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What you have is called a "Salt Bridge" Just use a broom handle and break up the hardened salt and then fill the salt tank back up. The unit should function normally after that.
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does the salt have to be broken up all the way to the bottom of the tank or just to the water line, and does salt level have to be above the water line to work
It is best to break it up as best you can. The broom handle will do that just fine. You dont really have to get all the way to the bottom. What happens is some of the salt towards the top of where the water gets to during the regeneration cycle sticks together and causes a void under it. Then when the unit goes to do another re gen cycle there isnt any salt to make the brine from due to the void caused by the salt bridge. Just make sure that there is salt to the bottom of the tank and you will be fine. Yes the salt needs to be above the water line.