For your traditional water softener to work right, you need to make sure it has enough salt. Without enough salt, the resin can't use it to exchange minerals. Eventually, the entire softening process will stop. Read on to learn more about the signs of low salt in your system and why you need to keep salt levels in check.
Why Do Water Softeners Need Salt?
Traditional water softeners use an ion exchange system to soften your home's water. This system contains a brine tank with a salt reserve. A separate tank contains sodium-saturated resin used to exchange calcium and magnesium minerals for salt. Calcium and magnesium are the problem minerals in hard water. After exchanging minerals, the sodium solution and hard minerals drain out of the system while the softened water goes into your home.
Do All Water Softeners Need Salt?
Some water softeners on the market use potassium, and others soften water by other means. They come in different types that use reverse osmosis and magnetic water softeners. You can get some of these salt-free systems with two tanks to cover high demand. These alternatives may be helpful for people who need to limit their salt intake.
What Are the Signs of Low Salt in the Softer?
If you have a newer water softener, chances are you have an indicator that tells you how much salt you have left. Many experts recommend filling the brine tank with salt when it is half full or looks dry. Other signs of low salt include signs of water calcification and a salty taste to the water. Check your water softener's salt levels about once a month. Also, break up salt bridges as they can reduce your softener's effectiveness.
What Happens If You Run Out of Salt?
When you run out of salt, the entire exchange system stops working. You will no longer have softened water in your home. The water will return to its original hard water state. Hard water puts your appliances and plumbing at risk for calcification issues. It leaves scale that builds up inside pipes and fixtures. In some cases, the buildup can get so bad that the plumbing prematurely breaks down.
If you have a traditional water softener, make sure you keep plenty of salt on hand. Water softener salts come in several different forms. A water softener system services company can help you choose the best type of salt you need for your softener. Contact them if you need salt or other parts to keep your system running.
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