A top-quality water softener could last for as long as 15 years or 20 years if you take care to do proper maintenance. You are aware the importance of adding salt to the water softener system is one of the most important tasks that must do. You want to be certain the salt that you choose to use is of the highest grade.
Shopping for salt to use in water softener could appear to be a simple job. However, if you’re buying the biggest bag from an area home improvement store, likely, you’re not getting the top price or quality.
After researching, reading, and scoured reviews, I put together the 7 best salts to soften water in this guide. Some salts don’t live to expectations, but they are all high-quality and an excellent value for the price.
In this article, I’ve included:
- We have reviewed the 7 best water softener salts for 2022.
- I’ve shared lots of information that will aid you in determining the best water softening salt for your needs.
- Water Softener Salt vs. Softener Potassium Chloride
- Pros and Cons of Salt-Free or No Salt Water Softeners
- Water Softener Maintenance Tips
- Answered the most frequently asked questions
Best salt for water softener system
Morton Softener Salt
Weight: 50 lbs
Diamond Crystal 804017
Weight: 50 lbs
Morton Softener Salt
Weight: 40 lbs
Diamond Crystal Salt
Weight: 50 lbs
Morton Pure & Natural
Weight: 40 Pound
Morton Potassium Chloride
Weight: 40 lbs
Weight: 40 lbs
What is water softener salt?
Salt is an essential and consumable element of the water softener.
The name implies that one can use salt in the softener for hard water treatment.
Hard water has significant mineral content and has negative consequences for appliances like washing machines, water heater dishwashers, and plumbing fixtures.
There are also theories that high mineral content is connected to some health issues. However, this has not been confirmed.
To get rid of the water’s “hardness,” water softener salt is utilized in water purifiers to trigger an Ion exchange.
When the ion exchange occurs, the minerals in the water that are not filtered are replaced with sodium ions from the salt. The hard water minerals get flushed, and the water turns “soft.”
The only thing left is sodium ions, but no calcium or magnesium.
Sodium doesn’t trigger any problems with hard water that magnesium and calcium are renowned for. There’s a tiny amount added to water through the process of exchange.
Every water has varying quantities of sodium to start with; however, the amount required for salt-based softening is dependent on the nature of your water’s hardness.
The harder water level with higher magnesium and calcium is likely to require higher sodium ion levels to facilitate Ion exchange.
What is the perfect time to use best salt for the water softener system?
The absence of salt in your water will not eliminate the hard water minerals.
A salt-free water softener is available on the market, including magnetic water softeners; however, they do not remove calcium and magnesium.
They alter their chemical composition to ensure that they don’t adhere to the surface and cause limescale.
It means that magnesium and calcium can cause water hardness issues, and you’ll not enjoy the full benefits of a normal water softener.
Water softener salt is essential to facilitate the process of ion exchange. There aren’t any other minerals other than potassium chloride and salt crystals, which can effectively bind the resin instead of magnesium and calcium.
You’ll need to buy salt specifically designed for use in an ion exchange water softener for the most effective softening experience out of your system.
Salt that is standard or made for cooking will not perform in the water softening system because this kind of salt has a distinct makeup to the salt used in water softeners.
How many salts should be in my water softener for home?
Salt consumption can vary based on the type of softener utilized. Smart softeners such as Vesta use custom cycles compatible with the household, which means they use the least amount of water softener salt.
The big box stores usually randomly use salt at pre-programmed rates, which are inefficient and negatively affect water quality.
In general, there is an electronic meter in the softener system which measures the amount of salt and minerals based on the volume of water level.
If you begin to notice your softener using too much salt for the same amount of water, it could be a sign of an issue with the softener system. Also, reduced consumption may be a sign of a problem.
What should you consider when buying the best salt for the water softener system?
The more amounts of salt you buy in one purchase, the lower the price per kilogram.
Certain brands provide the most expensive best water softener salt, but without a specific reason for this.
Also, you’ll pay more for different kinds of salt that perform better for homes with high volume use of water.
You may feel more comfortable purchasing softening salt directly from the maker of the water softener you have.
Maintenance and Softener Upkeep
After you’ve filled up your tank with sodium, it’s time to schedule regular refills to ensure that the system is operating as efficiently as it can.
It is also essential that your tank regenerates when needed, and you must develop a routine of checking the tank often.
Certain forms of water softener salt cause bridges or the accumulation of salt crystals at the brine tank. It is necessary to break up the build-up by yourself for salt to absorb the brine liquid fully.
The Hardness of Household Water
The kind of best water softener salt will depend on the home’s water hardness.
If your water is characterized by more magnesium and calcium minerals, which can cause hardness, you’ll require additional salt to replenish them in the process of ion exchange.
It means that you’ll require much more salt at a higher pace than the average household when you go through a water softening system.
Purer salts also provide greater value for money because you will get more of the salt than could form a salt with a greater amount of insoluble.
Water Softener Type
The best salt for softening system is suitable for any water softener; however, always check the product descriptions before purchasing to ensure.
If you own a salt-based water softener, you could use evaporated salt or rock salt, solar salt, or sometimes block salt to your system.
It’s also obvious that you’ll require salt in your salt based water softener.
Saltier Taste of Water
Salt-based water softeners give small amounts of sodium chloride (table salt) in the water you drink; however, if you’re particular about the water you drink, you may not like the taste of softened water by sodium.
In this instance, you can look into potassium chloride salt that doesn’t have the salty flavor of sodium chloride.
It is important to note that potassium chloride typically costs three times the price of sodium chloride.
Traditional softener system vs. Salt free water softener?
Salt free water softener does not remove the calcium and magnesium that cause water hardness minerals. They’re just chemically adjusting the hard water chemistry as result they don’t cling to things.
The best water softener can remove problematic minerals, while a salt-free softener system only makes them more stable.
If you use a salt-free softener, homeowners could see some reductions in scaling and spotting, but you won’t enjoy all the benefits of traditional water softeners.
The water softener can increase the life of your plumbing, water appliances, and even your clothes.
Similar is the case for washing machine, water heater, and dishwasher. If they operate with hard water, these appliances are less efficient until they eventually fall apart.
If you have a traditional water softener, your cleaning products will be better as mineral deposits from hard water are eliminated using less elbow grease, in addition to less.
Fritz also mentions that a few Salt-free water softeners or tanks’ owners’ guides recommend using a traditional water softener system with a thankless softener.
In the end, all you need is a traditional water softener that can treat the water quality of your home.
Softener Softener Salt vs. Softener Potassium Chloride
While salt is the preferred mineral choice for salt-based softeners systems, you could alternatively utilize potassium chloride to soften your water.
However, there are significant differences in the price and health aspects that merit further investigation.
You can typically purchase Sodium chloride in three kinds: crystal, pellet, and block. Let’s examine the four distinct types of sodium chloride.
Solar salt– You’ll see solar salt that is either in pellet or crystal form like table salt. The evaporation of seawater results, as we know as sea salt or solar salt, which is very pure. But solar salt (sea salt) hasn’t proved to be very effective in waters with a high water hardening mineral.
Block salt– It is uncommon that block salt ever is considered an alternative to water softeners system. Block salt is exactly as it is pronounced – a literal block of salt. It is generally only recommended by plumbers for specific situations.
Rock salt– As its name implies, the rock salt has the appearance of small stones or pebbles. Many people have found that rock salt isn’t very good for dissolving water, leaving an odor. It’s a good value, but you’ll pay for what you spend.
Evaporated salt– It is typically sold in salt pellets form and is at the purest rate of all salts. That is why it’s the most expensive option to purchase and is the most recommended option for your salt-based softener.
You can use potassium chloride for salt substitute and receive the same high-quality softened water through the process of ion exchange.
One thing to remember at the beginning is that potassium chloride has a higher price than sodium chloride. That is due to it being an uncommon option available.
Potassium chloride is nearly sodium-free as you can get (around 99.9 percent). If you’re on a lower sodium diet or dislike the salty smell of table salt in the water, it’s an affordable but expensive option.
Another benefit of soft potassium chloride is that it can water pets and plants; however, it shouldn’t use sodium chloride water for watering plants.
You might also have to raise your tank’s setting by 10% to 15% to ensure that you get the same benefits from water softening with sodium chloride.
Pros and cons of salt-free water softener system
Pros of no-salt (salt-free) water conditioners:
Few negatives (cones) of salt-free water softener system
- This process helps to condition the water to soften it, and that soft (at times described as slimy) appearance won’t be present on your hands once you wash them or after washing your hair.
- The media is extremely expensive and has a limited time. Based on the level of water hardness, it can last for 2 to 6 years. The cost of replacement is approximately the same as what would be used for water softener salt.
- Every chlorine, Hydrogen Sulfide, and all metals need to eliminate as they will dramatically reduce the media’s lifespan.
- Since it cannot eliminate the minerals, the dust of these minerals could be seen on kitchen utensils and glassware after a dishwasher has been run. Which is easily cleanable or washable.
Pros and cons of salt-based water softener system
Advantages of salt-based water softeners:
- Softening involves an ion-exchange method where sodium particles can be exchanged with hard metals and minerals.
- It can eliminate issues like the build-up of deposits on faucets and other dishes, frizzy hair after wash rough hands, and the strong taste of hard water solutions.
- Softeners can tackle hard and staining minerals. They are different from conditioners which can only deal with magnesium and calcium primarily.
- Salt-based softeners take out all nursing elements and hard mineral substances from water, making them soft. Laundry and dishes require less detergent and appear cleaner after cleaning, compared to other alternatives.
- These are options, and pretreatment is not necessary for hydrogen sulfide, chlorine, and other metals. The process won’t remove hydrogen sulfide. May need other treatment in the case of elevated manganese and iron levels.
- The average life span of resin spans 10 years. If it’s properly maintained, it could last for twenty years or more.
Cons of salt-based water softeners:
- Installation can be a challenge if the waste line has to be installed under the sidewalk or driveway. The power required to run the line to the installation location could be costly and must be thought of initially.
- The best water softener requires regular maintenance by adding salt and occasionally conditioning to ensure that the system resin is functioning properly. Failure to follow this procedure could cause premature fouling, which renders the system useless.
- The cleaning cycle can belong, and lots of water is wasted through this process. When the discarded water is drained over the soil, it could end up killing grass, plans, and other plants. Some municipalities are contemplating bans on salt-based softeners since the wastewater treatment plants cannot handle these excessive TDS levels.
- Yes, there are alternative treatments options, and there are additional pros and cons to each one that is somewhat too complex to discuss here.
How do I know when I have to add salt?
The best method to avoid any of the above issues is to make sure your brine tank is full enough of salt or, if you prefer, how much water softener salt you should add every time. Many factors are directly responsible for this, for instance:
- Water Usage: If your home is using more water, this implies that more water needs to be treated with a softener. That means that it is necessary to replenish your media as well as using brine solutions more frequently. If you are experiencing periods of frequent water use, like when you host guests during the holiday season, the softener needs to replace more frequently.
- The hardness in your water: Your water hardness can affect the frequency at which your softener needs to regenerate. There are likely higher hardness minerals in the water is particularly difficult, which your softener has to capture. In the end, your resin will wear out quicker and need more frequent replacement.
- The size of your brine tank: This one’s a simple one. Suppose your brine tank’s size is greater than it could hold more salt and will need to fill more frequently.
Based on these three elements by themselves, it is easy to imagine that many households have differing plans for adding salt. Some homeowners fill their brine tanks every couple of weeks, while others do every couple of months.
Tips for your water softener maintaining
Tip #1: Select correct salt for your water softener system
Use only high-quality best water softener salt to get pure water. Different salt types are likely to contain a lot of insoluble impurities that can accumulate and block your system.
Salt that is high-purity will cost more than other kinds of salt; however, it’s worth the cost to ensure the long-term durability that your softener will last.
There are a variety of salts compatible with your water softener. Therefore, be sure to look at different kinds of salts for water softeners before making a choice.
Tip #2: Regular ensure you system salt levels
For the majority of water softeners, will locate your salt within the brine tank. If the salt level in your tank is low, the softener will not have the capacity to carry out this process.
It is good to know that monitoring your salt level is a do-it-yourself job you can complete without the assistance of an expert.
Way to check your water softener’s salt level
- Find the brine tank and then lift the lid.
- High salt pellets may cover any visible tank.
- If you can see water level or the salt is not filling more than half the tank, add salt until you are around halfway.
- Before refilling, remove any salt crystals that are stuck to the encrusted.
Tip #3: Replace your resin for your water softener
Resin is an important component of the operation of your water softener because it allows the exchange of ions to occur.
Although resin is typically constructed to last for the length of the softener life span (around 10-15 years), excessive chlorine levels and iron can cause resin breakdown more quickly than normal.
Although replacing the resin in your softener is doable, without the assistance of an expert will be able to complete the job much more quickly.
How to change water softener’s resin
- Find out the resin consumption you need by studying the owner’s guide
- Set the system to bypass, and then disconnect the power cord.
- Remove the plumbing from the sink and disconnect the system control head.
- Place the tank on its side.
- Make use of your garden hose to clean out resin that is leaking
- The tank should be upright and cover the opening with the tube for the product.
- Make sure the gravel’s filling to the point that covers the screen
- The tank should be half full with resin
- Uncover the tube that contains the product.
- Connect the control head back to the control and connect the plumbing
- Set the system into service mode, and begin an automatic regeneration
- Examine the water to determine the degree of softness
Tip #4: Search for and remove salt deposits
Salt deposits are a build-up of salt that builds up inside the water softener’s tank.
If you see frequent salt bridges, there could be a problem with your water softener and requires the assistance of a professional.
How to recognize and eliminate salt bridges
- Make use of a broom handle or similar device to push the brine tank
- If it hits something which isn’t on the sides or bottom of the tank, you’ll have a salt bridge
- Make use of the broom handle gently break the bridge of salt
- If needed, pour gallon lukewarm water into the tank.
- In humid areas, be sure to add less salt less frequently to stop the formation of a salt bridge.
Tip #5 Cleaning your brine tank regularly
Many water softener experts advise the cleaning of your brine tank one time each year.
Cleansing your brine tank can be a possibility to tackle on your own. However, a professional can assist you in cleaning your brine tank in the regular service of your water softener every year.
The process to clean your water softener’s brine tank.
- Find a suitable place to empty the brine from the tank
- Set the system on bypass mode.
- Unplug the water softener, and remove the brine tank.
- Bring the brine tank outdoors and dump the contents into the gravel bed you have prepared or pit.
- After emptying, detach and wash the brine tank and valve
- Reinstall the brine tank and connect all the lines to the softener water and take out the drain
- Take it out of bypass mode.
- You need to add five gallon water into the tank.
- At minimum to 50 lb. bags of salt for water softening
- The salt should be left to remain within the water for approximately two hours.
- Start a regeneration cycle
Tip #6: Install a prefilter
Suppose your water is contaminated by iron, sediment clay, sand, or any other substance typically found in tap or brown well water in some areas of the United States. In that case, your water softener may be damaged or blocked.
Prefilters remove these harmful substances from your drinking water before it gets to the water softener and are efficient for between six and nine months before needing an upgrade.
The best water softener provides a prefilter filter when the system is put in place.
Frequently asked questions
When does your softener resin require replacement?
If the water doesn’t get soft enough, it may issue with the salt used or a technical in the softener system.
If these components aren’t responsible for the problem with the water softening process, it might have time for a replacement of the resin used in softening or even the whole softener.
we have learned from experience that the majority of softener resins, as well as sodium Ion exchange resins, can last between twenty to twenty-five years.
Is soft water safe to drink?
Soft water is essentially drinking water without the magnesium and calcium minerals that cause hardness; therefore, it’s safe to drink.
The main function of the water softener is to keep the water in your home from creating limescale and rust problems in appliances used by households.
The removal of the minerals that cause hardness from the water can cause it to have a less acidic taste. However, it does not affect your water quality.
Suppose you’re interested in remineralizing the tap water that you use for drinking it. In that case, there are alternatives to do this – you can use the remineralization process as well as mineral droplets.
Can use the water softener increase my skin and hair quality?
Hard water is made up of minerals that absorb natural oils of the skin, breaking the barrier of skin’s natural.
Continuous usage of hard water can result in dry skin and can cause skin problems like eczema.
Hard water can make your hair dry and frizzy for the same reason, resulting in thin hair and having an itchy scalp.
A water softener is necessary for your hair and skin health because it reduces the harmful minerals which cause damage to your hair and skin.
Furthermore, softened water can help reduce the soap scum that can block your pores and cause a scummy product on your hair and skin.
Does it dangerous to combine various types of salt into a water softener system?
It’s generally safe mixing salts in the water softener; however, specific softeners are made specifically for specific products for water softening.
If you are using other items, the softeners might not function properly.
Mixing evaporated salt and rock salt isn’t recommended because it could block the reservoir for softening.
It is suggested that you allow your system to run empty of a particular kind of salt before adding another to prevent the possibility of developing any issues in the water softener.
Can I mix potassium chloride with salt pellet?
If you’ve used sodium chloride to soften your water in the system, but you’d like to switch to potassium chloride, you’ll come to a point at which your brine tank will be the salt and potassium salt pellets.
That is perfectly normal and shouldn’t pose a problem, but it’s recommended to make sure that you match the size and type of salt pellets as closely as possible to prevent the possibility of bridging.
Why does soft water feel slick or slimy while a shower?
The minerals that cause water to become hard are typically calcium which hinders the cleansing action of detergent and soap.
They accomplish this by mixing with detergent or soap and forming a scum that can dissolve in water.
It reduces the effectiveness of cleaners and can be overcome by using additional detergent or soap. But, the soap scum that forms may stick to the surface being cleaned and make it appear dull.
The best water softener takes calcium and magnesium from water and replaces them with some sodium.
The sodium does not react with detergents or soaps. It reduces amounts of soap and ensures that it does not remain on or in washed items, glassware, tiles or clothing, skin, or hair.
I’ve added salt to my softener system. However, my water is hard. What’s wrong?
It could be due to a variety of causes. The first is to ensure that your system is set to the correct setting according to water hardness.
It could be the case that your softener settings show the water to be harder than it is; this means that your system thinks that it should use less water softening salt in the ion exchange process.
In the end, there’s no sodium in the water to substitute all the magnesium and calcium minerals present in your water. Therefore, there may be some remaining.
More straightforward, it could be that you put salt in the water softener before your system started to regenerate, implying that the salt did not have enough time to settle.
Also, it is important to ensure that you don’t have a bridge problem in your salt tank in which a formation of the salt crystals blocks sodium from absorbing into brine water.
What amount of salt can I use in my softener?
A softener of 1 cu. ft. of resins (30,000 grains 10 ” 44 ” tank) is expected to use 6-8 pounds per regeneration to reach the cost-effective 24,000-grain capacity (hardness in grains broken down into capacities of grains yields gallons water that can treat before resins being completely exhausted).
We offer only metered valves in our Watts softener packs because they typically require less salt than an unmetered unit (i.e., one set to renew each day without regard to the actual amount of water consumed).
The average for the nation is 60 pounds per month. It may vary depending on the amount and quality of the water being treated.
Have softening salt chemicals contain?
Certain softening salts may have additives that keep the salt from becoming too hard in storage and use.
Apart from the chemicals, certain water softener salt can contain impurities such as dust, metals, and rust that are absorbed in manufacturing.
They won’t impact your water quality and must be eliminated out of your softening system at regeneration.
How can I determine my flow rate?
It is possible to get an approximate idea of the flow rate by running water in the full open through an outdoor garden hose faucet or using the bathtub faucet.
Example The faucet is turned on fully open, then swiftly places the gallon-sized container in all the water flow. Start calculating the amount of time is required to fill up the bottle.
If the container fills within 15 seconds, simply split 60 seconds (1 minute) by fifteen seconds (the duration of time it is required to fill up the container).
It’s 4, which means your flow rate will be quite similar to that of 4 GPM! We suggest you purchase one that is capable of handling at the very least 4 GPM.
It should be larger than it to ensure that you have a unit with ample GPM flow capability.
What salts are most pure?
The evaporated salts are the purest water softener. They are, without a doubt, priced higher than other salts you can buy; however, they’ll typically be more durable than rock salt or solar salt.
The manufacturing of evaporated salts does not mix salt with other compounds or insoluble matter.
That means it is essentially sodium chloride. If you’re looking to get the most prices for your money, evaporated salt might be the right choice for your water softener system.