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What Is Water Softener Salt?


Water softener salt is an important product in the use of water softeners. Water quality is of great importance to homeowners as water is such an integral part of our lives. We use it to drink, to cook, to bathe, to clean and so much more. 


In areas with high hard water content, water softeners become an important part of a household. As water travels through the ground, it picks up minerals like calcium and magnesium. Water softeners remove these minerals - improving the water quality and softening it. One component in this process is salt.


Water Softener Salt Use


Water softener salt acts by binding to the calcium and magnesium particles in the water source. 
This happens when negatively charged chloride (Cl-) binds with the positively charged calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+) ions.


There are three types of water softener salt that are generally available for use. They are rock salt, evaporated salt, and solar salt.


  • Rock Salt is the most economical of the three, but tends to less soluble and will often cause maintenance issues by causing clogging. 
  • Solar salt is usually found in pellet or crystal form and is created by evaporating sea water. It is more soluble than rock salt but may have difficulty coping with extremely hard water.
  • Evaporated Salts are usually the most expensive but also the most pure. This means that it is the least likely to cause clogging.


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Kitchener: 519-745-3170 Waterloo: 519.886.7331 Cambridge: 519.886.7331 Guelph: 519.836.2543


Potassium Chloride


A final option to consider is potassium chloride. Although not, strictly speaking, a salt, it does function in a similar fashion. It is more expensive but is often considered to be a good option if there are people in the home who need to keep their sodium intake to a minimum. 


Water Softener Maintenance


At Watersmart we recommend that homeowners regularly check their water softener salt levels. Most water softeners should be checked at least monthly and more often if the tank regenerates frequently. Ensure that your water softener is the correct size for your property.


If your softener is too small it will regenerate more frequently causing you to use an excessive amount of water and salt, increase your operating costs and shorten the life span of your unit. On the other hand, if your softener is too large for your home, it will not regenerate frequently enough, thus causing hardness to stick to the resin in the softener. This decreases the life of the resin and also increases your operating costs.


Contact us if you are concerned that your water softener is not up to the job, or if you are in the market for a new water softener. We are ready to answer all your questions about salt types and their various advantages and disadvantages.


We are new to the area and new to having hard water, and we recently purchased our water softener from this company after we received a marketing door knob hangar. From the moment we walked into the store, we were impressed with the attention and information we received.

Janet McRae

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