9 Reasons Why Your Softened Water Tastes Salty

Last Updated on January 3, 2023 by Mattias

Have you ever drunk water after it has been softened and discovered it has a salty taste?

I know you might be thinking that the saltiness of the water is due to the addition of sodium to it by your water softener, but the truth is, that is not the reason. 

For your salt-based water softener to produce softened water, it removes the hard water minerals from your water supply and adds a small amount of sodium salt into the water. Since only a little sodium is added to the water, this doesn’t justify the taste of your water is salty.

There are many reasons why this is happening, and in this article, I will highlight 9 possible reasons why your softened water is salty and how to go about them. 

9 Reasons Why Your Softened Water Tastes Salty

bearded man drinking water

Your Water Softener’s Brine Line or Drain Line Is Either Twisted Or Clogged 

When your brine line is clogged or twisted, it prevents the brine solution from passing through it easily, and this causes an imbalance in water flow, hence causing a buildup in the water softening system that will make your water have a salty taste. 

The clogging of the brine line could be caused by either the sediment or sodium content that is present in your brine solution. 

To solve this clogging issue, put your hand into the drain line from where it removes water from the system’s tank, and then move your hand in it and press it to check if there is any clog or blockage that is causing the water not to flow correctly through it. 

Also, make sure you remove the brine line and clean it properly before inserting it back. However, if you notice it has suffered significant damage, you should replace it.  

The twisting, clogging, or over-length of your drain line could also cause the salty water taste. 

When your drain line is clogged or curled, it is difficult for water to pass through it properly. 

To solve this, follow the same process explained above for the brine line.

Another reason your water softener cannot drain is its drain line is too long. 

Ensure that the drain line isn’t more than 8 feet long and that the drain line between the drain and the tank isn’t more than 20 feet long.

Read also: Will Water Softener Water Kill Plants?

You Used Water While Your Water Softener Was Carrying Out Its Regeneration Process 

When you use water while the regeneration process is ongoing, then there is a high tendency you will drink water with a salty taste.

This could be because your water softener has been programmed to carry out its regeneration cycle during the day when you use your water the most. 

To prevent this, set your water softener to undergo its regeneration process in the middle of the night or during the early hours of the day when you are asleep and you can’t be using water.

Your Water Softener’s Brine Valve Is Faulty 

When parts of the brine valve become faulty, it could cause the brine solution to leak into the resin container and soak your resin beads with more than the required salt, causing it to produce salty water. 

A simple solution is to remove the brine elbow from your water softening system, run water through it and check for possible leaks and damage. 

If you notice a leak, you need to change the affected components, but if the valve is damaged, you should replace it. 

Your Water Softener’s Injector Valve Is Clogged 

The injector valve is a fragile part of the water softening system with holes in vertical and horizontal order, which can be easily clogged.

The blockage of these holes can contribute to the saltiness of your drinking water. 

To free these holes from blockage, use a small object like a toothpick made of wood to clear them. 

Do not attempt using any metal object to clear these holes, as they could cause them to expand. 

If, after repeated attempts, the blockages on these holes aren’t filled, then you should replace your injector valve.

Your Water Softener’s Control Head Is Improperly Set 

While installing your water softener, you must ensure the information inputted into the control head are correct, as this information is what your water softener will use for the water treatment in your home. 

When information such as the water hardness number is incorrect, your water softener will release more salt during the softening process, making your softened water taste very salty. 

And even though your information was correctly set during installation, ensure you check it from time to time, as power outages, lack of electricity, and being touched by others could cause the programmed settings to change.

Your Water Softener’s Drain Line’s Flow Regulator Is Clogged 

The clogging of your drain line flow control could also be why your soft water tastes salty. 

To unclog it, remove it and clean it properly. And when you remove it, if you notice it is damaged, you should replace it. 

There Is Too Much Water In Your Water Softener’s Brine Tank

When there is too much water in your water softener’s brine tank, the salt absorbs too much and could produce salty water. 

Endeavor to check your brine tank regularly and ensure the water level is between 6 to 10 inches. 

If the water is above this level, use a container or bucket to remove all the water in the brine tank, remove any blockage in the tank, and then reset your water softening system. 

You Interrupted The Water Softener’s Brine Cycle 

After your water softening system treats water for a while, it undergoes regeneration by using a brine solution to wash the hardness ions and minerals off the resin bed.

Interrupting this cycle when it is ongoing will produce water with many sodium ions, making your drinking water much saltier.  

The duration of the brine cycle ranges from 30 to 100 minutes, so ensure you allow it to run successfully without interrupting it. 

The Water Coming Into Your Home Has A High Level Of Sodium 

The high salt in your drinking water could also be due to your water source. 

When your water softener adds an amount of sodium to an already sodium-filled water supply, the taste of soft water is bound to be highly salty. 

Carry out a water test, know the sodium ions entering your home, and see if it is too much. 

Read also: 10 Signs Of Hard Water On Hair And Why You Should Fix It

How Do You Make Softened Water Less Salty?

woman drinking water

Install a Reserve Osmosis (RO) System in your home to make your softened water less salty. 

An RO system is the perfect drinking water filter for your home.

It is designed to efficiently remove and reduce the amount of sodium in your water and remove 99.9% of the contaminants in your water supply, such as sodium sulfate, lead, and magnesium sulfate, which will improve your water quality. 

You can also make softened water less salty by changing your salt from sodium chloride to potassium chloride.

Using potassium chloride in your water softener to carry out the ion exchange process will also effectively remove magnesium ions and calcium ions from your water while providing soft water with lower salt levels. 

Read also: 12 Best Kitchen Faucets For Hard Water + Buyers Guide

Water Softener Water Tastes Salty Summary 

The saltiness of your softened water indicates a problem, and you need to fix it to correct how your drinking water tastes.

In this article, I have highlighted the 9 leading causes of the salty water problem in your home and how to fix them, so make sure you check all these areas and endeavor they are all in perfect working conditions.

Good luck!