How much salt should a softener use?

How much salt should a softener useThat’s a good question.

3 bags a month?

Half a bag per week?

12 bags per year?

The answer depends on a number of factors;

Hardness – The higher the level of calcium in your water (hardness), the more salt it will take during the cleaning cycle to regenerate the water softener. This is due to the size of the unit…

Size – Some softeners have a mineral tank that is 8″ in diameter. Others are 9″, 10″ or even 12″. Then, there are different heights of tanks. The average water softener ranges from 35″ tall to 54″ tall. The larger the mineral tank, the more resin beads it will hold…

Resin Beads – There are different grades of resin that go into the mineral tanks. Some are designed for pre-treated municipal water supplies that have a moderate level of hardness and no iron. Other resins are better suited for well water with both hardness and iron.

Control Valve & Timer – As with anything, you can buy low quality (often the cheapest), mid quality or high quality. Same goes in the water treatment industry. Some of the manufacturers are producing ‘retail’ grade equipment that are inexpensive to purchase but are very inefficient and use a lot of salt. Other manufacturers have purposely taken the time and effort to engineer and produce valves & timers that are extremely reliable and very efficient for salt usage. You get what you pay for.

As you can see there are many factors that affect the amount of salt you should expect to use in a softener, but the average usage with a good unit  today will be between 5 and 8 bags of salt per year.

How do I know if my water softener is using the proper amount of salt?

Should I be considering other options?

If you’re wondering if your existing softener is working properly, the only way to know for sure is to have an in-home inspection done. By assessing the state of the current appliance, usage, and water chemistry we can estimate how efficient your system should be and make any adjustments or recommendations.