Salty Water from Water Softener [How & What to Do?]

Dealing with salty water coming from your water softener can be a perplexing situation. As someone who has faced this issue firsthand, I understand the frustration that comes with sipping water that tastes like a snack you didn’t sign up for.

In this article ‘salty water from water softener? [How & What To Do]’, we’ll dive into the details of why your water might be a bit too seasoned and explore solutions to restore the pure, refreshing taste you deserve.

How Much Salt Does a Water Softener Use?

Understanding the salt consumption of your water softener is crucial for maintaining its efficiency without overloading your water with sodium. The amount of salt a water softener uses depends on its size, the hardness of your water, and the frequency of regeneration.

Regeneration is the process where the resin beads in the softener are cleaned by a brine solution.

Check your water softener manual or consult the manufacturer to determine the appropriate amount of salt for your specific model. Regularly monitor the salt levels in the brine tank to ensure a consistent supply for the regeneration process.

Why Does Your Drinking Water Taste Salty After Going Through a Water Softener?

You Have an Injector Clog

The injector is a critical component responsible for drawing the brine solution into the resin tank during regeneration. If the injector is clogged, it may fail to perform this function correctly, leading to insufficient cleaning of the resin beads.

This can result in an elevated salt content in the softened water. To address this issue, locate the injector and clean it thoroughly. In some cases, replacement may be necessary if the clog persists or the injector is damaged.

The Brine Solution Line Is Clogged

The brine solution line is the pathway through which the salt solution travels to regenerate the resin beads. If this line is clogged, the proper amount of brine may not reach the resin tank, affecting the regeneration process.

Inspect the brine solution line for any obstructions and clear them to ensure a smooth flow of the salt solution. Regular maintenance, including periodic checks of this line, can prevent clogs from becoming a persistent issue.

The Drain Line Is Clogged

The drain line plays a crucial role in flushing out impurities, including excess salt, during the regeneration process. If the drain line is clogged, it can lead to incomplete rinsing and result in a salty taste in the softened water. Check the drain line for blockages and ensure it is free from debris.

Periodically flushing the drain line & having good drain line flow control can help prevent clogs and maintain the efficiency of your water softener.

Addressing these specific issues requires a hands-on approach, and it’s essential to be diligent in maintaining and troubleshooting your water softener. Regular cleaning and inspection of the injector, brine solution line, and drain line can go a long way to softened water tastes salty water woes and ensuring the consistent delivery of high-quality softened water.

Water Overflow in the Brine Tank

Water overflowing in the brine tank can lead to too much salt in the water supply, causing an undesirable softened water taste salty. The brine tank is where the water softener creates the salt solution necessary for regeneration.

If the water level in the brine tank is too high, it can result in the over-dissolution of salt, leading to increased sodium content in the soft water.

To address this issue, check the water level in the brine tank and adjust it to the recommended level according to your water softener’s specifications. Ensure that the float assembly, responsible for regulating the water level in the brine tank, is functioning correctly.

Regularly inspect and maintain the float assembly to prevent water overflow issues.

Control Head Programming Issues

The control head of your water softener is essentially its brain, dictating when and how the regeneration process occurs. If there are programming issues with the control head, it can lead to excessive salt usage and, consequently, a salty taste in your water. Common problems include incorrect timing, regeneration frequency, or brine draw settings.

To rectify control head programming issues, consult your water softener’s manual for proper programming instructions. Double-check and reprogram the control head settings as needed.

Ensure that the settings align with the hardness of your water and the specific requirements of your household. This proactive approach helps maintain optimal performance and prevents unnecessary salt consumption.

Water Regeneration Timing Issue

The timing of the water regeneration process is critical for effective softening and preventing a salty taste. If your water softener regenerates too frequently or not often enough, it can result in inadequate resin bead cleaning or an excess of unused salt. Both scenarios can contribute to a salty water taste.

Adjust the regeneration timing on your water softener to align with the actual water hardness and household water usage patterns. Find the right balance that ensures efficient resin regeneration without wasting salt. Regularly monitor and fine-tune the regeneration timing to adapt to any changes in water hardness or consumption habits.

Your Water Pressure Is Too Low

Low water pressure can impact the efficiency of the regeneration process, leading to incomplete rinsing and a salty taste in the softened water. Insufficient pressure may prevent proper flushing of the resin beads, leaving behind residual salt.

Check your home’s water pressure and ensure it meets the recommended levels for your water softener. If the pressure is too low, address any plumbing issues that may be causing the problem. Improving water pressure not only enhances the overall performance of your water softener but also helps maintain the quality of the softened water.

The Water Entering Your Home Is Salty

In rare cases, the water source itself may contain high levels of salt, contributing to the salty taste in your softened water. This issue is beyond the control of the water softener and requires a different approach.

Consider testing the water entering your home to determine its natural salt content. If the source water is found to be salty, you may need additional water treatment solutions, such as a dedicated salt removal system or reverse osmosis, to ensure the production of clean, freshwater for your household.

Addressing these specific issues requires a thorough understanding of your water softener system, diligent monitoring, and regular maintenance. By addressing these factors, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of encountering a salty taste in your softened water and enjoy the benefits of an efficiently operating water softener system.

Is It Safe to Drink Softened Water if You Can Taste Salt?

Softened water is generally safe for consumption, even if you can detect a slight saltiness. The salt content in softened water is typically within the recommended limits for human consumption, and it poses no health risks for most individuals.

The amount of salt added during the softening process is minimal compared to the daily recommended intake. However, if the taste is unpleasant or if you have specific health concerns related to how much sodium you take, you may want to explore ways to minimize your softened water tasting salty.

It’s worth noting that softened water can be a benefit for individuals dealing with hard water issues, as it helps prevent scale buildup in appliances and plumbing. If the salt taste is a concern, addressing the specific issues causing it can lead to better-tasting softened water.

How To Remove Salty Water Taste

If you find yourself sipping on water that’s more reminiscent of the sea than a refreshing drink, there are several steps you can take to alleviate the salty taste:

Regularly Clean and Maintain Components:

Perform routine checks and cleaning of essential components such as the injector, brine solution line, and drain line. Clear any clogs or debris that may be affecting the proper functioning of your water softener.

Adjust Settings:

Review and adjust the settings on your water softener’s control head. Ensure that the regeneration timing, frequency, and brine draw settings align with the actual water hardness and your household’s water usage patterns.

Monitor Water Pressure:

Maintain optimal water pressure to facilitate efficient regeneration. Low water pressure can lead to incomplete rinsing during the regeneration process, resulting in residual salt in the softened water.

Test and Treat Source Water:

If the water entering your home has a naturally high salt content, consider testing and treating the source water before it reaches the water softener. Additional water treatment solutions, such as reverse osmosis, can help remove excess salt.

Professional Inspection:

If troubleshooting on your own doesn’t resolve the issue, consider consulting a water softener professional. They can conduct a thorough inspection, identify any underlying problems, and recommend appropriate solutions.


Dealing with salty water from your water softener can be a challenge, but with proactive maintenance and troubleshooting, you can enjoy softened water without the unwanted taste of salt.

Regularly inspecting and cleaning components, adjusting settings, and addressing specific issues can go a long way in maintaining the efficiency of your water softener and ensuring the quality of your water.

Remember, a well-maintained water softener not only provides the benefits of scale prevention but also delivers water that’s refreshing and free from excessive saltiness. By taking the necessary steps to address and prevent salty water taste, you can continue to enjoy the advantages of a properly functioning water softener system.


Can I use any type of salt in my water softener?

While many water softeners can use regular salt, it’s recommended to use salt specifically designed for water softeners to prevent potential issues.

How often should I clean my water softener components?

Regular maintenance is key. Clean or inspect components every few months to ensure optimal performance.

Is it normal for softened water to have a slight taste?

Yes, softened water may have a subtle taste due to the salt used in the softening process. However, it should not be overwhelmingly salty.

What if adjusting settings and cleaning components doesn’t resolve the salty taste issue?

If DIY efforts fall short, consider seeking professional assistance. A water softener professional can conduct a thorough inspection and provide tailored solutions to address the specific problem.

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