Let's start by setting the facts straight - Running your water softeners out of salt is not OK. If you have noticed streaky stains on your glassware or brown-orange stain on the kitchen sink, or even white spots on the shower door, it could all be because of your water softener. Before we look at the importance of replenishing salt in your water softener, let's take a look at how it functions.
How does a water softener work?
A salt-based water softener softens the water at your living facility through a process called ion exchange. It eliminates minerals from the hard water and trades them with sodium ions. For the effectiveness of the process, salt is a crucial component. A resin bed is set up with resin beads to remove the minerals that make the water hard. When the water rushes through the beads, magnesium and calcium are removed from the water. The beads are cleaned a replenished via a brine (salt dissolved in water) solution that exchanges the the hard ions with the salt ions so the system can continue providing you with soft water. Now that you have an understanding of the process, let's take a look at the reasons why you must top up your water softener salt.
Reasons, why you should never let your water softener, run out of salt
No salt means the water is still hard
The whole purpose of installing a water softener is to eliminate hard water concerns. Salt is a crucial part of the water softener that helps remove the minerals. We all know how hard water can cause long-term damage to your water fixtures and appliances at home. Hence, it is imperative that you keep an eye out for the salt level in your water softener. Don't let it run out.
Damages pipes, fixtures, and appliances
Without salt, the water softening resin will stay saturated which could stop the process of ion exchange. The hard water minerals get back into the pipes, fixtures, and appliances, eventually damaging them.
Stains on your glassware, streaks on your shower door
If you have forgotten to replenish the salt in your water softener, you can easily spot it on the glasswares you use at home. It would not be long before it becomes permanently etched in the glassware. Similarly, you'll start noticing spots on the shower door and stains in the kitchen sink. These are signs that your water softener has run out of salt and is now running on hard water.
Remember, not enough salt reflects unconditioned water. Hence, it is important to watch out for the salt levels in your water softener.