What Happens if Water Softener Runs out of Salt?

Water softeners make your water soft by removing minerals (calcium and magnesium) from your water. To achieve this, they use softening salts. For a water softener to work, it should have enough salt in it.

What happens if Water Softener runs out of Salt?

When you add salt to the water softener, it removes the hardness of the water. The time for which salt will last depends upon the level of hardness, the volume of water, type of water softener, age of water softener, size of the brine tank, and the settings at which the softener is working. When the salt is finished, the water softener cannot reduce the hardness of water, and it just supplies you with hard water. In such a scenario, there is no difference in the composition of water entering the system and leaving it.

How to Check the Salt in Water Softener?

how to check the salt

Some latest models display the quantity of salt left in the brine tank. If you have one of those in your home, you do not need to check the level of salt in the brine tank manually. Don’t worry, if you have an older model, checking the salt level is still an easy task.

You just need to open the brine tank and look for the salt level in it. If the salt level is below half of the container, add more salt until it gets to ¾ of the tank or above half. If the water level is above salt level and the salt is wet, add more salt until it gets above the water level. Once you are done adding the salt, it should be above water.

Apart from manual checking, some symptoms also show you that it is the time to refill salt, or either your softener is not working correctly. Stains on clothes, faucets, showerheads, bathtubs, glass crockery, and dryness on your skin indicate hardness in your water.

Age of Water Softener: The age of water softener also plays a vital role in salt refilling frequency. If the softener is more than 6-8 years old, it will consume more salt as compared to newly installed models. Checking salt level in old models every 2 weeks is helpful in proper functioning.

Avoid Bridging:

Make sure that you do not entirely fill the brine tank with salt. It can lead to salt bridging or solidification of salt in the brine tank, leading to clogging of the system. As a result, the water pressure will decrease significantly, and your water will not be appropriately softened.


Ensure that your water softener has enough salt to function properly. If the softener works without salt, you not only get hard water, but it also reduces the overall age of the softener.

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