How Much Salt For Your Water Softener – Salt Usage Guide

Last Updated on December 12, 2022 by Mattias

Have you just bought a salt-based water softener but are unsure how much salt you should add? Or perhaps you just moved into a new house and are entirely new to dealing with water softeners?

Perhaps you’re wondering, “how much salt should I use for my water softener?”

Don’t worry; this guide will give you a better understanding and all the answers you want.

Without salt in your brine tank, the ion exchange process can’t accor, and your water supply will be affected. You don’t want to run your water softener without salt.

How Much Salt Do You Put In a Water Softener?

Questions about salt usage are widespread; perhaps you’ve heard many answers which is normal, and soon you will understand why. But using the right amount of salt is essential. If you use less salt than needed, the control valve will be filled with hard water, and the water will not be softened anymore.

When filling salt, you will load it into the water softener brine tank. The brine tank is the part of the water softener that holds the salt. The most important factors to keep an eye on in the brine tank are:

  1. Ensure your brine tank is at least one-quarter full of salt.
  2. Check that the salt level always stays a few inches above the water level inside the brine tank.
  3. The salt shouldn’t exceed 4-6 inches below the top of the brine tank.

“So How Much Salt For Water Softener?”

A good rule of thumb is 10lbs of salt each week, meaning that a 40-lb bag of salt should last for the average family (4) in one month. But it comes down to many factors, and sometimes you might need additional salt to keep the high water hardness levels down.

But we recommend checking your system at least once a week to ensure everything is as it should be. If you’ve noticed an increase in your water softener usage, you might want to take a closer look.

If the hardness of the water is above 7-10 gpg, you may need more frequent salt refills.

Read also: How To Add Salt To Water Softener

Tips For Adding Salt To Your Brine Tank

When it comes to adding water softener salt, there are a few things to think about:

  1. Before you fill any new salt in your brine tank, make sure you break up or loosen any remaining salts inside your tank. You can use a broom handle for this or anything else of the same length.
  2. Look on the sides of your brine tank to see if you can see any encrusted salt; if you find any salt: loosen and break it off so it falls to the bottom of your tank. Then you can break apart any large pieces that have stuck together.
  3. If you find any salt bridge in your brine tank, you can use a broom handle to break it up. Sometimes it can be pretty hard to break apart. If it is: try pouring some hot water over it first. That usually softens it up.
  4. Use a good salt, either sodium chloride or potassium chloride. Please don’t use any table salt since it will damage your unit.

We did an article about Potassium Chloride vs. Sodium Chloride, which can come to help.

How Much Salt Will Your Water Softener Use?

How much salt your water softener needs comes down to serval factors:

How Much Water You Use

It depends on your household’s water usage. If you’re a small family, you might use a small amount of water; hence a larger family would use more water. More water = more salt.

The Size Of The Brine Tank

If you got a large brine tank, you probably wouldn’t need to fill it so often compared to a smaller tank. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to how much water you use.

The Hardness Of Your Water

The number of minerals in your water that make water hard will also affect how much salt you go through. The harder the water, the more often the resin beads need to be regenerated and the more salt you will go through.

It can be a good idea to check the salt level in your brine tank monthly.

Tip: Set an alarm on your phone to get reminded

Read also: Will Water Softener Water Kill Plants?

How Efficient Your Water Softener Is

Some water softener systems are more efficient than other models. Let’s say that you have a high-efficient water softener. It will use less salt than a lower-efficient water softener.

So how does that work? You may wonder. Well, it’s because the high-efficient water softener has larger resin beads, so it can exchange more ions and doesn’t need to do its regeneration cycle as often as a lower-efficient water softener.

So, investing in the best water softener is always suitable for saving money in the long run.

The Age Of Your Water Softener

When your water softener age, it gets less efficient in treating your water. Which means that you sometimes need to use a lot of salt, far more than you need to. So if you’re adding more salt than usual, it may be time to change the water softener.

If you want to learn more about how much salt your water softener uses, look at your user’s manual.

Read also: 9 Reasons Why Your Softened Water Tastes Salty

Can You Overfill Your Water Softener With Salt?

Yes, it’s possible to overfill your water-softening system with salt. It can cause salt bridging when salt sits at the top of the tank. 

Salt briding is simply a hard crust within the brine tank. It has developed over the water in the brine tank and can cause improper regeneration. The salt clumps together and doesn’t mix as it should with the water to form a brine solution, which is essential to get soft water for your home. 

It can be hard to spot a salt bridge since your tank will appear full when you look inside the salt. It’s a common and easy mistake to make. 

Read also: Can You Use Water Softener Salt To Melt Ice?

What Type Of Salt Should You Use?

Choosing the correct salt type can significantly affect your water softener. Evaporated salt and solar salt are the most popular salts. Both can make hard water soft, regardless of resin type or water usage. But there is a slight difference in their quality. 

The best option would be to choose evaporated salt pellets since they have the highest purity. It also makes mushing or bridging less likely to happen when your water softener turns hard water into soft water. 

Solar salt pellets or crystals are effective when treating hard water but are not as soluble as evaporated salt. 

You might come across rock salt, and it can feel tempting to buy since it’s much cheaper than the other salts. However, there are a few negative things you need to know first. 

Rock salt: 

  • It contains more dirt 
  • It contains calcium sulfate, which dissolves very severely in your brine tank.

Rock salt isn’t something we recommend, and it can give you more problems instead, which means an extra cost if you need to repair your water softener. 

There’s one more option which is a little more expensive, but it’s a good softener and also salt-free, something to consider if you’re on a low-sodium diet or want to get less salt into your body – potassium chloride.

As you can see, there are different types of salt to choose between. Look at our guide to find the best salt for your water softener if you need help.

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

How Much Salt For Water Softener Summary

I hope you liked this salty guide and got the answers you were looking searching for.

As you discovered, many factors can affect how much salt you need, but now that you know these factors, you also know what you can do to make your system use less salt. Having the right amount of salt is essential to keep your water quality high and your water soft.

Bookmark this guide and use it whenever you have problems and if you have some questions, contact us for more help.