How Much Salt to Put in a Water Softener Brine Tank?

Not all water softeners use the same amount of salt in their brine tank. The process of figuring out how much salt you need can be stressful since too much or too little can cause problems down the road. It is great as a homeowner, to get a good sense of what your water softener brine tank needs so you can take great care of it!

The amount of salt you will need to put in your water softener brine tank will depend largely on the tank’s size, your water hardness, the softener type, and the water needs of your household. You can take a sample of your tank’s water and see how much salt it takes to dilute in the water, to give an approximation of the amount of salt you will need.

By understanding the factors that determine how much salt your softener brine tank needs, you can make sure that your salt is delivered in the right amount and at the right time. Today, we will give a basic rundown about which factors will determine how much salt you will need for your water softener brine tank. Additionally, this blog provides tips on how to put salt in the tank, so that you can maximize the softening power of your water softener.

Why does your softener brine tank need salt?

Water softener brine tanks help remove hard water from your home’s system. Hard water contains a lot of minerals in it, which can build up on your water appliances over time. The reason your water softener brine tank needs salt is mostly to keep it clean. The salt helps keep that tank and its water free of bacteria, fungi, and large mineral deposits that can keep the tank from working.

Salt is excellent at raising the water’s PH level. This is important because high pH levels help deter bacteria and fungus growth. Softener systems rely on bacteria and fungi to break down the chemicals used in laundry detergent. So having an acidic environment prevents unwanted damage to these vital components.

Additionally, salt dissolves minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the water. These minerals can lead to build-up inside softener equipment over time. Eventually, this can cause decreased efficiency, corrosion of metal parts, and even failure of the system altogether!

This is why it is important to keep your brine tank maintained with a good salt level so that you increase the lifetime of the system. So make sure you keep your salt topped up every once in a while. Not only will it help keep your softeners running smoothly, but it’ll also help preserve your equipment long-term!

Factors that determine how much salt you put in a water softener brine

There are several things to consider when looking into how much salt you will need for your water softener brine. It is important to reach the right level of salt in this tank. Too much salt will damage the equipment, while not enough salt will leave your water hard and taste unpleasant. So here are a few things that can help you determine the level of salt you need1

Size of the Brine Tank 

When it comes to water softening, the size of your brine tank is of utmost importance. It will determine how much salt you put in and also the type of salt that needs to be used. For those with smaller tanks, they will need to be refilled with salt more often. Where larger tanks can last longer between maintenance sessions. 

Some water softeners have a separate brine tank, while others have one built into the tank itself. If you notice your system is the latter, you will need to refill the salt more often since this tank is smaller than normal. Familiarizing yourself with the size of these tanks will help you properly manage the salt content better!

If you have bought a new water softener or have the old manual laying around, you are in luck! These manuals made by the manufacturers should have a section that tells you exactly how much and how often to fill your tank with salt! If you have extra hard water you may need to add a bit more, but these instructions will put you in the right ballpark for salt needs.

Water Hardness 

Hard water can be a major problem for people who live in areas with high calcium and magnesium levels. This type of water contains high levels of these minerals which can easily clog your softener’s filters and water appliances. This means you will need to up your salt levels to dilute these minerals.

Minerals in your water are not dangerous but tend to build up around your house over time. The correct about of salt in your water softener helps dilute and break up these minerals so they can easily flow throughout your home. But be careful not to add too much salt! As you will simply be replacing those minerals with another resulting in salty-tasting water.

If you are unsure about the hardness level of your water, you can easily buy a test kit at a nearby hardware store. This will give you a good sense of if you need to add a little extra salt to keep the mineral content low in your water. If the test shows your water is above 350 ppm you will want to add extra salt.

The Need of the Family 

Another determinant of the salt needs for your water softener brine tank is the size of your family. Essentially, the more water in the house is used (thereby the water softener too) the more often the salt will need to be replaced in the tank. So it is not to say that a family of 4 needs 8 tbsp of salt in their tank. But more that they need to replace it every six months instead of three months.

The size of your family has a bit less to do with how much water you should put in the brine tank, and more with how often you need to replenish it. Large families will use more water more frequently. So the brine tank will need to be replenished with salt more often. Whereas a small family uses much less water, so they do not have to worry about it as much!

This means you should check your brine tank about every five months and test its salt level. Once you do this a few times, you will get a better sense of how often the salt should be replenished to avoid issues. But if you have a big household, check up on the tank every 3 months to be safe.

Softener type 

There are a few factors to consider when it comes to how much salt to add to your softener brine tank. The type of softener you have will determine the amount of salt that needs to be put in. So you need to find the variant of softener you use and search for what levels of salt the producer recommends.

Your water softener package may not say exactly what level of salt is recommended. However, you can do an online search for the recommendations of that brand and easily find it. Doing this will save you a lot of hassle instead of just guessing!

Always consult your water softener’s owner’s manual before adding salt. Different models have specific instructions on how much can be put into the brine tank. Do not forget that over-saltation could result in equipment damage or even ruin your softener!

Tips on how to put salt in a brine tank 

Adding salt to water softener brine tanks can be a tricky process. It is important that you determine how much salt you need before you put it in the tank. After you have determined how much salt you will need, it is a good idea to do a little test. 

Take a small amount of salt and brine water and mix it together in a cup. If you have added too much salt, there will still be salt visible at the bottom after mixing it well. This test can help you make sure you are not putting too much water into the tank before it is too late!

Here is another tip before you start putting salt into the tank. Check to see if there is some salt buildup around the entrance to the tank as well as the sides. You can knock these salt deposits off using a broom or spatula. That way you do not accidentally oversalt your tank due to the salt that has been left behind!

The final tip is to only use the proper water softener salt that is specifically made for water softeners. These salts are either sodium chloride or potassium chloride. Normal table salt is not as pure as these salts, so it may dissolve too quickly and unbalance the brine tank.


Water softeners are a necessary part of any home’s water filtration system. They work by removing hardness and deposits from water, which can lead to improved hygiene and a purified water supply. To ensure proper water softener function and possibly increase the time between water softener replacements, it is important to correctly dose the brine tank with salt.

We hope this article gave you the right tips to help you get started and feel confident about your salt choice!

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