What is Water Softener Salt? Salt Versus Salt-free & How to Refill
Hard water causes limescale that blocks pipes and appliances, makes hair appear dull, reduces the effectiveness of soap and detergent, irritates skin conditions and affects the taste of food cooked in it. Soft water solves all these problems and can improve your quality of life.
Water softeners work in different ways, essentially using a process with or without salt. One of these will be best for you and will dictate your choice of water softener.
Kinetico Water Softener Salt or Salt-free - Which is Best?
Traditional water softeners use Kinetico water softener salt in a process called ion exchange to remove hardness from water. The hard water runs across a resin bed and exchanges the hard ions of calcium and magnesium for soft ions. Once the soft ions are exhausted, the system is regenerated by cleaning the hard ions, which are flushed away in waste water, and replaced with soft ions using sodium or potassium.
A salt-free system doesn't actually remove the hardness minerals but instead crystallizes them using a process called sequestration, so they don't form scale. As a result, the water isn't made soft but the bad effects are reduced.
Both solutions will treat hard water but only a salt-based system will create soft water. A salt-free system may be sufficient if your water is only slightly hard but, in more serious cases, only a salt-based system will clear all the problems and provide full benefits. In some regions, however, salt-based systems are banned due to environmental concerns over the waste water, so you may have no choice.
What is the Best Salt for a Kinetico Water Softener and How to Use it?
Water softeners can't just use any available salt. For example, rock salt is too coarse and can contain dirt and debris that can clog the equipment and cause damage. Instead, use only a high-quality salt for a Kinetico water softener, such as own-brand Kinetico water softener salt blocks or another brand such as Diamond Crystal Bright and Soft Salt Pellets.
To perform at its best, the water softener needs to be kept replenished with salt and you should check the level periodically to see if more is needed. Kinetico has an optional monitor that will warn if levels are low, or you can lift the lid to the brine tank and look inside. If no salt is showing above the water level, you need to add more.
Add salt to the tank until it shows above the water. Don't fill the tank completely since this will cause the salt to harden and form a salt bridge — a hard clump of salt that won't dissolve.
When you've used the water softener, especially Kinetico's water softener for a while, you'll be aware of how much salt it uses and how often you need to refill it. This will depend on the amount of water you use and how hard it is, although Kinetico water softeners use less salt than most other makes.
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