One of the most overlooked features in a home is the water. You examine the infrastructure, the plumbing, but very seldom do you take a look at the home water filtration system. And the quality of your water hardness actually matters a lot because it determines how often you will need to maintain or repair your pipes, your bathroom, and kitchen.
Depending on your location, the water in your area may be soft water or hard water. Water naturally contains minerals, like calcium and magnesium. In small amounts, these minerals won’t cause any problems. But when you have higher levels of them (121mg/L or more), the water increases its “hardness” and begins to develop certain properties.
Hard water has a sulfuric smell and leaves behind residue. When you wet surfaces with hard water, you will notice marks or scaling left behind. As you wash yourself with hard water, you will also notice a film left behind on your skin. Your skin and hair will also feel dry, and over time, washing yourself with hard water may cause itching and irritation.
As hard water tends to leave residue behind, it can cause scaling and build up. Mineral deposits and stains will accumulate on your pipes, causing them to clog up. Hard water can also break down the rubber in your faucets and showers, causing leaks. Moreover, your glassware will become cloudy, and your bathroom tiles and drains will become stained.
What is a Water Softener
Hard water can be a maintenance nightmare, wreaking havoc in your home. Many homeowners who have hard water use water softeners to lower the levels of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals in the water.
The most common type of water softener uses salts to replace calcium and magnesium ions in the water with sodium ions. A resin tank is installed where the ion exchange will take place. Salt is added into the resin tank regularly, and after ion exchange, the calcium and magnesium will be flushed out with some water, leaving behind “soft water” with lower traces of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals.
What are the Best Salts for Water Softeners
If you’re experiencing scaling and staining in your bathroom sinks, faucets, and pipes, you should treat your water to prevent further damage from occurring. Purchasing a water softener is just the first step. Afterwards, finding the right kinds of salts and regularly stocking up is important to make sure you only have soft water flowing into your home.
There are many salts or softener salts available in the market today, and they come in various levels of purity. Not to mention, water hardness is also a factor in choosing which salt to use. It’s best to learn more about them, so you can choose the best salts for your water softener.
Sea salt is made by letting sea water evaporate. It is 99.5% sodium chloride and is more soluble and more affordable than other types of salts. Given its processing, however, it is prone to have more impurities than other salts, which can make it dissolve less readily in hard water. Hence, it is best used in homes that require minimal water softening.
Rock salt is irregularly shaped salt that resembles rocks. Similar to sea salt, it is from the ocean, however, instead of letting seawater evaporate, rock salts are gathered from salt mines and are already hardened, in the form of rocks. This makes them the least expensive option available. They are also the least pure form of salts you can purchase.
As it is impure, rock salts don’t dissolve as well in water as all other salts. This means they will leave a residue in your brine basin, and will require regular cleaning. This type of salt is the least advisable choice of salt used for water softeners.
Salt crystals are 99.6% sodium chloride. They are formed when a mixture of salt, brine, and water are subject to evaporation. As this form of salt can easily crystallize when added to water, it is best used in households where water consumption is pretty low or for tanks that use two-part water softening systems. Otherwise, salt crystals can cause salt bridging where crusts form in your brine tank, hindering the regeneration process.
Solar salt is a type of salt crystal made by letting shallow ponds of salt water sun dry. The evaporation leaves behind concentrated salt crystals that are mechanically harvested to get rid of chemical impurities. The result is a naturally white, opaque, high purity salt which leaves minimal residue behind.
With these properties, solar salt is the most commonly used salt in softening waters. They are also readily available and are not very expensive.
Evaporated Salt Pellets
Evaporated salt pellets are the purest form of sodium chloride available. It is made by processing salt crystals, making them into 100% sodium chloride. They are also the most expensive salt available compared to other softener salts.
Given their purity, evaporated salt pellets dissolve most easily in water, and they also leave no residues behind. These make them the best type of salts to use in water softeners.
Buy Water Softener
When choosing which salt to use for your home, you don’t always have to purchase the best salts available. Depending on your usage, and how much softening your water needs, you can go for more affordable and readily available options.
But if you don’t like using salts to soften your water, or you find the water wastage from the ion exchange process too wasteful, you can look into salt-free water softeners.
At PurAgain Water, we can install a water softener in your home to remove specific minerals from your water and make it safer for home use. We also offer various home water filtration systems which come with annual water testing, unlimited service calls, and annual maintenance.
Reach out to PurAgain Water today and get a free quote or learn more about how we can transform your water filtration system to give you usable, soft water that will be kind to your home, your body, and your appliances!