Water softener systems treat hard water, which contains high levels of dissolved calcium and magnesium. Aside from giving it a green-grey cloudy color, the high mineral content in hard water can cause other problems for homeowners. Hard water can damage household appliances and plumbing, stain clothing, and dry out the skin and hair of anyone using it to bathe. For these reasons, many homeowners want to install water softening systems for their home water supply.
How Does Salt Soften Water?
While most people know that these systems solve hard water problems, many don’t know what is happening in those tanks or why they need to pour in large bags of salt. Although homeowners love getting the clean, mineral free water that our water softeners provide, they often ask: Why do they need salt refills?
Salt is a crystal made up of sodium and chloride that has a negative charge. The salt you put in the tank helps the special resin beads in your softener system trap the minerals. The negatively charged resin beads inside the tank attract positive calcium and magnesium ions as the water flows. The salt you add to your water softener helps recharge these resin beads and gets used up in the process.
Do Water Softeners Make Your Water Salty?
It is essential to understand that water softeners do not simply add salt to your water, so the softened water does not taste salty. The process of removing calcium and magnesium uses up nearly all of the salt before it leaves the softener system. The resulting water only has a tiny amount left, which is not harmful and improves the taste.
Does It Matter What Kind of Salt I Put in the Softener System?
Water softener systems work best if you only use specially-made salt. However, there are also three main factors you should consider when choosing your softener salt:
Pure salt will leave your system with less residue, which will lower your maintenance costs. Quality salt will prevent bridging and clumping, which can reduce the water softener’s efficiency.
Salts are available in different forms, but most commonly in block and crystal form. Be sure to ask your water system servicer for advice and read your system’s user manual to help you identify the best suitable salt form.
Mineral content in water differs depending on the geographic location. Depending on the natural mineral makeup of your water going into the system, you may need a specially formulated salt to treat your hard water. With these products, your water softener system can help address problems such as rust stains from high iron levels.
Having the right kind of salt for your softener system is essential to help improve its efficiency and lifespan.
Need help finding the right salt for your softener system? Rainwater Las Vegas can install, service, and repair your water softener and filtration system.
When Should You Add Salt to Your Water Softener?
If you don’t top off your water softening system with fresh salt often enough, your softener system won’t work efficiently. As the salt runs out, the ion exchange that pulls minerals out of hard water slows down. Eventually, the softener system will be too saturated with minerals to work at all. The ion exchange will be compromised, allowing hard minerals to enter your appliances and pipes.
If your softener system stops working, you will usually notice the quality change in your water. But to avoid long term problems, remember the following tips:
Follow a Salt Refill Schedule
Some systems will need you to refill the salt tanks after a couple of weeks, others in months. However, before you do so, you should check on your water consumption to help you determine when to refill your system. Make sure that the brine tank contains the manufacturer’s recommended level of salt to function optimally.
Don’t Overfill Your Softener with Salt
Adding too much salt to your softener can cause bridging or clumping, which can compromise the system’s effectiveness. Refill your tank with the right amount of salt to ensure the process runs smoothly.
Schedule Salt Delivery from Your Softener System Servicer
If you don’t want to carry those heavy salt bags or have to remember the fill schedule, Rainwater Las Vegas offers professional salt delivery services based on your system’s optimal schedule. We will make sure your home water softener system has everything it needs.
Ready to have fresh, soft water delivered to every tap in your home? Contact Rainwater of Las Vegas to learn how we can help!