Everything You Need to Know About Water Softener Salt

on December 07, 2017 water softener salt

 What is water softener salt? 

Salt is an essential, consumable component of a water softener system. As the name implies, water softener salt is used to treat, or “soften,” hard water. Hard water is water that contains high amounts of minerals like calcium and magnesium, which has negative effects on household appliances, plumbing fixtures, and pipes.

To remove the water's "hardness," water conditioner salt is used in a water purifier to stimulate an ion exchange. During the ion exchange, the minerals in the unfiltered water are exchanged with sodium ions from the salt, the hard minerals are flushed out, and the water becomes "soft." 

Download the Water Softener Salt Infographic

How do I know if I need a water softener? 

To find out if you need a water softener system, you should first determine whether the water in your home is hard or soft. Some states are known for having a higher mineral concentration in their water than others, such as Indiana, which contains well over 180 milligrams of hard minerals per liter of water according to the United States Geological Survey. You can have your water tested by our professionals at Advantage Water Conditioning, or test it yourself.

Some warning signs that you need a water softener include cloudiness in tap water, hard water stains in your shower or bathtub, and reduced efficiency of household appliances such as the washing machine and dishwasher. 

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Where can I get water softener salt? 

Salt used in water softeners usually comes in either crystal or pellet form and can be obtained from many sources, such as hardware stores, grocery stores, and even gas stations. Additionally, water conditioner servicing companies offer softener salt delivery where they will inspect the softener and reload it weekly. These salt routes usually cost the same or less than buying it yourself and offer the added value of maintaining and replenishing your water softener system so you don’t have to.  

If you live in an area where hard water is prevalent, the best place to get specially formulated salt is through your local, specialized water conditioning company. Advantage Water Conditioning provides all customers with 100 pounds of solar salt, which will typically last a normal household about two months. A water conditioning company can also take care of the installation, weekly replenishment, routine operational checks of your system, as well as any emergency repairs. 

Advantage Water Conditioning uses Chemical Equipment Labs Solar Salt, which is crystallized sodium chloride salt that has been washed to remove any impurities on the surface, drained, and then dried by solar evaporation.  

How much salt should be in my water softener for home? 

Salt consumption varies with the type of softener used. Intelligent softeners like Vesta employ customized cycles that match the household and, therefore, use the least amount of softener salt.  Units from big box stores often use salt indiscriminately based on pre-programmed rates, which can be wasteful and negatively impact water quality. Typically, there is an electronic meter on the softener system that measures the levels of minerals and salt by water volume. If you start to notice increased salt consumption with the same water usage, that indicates a problem with the softener system. Similarly, decreased consumption can be an issue as well. 

To find out if your home needs a water softener or if you have questions about our salt delivery services, click below to get in touch with one of our highly-trained technicians.

Speak to an Advantage Water Pro