Water softener pellets vs. crystals

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by kwust, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. kwust

    kwust WaterManiac

    Apr 25, 2012
    Which works better for water softeners?
    Crystals (by this I mean the rock salt)?

    My guess is pellets because it's more expensive -- but does it really work better?
    Thanks in advance for your replies.
  2. chevy427

    chevy427 Banned

    Nov 20, 2010
    Actually, rock salt and crystal salt are different with rock salt being a lower quality--RE: dirtier. I would never use rock salt unless an emergency and only enough to hold you off till you get better salt.

    It may also depend on the softener. Most standard softeners use hard, iron-laden water in the brine drum so the quality of the salt isn't as essential. But if your softener uses treated water in the brine such as with twin tank or some high quality single-tank systems, then use pellet or cube salt only.

    Are you currently using a softener or making plans?
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  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Jan 9, 2012
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Ontario California
    Rock salt quality is partially a regional issue and a QC issue. Salt is very heavy and expensive to transport so rock salt in one region of the country may be dirty, while oters may be very clean. Salt is rarely transported long distances. For the most part, salt is salt. I use rock salt, but our sources are very clean here in California. I have been to parts of the country where the rock salt will leave dirt residue after only a few bags. I would avoid salt that is dirty. If you do use dirty salt, be sure to clean and sanitize your brine tank annually. Let the brine tank run almost empty of salt, then clean it, add a 5 gallons of water, fill it with salt, and regenerate the system. it might not be a bad time to sanitize the resin bed as well.

    FYI, I used to sell millions of pounds of salt a year, we only used solar rock salt. Again, our source was clean, so it was not a big deal.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  5. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Nov 29, 2010
    I'm not a fan of pellets but some folks have good results with them. We don't sell pellets though.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Solar crystal is best because it doesn't have the problems or price pellets do. I would not use rock salt. Or 50 lb block salt.
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