Perhaps it is the time of the year when you have to refill the salt in your Kinetico water softener and you’re wondering whether the salt you are using is right. Is it suitable to use potassium chloride instead of your usual sodium chloride?
You can absolutely use potassium chloride in a Kinetico water softener. Potassium chloride is commonly used in residential water softeners because it eliminates sodium and is perceived by many to be more environmentally friendly than sodium chloride.
To maintain the optimal performance of your water softener, you have a choice between conventional salt (sodium chloride) and potassium chloride. In this article, we’ll discuss the functionality of potassium chloride in the softener, what factors might make it a good substitute for NaCl salt pellets, the significance of salt in Kinetico water softeners, and when you should consider potassium chloride for your water softener.
Read my comprehensive article about water softener salt.
Is Potassium Chloride a Good Substitute for Salt?
Although it is true that Kinetico water softeners need only a little maintenance, they do require adding salt or another appropriate regenerant from time to time. For that purpose, salt – the sodium chloride solution – has been the default agent to regenerate the resin beads since the modern water softeners were developed.
However, since the market for water softeners started rapidly spreading, it has raised many concerns, from environmental and economical to health issues. Mainly, excessive sodium consumption, especially for people with hypertension conditions, started causing serious health issues.
In such circumstances, other alternatives became one of the solutions to counter the excessive salt intake and discharge. Specifically, potassium chloride, KCl, earned its place to be an effective and significant regenerant alternative.
Potassium chloride is 99.9% free of sodium and normally comes in the form of pellets. It is a salt that has a high concentration of potassium ions. This makes it effective at removing calcium from the water. Calcium is known to cause scale build-up in pipes and other plumbing fixtures.
Let’s look at the main factors determining why or why not you should use potassium chloride in your Kinetico water softener.
Beneficial for environment
It is important to note that both plants and humans are thought to benefit from the nutrients found in potassium chloride. On the other hand, studies have discovered that sodium chloride in water can negatively affect your plants.
Since potassium chloride is also thought to have a positive effect as a fertilizer, its discharge into the environment might be better than salt (NaCl).
Potassium chloride is a healthy nutrient
Not only does potassium benefit plants, it is also a healthy human nutrient. Since our bodies do not produce potassium, we ingest it from our diets and water intake. So, if sodium is substituted for potassium, we can make our water intake healthier.
Up to 11% of the daily potassium minimum can be found in water that has been softened with potassium chloride, which is quite the opposite of NaCl, which can be harmful to people with conditions such as kidney disease or hypertension.
For further information on this, consider the following video that shows how replacing salt intake with Potassium Chloride can positively affect your health.
It can be costly
Although potassium chloride has many benefits, it is significantly more expensive than sodium chloride. Moreover, It is also quite hard to find as compared to salt pellets. So if you are looking for a more affordable and available reagent, sodium chloride might be your best choice.
Potassium causes bridging
Another problem you might encounter while using potassium is that this regenerant can clump together, eventually making it harder for it to dissolve into the brine. This can cause bridging inside the water softener. Bridging is when the salt clumps together and causes a bridge that, as a result, does not come in contact with the water.
However, this only happens if either an excessive amount of regenerant was added or there was a change in temperature. You can also use any tool to break up the bridges in the softener yourself, so this does not become much of a worry.
Significance of Salt in Kinetico Water Softeners
It is an established fact that without salt, water softeners have no use and wouldn’t exist at all. We can also say that the world of water softeners revolves around water softener salt.
This is because water softeners depend on brine, which is a mixture of salt and water. The salt in brine ensures that the resin beads that remove the minerals that produce hard water in water softeners can remain in good condition.
Hence it is important that you pay a lot of attention to what salt you put in them. These water softener salts are specially designed for your water softeners to make them work efficiently.
When Should You Consider Potassium Chloride
It is important that you regularly check whether you are using the safest options for your environment and health. It is the same with water softeners and the type of salt you use in them, as it is your basic water supply.
If you have health issues due to sodium intake, such as heart disease, you should immediately consider changing the salt to potassium chloride. Even when you don’t have any diseases and are only watching your diet with some restrictions on your intake, potassium chloride can become a very good option for your water softeners.
Potassium Chloride can be a very healthy change to your lifestyle, as it is better for the environment and your health than sodium chloride.
Although, you should always remember to test the salt by starting out small and adding only a little bit at a time to see how it works for you. A water softener expert help might help you in your decision, but we hope this article will suffice!