Tip & How-To about Water Dispensing & Filtration

Water softener salt bridging

One of the most frequent problems with water softening systems is salt bridging in the salt/brine tank. There are several reasons for salt bridging to occur. This generally occurs when pellet type salts or potassium chloride is used to regenerate the water softening system. Pellet type salts contain binding agents that in turn give the salt a very starchy consistency when wet. As water evaporates in the brine tank the pellet salts partially dissolve, bind together and form a "salt bridge" in the tank. Potassium chloride (Kcl) acts in the same way. Excess water in the salt tank, with high salt levels, can also cause salt bridging. Improper softener brining and lack of proper brine refill will cause bridging to occur as well.

What is the best way to alleviate these problems?

1. When using pellet type salts or potassium chloride only keep the salt tank about 1/2 full. This prevents too much compaction of the salts and helps to prevent bridging. When using potassium chloride get the salt tank off the floor on a wooden platform to prevent wicking of moisture from concrete floors.

2. Use a high grade of salt. Most water treatment dealers use either
DuraCube or HardiCube water softener salts produced by Cargill Corp.
Cargill has a link to find dealers in your area.
https://saltapps.cargill.com/cargillsalt/product_locator_new.asp

Solar Salt is another option as the crystal structure is very hard and virtually impossible to bridge. This is also available from many Cargill salt dealers and in stores.

3. Let the salt tank run down to 80-100lbs of salt or potassium a couple times per year to help prevent buildup of dissolved salts in brine tank.

4. Yearly maintenance of the water treatment system helps also. Restrictions in the brining system (injector/eductor assembly) caused by sediment and oxidized iron buildup cause improper brining and too much water in salt tank during refill. Have this assembly cleaned yearly. Have the water tested to see if the water chemistry or usage have changed and adjustments to the system are necessary.

5. Avoid using rock salts to prevent buildup of sediment in brine tank (which causes service problems).

Practice these tips and you will have fewer water softener problems and more consistent quality softened water.

I wish you good water!
H2O Services

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1 Answer

Water Softener full of water, not draining, or using salt


How old is the system ? Where does the system drain to ? If this is the softener you have (seems awful large for a household) it is probably the injector/nozzle assembly. I have attached a manual to help you. A restriction in the drain line could also be the problem. Fleck 2850s

Mar 20, 2014 | Fleck 165,000 Grain Series 2850 Commercial...

1 Answer

water softener fills up with water


If you are referring to the salt tank filling with water, then the problem is the eductor assembly. This is where the brine is drawn from the salt tank. If it is plugged no brine or very little brine will be drawn during regeneration. You will need to clean the eductor assembly and manually regenerate the softener to regain softened water.
What model softener is it? It would help to bail most of the water out of the salt tank. How much depends on the model.
RJH2O

Jan 26, 2013 | Measuring Tools & Sensors

2 Answers

What is Salt Bridging in a Culligan Water Softener


Salt bridging can occur in any water softener "salt tank". A salt bridge occurs when a hard crust of salt develops across the salt tank when the salt wicks up moisture. The salt does not fall down in the salt tank in between regenerations and a "bridge" occurs. It may look like the salt tank is full but there will be a hollow area at the bottom of the salt tank and not enough salt to develop the proper brine for regeneration of softener. This generally happens when the salt tank is a least 1/2 full of salt. If the system has a separate salt tank, shaking the tank will break the bridge usually. Gently poking a stick at the bridge can break it up also but can damage the salt grid if you poke the stick too far down in the salt tank. Certain salts, such as pellet salt are highly prone to this problem. Using Dura Cube, Hardi Cube or Solar salt will greatly reduce the chance of bridging. Any time a salt bridge occurs it will take 3 regenerations of the water softener (in 24 hrs), after fixing it, to regain the reserve capacity and totally soft water.
RJ

Oct 27, 2011 | Culligan Sediment Water Filter

1 Answer

water is still hard after regeneration. what seem to be wrong?


This could be due to several things. The system may not be drawing brine (salty water), there could be a salt bridge (solidification of salt in brine tank),or the resin could be worn out.
Start by checking the salt tank, if it looks like the salt has solidified, use a broomstick or piece of pipe to break up the salt. A rubber mallet can also be used to beat on the sides of the tank, thus breaking up the salt.
As far as the other possibilities are concerned, it would be wise to contact a licensed professional.

Jun 14, 2010 | NRS Fleck 5600 - 64,000 Grain Timer Water...

2 Answers

I inherited a water softener system with the house - I do not have any manual or cannot see the name anywhere. It worked fine for 4 years and now it's stopped and do not know what to do? We added the softener salt and kept on topping it up every 2 - 3 weeks but one day it did not function and all the salt is become one big lump.


There are a number of things that it could be. The main problem is that the softner is not sucking the brine into the tank. It still ran water into you tank till the safety shutoff stopped it. This made all the salt turn into a big lump. You will need to find out why the unit does not have suction when it is in the "brine and rinse" mode. Probably either the float in the brine tank is stuck or there is dirt in the screen at the top of the hose out of the brine tank that is stopping the brine from being sucked up the hose. First empty the tank and then you can see what the unit is doing from there.

Nov 16, 2009 | NRS Fleck 5600 - 64,000 Grain Timer Water...

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