by Gabe Ergler
Salt Softener Maintenance – Save 20 – 30 hours per years
May 4, 2016
Automatic Water Treatment Pinnacle Water Softener

Reduce the Time, Effort and Money to Maintain and Operate Salt Softeners

Salt Softener Maintenance is often overlooked when considering hardness treatment. If you have a traditional salt softener to treat your hard water you have to deal with softener salt. Without salt the softener will not work. You have salt choices, you may choose to use potassium chloride or sodium chloride, both are salts. Plan on time and effort to purchase, transport, then store and put salt in the brine tank to keep your softener functioning properly.

Water quality and the softener’s settings will determine how frequently you will have to fill your brine tank and the time required to service the system. As a general guide, plan on adding salt to the brine tank every few weeks. To reduce the time spent purchasing and transporting salt, you may buy salt in large quantities as needed. Keep in mind you will need a way to transport and store the larger quantities.  In some cases, a larger vehicle and/or special storage options may be necessary.

Salt is messy

Transporting, storing, filling the brine tank and disposal of empty bags all create dust. The whole salt handling process is prone to salt spills at each step of the process. Cleaning up salt is a must. Furthermore, even the best salt (solar salt) has other “stuff” with it. This “other stuff” adds up and you have to deal with it. Even the cleanest solar salts are only 99.8% pure salt, means there is 0.2% other “stuff” along for the ride.  Doesn’t sound like much does it? The math tells us there is 2.4 pounds of other “stuff” if your system uses 30 bags of salt per year. This other stuff will end up in your water or accumulating in the brine tank. Accumulation of other stuff in your brine tank means your brine tank needs to be cleaned, usually once per year, to prevent problems with salt softener operation.

Many softeners use raw untreated water to fill the brine tank. The best modern softeners fill the brine tank with treated water, this cuts down on problems caused by filling the brine tank with untreated water. It’s easy to imagine what can happen when your softener puts untreated water into the brine tank; it puts everything you want out of your water into the brine tank and these systems are prone to more maintenance and failures than a softener that puts treated water into the brine tank.

Salt Softener Maintenance Requirements

When your power goes out you need to check the softener and reprogram as needed. Many dealers will tell you your softener control valve has some sort of power backup to keep the time accurate in case of a power failure and this may be true but, these power backup features can be quite unreliable.  You will still need to check and adjust as necessary after power outage. The more frequently your power goes out the more you will need to adjust your system. You will also have to adjust the time of day on your control valve spring and fall when the clocks change.

Proper salt softener service and maintenance is not difficult but must be done to insure proper uninterrupted operation. Regular services also avoids potentially costly problems with the treatment system and everything that uses treated water including: laundry, dishwashers, hot water tanks and other appliances. The frequency of salt softener service depends on water quality, volume treated, system settings and salt used in your softener.

An annual softener service typically includes;

  • Cleaning the brine tank and its internal components
  • Cleaning the control valve injectors, screens and flow control buttons
  • Replacing any pre or post softener cartridge filters
  • Replacement of moving parts in softener control valves that wear with time

How would you like an extra 20 – 30 hours per year?

All taken into consideration, owning and maintaining a salt softener requires an average of 20 to 30 hours per yea. How would you like to have that 20 to 30 hours per year to do something you like to do? Want to eliminate the time and money spent dealing with salt and softener maintenance? Treating hardness with Cascadian® PolyHalt® based treatment systems is easy. System maintenance is reduced to annual cartridge changes and takes only 15 minutes. Visit for more information.


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