Water Softener pellets or crystals, which one to choose?

water softener salt pellets or crystals

Water Softener pellets or crystals compared

Water is said to be “hard” when it contains a high amount of dissolved minerals. Water softeners help remove water hardness by bringing the minerals together and are, therefore, used to soften the water in our homes, business buildings, and pools.

Water softeners come in either pelleted or crystal form, and choosing between these two available options can be difficult if you don’t understand the difference in their use.

Why bother about minerals in your tap water?

Aside from affecting the taste of your tap water, dissolved minerals like iron, manganese, and magnesium can result in plumbing issues by causing scale buildup in the water pipes. This can lower the flow of water to your delivery systems and reduce the efficiency of the water heater, dishwasher, water pump, and furnace.

Hard water also makes cleaning agents such as soaps and detergents less effective, resulting in yellowing or stained laundry, as well as stained dishes and sinks.

On top of that, it’s dehydrating to the skin, makes house cleaning a chore, and raises the amount of hair shampoo and conditioner required to clean your hair and body, not to mention that it makes rinsing off the residue of cleaning products challenging.

Softener crystals versus pellets

Water softener crystals are usually produced using solar evaporation. In this process, brine (a mixture of salt and water) obtained either from mining or seawater is exposed to sunlight and air in order to evaporate the water, leaving coarse white crystals.

These crystals are recommended for homes that use a two-part water softening unit or those whose water consumption is less than average. When used in households with more than average water consumption, plain salt crystals can result in bridging.

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Bridging occurs when a layer or crust of hardened salt builds up at the top of the vessel containing the brine solution (brine tank), creating an empty space between the salt and the water.  This empty space causes water to move through the brine tank without getting softened.

Water softener pellets help minimize bridging and are most suitable for households for all-in-all tank water softening systems or those that use a high volume of water. We incorporate citric acid, a cleaning agent, into our water softener pellets to help prevent mineral buildup in pipes, household appliances, and other building systems.

To ensure long-lasting prevention of mineral buildups, our water softener pellets have citric acid incorporated inside of them, unlike other pelleted products that were just slightly sprayed with citric acid on the outside.

Can I mix water softener salt crystals and pellets?

Generally, most water softeners work well with all types of salt, and mixing different types of salt poses no harm. However, there may be cases where some salt types will be more suitable based on the design of a particular softener.

Manufacturers of all-in-one or single tank softeners usually recommend that pellets should be used with their products. The reason for this is that since the resin tank sits inside the brine tank, salt crystals may harden, leading to the formation of a “crust” around the resin tank. Consequently, this can hinder the tank from coming down to the water level.

Homeowners who use softeners that have no salt screen at the underside of the brine tank may be advised to use pellets in order to prevent the sucking of crystals into the brine draw pipe. Overall, it’s good to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the types of salt to use in your water softener.

    FAQs about water softener pellets or crystals

    1. What are the differences between water softener pellets and crystals?

      Water softener pellets are typically made from compressed salt, while crystals are made from evaporated salt. Pellets tend to dissolve more slowly and have a longer lasting effect, while crystals dissolve more quickly and may require more frequent replacement.

    2. How do I know which type of water softener (pellets or crystals) will best suit my needs?

      The best type of water softener for you will depend on your water hardness level, the size of your household, and your personal preferences. Pellets tend to be more effective for households with high water hardness, while crystals may be better suited for households with lower water hardness.

    3. Are there any potential drawbacks to using water softener pellets over crystals?

      One potential drawback of using water softener pellets is that they can clump together and form a hard mass, which can make it difficult to measure and dispense the correct amount. Crystals, on the other hand, can be more prone to spilling and can create a mess.

    4. Are water softener pellets more expensive than crystals?

      The cost of water softener pellets and crystals can vary depending on the brand and quantity. Typically, pellets may be more expensive than crystals due to the compressed nature of the salt.

    5. How often should I replace the water softener pellets or crystals?

      The frequency of replacement will depend on the hardness of your water and the size of your household. On average, most households will need to replace their water softener pellets or crystals every 3-6 months.

    6. What is the best way to store water softener pellets or crystals?

      Water softener pellets or crystals should be stored in a cool, dry place, preferably in a sealed container. This will help to prevent clumping and ensure that the salt stays fresh and effective.


    Final Thoughts

    In conclusion, we’ve learned that both water softener pellets and crystals are great options for making your water sparkle and shine! While pellets are smaller and easier to handle, crystals provide a bit more surface area for maximum water softening. The choice between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference and specific needs.

    Water softener pellets and crystals make hard water a thing of the past! Whether you opt for pellets or crystals, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to enjoy soft water in your home. There are a few things to consider when deciding which type of water softener is right for you, like hardness levels and budget. But with proper storage and regular maintenance, either type can offer years of reliable service. So choose your favorite, sit back, and enjoy the luxury of soft water!

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