Anyone who has a water softener needs to know at least a little bit about water softening salts. These salts remove the potentially damaging ingredients (things like magnesium and calcium) from the water and leave behind water that is safe to drink, cook with, and bathe in. While most people know that salt is necessary for water softening, they may not know much about the different salt options. Read on to learn about three types of salt for your water softener.
Evaporated Salt: Salt Through Super-Mining
Evaporated salt is the purest type of salt available for water softener systems. This kind of salt is mined deep beneath the earth's surface. To create the salt, water is sent down special shafts that end directly in the salt beds. This water will then become heavily saturated with the pure salt.
This water, known as brine, is then suctioned back to the surface of the earth and placed in a vacuum evaporator. The salt crystals left behind are virtually pure sodium chloride, which is the purest and best option for a water softener system. This ultra-pure type of salt leaves only the barest traces of insoluble material behind, which means that the water softener system can process even the hardest of hard waters. The high purity comes with a correspondingly high price, however, at least when compared to the next two options.
Solar Salt: The Solution From The Sea
Solar salt is another naturally occurring salt solution for water softening systems. This kind of salt is harvested by collecting water from the sea and allowing it to evaporate. The salt that is left behind after evaporation is primarily sodium chloride.
Solar salt is usually composed of many tiny crystals that are about the size of small pebbles. More rarely, solar salt may be pressed into pellets. This kind of salt contains more insoluble materials than evaporated salt does. Thus, it is generally not considered as good as evaporated salt, especially for areas with very hard water. This is a good middle ground option, however, since it is cheaper than evaporated salt but more costly than the next option, rock salt.
Rock Salt: An Offering From the Earth
Rock salt, also called Halite, is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in soil. This kind of salt is harvested from underground deposits using drills and picks. Rock salt is primarily sodium chloride (the same as solar and evaporated salt) and leaves behind a small amount of calcium sulfate. It appears in crystal form and can look almost diamond-like due to its transparency.
Rock salt is the cheapest of the three options. However, it does leave behind higher levels of insoluble matter (the calcium sulfate) than either solar salt or evaporated salt. This means that it requires changing more often and may require considerably more frequent water softener system cleaning.
Talk to your local water softener company about which of these salts will work best for your water softener system. One of them will be ideal for both water purity and your pocketbook! For more information, consider contacting the professionals at Pure Flow Water Company.