Water Softener Salt Series: How Water Softener Salt Helps Your Water Softener

How does water softener salt help your water softener? Is it necessary and what does it actually do? In this final segment of our Water Softener Salt Series we will answer the question how does water softener salt help your water softener?

We will explain the function of salt in the softening process, tell you how you can determine the quality of water softener salt, and help you decide which type of salt to buy. The professionals at WaterSmart systems can answer any and all of your water salt or softener questions.

We have been in the home water business in the Kitchener-Waterloo region for more than 25 years, so we know water. Contact us today and let us help you choose the best water softener and salt for your family's needs.


"My wife and I recently purchased a home that did not have a water softener since the house was built. One company advised us to use the plumbing stack for drainage because of the location of the main water pipe, this was understandable. However, Watersmart advised us with a better alternative. Since they were licensed plumbers, they were able to find a location to cut some water pipes, and install the water softener near our laundry drain. They are very skilled professionals, and have great customer service. We also bought a reverse osmosis from them. They gave us detailed instructions on how to operate the softener and reverse osmosis. I would recommend these guys. Thank you Watersmart."

-William - Read more customer comments


Do You Need a Water Softener?

 If you live in an area that has hard water, then you may want to consider purchasing a water softener. Even though hard water is safe to drink it does have some big drawbacks such as:

  • It can cause mineral build ups in your pipes thus damaging them

  • It can cause mineral deposits on appliances such as your hot water tank causing them to wear out faster

  • It is harder on your clothing

  • It requires you to use more soap to get things clean

How Does Water Softener Salt Help Your Water Softener?

 So how does water softener salt help your water softener? Is it necessary? What does it actually do? Your water softener is made up of two separate chambers. The first chamber is called a resin tank and it contains resin beads. The water softening actually takes place inside the resin tank. The second chamber is called a brine tank and it contains the water softener salt.


Ion Exchange Takes Place To Remove Hardness

Water softeners use a chemical process called ion exchange in order to make your hard water soft. Hard water contains minerals or ions such as calcium and magnesium and sometimes manganese, iron, and radium, which make your water hard. The water softener's job is to get rid of these hardness ions and thus leave you with softer water. But how does this happen?


Positively Charged Minerals Attach to Negatively Charged Resin Beads

 Inside your resin tank, you will find negatively charged resin beads which have positively charged sodium ions magnetically attached to them. If you remember from your high school science classes, negative ions are attracted to positive ions. Your water softener pumps your hard water through this bed of resin beads. The positively charged hardness ions are then exchanged with the sodium ions.


Salt Brine Washes Away The Hard Ions During Regeneration

 After a while, the resin beads will fill up with hardness ions and they won't be able to attract anymore. At this point, the beads will need "recharging" or regeneration. Your water softener will go offline and the brine tank will start to work. Salt brine from the brine tank is pumped into the resin tank during regeneration.

The salt brine washes away the hardness ions and replaces them with a fresh layer of sodium ions. Once the regeneration is finished, the water softener can then go back online and start softening water again.


Do I Need To Purchase High-Quality Water Softener Salt?


The cheapest type of water softener salt that you can buy is rock salt. Rock salt is a naturally occurring mineral that is found underground and it contains minerals that can leave a build up in your tank meaning you will need to clean it out a few times per year. Solar salt is created when seawater is evaporated by the sun.

It is more soluble than rock salt but it may have difficulty coping with extremely hard water. Evaporated salts are usually the most expensive type of salt, however, they are the purest. They are the least likely to cause a build up in your water softener.



How Can I Determine The Quality Of A Water Softener Salt?


You can tell the quality of water softener salt by looking at its purity. The closer the salt is to 100% pure, the higher the quality. However, the purer the salt, the more expensive it is to buy.


Which Type of Salt Should You Buy?


The best answer is to ask your water softener dealer which type of salt will work best for your particular brand of water softener. If any type of salt will work equally well then ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you on a Budget? Rock salt is the least expensive.

  • Do you want your water softener to last longer? Evaporated salt is the purest form of salt so it is less likely to leave a damaging build up.

  • Are you on a reduced sodium diet? Potassium Chloride does not contain sodium so it is the healthier choice for those who are on a restricted sodium diet.  


WaterSmart - The Best Choice For Water Softening

 WaterSmart is a locally owned, family run business that has been servicing the Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge and surrounding areas for over two decades. We know this area and the unique water challenges it presents. We understand water softeners and we know which type of softener would be the best to meet your particular needs. If you need to purchase a new water softener or if your current softener isn't performing the way it should, contact us. We sell the best water softeners available for our area and we service any other make or model that you may have, even if you didn't purchase your softener from us.