cycle. Using the right salt type and keeping the tank topped up allows the system to continue effectively softening your household water.

Salt is required for the water softener to recharge the resin beads that exchange hardness minerals with sodium ions. This is what transforms the hard water into soft water. Over time, the sodium-charged resin beads get used up and need to be replenished. The salt dissolves into a brine solution that resets the beads’ ion exchange capacity so the system can keep providing softened water.

How to Add Salt to Water Softener 
Add Salt to Water Softener 

Procedure for Adding Salt to Water Softener

When it’s time to replenish the salt, follow these steps:

Purchase the recommended salt specifically made for water softeners. Make sure you have the right type and amount on hand before beginning.

Step 1 – Prepare the Salt

  • Place the salt bags near the water softener.
  • Open and break any large chunks to help them dissolve faster.

Step 2 – Open the Brine Tank Lid 

  • Use a screwdriver to unscrew and remove the salt tank lid if necessary.
  • Remove the lid slowly to allow pressure release.

Step 3 – Fill with Salt

  • Always keep the salt tank at least 1/3 full.
  • Pour in the salt slowly to prevent bridging and empty bags completely.
  • Level and distribute the salt evenly across the tank.
  • Avoid spilling salt near the softener.

NOTE – Pour the salt into the tank until it is about 4-6 inches from the top.

Step 4 – Replace Lid 

  • Replace the brine tank lid tightly once filled.
  • Secure with the screws to ensure a sealed fit.

And that’s the basic process for replenishing the salt level in your water softener system.

Things Need to Keep in Mind While Refiling Salt in the Water Softener 

When refilling your water softener salt tank, keep these tips in mind:

  • Check salt levels monthly and refill when half empty or less
  • Always keep the brine tank a minimum of one-third full
  • Only use plain crystalline pellet or solar salts specifically formulated for softeners
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the amount of salt capacity needed
  • Break up any large clumps of salt and evenly distribute
  • Replace lids tightly to prevent contamination or moisture damage
  • Initiate a recharge cycle to generate a fresh brine solution

Types of Salt

There are two main types of water softener salt:

  • Evaporated salt: This is the most common type of water softener salt. It is made by evaporating seawater or brine.
  • Solar salt: This is a type of evaporated salt that is produced using solar power. It is a more environmentally friendly option than evaporated salt.

Avoid tablets, rocks, and gourmet salts with additives. Only use plain crystalline water softener salts. Avoid using potassium chloride salt, as it can damage your water softener.

Amount of Salt 

The amount of salt depends on:

  • Capacity of your specific model’s brine tank
  • Water hardness level and household size/usage

In general, use 1 lb salt per 1 cubic ft of resin. Refill when half empty. However, Adding too much or too little salt to a water softener can have several negative consequences for your water quality and the water softener itself.

Too Much Salt

  • Hard water: Adding too much salt to the water softener can actually make the water harder. This is because the excess salt can interfere with the ion exchange process that the water softener uses to remove calcium and magnesium ions from the water.
  • Brine overflow: If the salt tank is overfilled, the brine solution can overflow from the tank and onto the floor. This can create a mess and can also damage the water softener.
  • Salt bridge formation: If the salt solution becomes too concentrated, a salt bridge can form. This is a hard crust of salt that can clog the salt inlet valve and prevent the water softener from working properly. 

Too Little Salt

  • Hard water: If the salt level in the water softener is too low, the water will become hard again. This is because the water softener will not be able to remove enough calcium and magnesium ions from the water.
  • Reduced softener performance: The water softener’s efficiency will decrease if the salt level is too low. This could lead to scaling buildup in your appliances and plumbing fixtures.
  • Brine tank corrosion: If the brine tank is empty, the metal walls of the tank can corrode. This can lead to leaks and other problems with the water softener.

Bonus Tips – How Often You Need to Refill Salt or Know that Your Softener is Missing the Salt 

Signs your softener needs more salt:

  • Hard water symptoms returning
  • Salt level below half full
  • Error lights or alerts on control panel
  • Increase in detergent usage
  • Odd noises from the unit
  • Dry skin, mineral deposits on fixtures

Refill promptly once these indicators are noticed to avoid disruption in soft water service.

End Notes 

Keeping your water softener performing optimally requires filling it regularly with the right salt type and amount. Make salt refills part of your routine maintenance schedule. Watch for signs that the system is low. With proper brine tank recharges your water softener will continue providing the clean, soft water your household needs and expects.

Leave a Reply