What Kind of Salt Should I Put in My Water Softener?

If your water softener has a tank, it uses salt to eliminate the hard mineral ions in your home’s tap water. But if you are new to the whole water softener maintenance thing, you might be confused about the type of salt you should be putting in yours. After all, when you go to the water softener salt aisle, there are numerous options to choose from. How do you know which water softening salt is the right one for your water softener?

Continue below to learn how to choose a water softener salt based on your hard water removal and soft water needs.

Water Softener Services Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870
Water Softener Services Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870

Top 2 Water Softener Salt Options

Salt-based water softeners are designed to use two primary types of salt products: sodium chloride salt or potassium chloride salt. These two kinds of water softener salts are available at any local home improvement or grocery store and come in all sorts of different brands and salt shapes (mainly pellets, crystals, rocks, and blocks). They also range in purity, which is important when selecting a salt brand for your water softener. Look for a label on the bag that shows it is 99.9% pure salt.

Lower quality water softener salt contains higher traces of impurities and water-insoluble matter (things that won’t dissolve in water), which will cause a higher rate of scale and sediment buildup inside the tank. As a result, you will have to clean out the brine tank more often than you should, which can be a hassle. So, which high-quality water softening salt product should you buy, potassium or sodium chloride? It depends on your personal preference and a few other varying factors.

Potassium Chloride Versus Sodium Chloride

Sodium chloride water softener salts are the more popular choice, mostly because they are easier to find, more widely available, and typically cheaper than potassium salts. They are available in different forms, including evaporated pellets, which are considered the highest purity, as well as crystal salt (also called solar salt pellets), rock salt, and block salt.

Potassium chloride is the less common choice for water softening, namely sought after by those looking to mitigate their sodium intake. Although sodium-free, this type of water softener salt works just as well to regenerate the resin beads. If you are planning to make the switch from sodium softening salts to potassium, you may need to increase the unit’s salt dosage settings by 10 percent to ensure proper resin bead regeneration.

Saltless Water Softeners

In contrast to salt-based water softeners, salt-free water softeners do not use salt. Instead, they use a process known as Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC), which processes water through a catalytic media. Because of this fact, saltless water softening does not technically soften water, but rather, conditions it. For this reason, saltless water softeners are more accurately described as water conditioners.

Are you for professional help with your residential or commercial water softening needs? Contact Weilhammer Plumbing Company at 317-784-1870 for water softener service and repair in Indianapolis, Indiana, and its surrounding counties. We sell top-of-the-line water softeners, including ones that don’t use salt at all! Call for residential or commercial service, anytime.

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How to Test for Hard Water Using an Empty Water Bottle

Living with hard water is a detriment to your quality of life, and one that you don’t have to tolerate. If you suspect that you have hard water, you are likely right. Hard water boldly leaves behind evidence of its damage, from your faucets and drains to your appliances, plumbing, laundry, dishes, hair, skin, and much more. If you are on the fence about having a hard water problem, why don’t you just perform a do-it-yourself test? All you need is an empty water bottle, pure Castile soap, and a working faucet.

Continue below to learn how to perform a hard water test using an empty water bottle, plus what to do if you determine, you do have a hard water problem.

Soft Water Company Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870
Soft Water Services Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870

How to Test for Hard Water at Home

There is really only good news about testing for hard water at home. Not only is it inexpensive, of free if you already have all of the materials, but at-home water testing is also very easy (so easy a child could do it; in fact, you should enlist your children to help you with this really cool DIY science experiment!) and the results are highly reliable. Aside from low costs, simplicity, and reliable results, at-home water testing is also beneficial because there is more than one way to do it.

Here are three, including the water bottle test:

Store-Bought Testing Kits

You could go to the store and purchase an at-home water testing kit that comes with all of the materials needed to test your water for hardness. These kits generally have you send the results into a water testing laboratory, which means you will need to pay for postage and wait for your results to come back. Water testing kits are typically very reliable and accurate.

The Water Bottle Test

A more enjoyable way to test your water would be to implement a water bottle test. All you need is an empty plastic water bottle, a pure Castile soap, and your tap water. Take your empty water bottle and fillet 1/3 of the way with water directly from the top. Then add 3 to 4 drops of soap into the bottle. Screw the lid on tightly and vigorously shake the bottle.

Set the bottle down on a flat surface and observe the bubble formation. If your bottle is filled with suds and bubbles, and the water below is mostly clear, you have little to no hard water. However, if your water is cloudy and there’s only a thin layer suds at the top, you have hard water.

Professional Water Quality Testing

The most accurate and comprehensive method for hard water testing would be to hire a professional soft water company in Indianapolis. They have the proper knowledge, materials, and resources to perform precision hardness testing, plus provide and deliver the most compatible solutions to your water quality problems.

Are you ready to have the best water quality for your home or office? Contact Weilhammer Plumbing Company at 317-784-1870 for professional water softening services in Indianapolis, Indiana and its surrounding counties. We serve residential and commercial clients with soft water sales, service, and repair.

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An Explanation of Hard Water

It is a well-known fact that the majority of United States residents have hard water. Although the level of hardness varies throughout the nation, it is arguably safe to say that most of us know what it is like living with crusted plumbing fixtures, poor quality laundry, dingy hair, and dishware that looks like it’s never been washed. Although hard water is a continuous problem for many home and business owners, it doesn’t have to be. Not only is hard water treatable, but it is preventable.

Continue reading to learn more about hard water, including how to eliminate and prevent hard water problems in your home or office.

Soft Water Service Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870
Soft Water Service Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870

Hard Water Facts

Hard water is water that contains high traces of dissolved mineral salts, specifically magnesium, calcium, and iron, but other hard mineral ions as well. Water becomes infiltrated with these hard minerals after falling from the sky as rain, then permeating the various layers of soil, sand, clay, and aggregate in the ground, before finally reaching the underground water table. This means that rain is free of dissolved mineral ions, making it naturally soft water.

Levels of Hardness in Water

Hard water is measured in grains per gallon (GPG) but can also be read in parts per million (PPM) or milligrams of calcium (Ca). It is then applied to a scale from 1 to 15+, ranging from slightly hard to extremely hard. So, the more grains, the harder the water.

Slightly Hard: 3 GPG
Moderately: 3 – 7 GPG
Hard: 7 – 10 GPG
Very Hard: 10 – 14 GPG
Extremely Hard: 15+

You might also see hard water measured on a scale that looks like this:

Soft Water: 0 to 60 mg/L
Moderately Hard: 61 to 120 mg/L
Hard: 121 to 180 mg/L
Very Hard: Over 180 mg/L

As mentioned, the level of water hardness varies regionally, so a state or town might have naturally softer water than their neighboring district. Here in Indianapolis, we are one of the top 6 cities in the nation with the hardest water, coming in at Extremely Hard (15+). If you are dealing with hard water problems in Indianapolis, contact a licensed Indianapolis soft water company to learn your options, today.

The Disadvantages of Living With Hard Water

Hard water costs you money. In all areas that hard water creates problems, every single one of them comes back to spending more hard-earned money. Some of the most common consequences of hard water include problems with laundry, bathing, plumbing, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, dishes, and hair.

Laundry and Bathing:

Hard water does not lather well, which is where it gets its name. Hard water is hard to wash in because it barely lathers soap and takes a long time to rinse away the residues, let alone the dirt. As a result, laundry and bathing are affected by hard water.

Laundry comes out stiff and faded, while showers become challenging and take up more of your time. By the way, longer showers contribute to higher utility bills from increase hot water usage. You also go through more soap, which sends you to the store for more, thus costing you more money.

Plumbing, Fixtures, and Dishware:

Hard water leaves behind unsightly limescale, which looks like white or green colored crust. Generally, you will see this crust formation around plumbing fixtures like faucets and drains. Unfortunately, limescale formation is more than just unpleasing to the eye; it is also damaging to your plumbing-related appliances, like refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashing machines, water heaters, and water softeners.

The scale can form within the lines and tanks of these appliances, causing the appliance to decline in performance and use too much energy. This all results in higher energy bills, as well as premature appliance repairs and replacements. Those dishes that always look dirty, even right after taking them out of the dishwasher, are also a result of limescale.

How to Solve a Hard Water Problem

Installing or upgrading your current water softener is the best solution for a hard water problem. Water softeners condition hard water using an ion exchange technology. Water softeners are the ultimate luxury that come at an affordable and highly-worthwhile cost. Talk to your local soft water professional about getting started with a water softening plan, today.

Would you like to learn more about water softening and water softener service? Contact Weilhammer Plumbing Company at 317-784-1870 for water softener sales, service, and installation in Indianapolis, Indiana. We serve residential and commercial clients.

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What is the Hardness Level of Well Water?

Are you on the market for a new home or business location? Do some of these properties operate on well water? Perhaps you are considering the addition of a well water system to your current home or office? If so, you are likely filled with all sorts of well water questions, namely about hardness. Continue reading to learn whether well water is hard or soft, plus how to test for and get rid of hard water.

Well Water Softening Indianapolis Indiana Well Water Softening Indianapolis Indiana
Well Water Softening Indianapolis Indiana Well Water Softening Indianapolis Indiana

Well Water Comes From the Ground

Rain falls from the skies as naturally softened water. Once it permeates the varying layers of soil, sand, aggregate, bedrock, and more, it accumulated hard solids and minerals, like calcium, magnesium, and iron. Seeing as though well water is generally sourced from a natural or man-made water table beneath the ground, you can safely assume that well water is harder than your standard, municipal tap water.

Hard water cannot always be seen by the naked eye, but you can often spot the signs. Hard water causes limescale buildup around plumbing fixtures like drains and faucets. Water can appear cloudy or have a metallic taste. Dishes tend to accumulate spots or look cloudy after washing them. Laundry and bathing can feel less effectual because hard water does not rather or rinse well. Hair can feel dry or dingy. Skin can feel itchy and dry. There are many signs of hard water. But the guaranteed way to know is through hard water testing.

Testing Well Water Hardness

It is important to test well water for hardness. The level of water hardness varies, regionally. One town might have naturally-softer water than the town next door, and so forth. Testing well water is an important part of the hard water solution process, but also for ensuring safe drinking water.

You can contact your local Indianapolis soft water plumber to schedule an on-site well water test. They have the proper resources and technologies to obtain an accurate reading. You can, however, purchase your own well water testing kit, but these are not always as accurate, and accuracy counts when it comes to developing a viable soft water plan for a well water-using property.

Hard Water Solutions for Wells

Whether your property operates on a well or municipal water, the most effective and proven solution to hard water is water softening. Installing a quality water softener that is the correct size and capacity for your soft water needs is the smart approach to hard water removal. Not only does soft water feel better, taste better, and perform better, but it saves you a lot of money. In addition to saving on water and energy bills, you will also save on shampoo, soap, detergent, clothing, and premature appliance repairs and replacements!

Are you ready to save loads of money by implementing an innovative soft water plan? Contact Weilhammer Plumbing Company at 317-784-1870 for professional water softener service and repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. We serve residential and commercial clients with the most effective and affordable plumbing and water softening services around!

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Best Salt Options for Residential Water Softeners

Water softeners are excellent, money-saving appliances that significantly contribute to your quality of life. Not only do water softening systems remove solid and dissolved minerals from water, making them an effective solution for hard water removal, but they also reduce monthly utility costs by saving homeowners energy and water. Even better, water softeners protect other important plumbing appliances, such as water heaters, washing machines, dishwashers, piping, and more.

By having a water softener, you have already made a wise and impactful decision for your home. Nonetheless, using the right softening salt is another important element of soft water maintenance at home. But which softening salt is best for your water softener? What are the differences between potassium and sodium chloride salt pellets?

Continue below to learn some of the best salt options for residential water softeners, plus where you can get more advice and service for your water softening needs in Indianapolis.

Water Softeners Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870
Water Softeners Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870

Top 2 Water Softener Salt Options

When it comes to choosing a water softening salt, it is important to select a quality product. Lower-quality water softener salts contain high traces of contaminants and water-insoluble matter. Such contaminators can leave behind residues in the water softener tank, which can lead to breakdowns and costly repairs. Although brine tank cleaning can abate the likelihood or frequency of water softener malfunctions, using a good quality water softening salt can eliminate the risk of long-term damage.

Sodium Chloride and Potassium Chloride

The top two options for water softener salt are sodium chloride and potassium chloride. Each water softener salt product is acceptable in most types of water softeners, but one might work better than the other for your water softener unit or softening needs.

Sodium chloride is your traditional water softening salt. Common types include evaporated salt pellets, solar salt pellets, rock salt, and block salt, all of which comes in three forms: pellet, crystal, or block. Evaporated salt is the highest purity water softener salt at 99.9% pure salt, and it comes highly recommended. Solar salt is a close second being 99.6% pure salt.

Rock salt contains high calcium sulfate levels and does not dissolve well. For these reasons, rock salt is not usually recommended because it cause a lot of water softener maintenance issues. Sodium chloride water softener salt will be the more economical buy, as it tends to be less expensive to potassium chloride water softening salt. It tends to be more available as well.

Potassium chloride is another type of water softening salt that works well to regenerate the softening resin. Potassium chloride is great for anyone looking to reduce their sodium intake because it is 99.9% sodium-free. Although a bit pricier and more challenging to come by, potassium chloride water softening salt is an excellent alternative to the traditional water softener salts on the market.

Switching Water Softener Salts

If you have been using sodium chloride and wish to make the switch to potassium chloride water softener salts, you may need to increase the salt dosage by up to 10% to accommodate proper resin bead regeneration.

If you have been using potassium chloride and now wish to switch back to sodium chloride, you can do so without making any major modifications or adjustments. If you increased the salt dosage on the valve when you originally switched to potassium chloride, you may need to adjust this again to accommodate for sodium chloride water softening.

Would you like to learn how to improve your soft water quality at home or in the office? Contact Weilhammer Plumbing Company at 317-784-1870 for licensed and insured water softener services in Indianapolis, Indiana. We serve residential and commercial clients, offering water softener sales, service, and repair! Ask us about our saltless water softeners!

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