No matter which make or model salt-based water softener you own, you can choose to fill the brine tank with either traditional sodium chloride salt pellets, or the harder-to-come-by, potassium chloride salt pellets. Both contain salt, and both can be used interchangeably in all tank-style water softeners. Continue reading to learn the difference between the two salt-types, and how they work inside a water softener.
The traditional water softener salt pellet is made from the sodium chloride, a naturally-occurring mineral extracted from in various salt mines or solar evaporation ponds around the globe. This is the mineral used in most tank-style water conditioners. It replaces hard mineral ions with sodium ions to soften water. Sodium chloride salt pellets come in a variety of styles, including pellets, rocks, cubes, crystals, blocks, and more. It is the most commonly used salt pellet for water softening due to its effectiveness and budget-friendly price.
Potassium chloride is another naturally-occurring mineral that works in the exact same way as sodium chloride in water softeners. The only difference is that the hard mineral ions are replaced with potassium rather than sodium. Many people believe potassium chloride is salt-free, but it is actually just another form of salt. Potassium chloride is more difficult to find and comes at a higher price, but it has health benefits for those who live a low-sodium lifestyle.
Which Salt to Use
If the occupants in your home have no pre-existing health concerns related to sodium, and you which to follow a strict budget, then sodium chloride salt pellets is a good choice for your water softener. For those who monitor their overall sodium intake or prefer an eco-friendly option, potassium chloride is a wise choice.