Water softeners are a key part of any household that cares about the quality of their drinking water. The choice between using a water softener or not using a softener is an easy decision: go with the water softener.
However, choosing what base to use for your water softener is an entirely different question. The choice comes down to two standard options: potassium chloride-based water softeners and sodium chloride-based water softeners. So, which is best when comparing water softener salt versus potassium?
It’s a tough decision, but it should be noted that neither is inherently worse than the other for the general public. Of course, using water softeners comes with a slew of issues on its own. It’s not the greatest for the environment and adds an extra cost you’ll be required to spend on to keep using the water softener system. Neither will reduce the negatives of using water softeners.
However, they both provide all the benefits associated with using a water softener. The key difference is the minerals you’ll be reintroducing into your water.
Which is best? Keep reading to find out all the ins and outs in the great debate between water softener potassium chloride vs salt-based water softeners.
Water Softener Salt Versus Potassium
In the end, both water softener bases will accomplish the same goal. Both will reduce the number of minerals, debris, and general unwanteds from your water.
However, the cost associated with each type of water softener varies tremendously as well as the amount needed. On top of this, the levels of salt found within your water can also change significantly. This may be a problem for those that are overly sensitive to the compound. Other variables will change as well.
Here is the breakdown.
Potassium Chloride-Based Water Softeners
A water softener using potassium chloride will use approximately three times as much potassium as a sodium chloride system. This means you’ll be running through your materials more often and thus having to purchase sodium chloride more often.
To even further the financial burden, sodium chloride used in water softeners cost around five times as much as a bag of sodium chloride around the same size.
To put it in fewer words, you’ll have to purchase potassium much more often and the cost of it is significantly more expensive. If you’re already on a tight monthly budget, you won’t be doing yourself any favors by using potassium chloride.
Potassium chloride-based water softeners are also known to use a lot of water, generate brine that will damage your water supply, won’t remove chlorine, and requires an additional filter to be used to get the job done. This means more work with fewer benefits when compared to sodium chloride-based softeners.
On the other hand, using potassium means you’ll have significantly less sodium in your water. If you’re sensitive to sodium, this can make a huge deal. Even if you’re not overly sensitive to sodium, if this is your drinking water, it’ll be much healthier to consume in the long run. Even a small increase in sodium can make an impact on your future health if you’re consuming the water daily on top of an already sodium-rich diet.
Sodium Chloride-Based Softeners
Sodium chloride-based softeners are great and typically the more common solution used in water softeners. Yes, they do contain more sodium and that may affect your health if your diet is already filled with sodium.
However, there are a slew of benefits associated with water softener salt versus potassium. As stated earlier, sodium-based softeners are much cheaper than potassium. Not only are they much cheaper, but the material will also go much farther when compared to potassium.
In other words, you’ll be buying the material less often and when you do have to buy it, it’ll be significantly cheaper. If you’re on a tight budget and simply looking to improve the quality of the water in your home, this can be a huge reason to switch over.
It should also be noted that just because the water has more sodium in it doesn’t mean that it’ll necessarily be bad for you. If you have a well-maintained diet and live a generally healthy life, to begin with, the effect that sodium-based water softeners will have on your health may be negligible.
Salt-based water softeners also don’t require an extra filter and will remove chlorine from your water. If your area is known to have an excessive amount of chlorine in the water due to poor regulations, this can be a huge deal and should be looked for.
On the downside, you’ll have to add salt yourself to your water softener system. This can be a bit of a hassle and quite confusing if you’ve never done it before. However, there are many resources, such as this piece, that can guide you through the ins and outs of adding salt to a water softener.
Water softeners that use salt will also have the option of choosing which salt to use within their system. Yes, there is, in fact, different types of salt that can be used in a water softener system. If you’re interested in which salt is right for you and your needs, check out this article from Spring Well Water. Your options will range from rock salt to solar salt, to more.
In the end, both potassium chloride and sodium chloride are fine options to use within a water softener system. Both will achieve the same goal but to varying costs.
If you’re in dire need of a direct answer, the choice will almost always come down to going with salt-based water softeners. As long as you don’t have any specific health concerns related to sodium, the use of water softener salt versus potassium has too many benefits to ignore.
Even if you do have concerns with the amount of sodium in your water, Mosaic Life Care has found that the levels of sodium in drinking water from sodium-based water softeners are extremely low.
The choice is clear.