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What is Salt Mushing in a Water Softener | Maintenance Guide

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Having a hard water supply at your place is one of the biggest everyday problems to face. The Best water softener is the solution, but it has its own pros & cons.

According to an estimate, almost 85 % of the homes in the USA are supplied with hard water. There are a number of solutions to this problem like water boiling, distillation, etc. but the most important way to get rid of hard water is to use a water softener.

If you already have a water softener at your place, then most likely you will face salt mushing in the water softener sooner or later.

But what is it? How does it work? And how can we get rid of it? Here we will give you a complete insight into the phenomenon of saltwater mushing and how you are supposed to solve this problem.

What is Salt Mushing?

Salt mushing is the process where the salt in the brine chamber recrystallizes and form small granules.

These granules can sit down at the bottom of the tank and they either block the passage of water, or they can stop the function of water softener. Now you will get hard water even after your water has passed through a water softener (Learn more about the difference between hard-water and soft-water here).

Why Does salt Mushing Happen?

There are a number of reasons as to why salt mushing happens. It may be because of the temperature changes around your water softener.

A lower temperature mostly triggers this process. Another reason could be the humidity of the place where you have placed your water softener. But most of the times, salt mushing is the result of using the wrong time of salt.

You have to understand the cause by trial and error method if you want to prevent it from happening. But once it has happened, you can still solve the problem.

How to Deal with Saltwater Mushing

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to deal with this problem. You have to stop the system and clean up the tank in order to restart the softening function of your water softener.

  • Remove the brine tank of your water softener from the system.
  • Waste all the water in it.
  • Scoop out the granules of salt settled at the bottom of the tank.
  • Wash the tank thoroughly.
  • Reconnect the tank with good quality salt pallets and you are good to go.

Must Read: Best Water Softeners – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

How to Avoid Salt Mushing in a Water Softener

Here is a list of some clever ideas that can help you deal with salt mushing in the tank of your water softener.

  • We recommend using high-quality salt pallets. Most of the time you have to face the problem of mushing because you tried to save up some bucks on the salt. Well here you got wrong, investing in a good salt can save you from a lot of trouble, now that you know, make sure to not repeat the mistake next time.
  • At times overfilling the brine tank with salt can cause this problem. You have to make sure that you keep the tank half full all the time.
  • Make sure that your brine tank is not placed in a place where the humidity level is very high. When there is humidity around the brine tank, salt undergoes the process of condensation and it results in salt mushing.
  • Do not prefer rock salt for your water softener. No doubt that it is cheap and easily available, but the problems that you will most likely face due to the impurities present in rock salt are not worth the price.
  • The best quality of salt to use in a water softener is solar water. It is made by evaporating the seawater and it is the highest quality salt. It dissolves better in water as compared to the rock salt. You can easily get it in pallet or crystal form and we recommend using it!
  • However, the best quality of salt is the evaporated salt. It is 99.99 percent pure sodium chloride and it reduces the likelihood of salt mushing in the water tank to a minimum. If you can afford to get this one you should definitely invest in it.

If you don’t have any of the problems mentioned above due to unavailability of water softener, you can also try to soften your water without water softener here.

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