Does the salt always harden up in bottom of your water softener’s salt tank? It’s called a salt bridge in the water treatment industry and though a very small percentage of our customers experience it, it can be quite a problem to them. Here is a little bit of information on that and perhaps a tip that might really help you out.

First, I don’t really know exactly what causes a salt bridge to form but its basically when the salt hardens into 1 solid mass in the salt tank and it creates a void that just fills up with water and drains over and over again never using or melting any salt. If you often hear your water softener regenerating, but it never uses salt and the water is never soft then there is a good chance a salt bridge is all that might be wrong with your water softener.

Here’s the tip: First try to find out where the salt bridge has formed in the tank. I do this by tapping the outside of the salt tank with a rubber mallet going up and down the side of the tank. you should feel a hollow area and the bridge will be right above it. Once you find it “aggressively tap” on the outside of the salt tank and usually the salt bridge will break apart and drop to the bottom of the salt tank. If the salt bridge is near the bottom of the salt tank all you need to do is pour a couple of gallons of water down the white 2-1/2″ tube located inside the salt tank, let it sit for about a half hour and then put the softener through a regeneration cycle. All that happens here is that the salt tank gets more water than it usually does and that water will rise up in the bottom of the salt tank into the hardened salt bridge which will in turn melt it and drop it. You don’t need to bucket all the salt out of the tank or beat the salt with that pipe or rod you have sitting next to your water softener. At Royal Water Systems we always install brine deck in the bottom of our salt tanks which will greatly reduce the chances that our customers will experience a salt bridge, but we do still occasionally see them from time to time.

If you have any questions or concerns about your water softener please feel free to give us a call at 801-850-1839 or visit us online at