water softener + dishwasher + salt

3 Oct 2006
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United Kingdom

Not sure if anyone can advise.. I have just got a new dishwasher, it is plumbed in on the water that is softened by a newly installed water softener.. do I still need to put salt in the dishwasher? is the only purpose of the salt to soften the water used or does it do something else too?

If I do put salt in will it use less because I'm now using soft water or does it always use the same amount?

also it looks like the dishwasher (bosh integrated) has its own built in electric softener on the supply hose, my plan was to set our water hardness level to the lowest as the main softener should obviously deal with the hardness..


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you don't have to put salt in, as long as your Domestic softener is constantly working correctly and the incoming water is fully softened.

If your house has been running on hard water for a long time, there will be limescale deposits in the pipes (which will slowly dissolve away in the softened water). In this case, put salt in the dishwasher softener, but leave it set low.

The dishwasher will use salt according to its setting, not according to the actual hardness of the water.
brilliant, thanks JohnD - that was what I was hoping :) all new plumbing between incoming main and dishwasher so shouldn't be any old deposits..
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The salt in a dishwasher doesn't soften the water, it cleans and changes the charge on the water softener unit granules. The salt isn't used at all in the washing or rinsing process, cleaning/charging takes place after drying so salt never reaches your dishes. Any residue is flushed and drained away at the start of the next use.
Even if you have soft water you should still put salt into the dishwasher and turn it / set it to it's lowest setting.

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