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Softened Water Tastes Salty: Why You Have Salty Water?

Is your softened water tasting salty? If so, you understand how frustrating this can be. Your drinking water shouldn’t taste salty, and a lot of people believe that the water might taste salty only because a traditional water softener uses salt to do its job.

While your water softener might use sodium, it shouldn’t use nearly enough salt to make your water taste salty. Your water might taste salty because there is a problem with the brine line, an issue with the drain line, or a problem with the control system. 

Learn more about why your softened water might taste salty below, and figure out what you can do to fix the issue.

How Much Salt Does a Water Softener Use?

First, we need to clarify why the salt your water softener uses shouldn’t cause your water to taste salty. In general, your water softener will use approximately 2 mg of sodium for every 1 grain of hardness in an 8-ounce glass of water. For example, if your water supply has approximately 10 grains per gallon of hardness, then your water softener should add approximately 20 mg of sodium to an 8-ounce glass of water. Is this enough to cause the water to taste salty?

This is probably not enough salt to change the taste of your drinking water significantly. For example, a typical slice of bread has anywhere from 100 mg to 200 mg of sodium, and your bread probably doesn’t taste that salty. Therefore, if your water softener is producing salty water, there is likely an issue that you need to address.

Do not forget that if you are supposed to be on a low sodium diet, you may want to choose a water softener that can use potassium based salt.

Why Does Your Drinking Water Taste Salty After Going Through a Water Softener?

There are a variety of reasons why you’re drinking water might taste salty after it has gone through your water softener. Some of the most common reasons why include:

1. You Have an Injector Clog

If your water tastes salty, one of the first things you should do is take a closer look at the injector valve. You should be able to find the location of the injector valve by looking at the manual, and your injector should have a handful of vertical and horizontal holes.

Over time, these holes can become clogged with sediment, dirt, and salt. When this clog happens, the excess salt and sediment could end up deposited in your drinking water, changing the taste of your drinking water.

You will need to unblock these holes using a toothpick or toothbrush. Just make sure you are as careful as possible, as this part is very fragile. 

2. The Brine Solution Line Is Clogged

Next, take a closer look at the brine line. This line could have become clogged with sodium and sediment, preventing the brine solution from passing through properly. This can change the concentration of salt in your drinking water supply, contributing to a salty taste.

You will want to feel along the length of the line looking for any signs of clogs or kinks. Then, if you find a blockage, you will need to remove it to restore the flow of the brine solution. If you still cannot remove the clog, you may need to get a new line.

3. The Drain Line Is Clogged

You will also want to take a closer look at your drain line. First, take a look at the drain line flow control area, which is located inside the system. It might have become blocked with salt and sediment, which can cause your water to taste salty. You might need to replace the part if you can’t get it clean.

You should also take a closer look at the drain line itself. If the line has gotten clogged with debris, it can cause your water to taste salty. Because the line can be pretty long, you may want to use your hand, feeling for kinks along the length of the line. If you find a hard spot, you may need to clean it out

4. Water Overflow in the Brine Tank

If there is a malfunction with your water softener, your brine tank could start to overflow with water. There are plenty of reasons why this might happen. For example, there might be a brine or drain line that has gotten clogged, causing the water to overflow, or there could be salt mush at the bottom of the brine tank itself.

If there is too much water in the brine tank, it could absorb too much salt, contributing to a salty taste in your water supply. You will need to reduce the water level, but you also need to figure out why the tank is overfilling to stop it from happening.

5. Control Head Programming Issues

You may also want to take a look at the programming of the control system. You need to make sure the right settings have been input into the control system for the salt concentration to be correct.

For example, if the wrong water hardness level has been added to the control system, then the wrong amount of salt could be added to the water supply as well. If you have lost power recently, the system may have reset to its default settings, which might not be right for your water supply.

Note here that DROP Smart Water Softener settings can all be controlled from the DROP app, and our units include backup batteries so that settings won’t be lost in the event of a power outage.

6. Water Regeneration Timing Issue

There might also be an issue with your regeneration cycle. The vast majority of households program their water softener to handle any regeneration requirements in the middle of the night. If your water softener has been set to handle system regeneration during the day, then your water might taste salty during the day as well.

You may want to take a look at the time your water softener is regenerating. You might need to make some adjustments to deal with the salty taste of your water. 

7. Your Water Pressure Is Too Low

You may want to take a look at your water pressure as well. If your water pressure is a bit low, it can contribute to a salty taste. In general, your water pressure has to be at least 30 PSI to get through the water softener appropriately. The vast majority of water softeners prefer to have a water pressure of between 45 and 70 PSI. 

If your water pressure is too low, you may want to increase your water pressure to make sure it gets through the water softener appropriately.

8. The Water Entering Your Home Is Salty

While this is highly unusual, you may want to take a look at the salt content of the water coming into your home. If you have exhausted all of the other possibilities, there might be an issue with the water coming from the city or your well.

If the water supply is already filled with sodium, then your water softener is only going to make the problem worse. You may want to test your drinking water for the presence of sodium before it enters your water softener. This could make softened water taste salty.

A solution to already salty water can be the DROP Reverse Osmosis system. Reverse osmosis filters out the salt and other impurities from your water, transforming overly salty water into clear, safe-to-drink water. This system uses pressure to push water through a series of semi-permeable membranes, effectively eliminating the excessive sodium content in the water. Read more about how reverse osmosis works.

Using a reverse osmosis system helps in significantly reducing the salt content, making it an effective solution for homes dealing with salty water issues.

Enjoy Soft Water With the Best Water Softener From DROP

If you want to reduce the hardness level of your water supply, take a look at the smart water softeners and water filters available from DROP. We make our equipment using the best materials on the market, and we will be happy to help you find the right water softener to meet your needs.

Take a look at the selection we have available, and reach out to our team if you need help finding the right water solutions.

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