Water Softener - Salt Bridge

Sometimes a hard crust or salt bridge forms in the salt storage area.  This is a layer of salt fused together to form a bridge or crust while underneath it is a mixture of salt water and empty space. When this happens, the salt will not dissolve in the water to make brine.

A salt bridge is most often caused by the use of incorrect salt or high humidity.  In humid areas, it is best to fill with less salt, more often to prevent a salt bridge from forming.

Looking into the salt tank, it may appear that it is 1/2 or more full of salt so it may be difficult to tell whether you have a salt bridge.  The salt should be loose all the way to the bottom.

Here is how to check for a salt bridge:

  1. Take a broom handle or something similar and carefully push it down into the salt.  
  2. If the broom handle hits something hard, make sure you are not hitting the bottom of the tank or the walls. If it is not the floor or the sides, you have a salt bridge.
  3. Carefully break the bridge with the broom handle. Avoid pounding or damaging the inside walls of the unit. Banging the walls could crack the tank.
  4. If the salt bridge is difficult to break up, pour 1 gallon of warm (not hot) water into the tank to help dissolve the bridge.

If the wrong type of salt was used, be sure to remove it from the tank. Fill the storage tank with nugget or pellet salt designed for water softeners.

See the Owner's Manual for additional information. Download a copy of your Owner's Manual