The first year or so we lived in this house, the water softener worked
fine and used about 1 bag of salt per month. This past summer, after
dishes not getting cleaned properly in the dishwasher I realized there
might be a problem with the water softener and that we hadn't needed
to add salt in a while. It had formed a salt bridge, which we attended
to with a broom handle according to instructions found from various
sources, and water quality and cleaning went back to normal. Since
then, salt bridges have been forming on a regular basis. It's a
Kenmore softener, and according to the writing on the cupboard door
next to it, was installed 7/02, so theoretically it's just over 5
years old. Any idea why the appliance is now forming these salt
bridges regularly, and what to do to get things working properly
Thanks for helpful suggestions,
Which proves that the marketing hype isn't true in real life....
In the real world, solar crystal salt is best because it causes the
fewest if any salt related problems for a softener, and it is always
the lowest price.
A bridge is usually caused by the salt getting wet above the water
level in the tank, and then drying out which sticks the pellets
together and they can't fall down into a void under them into the
water. Then there's no salt brine, just fresh water to regenerate with
which doesn't regenerate any resin/capacity.
So check for a spraying type water leak or sweating of the resin tank
allowing the salt to get wet.
humidity is the worst problem, followed by using pellets,
a couple of things to do is, once the salt is way down,
use a wooden rod to break ALL the salt down, as best
you can around the tube. bridging can be affected by
old salt that stays crusted onto the sides....another
helpful thing to do is keep it half full....sometimes the
bridging can get worse from it being too full. once a year
let the salt get down to the water, and clean the sides,
I have delivered salt to different brand softeners for over
30 years, and when I'm delivering, I always kick the side
of the brine tank right at the water level before putting
salt in it...it keeps the salt from crusting onto the sides.
one kick on both sides, and I NEVER get a salt bridge
in my customers softeners....
Thanks for advice and ideas. I think it could be a combination of all
of the above. We filled it pretty high the last time we put salt in,
and the sides do look a bit crusty. It's also very warm and probably
humid in the area of the softener - it's a central "utility" room in a
ranch/slab house with furnace, water heater, laundry facilities, etc.
all in a very small space.
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