What’s the Difference Between Water Softeners that Use Granulated Salt and Pellet Salt?

December 31, 2016

You may have heard the terms ‘granulated salt’ and ‘pellet salt’ in relation to water softeners. However, do you know the difference between the two? With so many water softener salts being sold by local suppliers, it is understandable that home or business owners are left scratching their heads over which one to purchase.

Salt Pellets

Most modern water softener systems use salt pellets. These pellets are designed to create a better ratio of soft water than granulated salt. Some of the more expensive brands of salt pellets are advertised as including additional ingredients. The ingredients in question usually serve the purpose of increasing purification properties, which makes the salt more efficient after repeated cycles.

Although some older water softening systems display a warning to only use granulated salt, you may still be able to use the tablet form and see better results. However, you should contact the manufacturer or consult a plumber before using salt pellets in these systems.

When purchasing salt pellets, always look for the product with the highest purification qualities. The best quality products have a rating of 99% purification, which makes the salt much more efficient in water softening systems. Lower graded salt will need replacing often, making it more expensive in the long run.

Granulated Salt

Because granulated salt is loose, it tends to take up more space in the water softening system. Therefore, granulated salt is not as efficient at maintaining long-lasting soft water and may need replacing more frequently. Many commercial water softening systems are also designed for use with granulated salt.

Granulated salt is commonly used as a water softener in dishwashers. Keeping your dishwasher reservoir topped off with granulated salt will improve the efficiency of the machine. Granulated salt helps prevent staining on dishes, build-up of lime scale, blockages and clogging up heating elements and other working parts of the dishwasher.

Filling Salt Levels

The most important aspect of using any kind of water softening salt is to ensure that your system is at optimal levels. Older systems may not have a built-in indicator to alert you when levels are low. For pellet salt systems, you can safely fill the brine tank to one pellet below the top.

Dishwasher reservoirs will have a float level, which will tell you salt levels have dropped too low. It is worth mentioning that you can also use a three-in-one salt tablet in your dishwasher in addition to the granular salt in the reservoir.

Clumping and Clogging

You may find that salt begins clumping or clinging to the walls of your water softening system. Before replenishing your salt, it is important to clear this excess salt from the walls of the tank. The easiest way to do so is by using boiling water to break down and release the salt from the walls. Keeping your water softening system clean and well maintained will make it function more efficiently.