When the brine tank salt is running low, it’s time to purchase more and there are many types of water softener salt to choose from. Some common examples include: table, rock, block, pellets, crystals and more. What is the difference between evaporated and solar pellets? Should I use standard salt or potassium chloride? This article will answer these questions to help you make informed decisions.
A Cautionary Note
Some people use standard table or dicing salt in their brine tanks because it’s readily available and inexpensive. This is a bad idea because it degrades the performance and efficiency of your water softening system. Only use salt that is specifically designed for water softener use.
Water Softener Salt or Potassium Chloride?
Water softener salt is sodium chloride and it’s available in a number of formats. But, for people that are following a low salt diet there is a viable alternative in potassium chloride. Although potassium chloride is also a salt, it’s more benign in nature and some people prefer it to regular water softening salt. This comes at a small premium, but the quality tends to be better and there are less impurities.
Why are Impurities a Problem?
Certain water softening salts contain elevated levels of water-insoluble matter and a high proportion are impurities. These impurities create a buildup of material in the reservoir that will ultimately cause a malfunction. This can be prevented with more frequent brine tank cleaning, but many people prefer to buy higher purity salt. When you shop for water softening salt search for higher purity levels on the salt pellet sack labels.
Sodium Chloride Softener Salt
There are three common forms of sodium chloride softener salt. They are: pellets, crystals and block salt.
Salt pellets have the highest purity at up to 99.9% and this makes them more expensive. There are less mushing and bridging issues in the brine tank which makes cleaning and maintenance easier.
Crystal or solar salt pellets are made when sea water is evaporated. These pellets are less effective when the water hardness levels are high and the purity can be as high as 99.6%.
Block salt raises the brine tank water level to fully submerge the blocks. This water softener salt can reduce the cleaning and maintenance problems. But, this type of salt should only be used after seeking advice from your local water treatment specialist. Block salt is not compatible with all water softener types.
The final salt that some people use is rock salt which looks like pebbles or smaller rocks. This is an affordable alternative, but it contains high concentrations of calcium sulfate. The salt will not dissolve fully in the water and this increases the maintenance requirements. of potassium Chloride Softener Salt
As we mentioned earlier, potassium chloride is an alternative to sodium chloride softening salts that are used to regenerate the resin. This salt is 99.9% sodium free and this will be of particular interest to people that want to reduce their sodium intake. Potassium chloride can be harder to source and it tends to be more expensive. It’s also important to valve salt dosage settings by around 10% for the regeneration cycles.
If you want to schedule some essential maintenance for your water softener system, contact your local water treatment specialist today.
By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.