How To Add Salt To A Water Softener

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Water softeners remove calcium from your tap water. This helps prevent scale buildup inside pipes and fixtures. In addition, it also makes your shower water softener.

To soften water, you need to add salt to your water softener. The amount of salt depends on the hardness of the water. 

In this article, we are going to discuss how to add salt to your water softener (see also ‘Water Softener Maintenance: 7 Tips On How To Prolong Your Softener’s Life‘). 

Adding Salt To Your Water Softener

Before discussing the amount of salt you should be adding to your water softener.

The most important thing is knowing the basics, which happens to be where and how you add your salt. 

However, it is really easy to add salt to your water softener system. All you need to do is find your brine tank, as this is where the salt lives.

Then you just open the lid to the brine tank and refill the tank with the right amount of salt that is needed.

The brine tank is normally really easy to get to. It is the resin bed which is sealed and difficult to get to.  

How Much Salt Do You Need? 

For a lot of places that suffer with hard water, such as Phoenix in Arizona, a water softener is an essential piece of equipment.

Over the years, the design of the water softener system has improved. This means older systems will use a lot more salt than newer systems.

For each regeneration cycle and depending on the size of your brine tank. You only need to be using around 6 to 8 pounds of salt.

Thus, for the majority of water softeners, their regeneration cycles happen around once a week. Therefore, you can estimate to use 40 pounds of salt every month. 

This is a large quantity of salt, and it’s understandable that you want to minimize how much salt you do need to use. You should consider using clean salt.

What we mean by clean salt is salt that has a 99.5% minimum salt content. 

You don’t have to use sodium, you can use potassium chloride.

Although, it is important to be aware that potassium chloride is known to create bridges in the brine tank once it gets wet.

As a result, make sure that the water levels in the brine tank, when using potassium chloride, are around half way full. This way you can keep an eye on the salt as the levels go down. 

Types Of Salt To Use

When it comes to adding salt to your water softener, you have two options, which we have just briefly mentioned above. 

This includes potassium chloride or sodium chloride. Both are classed as forms of salt, yet we would recommend that you use sodium chloride.

This is because it is much more effective at its job.

However, there are some water softeners that will only use one type, in this case you don’t have much of a choice and must use whichever is recommended to you.

Potassium chloride is much more temperamental than sodium chloride. It is known that in a dual system, potassium chloride acts like a condition.

So it doesn’t always remove all the minerals from your water as you want or expect from sodium chloride. 

When Should You Add Salt To The Water Softener?

When Should You Add Salt To The Water Softener?

There are a couple of ways in which you can tell that it is time to add some more salt to the water softener. We have listed these reasons below for you. 

Check The Brine Tank

Once you get your head around how it works, a water softener (see also ‘How To Clean Water Softener – 4 Professional Tips‘) is really easy to use.

With that being said, you should be making regular checks to the brine tank to keep an eye on the salt levels. You want the tank to always be around halfway full.

However, if it is less than you need to refill the tank as soon as you can. 

The best thing to do is set a routine up for yourself when you are going to check and refill the tank. This way you stay on top of the salt levels, and you don’t have to worry about it. 

The Age Of Your Water Softener

How old your water softener (see also ‘How Often Should A Water Softener Regenerate?‘) is can affect how much salt it needs. If your water softener is older than 10 years, then it is common for the system to use a lot more salt.

Compared to a younger system, which will use much less. 

Also, a lot of newer water softeners are much more efficient. Even the regeneration cycle will happen when demanded to.

Alongside this, a new softener system will even make you aware when the salts levels have fallen too low.

Therefore, if you have a newer model, then you can add salt to the water softener after 6 to 8 weeks.

Although, you should check the salt levels sooner to make sure that the system is working properly. 

Watch Out For Salt Bridges

If there are salt bridges in your brine tank, this can make it difficult for you to tell how much salt is in your water softener (see also ‘How To Tell If Your Water Softener Is Working‘).

This can then affect how much salt you think you should be adding to the system. 

A salt bridge is a layer of salt which is actually covering an air pocket.

Thus, if you only give your brine tank a quick glance, you will assume that there is more salt in the tank than there really is.

However, if your salt level remains at a constant level for a long period of time, then take a small shovel and poke the top layer of salt.

A salt bridge will collapse immediately, and then you will get a better understanding of your salt levels. 


We have now gone through everything to do with adding salt to your water softener (see also ‘Installing A Water Softener: Your Ultimate Guide‘). It is easy to refill with the correct amount of salt.

All you have to do is open the brine lid and add your salt. Always keep an eye on your salt levels, as you don’t want them to drop too low. 

We hope you have found this article useful and now understand how much salt you need to be adding to your water softener. 

Thank you for reading!

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