How Often Do You Need To Add Salt To A Water Softener?

One of the most important parts of your water softener is your salt usage. If you’re using an ion-exchange water softener, salt is especially essential.

Maybe you’ve already added salt recently, but it turns out you need to refill. Or there could be a possibility that with the added salt, your water softener still isn’t working.

To know exactly what your salt levels were, you should keep a check on the brine tank’s level.

But how often do you need to update your salt level, we’ll let you know in the guide below!

Water softener cartridge and salt to add

When Should You Add Salt To Your Water Softener?

To determine the right amount of salt for your water softener, you need to consider certain factors.

Firstly this depends on the level of water hardness in your water supply. Another determining factor is also the amount of water you consume daily.

On average, a standard family of four people, while using the best softener salt, will use up to 9-10 pounds of salt a week.

Assuming your water hardness is between 7-10 grains per gallon, you’ll use 40 pounds of salt a month.

Check your brine tank. By lifting the tank’s cover and looking inside, you can gauge the current salt levels.

If the tank is half full and the salt seems dry or isn’t fully dispersed with the water, then you should refill it.

Additionally, if the salt appears wet but the water level is above the salt, then it’s a signal to refill as well.

Glass of water between water softener cartridge and salt crystals

Why Is My Water Softener Using Too Much Salt?

The amount of salt used decides the outcome of your soft water supply.

You can either increase the amount of salt used in each regeneration cycle to decrease the number of cycles or vice versa.

At times, you may feel your water softener is going through a normal bag of salt more quickly than before.

This may be due to several reasons. Firstly a change in consumption can affect this. If suddenly the number of consumers rises from four to six, you might go through more salt than usual!

Most water softening units come with standard large unit size. However, in some instances, you can get a larger tank than the standard 9-inch. This can also lead to your water softener using too much salt.

If you’re living in an area with a water hardness level of more than 10 grains per gallon, your unit will use extra salt.

Depending on your area, if your water’s iron concentration exceeds 2 parts per million, your unit will require more salt for frequent regeneration cycles.

Another possibility may be that your water softener unit’s valve may be preset or set by a professional. This can lead to your softener regenerating more often, therefore consuming more salt.

There may also be a possibility that your unit is producing salty water as well as consuming additional salt. This is because water softener unit’s come with different settings to conserve water as well. This causes the softener to use more salt and less water!

To prepare yourself in these instances, it’s advised to buy more than one 40-pound salt bag that’ll easily last you a month.


Now you know when and how much salt you need to purchase to add to your softener!

In case you forget your regular checkups on the brine tank, and spot scale and white spots, it’s an indicator for a refill!