Is water softener working?

Hi all, I am trying to determine whether my 2 month old water softener is working.  I do notice my dishes being  much more clean than in the past.  I put two 40 pound bags in my water softener originally.  The water softener is regenerating on its own and I also have manually regenerated it quite a few times.  My concern is that even with all those regenerations I still have salt in my tank (although not as much as when I first filled it).  I was told I would need to probably fill it once a month (4 people in household).  When I run the diagnostics it shows water flowing through on the LED meter.  Currently the water level is higher than the salt level by about 2 inches.   Could that be a problem?
So everything SEEMS normal to me in terms of the operation…except I would have thought my salt would have ran out with all those regens.  There is an efficiency setting on my softener that claims 60% less salt usage.  That has been on up to this point.  Any thoughts?  The salt pellets look smaller and I believe the level has lowered a little…but I can’t tell.

Answer: Your unit may be functioning OK.  At a high efficiency setting, the water softener would not be using much salt.  If there is a significant amount of water above the salt (water filling as much a half of the tank), the you may have an air leak, and we have a document available to that will show you how to resolve this problem. However, if you only have two bags of salt in the unit, and only two inches of water above the salt, then it seems as if your unit is functioning correctly.  One way to determine if your water softener is working, is to place it into a regeneration stage called “brine draw/slow rinse”.  In this position, brine solution (water) is slowly drawn into the water softener so that regeneration can occur.  If you see the water level decreasing in the brine tank during this stage, then it is likely that your softener is working well.  If you are not sure of how to put the softener into brine draw, you can just initiate a manual regeneration and wait for this cycle (normally the second cycle after a 10 minute backwash).  Procedures for putting some of the more common controls into brine draw are outlined in the “Resolving an Air Leak” document.

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