Why Softened Water Tastes Salty And 8 Practical Solutions

Is softened water salty?

Having treated hard water using a softener, you might notice that such water tastes salty. This is an undesirable outcome that makes you wonder what the possible causes are.

Of course, you’ll need to first identify the cause before the problem can be resolved.

We’re all about highlighting the possible causes of this problem.

Water Softener Salty Water

When water contains a significant amount of minerals, it’s said to be hard.

Such minerals mostly include dissolved magnesium and calcium. In terms of appearance, such water is likely to make your drinking glasses less than crystal clear.

Plus, it feels slimy to the touch even after rinsing thoroughly.

The natural response to hard water is by using softeners to get rid of excess minerals (magnesium and calcium) through a process known as ion exchange.

The need for a water softener becomes very essential when you live within hard water territory.

Water Tastes Salty With Water Softener: Options To Fix

When treated hard water is noticed to taste salty, the most logical step is to assess the problem with the main objective being to find out available options for resolving it.

One of the first options will be to discontinue the use of a water softener. However, taking such action still takes you back to the problem posed by water hardiness.

The other alternative which is the most logical is to find out what the cause(s) is. We’re here to present you with possible reasons why your water tastes salty when filtered with a softener.

Do Water Softeners Always Make Water Taste Salty?

Before we go any further, it’s important to clarify a misconception some people have about what it does.

The process of ion exchange that occurs when mineral-laden water (hard water) is being filtered through a water softener doesn’t always pose a problem.

In other words, hard water treated using softeners does not always taste salty. It only becomes salty when there are underlying issues as will be discussed shortly.

So, without further ado, let’s get into specifics about why hard water tastes salty when treated with a water softener.

Possible Reasons Why Hard Water Tastes Salty when Treated with Softener

There are several possible reasons why water treated with softeners may taste salty. To better understand why to let’s first point out the basic components of a water softener.

Key components include the control valve, mineral tank, as well as brine tank.

The control valve is where the volume of water passing through the mineral tank into your home is measured. This component enhances efficiency levels of ion exchange through a process known as the regeneration cycle.

The mineral tank component of the water softener does the job of holding water to be treated (hard water). This is the chamber where water hardiness is removed.

Within the mineral, the tank is beds of resin beads over which magnesium and calcium ions are deposited. Treated water is delivered into your home through your plumbing systems.

The brine tank enhances the water softening process.

As the name implies, this tank holds a high concentration of the salt solution. This helps with the regenerative process by helping to restore the positive charges of resin beads.

That’s as far as we’d go in explaining what happens.

  • Why does my water taste salty?

Possible reasons why treated water tastes salty after passing through the water softener include clogging of drain lines, clogged injector, and crimped or clogged brine line.

Other likely explanations for water saltiness include clogging of drain line flow control and excess water in the brine tank.

Interruption of the brine cycle, low water pressure, and usage of water during the regeneration process could result in saltiness. Water treated with a softener might also turn salty when it has high sodium content.

Let’s have a look at each of the points mentioned.

  • Clogging of Drain Lines

As part of diagnosis to identify the cause of saltiness, you might want to take a look at your water softener’s drain line. This is likely to get clogged with debris, thus preventing the free passage of water.

The saltiness arises from accumulated debris or salts deposited along the line.

  • Clogged Injector

Because you’re dealing with mineral-rich water, there’s a likelihood of injector valves getting clogged. Sediments, salt, and debris or dirt could easily clog up the valve holes.

If this is the problem, changing the injector or having it unclogged could help resolve water saltiness.

  • Clogging of Drain Line Flow Control

Like most clogging issues with water softeners, the drain line flow control might become blocked by salts and other sediments.

You’ll need to probe by taking a look at the flow control. This is mostly found within the system’s elbow. You might need to have it removed and cleaned when found to be clogged.

  • Excess Water in Brine Tank

Your hard water softener might malfunction at some point.

When it does, excess water may end up in the brine tank. Acceptable water levels in the brine tank range between 6 to 10 inches.

Beyond this point, it becomes a problem, thus resulting in excess salt absorption.

  • Interruption of Brine Cycle

The benefit of the water softener is seen in its regeneration process where calcium and magnesium minerals are removed then passed through a brine solution.

Now, when the mineral removal process gets interrupted, you might end up with salty water due to the presence of sodium ions.

  • Low Water Pressure

For a water softener to work effectively, water needs to flow at certain pressure levels. This mustn’t be lower than 30 PSI. Ideal pressures range from 45 to 70 PSI.

At lower pressure levels, saltiness may result.

  • Usage of Water During the Regeneration Process

The best times for water softeners to work effectively are periods when the unit is least used.

The early mornings are most ideal. Treated water is likely to turn salty when regeneration occurs at periods where the system is used frequently.

  • Having High Sodium Content

Is there too much salt in water softener?

How many sodium ions are contained in your water supply? Some water supplies contain higher sodium content which only worsens when it gets to the water softener.

It worsens because more sodium ions are added to it.

Any of these situations can be resolved by calling for expert help. We’ve listed some of the likely causes why your water tastes salty even after undergoing treatment.

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