If you’ve considered buying a water softener, you probably know that there are a few different kinds that you can buy. But after you’ve made the decision as to which kind will be best for you, there are still more decisions to be made. The biggest one is what kind of salt you will use in the softener. This is what actually softens the water and there are three different types you can use. These are: rock, solar, and evaporated salt. So, how do you know which one will work best for you?
Rock salt is a natural mineral that is found underground. This type of rock can be found in both crystal and pellet form. Rock salt is made from mostly sodium chloride with a small amount of calcium sulphate as well. Although rock salt is the cheapest form of salt that you can buy, it also requires the most maintenance. This is because, due to its hard nature, it is not easily dissolved in water. Because of this, the water softener reservoir needs to be cleaned much more frequently, which means more maintenance for the homeowner.
Evaporated salt is generally the most preferred type of salt for use. This salt is also found underground but because it’s mined in its evaporated form, it is much more water soluble. This means that the water tank won’t need to be cleaned nearly as often. Evaporated salt is also comprised of 100% sodium chloride, which is what works best in water softeners.
Solar salt falls in the middle of the three categories. Solar salt contains approximately 85% sodium chloride, so the water will be receiving more of the salt solution with solar salt than rock salt but not as much as evaporated salt. Also, solar salt is a bit more water soluble than rock salt meaning that the reservoir won’t need to be cleaned as often. However, because solar salt is not as water soluble than evaporated salt, it still needs to be cleaned quite regularly.
Some homeowners like to supplement the best kind of salt, evaporated salt, with a salt such as rock salt in order to save costs. While this isn’t considered to be extremely harmful for the water softener, it can cause the softener to clog much more easily. This can cause some problems and repairs may need to be made. Because of this, it’s generally best to use only one kind of salt in a water softener.