Water softeners remove hardness minerals from household water to prevent dry skin, damage to appliances, and clogging of plumbing. They also help reduce sodium intake for people with restricted diets.
Water softener salt comes in pellet, crystal, or solid block form, and different types are purer than others. Storing the correct type of salt in a suitable location can prevent salt mushing and bridging, which can interfere with the water-softening process.
Keep It Dry
When storing water softener salt, the biggest thing is to keep it dry. Salt can pick up moisture from the air and clump together, making it difficult to use. Moisture can also cause odors and off-flavors to develop, another reason it’s essential to store salt in an airtight container.
When salt is kept in a sealed, airtight container, it can last indefinitely. However, once the bag is opened, it will degrade and lose its texture. This is especially true if the salt is exposed to the elements.
This is why it’s essential to find a cool, dark place to store bulk salt. The best place is a basement or root cellar, but without moisture and direct sunshine, even a garage or shed can do. The most important thing is to find a place that’s secure from children and pets. Dust from rock salt can irritate kids and pets, causing everything from mild rashes and allergies to mouth and throat irritation.
Keep It in an Airtight Container
Salt is hygroscopic, so if it is left in humid conditions, it will soak up moisture and begin to clump together. This clumping causes problems within the water softener tank as it reduces surface contact with water in the brine tank and can cause the brine solution to become less effective.
In addition, these clumps can also clog up the brine tank and prevent it from working correctly. Therefore, it is essential to keep your salt in a container that is airtight and dry. There are special food-grade buckets that are designed specifically for storing bulk water softener salt.
It is also important to note that different types of salt have varying degrees of hygroscopicity and clumping. For example, block salt tends to clump together and will require the water softener tanks to be cleaned more frequently. Evaporated and pellet salt, on the other hand, are both highly recommended for use with water softeners as they are deficient in hygroscopicity and are less likely to form salt bridges.
Keep It Clean
Salt is highly corrosive and can wreak havoc on anything it touches. It also has the potential to be dangerous to pets and children. It is best to store water softener salt in a place that is secure from both bugs and kids.
It is also a good idea to store the salt away from bare metal surfaces like the metal cover on your water softener or the brine tank. Salt, in combination with air and moisture, can devastate any plain metal surface and cause it to rust.
You can use a food-grade bucket or a bag to line your bucket for longer-term storage. Salt does not go bad or spoil like food products, but it will deteriorate over time. Keeping it stored in a dry, calm, and dark environment will extend the life of your salt. It will not expire, but it may lose its iodine or anti-clumping agents over time.
Keep It Out of the Sun
The calcium and magnesium minerals that make tap water hard are removed by water softeners. However, this is only effective when the proper amount of salt is used and stored correctly.
Most water softeners use a brine solution composed of salt and water to soften the household water. This brine tank needs to be cleaned periodically to remove the insoluble impurities in the salt. These insoluble substances can cause problems with the ion exchange resin in your water softener, causing it to degrade and not function properly.
The best place to store bulk water softener salt is an excellent, dry location that is moisture-free. This environment helps the salt last longer and reduces caking, clumping, or deterioration. It is also essential to keep the salt away from bugs and pets. When these elements come in contact with the salt, they can be contaminated and make your family sick.