The salt in your system’s brine tank is an essential part of the water softening process. It’s used to recharge the resin media inside so your softener can effectively remove hard minerals and make your water ideal for cleaning, laundry, and bathing.
But, what happens if you forget to add water softener salts? And, how are you supposed to remember when it’s time refill your brine tank?
Among all your daily duties and household chores, adding another big bag of salt to your water softener can easily slip your mind. It may not be obvious at first, but after a while you will notice a difference in your water quality.
Without enough salt to form a brine solution and recharge the water softening media, your system gets less and less effective. When there’s no salt left at all, your system will be attempting to recharge the media with raw water instead. This has no effect on the media, so hardness minerals will start creeping back into the water you’re using throughout your home.
If you notice common hard water problems, such as soap scum on your bathroom tiles, dishes that don’t get clean, or problems getting a good lather in the shower, you may have forgotten to refill your brine tank with salt.
You don’t want to wait until hard water starts wreaking havoc in your home before remembering to add salt to your system. Ideally, you’d know exactly when it was time for a salt refill. But, there’s no defined schedule for replenishing a water softener’s salt supply.
Several factors impact how often a homeowner needs to add softener salts:
Hardness levels of the water in your home
Water usage in your household
The type of water softener you own
The age of your water softener
The size of your brine tank.
Some homeowners refill the brine tank with salt every few weeks, and others do it every few months. That’s a fairly wide range. Plus, the amount of time that you’re used to can fluctuate if you’re using more water than usual. For example, if you have had house guests stay for the week and more showers are being taken than normal, you will have to add salt to your softener sooner than you would expect.
You could look inside the tank to check on things regularly. In general, salts should fill about half the tank.