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How Much Salt Does a Water Softener Use?

Are you thinking about buying a water softener system? If so, you need to know how to take care of it. That means understanding exactly how much salt you have to put in your water softener.

You want your water softener to remove excess minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. That way, you can turn your hard water into soft water. At the same time, you need to regularly add more salt to ensure your water softener is working appropriately.

How Much Water Softener Salt Do You Use in a Month?

If you are looking for a quick answer to this question, you should assume that your water softener is going to use between 25 and 75 pounds of salt per month.

Now, this is clearly a very broad range. Why is it difficult to predict exactly how much salt your water softener is going to use in a month?

There are a lot of factors involved in how much salt your water softener will use, including the type of water softening system you have, the type of salt you use, and how much water your family goes through.

What are some of the factors that will influence how much salt your water softener uses in a given month? 

Factors Influencing Your Water Softener’s Salt Usage

There are a handful of factors that will influence how much salt your water softener uses. Some of the top examples include:

1. The Type of Salt You Use

First, you need to think about the type of salt you use in your water softener. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Block Salt: Block salt might be a straightforward option, but it isn’t entirely “salt.” There are other impurities that might be present (meaning they are not sodium), so you will go through blocks all faster than you would pure salt. 
  • Evaporated Salt Pellets: If you want your water softener to operate as efficiently as possible, you will want to use evaporated salt pellets. This substance contains the highest concentration of pure salt, meaning that your water softener is going to run efficiently. Almost the entirety of the solution should dissolve into water, forming a brine solution.
  • Rock Salt: Rock salt is slightly less pure. Because it doesn’t contain as much actual “salt,” you will probably go through the bag faster than you would if you purchased evaporated salt pellets. 

Think carefully about the type of salt you use for your water softener as it will impact your salt level.

2. Whether Your Water Softener Uses Sodium or Potassium

When we talk about water softener salt, we are usually talking about sodium. On the other hand, if someone in your home is on a sodium-restricted diet, you may want to use a potassium chloride water softening system instead.

If you have a water softener that uses potassium chloride, you won’t use any “salt” at all. Of course, you will have to use potassium chloride instead of sodium to make sure your water softener runs effectively.

Potassium chloride is generally more expensive than sodium chloride, and it is slightly less effective, depending on the brand of potassium chloride you use. Sodium chloride in your water softener is going to be less expensive and more effective, but if you need to restrict the amount of sodium in your water supply, you may want to use potassium chloride in your water softener instead.

3. The Hardness of Your Water

How hard is your water? The higher your water hardness level, the more salt you will need to soften the water.

When we talk about water hardness, we are referring to the concentration of calcium and magnesium ions in your water supply. The more magnesium and calcium ions you have, the more sodium ions you will have to exchange to replace these excess minerals.

If your water is very hard, you will go through sodium more quickly, and you will have to replace the salt in your water softener more often. On the other hand, if your water hardness is relatively mild, you might not need to replace the sodium as often.

4. The Age of Your Water Softener and Brine Tank

Just like all appliances, your water softener will age and may eventually begin to fizzle out. As your water softener ages, it becomes less efficient. This means that you might have to replace the salt more often as well.

For example, you might find that your water softener is wasting more softening salt than usual, or it might not do a great job of conserving the sodium in the system.

Once your water softener gets to be 10 years old, it is not going to be as efficient as the newer models, as technology will have progressed a long way. Therefore, the older your water softener is, the less efficient it will be, and the more salt it will use. 

5. The Amount of Water You Use in a Day

Of course, the amount of water you use in a day is also going to influence how much salt you go through. This is relatively straightforward: the more water you use in a day, the faster you are going to go through the sodium in your water softener.

Your water softener is responsible for softening your home’s entire water supply. Whenever you turn on the water faucet, take a shower, wash your dishes, or do the laundry, your water softener gets activated.

If you use more water than the average household, you will have to replace the sodium more often. 

How To Conserve Your Water Softener Salt

If you are looking for a way to save money, you need to conserve water softener salt. Some of the best ways to do so include:

1. Purchase a More Efficient Water Softener

DROP Water Softener and Leak Detectors

You may want to purchase a new water softener if you are looking for ways to conserve salt. Newer water softeners come with advanced technology that can help you conserve water salt while taking advantage of a larger brine tank. This can reduce the number of regeneration cycles it goes through, helping you conserve salt.

2. Save Water

Of course, you can also conserve water softener salt if you reduce your water usage. You need to pay close attention to how much water you are using, and the number of gallons you use should be printed on your water bill every month.

For example, you may want to try turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth. You may also want to invest in some new plumbing appliances if some of them are getting old. Do not forget to invest in routine plumbing maintenance to prevent taps from leaking.

DROP tells you how much water you are using and plots it on a graph so you can monitor it easily over time, all on a easy to use app.

3. Consider a Saltless Water Solution

If you are really looking for a way to save money on salt, you may want to think about going with a saltless system. For example, a water descaler might be a suitable option. However, keep in mind that a water conditioner will not reduce the hardness level of your water, so if you really want to bring the water hardness level down, this is not an option.

Explore Water Softeners From DROP Today

If you are looking for the most advanced and efficient water softeners on the market, you should take a closer look at the selection from DROP. These efficient water softeners can help you quickly reduce your water hardness level while likely helping you save money on salt.

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