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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FAQS About Water Softeners and Hard Water

Rain water is naturally soft water. But once it enters the ground and permeates through all the layers of soil and rock, it accumulates mineral content. Hard water is tap water that contain hard mineral ions, such as iron, calcium, and magnesium. These minerals change the composition of water, thus reducing its quality. When heated, these minerals precipitate out of the water in the form of limescale. Limescale is very damaging to everything in your home, from plumbing and appliances, to dishes, hair, nails, and more. Fortunately, a water softening system can combat the negative effects of hard water.

Continue reading to review some of the most frequently asked questions about water softeners and hard water for help determining the best water quality solutions for your property.

Water Softener Installation and Repair 317-784-1870
Water Softener Installation and Repair 317-784-1870

How Can I Tell if I Have Hard Water?

The signs of hard water are very easy to see. In fact, if you are displeased with your water, it is probably because it is hard. If you do not think much about your tap water, nor have problems with the things that hard water damages, you might have softer water in your municipality. But that does not mean it is as soft as it can be. To test if you have hard water, simply do an inspection of your house, clothes, dishes, and hair. If you see limescale buildup around faucets and plumbing fixtures, or you always have cloudy spots on your dishes, you have some degree of hard water. Furthermore, if your clothes do not seem to clean well, your soap doesn’t lather well, or your hair seems dingy and dull, you could have hard water.

What Does a Water Softener Do?

Water softeners use ion-exchange technology, which basically trades soft minerals for hard ones. Inside a tank-style water softener, which are the most common among residential properties, there are resin beads. These beads are positively charged, and as water passes through them, they attract and absorb the negatively-charged hard minerals, and swapping them for softener ones; usually potassium chloride (salt pellets). The resin beads then flush the hard minerals out, recharge, and get ready for another cycle.

Do I Need a Water Softener?

Everyone can use a water softener, especially when property has any water-using appliances or plumbing. There are various reasons to purchase and install a water softening system at home or in the office, but it call comes down to hard water abatement. Hard water can be harmful to skin, hair, nails, clothes, plumbing, appliances, dishware, and much more.

How Much Does a Water Softener Cost?

Water softeners are incredibly important and highly effective appliances that actually save properties money, overtime. For this reason, you can expect them to cost more than the average appliance in your home, upfront. Furthermore, you have to also pay for installation, and down the line, routine maintenance and service. On average, you can expect a standard tank-style water softener to cost between $1000 and $3000, depending on the make, model, and size.

How Much is Water Softener Installation?

You will require the services of a licensed plumber who specializes in water softeners for installation. Costs vary among businesses, but on average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $600 or more for water softener installation. Request free estimates from various plumbers to gain an idea of what a fair cost looks like.

Where Can I Get Trusted Advice About Water Softening in Indianapolis?

Call Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. at 317-784-1870 for free estimates, advice, and information regarding water softeners, anytime. Not only are we state-licensed master plumbers who specialize in water softener service and repair, we gladly provide recommendations and advice, including hard water testing. Whether residential or commercial, we can provide all the water heater services you need. Call 317-784-1870 to get started.

Deciding Between a Single-Tank and Twin Tank Water Softener

When it comes time to purchase a new water softener, you will be faced with an endless selection of sizes, features, upgrades, and additions. Before diving into the market, it helps to review some common water conditioning terminology for help understanding the difference between the water softener systems you wish to compare. A good starting point is water softener size and capacity. Basically, you will need to decide whether or not your property requires a single or twin-tank system.  

Continue reading to learn the difference between each type of water softening system, and use your new-found knowledge to make an educated decision for your water conditioning needs.

Water Softener Repair and Service 317-784-1870
Water Softener Repair and Service 317-784-1870

Water Softener Size

The most important part of choosing a water softener for your home or building is to match the proper size to the property’s hard water removal needs. In order to do this accurately, it helps to discuss hard water management with a licensed, Indianapolis master plumber who specializes in soft water services. Otherwise, you will need to teach yourself how to calculate the proper size water softener.

Water softener capacity is measured in “grain removal” and in the United States, the average gallon of water has 10 grains of hardness in it. To calculate how much “grains” your establishment uses, you need to know that the average person uses around 80 gallons of water each day. You can get a more detailed explanation of estimating water softener capacity by reading, “How to Calculate Water Softener Size.”

The basic formula is as follows:

(Gallons Per Day x Number of Occupants) x Grains Per Gallon = Total Grains Used Each Day

Single-Tank Water Softening System

A single tank water softener system consists of a single cabinet that holds both the brine tank and the resin tank. This compact design allows it to fit into small spaces, making them perfect for apartments and single-family homes. These water softeners are also referred to as, “on-demand” systems, which monitors your water consumption by the gallon. Once capacity is achieved, the system will regenerate during off-times, such as the middle of the night or early morning. This process provides soft water at all times. For properties with fewer than five occupants, single-tank systems are an efficient choice.

Twin-Tank Water Softening System

A twin-tank water softener system is better suited for properties with more occupants. It consists of two resin tanks, rather than just one found in single-tank systems, as well as a brine tank. One resin tank provides soft water all day long, while the other tank regenerates. Although the duel-tank design takes up more floor space, it is an efficient choice for large families. They are generally more expensive than single-tank systems since they are larger and come with a backup tank.

Where to Get Water Softener Help

Weilhammer Plumbing Company 317-784-1870

Call Weilhammer Plumbing Company at 317-784-1870 for affordable water softener service in Indianapolis, Indiana. We offer a wide range of standard and master plumber services for residential and commercial properties, and specialize in water softener installation and repair for all make and model units. We also carry a full line of quality Clack™ water softeners for sale at contractor prices! Request a free estimate, today.