Interior Decorating Information

The Functions and Benefits Water Softener Salt

Hard water causes an array of problems in home and industrial settings. Soap doesn't lather or rinse well, clothing, skin, and hair feel stiff or sticky after washing, and dishes appear dirty after having been run through the dishwasher. Worst of all, plumbing can become clogged when scale builds up. All of this is caused by minerals in the water. The most common minerals that cause water hardness are magnesium and calcium.

Hard water, water with a high mineral content, is softened by flushing the water through a tank that contains negatively charged plastic beads. Typically, these beads are bonded with a salt, whose components have a weaker hydrogen bond than that of calcium or magnesium. When hard water is run through the unit, the sodium ions change place on the beads with the ions of the harder mineral.

Water softener salt consists of either sodium chloride or potassium chloride. The salt comes in several different forms. Which water softener salt is used depends on the type of water softener unit, household size and preference of the user. The use of sodium chloride raises the sodium content of the household water supply, however, only those with extreme sodium sensitivity or high blood pressure assume any health risk. It is also recommended that softened water not be used to water plants. Filtered or bottled water should be kept on hand for cooking, consumption, and the like. Potassium chloride is also an alternative choice, though it tends to be 3 to 4 times as expensive as sodium chloride.

There are three types of water softener salt obtained by mining or evaporation. Solar salt comes from evaporated seawater, is packaged as pellets or crystals and is more soluble than rock salt, which is mined. Use of rock salt makes it necessary to clean the water softener unit more often due to the calcium sulfate content. (Calcium sulfate is insoluble). The purest and most soluble of the three forms of water softener salt is evaporated salt. While it is the most expensive of the three forms, it is also the most convenient, because it leaves less sediment, which translates to less cleaning of the water softener. It is recommended that you replenish the salt about every two weeks and that you keep the salt level at about half.

When it comes to softening household water, the user is usually the best judge of which water softener to use and the type of salt to operate it with. When making your decision, be sure to consider how many people live in the house and how much water is used. When deciding on the type of salt to use, you may want to think about how easy the water softener is to access and to maintain.

Water Softeners Info provides detailed information about magnetic and ionic exchange water softeners, home water softener systems and kits, product reviews and comparisons, water softener salt, and more. Water Softeners Info is the sister site of Dishwashers Web.

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