Are you tired of dealing with the effects of hard water in your home? You may be considering a water softener but feel overwhelmed by the choices between salt-based and salt-free systems. Why should you carry bags of salt if there is a salt-free alternative, right? Before making a decision, it’s crucial to understand how these systems work and their benefits and limitations.
Salt-Based Water Softeners: Ion Exchange Process
A salt-based water softener employs an ion exchange process to remove hard minerals like calcium and magnesium from your water. As the water flows through the resin tank, calcium ions are swapped with sodium ions, preventing the hard minerals from entering your home’s plumbing.
When the resin beads become saturated with calcium, the system enters a regeneration phase. During this process, brine water is drawn into the water softener, releasing the calcium from the resin beads, which is then flushed down the drain. The system returns to its softening function, reducing the hardness of your water significantly. In San Antonio, where the average hardness is 20 grains per gallon, a salt-based softener can reduce it to 1 grain per gallon or less.
Salt-Free Water Conditioners: A Different Approach
It’s essential to note that salt-free systems are not water softeners, but water conditioners. Instead of removing hard minerals, they alter the water’s chemistry, preventing calcium and magnesium from sticking to your pipes and appliances. However, this means that the water entering your home remains hard.
The calcium still exists in the water droplets, which can leave white residue on shower doors, dishes, and laundry. In San Antonio, where water hardness can exceed 20 grains per gallon, a salt-free system might not provide the desired results. In areas with less hardness, salt-free conditioners could offer satisfactory outcomes.
Choose the Right System for Your Needs
When deciding between a salt-based or salt-free water treatment system, consider your location, water hardness levels, and desired results. If you’re unsure which system is best for your home, consult with a water treatment professional for guidance.
For more information about our Water Softeners, feel free to call us at (210) 960-2555 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a common question, all water softeners will work off either one. Salt and potassium used to be close in cost but that is not the case anymore. There is a large price difference in them anymore for example Salt prices is average $6 and Potassium is $23. Water Softener system will use the same amount with salt or potassium so most people use salt.
People who are on very low sodium diets need to contact their doctor to find out what is best for them. If it is too much sodium for their health, then the option is to have a reverse osmosis system that will remove 97.5% of the sodium in the water. It is more economical to maintain the reverse osmosis than regenerating with potassium. Most people on city water with city sewage do use salt on the other hand Potassium will help our environment.
People who have septic tanks may also consider using potassium. Look into where the drain is going from the water softener. Some builders will drain to the ground somewhere. Other builders drain to the septic tank. Newer septic tanks have a fourth chamber just for the water softener. If it is lateral find out where the lateral lines are.
High content of sodium is not good for vegetation. If you have an aerobic system that will be spaying out from your septic to protect your vegetation and some trees you may consider using potassium. You have to try and see what works for you. Some people who have a large area will consider using salt and drain the water softener off to a specific area and make a rock garden where they can contain the salt in one specific area. Talk to your septic tank people and discuss your options. It seems there is no set rules each septic tank company will have their own views.
This will be decisions you will need to make for yourself each situation will bring its own special issues.
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at Simple Water Softeners. You can call (210) 960-2555 or use this contact us form.
With San Antonio city water specifically, anyone should use around 1 to 1 ½ bags of salt per month (40Lb bags). Put 3 to 5 bags each quarterly year and all should be good. The hardness of the water and size of softener will determine the amount of salt it will require for each regeneration. If a system is sized correctly, it should regenerate about once a week, so at the end of the month using 1 to 1 1/2 bags of salt. (Calculations are with average of 4 in household) **Water softeners should not regenerate every night.**
If you are on well water systems the hardness of the water will determine how much salt you will use. Some houses have hard water 148 over by our office. But typical San Antonio water is 16 to 22 hard typically. There are different levels of water hardness throughout the city.
Salt comes in different forms; crystals, pellets, tabs, grained, etc. The bags are actually color coded while crystals and solar salt come in the blue bags. Pellets come in yellow bags. Green bags are for people on well water that need to treat their water for iron. The manufactures tend to change the look of some of the bag however, the color system stays in place, regardless of hue.
If you want more information about how much and how often should my water softener be needing salt please call me at (210) 960-2555 or email us at email@example.com.
First let’s clarify the salt in the brine tank is used when a water softener goes through regeneration. Regeneration if the unit has been sized properly for the family living in the house it should go through regeneration about once every seven to ten days.
In San Antonio which has very hard water a system should use between 12 and 18 lbs. of salt per regeneration for average family. This would apply to city water not well water systems. Water softeners today work off gallons going through the system.
A house with one person with a 30,000-grain unit will go through a 50Lb bag of salt every five to six weeks. A house with four people if softener is sized correctly a 45,000 or 60,000 grain unit a little more than a 50Lb. bag a month.
If you are using multiple bags per month and you have city water probably your softener is not working properly, or it is sized incorrect for your household.
If you want more information about how much salt should water softener use please give us a call at (210) 960-2555 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.