There are a few risks to adding too much salt to your water softener. So, if you wanted to know ‘Can you overfill a water softener with salt?’ the answer is that it is possible but you should not do it because it leads to salt bridges, salt mushing and is a waste of high-quality salt too. Here’s what those things do to your water softener.
Formation Of Salt Bridges
The first problem with adding too much salt to the softener is that it creates what is called salt bridging. Salt bridges are formed in the brine tank of the water softener. This is a hard crust that is formed in between the salt and the water in the tank, which makes it difficult for the softener to regenerate. That affects the entire process of water softening.
What the bridge essentially does is that it does not allow the salt to dissolve in the water. As a result, brine or saltwater is not formed. Resin beads that soften the water cannot function without brine.
An increase in temperature or humidity can also cause salt bridges along with the usage of the wrong type of salt for your water softener. You know this is the problem when the water tank looks like it is full, but the outgoing water is not soft.
You can fix this by taking the handle of a broom and pushing the top layer of salt. Push it gently and break the solidified salt bridge and you should be fine. Next time, watch the levels of salt.
The second reason why the answer to the question ‘Can you overfill a water softener with salt?’ is ‘no’ is because it causes salt mushing. This is a more serious problem and is the result of the crystallization of the dissolved salt in the tank. This creates a salty sludge at the bottom of your softener’s brine tank.
It is a dense layer and does not allow the softener to regenerate when it should. This means the water will remain hard and there will also be a blockade in your tank.
When you are looking for a salt bridge, if you can’t break it with a gentle push, you can assume that it is due to salt mushing. In this case, you must remove all the water from the tank, dig out the old salt and add new salt to the water softener. There is no other way to solve this problem.
Waste Of Salt
Valves that are leaking and incorrectly set controls can cause the water softener to use twice the amount of salt it needs. This leads to a waste of high-value salt. This means there will be too much salt in your brine system which will overflow and as a result the salt will be wasted before it even gets to the regeneration stage.
This happens because the concentration of brine flowing through the resin in the tank is too much during the regeneration process. Another explanation is that the brine is flowing for too long which leads to the excess salt ending up, quite literally, down the drain.
To avoid this, you must program the softener properly and make sure that the demand of the resin is matched by the regeneration cycle.
Can You Overfill A Water Softener With Salt?
You can but you shouldn’t. You should fill the brine tank only halfway through so that the older salt does not stick to the tank’s walls.
How High Should The Salt Be In A Water Softener?
The tank should be filled to a quarter of its capacity which is about 4 to 6 inches from the top. The salt should also be a few inches above the water in the tank.
Is It Bad To Let Your Water Softener Run Out Of Salt?
When there isn’t enough salt, your fixtures will get damaged in the long run. It might even cause the tank to overflow.
You need to make sure that the salt levels are neither too high nor too low. This means you must check the levels regularly and it is quite easy too. All you have to do is peep inside the brine tank occasionally.
It is best to use pellets and not salt crystals for this purpose in order to avoid dirt. Hopefully, that’s clarified all your doubts about whether you can overfill a water softener with salt.