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Don't Forget The Salt! The Role Salt Plays In Your Water Softener

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For most Americans, the concept of running water is one that is taken for granted. Although indoor plumbing is considered a necessity, water quality can be improved through the installation of a water softener. Most people are surprised to hear that salt plays a crucial role in providing the quality indoor water they rely on each day. You might be trying to avoid salt in your diet, but salting your water softener is a must.

Why Add Salt?

Hard water is the bane of many home owners. Hard water not only leaves behind calcium deposits, it can begin to erode the interior of your plumbing pipes. To avoid the costly repair of these pipes, install a water softener with salt.

Salt enables a process known as an ion exchange to take place. As hard water molecules pass through the resin beads in a water softener that has had salt added, the resin beads allow problematic calcium ions attached to hard water molecules to be exchanged for the softer, gentler sodium ions. Without a continuous supply of salt, hard water ions would build up on the surface of the resin beads in your softener's tank, and the ion exchange process could not occur.

How Much Salt Is Enough?

Determining how much salt to add to your water softener's tank can be a bit tricky. While you must factor in the number of people in your home (more people means more water used throughout the day) and the quality of your water (the harder the water is in your area, the more salt will be required to soften it before use), you can use the national average as a baseline for determining your salt needs.

Experts estimate that the average household goes through 60 lbs of salt per month. This calculation is based on the number of cubic feet of resins in your water softener. Since most household water softener tanks contain one cubic foot of resin, you can plan on using about 6-8 pounds of salt per regeneration cycle.

Safely Adding Salt To Your Softener's Tank

Although the salt you add to your water softener's tank will perform complex chemical tasks to produce soft water, adding this salt to the tank is simple. Begin by locating the salt tank next to your water softener. Pull the lid off the salt tank, pour your new salt into the tank, and replace the lid. Achieving soft water has never been so simple!

Salt plays an important role in helping to improve the quality of the water you use in your home. If you have a water softener that relies on salt, be sure that you can determine how much salt you need to add in order to keep your water soft in the future.