Water softeners are supposed to use up salt as they run, which means they need to be refilled on a regular basis. If your water softener never seems to need more salt, this is indicative of a problem. The following tips will help you repair your water softener.
What does it mean if the salt level in your water softener never goes down?
Very likely the salt level is going down, but your water softener has formed a salt bridge. A salt bridge is a hard crust of salt that sits on top of the crumbled salt inside water softener. As the crumbled salt goes down, the salt bridge stays at the same level and gives the appearance that the water softener is not using salt.
What should you do to get rid of a salt bridge?
To get rid of a salt bridge, use a long, blunt stick (like a broom handle) to gently push on the top of the bridge. As you push on the salt, the structure will give way. Once the bridge has been crushed, use the broom handle to stir up and crush any remaining bits of salt. Never use a sharp or pointed object (like a screwdriver) to break up a salt bridge, as this can puncture the tank.
What causes a salt bridge to form?
Salt bridges can form for a variety of reasons. High humidity is a common problem that causes salt bridges. Salt bridges can also form if you use the wrong type of salt, or too much salt in the tank.
How can you prevent salt bridges in your water?
Check the type of salt that your water softener manufacturer recommends using, and switch to that type of salt if you aren't using it already. Also, check the manufacturer's recommended fill height and fill up the tank to that height only. If this doesn't fix the problem, then the problem is likely humidity. This can be a difficult problem to fix, depending on where the water softener is located. You can try running climate control in your home to see if this fixes the problem, or purchase a dehumidifier. If you can't reduce the humidity where the water softener is located, then plan to break up salt bridges on a regular basis.
What should you do if a salt bridge isn't the problem?
If this is the case, you need plumbing services from a company like Pipeworks Inc. Talk to a certified, reputable plumber in your area. He or she can help you get you water softener working once again.