This is a common question we receive, especially from new homeowners and people new to soft water. There are several things that play into how often you will need to add salt so not every home is the same and not every season is the same. Ultimately it depends on the water used by your home, but here are some activities that largely factor in.
It only makes sense that if you have more people in your home you are likely to have a great amount of water usage than a home with fewer people. Just like water heaters, more people in the home typically means a larger capacity water softener is needed or your unit will simply regenerate more often than others. It is the regeneration process that uses the salt brine to clean the resin and as a result consumes the salt.
The number of baths or showers taken in a day can vary largely according to the people in the home. Are there teens or kids involved in a lot of sports activities? What is your occupation? A person that works at a desk may not bath as often as someone that does manual labor for a living. The season of the year can also make a difference. It’s likely that the number of baths or showers taken in a home goes up during the summer when there are more outdoor activities, sun screen is worn, bug sprays are applied and there is a great chance you’ll be sweating.
Another thing that also makes a difference is your water softener’s salt consumption is length of showers. Let’s face it typically a teenage is going to consume more water than say a 5 year old each time they bath.
If your home produces a large amount of laundry you’re water softener will need to regenerate more often than a home doing less laundry. If you tend to do more small loads of laundry throughout the week rather than fewer large loads your wash is likely using more soft water as well. This also can change with the season and activities.
Because of the few items we cited above it is impossible to provide a homeowner a set schedule for replenishing their water softener’s resin basin with softener salt. Instead we advise to check every month. Do it when you are checking your furnace filter at the beginning of the month. When checking the salt level have something like a dowel that you can test to ensure the salt isn’t bridging, making it look like you have more salt in the basin than you really have. Bridging is when the slat sticks together at the top as the water dissolves the salt below. Although the salt below in the basin is consumed it appears the level is much higher because of the salt cap that has formed. Use the dowel to break up any bridging to get an accurate feel for your salt level. Try to keep the salt level at about one third to a half of height of the basin.
If you document when and how much salt you add each time you may find a fairly regular schedule for your home. Remember though that depending on your family’s activities this schedule and salt consumption can change from season to season.
If your home doesn’t have a water softener, but you’d like to add one contact Bryant! We offer quality locally manufactured water softeners, installed by skilled plumbers. We offer free estimates and can help figure out the best size softener for your home along with checking to see what needs to be done to set your home’s plumbing up for a water softener.