Block salt and water softeners have become a topic of interest for homeowners seeking clean and safe drinking water. As a homeowner, you may be considering using block salt in your water softener, but it’s crucial to understand the potential risks involved.
While block salt can be used in water softeners, it’s not ideal due to potential impurities from added bonding agents. These impurities can affect your water quality and reduce the performance of your water softener. I recommend using high-quality salt pellets for better results.
In this article, we will uncover the truth about block salt in water softeners and why it might not be the ideal solution for your home. Read on to learn about the potential hazards and what you can do to ensure the best water quality for your family.
Read my comprehensive article on water softener salt.
Table of Contents
What is Block Salt?
Before we delve deeper into the potential risks of using block salt in water softeners, it’s essential to understand what block salt is and how it’s made.
How is block salt made?
Block salt is created by pressing and compacting granulated or crushed salt into solid, rectangular blocks. This process often requires the addition of bonding agents to help the salt particles stick together and maintain the block’s shape. These bonding agents can introduce impurities that may be detrimental to your water softener’s performance.
Common uses of block salt
Block salt is commonly used in various applications, such as water softening, agriculture, and industrial settings. Its compact and solid form makes it easy to handle, store, and transport. In the context of water softening, block salt is used as the primary source of sodium ions necessary for the ion-exchange process that removes hardness minerals like calcium and magnesium from water.
However, as mentioned earlier, the use of block salt in water softeners is not ideal due to the potential risks associated with added impurities. It’s crucial for homeowners to be aware of these risks and consider high-quality salt alternatives to ensure the best water quality and softener performance.
|Block salt is not the ideal choice for water softeners due to potential impurities introduced by bonding agents.|
|Evaporated salt pellets and solar salt are high-quality and effective alternatives for water softening.|
|Rock salt and salt crystals may be less expensive but contain more impurities and minerals that can cause scaling and reduce effectiveness.|
|The best salt option for your water softener is Pellets because of their quality, purity, and overall effectiveness.|
Block Salt and Water Softeners: A Risky Combination?
Let’s dig into the potential risks of using block salt in water softeners and how it may affect the overall water quality and softener performance.
Bonding agents and impurities
One of the primary concerns with block salt is the bonding agents used to form the blocks. These agents often introduce additional impurities into the salt, which can compromise your water quality. When these impurities are dissolved in your water softener, they may lead to various issues, such as scaling, reduced efficiency, and even damage to the softener unit.
Impact on water softener performance
Block salt’s added impurities can have a negative impact on your water softener’s performance. The impurities can cause the softener’s resin bed to become less effective at removing hardness minerals from your water, requiring more frequent regeneration cycles. This not only increases your water and salt consumption but may also shorten the lifespan of your water softener.
Alternatives to block salt
Although block salt is not the ideal choice for water softeners, there are other high-quality alternatives available. Solar salt and evaporated salt pellets are both excellent options that provide a more consistent and cleaner salt source for your water softener. These salts have fewer impurities, ensuring your softener operates at peak efficiency and maintains optimal water quality for your home.
In conclusion, while block salt can technically be used in water softeners, it’s not the best option due to the potential risks associated with added impurities.
The Pros and Cons of Using Block Salt in Water Softeners
Block salt is not the ideal choice for water softeners due to the potential risks of impurities introduced by bonding agents. However, it’s still important to understand the potential benefits and drawbacks of using block salt in your water softener.
- Convenient and easy to handle, store, and transport
- More affordable than other salt alternatives
- Potential impurities introduced by bonding agents during manufacturing process
- Impurities can affect water quality, reduce efficiency, and cause scaling and other issues
- Dissolves more slowly than other salt alternatives, leading to uneven distribution and inadequate water softening
How Block Salt Impurities Can Affect Your Water Quality
Block salt may contain impurities that can compromise your water quality and lead to various issues. Here are some of the ways block salt impurities can affect your water quality:
The impurities in block salt can cause scale formation, which can build up in your water softener’s resin bed, plumbing fixtures, and appliances. This build-up can reduce water flow, damage equipment, and affect the taste and odor of your water.
Reduced softening efficiency
Block salt impurities can interfere with the ion-exchange process that removes hardness minerals from your water. This interference can reduce your water softener’s efficiency, leading to hard water issues like soap scum, dry skin, and reduced water flow.
Poor water quality
Block salt impurities can also affect the overall quality of your water. These impurities can cause cloudiness, discoloration, or a foul odor and taste in your water. This can be unappetizing and potentially harmful to your health.
Related articles about water softener salt:
Is Your Water Softener Using Too Much Salt? Learn How to Fix It Now!
Standing Water in Your Water Softener Salt Tank? 12 Solutions
How Long Can a Water Softener Go Without Salt?
Salt Block Brands
There are several brands of block salt available for use in water softeners. Here are some of the most popular options:
SureSoft Brine Block
SureSoft Brine Block Water Softener Salt removes minerals and delivers water that is gentler to skin, appliances, and plumbing. The salt is washed, filtered, dried, screened, and compacted into blocks for use in water softener systems. The product contains 99.87% pure salt and comes in a 50-pound block.
Diamond Crystal Iron Fighter Salt Block
Diamond Crystal Iron Fighter Salt Block for Water Softeners is formulated for use where the iron content in water is high. The block prevents rust stains on household fixtures and decreases rust buildup. The product is virtually 100% water-soluble and can be used in any water softening unit. The block is available in a 50-pound size.
Tru-Soft Solar Brine Blocks
Tru-Soft Solar Brine Blocks for Water Softening are produced from solar salt, which is made using the natural clean energy of the sun and wind on a salt lake in Carlsbad, New Mexico. The blocks are a good solution for water softener systems, as they are easy to carry, load, and store. Less scale buildup on tubs, showers, and fixtures from hard water can help increase the lifespan of pipes, fittings, heaters, boilers, and other appliances. The blocks are available in a 50-pound size.
This table provides a summary of available block salt.
|SureSoft Brine Block||99.87% Pure Salt||2274902||50 lbs., .42 cu. ft./Block||50|
|Diamond Crystal Iron Fighter Salt Block||Not specified||Not specified||50 lb||50.500 lb|
|Tru-Soft Solar Brine Blocks||Solar Salt||Not specified||Not specified||Not specified|
What is the Best Salt for Water Softeners?
When it comes to choosing the best salt for your water softener, it’s essential to consider the quality, purity, and effectiveness of the salt. Here are the various types of softener salt available:
Block salt is a type of salt that’s formed into blocks and used in some water softeners. While block salt may seem like a convenient and affordable option, it can contain impurities that can affect your water quality and reduce your water softener’s efficiency.
Salt crystals are easy to find and affordable. They’re formed by evaporating saltwater in large pans and then processing the salt further to remove impurities. Salt crystals are effective at softening water but may leave residue in your tank.
Salt pellets formed by evaporating brine under vacuum conditions, which results in high-purity salt pellets. Evaporated pellets are effective and easy to handle and store, making them a convenient choice for homeowners.
Check out my article on salt pellets for water softeners.
Rock salt is mined from underground deposits. While rock salt may be less expensive than other salt options, it contains more impurities and minerals that can cause scaling and reduce the effectiveness of your water softener.
Solar salt is made by evaporating seawater or brine in open-air salt ponds. This process results in a high-purity, natural salt that’s effective at softening water. Solar salt is also eco-friendly and dissolves quickly, providing consistent and even water softening.
Potassium chloride offers an eco-friendly and health-conscious alternative for water softeners, matching the effectiveness of conventional salt while efficiently regenerating ion exchange resin. It is compatible with most water softening systems and provides environmental and health benefits, despite being slightly more expensive than sodium chloride.
Salt comparison table
|Block Salt||Convenient and affordable||Can contain impurities that affect water quality and softener efficiency|
|Crystals||Easy to find and affordable||May leave residue in your tank|
|Pellets||High-purity, effective, easy to handle and store||More expensive than other salt alternatives|
|Rock Salt||Less expensive||Contains more impurities and minerals that can cause scaling and reduce effectiveness|
|Solar Salt||Natural, high-purity, eco-friendly, dissolves quickly, consistent softening||May contain more water-insoluble matter, more expensive|
My recommendation for the best water softener salt
I only use pellets in my water softener, and you should too. Pellets are high-quality, pure, and prevent common salt problems like bridging and salt buildup along the walls of the brine tank.
Most brands offer pellet salt in 99.9% purity. Despite their high cost, pellets are worth every penny.
When it comes to choosing the best salt for your water softener, it’s important to consider the quality, purity, and effectiveness of the salt. Block salt may be convenient, but its potential risks and inefficient softening make it a less than ideal choice.
High-quality salt alternatives like evaporated pellets and solar salt offer effective, pure, and eco-friendly solutions for water softening. While other salt options like rock salt and salt crystals may be less expensive, they contain more impurities and minerals that can cause scaling and reduce effectiveness.
Investing in high-quality salt and keeping up with the maintenance are essential to prolong the lifespan of your water softener and ensure optimal water quality.