Salt Pellets Vs Crystals For A Water Softener

Typically, we think that the water that comes from our taps is made of oxygen and hydrogen. Yet for a lot of us, our water contains a lot of minerals and impurities.

Salt Pellets Vs Crystals For A Water Softener

Over time, these impurities found in your water can dry out your skin and damage your home appliances.

The best way to get rid of these impurities is by using a water softening serum. A water softener will usually use either salt pellets or crystals, as the sodium in the salt absorbs the impurities to give you clean and soft water.

We will be discussing, in this arctic, more about salt crystals and pellets that are used in water softener systems.

Should You Use Salt Crystals Or Pellets In Your System?

There are various methods to turn your hard water into soft water. However, the most popular method is an ion enhanced resin method.

This is where the ions present in salt activate the resin beads, and they absorb all the impurities like calcium and magnesium that are commonly found in hard water.

Both salt pellets and crystals are effective ways in helping to soften your water. For a more long term solution, salt pellets are known to cause much fewer problems over time.

This is because salt crystals will over time begin to build up. Thus, then causes bridging to occur in the brine tank. This bridging will stop the resin beads from becoming regenerated by the salt, and the water won’t be purified either.

As salt pellets are much larger than salt crystals, you won’t need to worry about bridging from occurring. In addition to this, if you have a two part water softening system, then crystals are a great choice for this kind of model.

Yet, for all in one unit, you should stick to only using salt pellets.

What Are Salt Pellets And Crystals Used To Soften Water?

Salt is used in water softening systems to help recharge the resin beads that have become consumed with impurities from the water.

This is so that the resin beads are constantly working. You can either use water pellets or crystals to help recharge the resin beads in your water softening system.

The type of salt that you add to the brine tank will affect the effectiveness of your water softening and how effectively it works. 

Rock Salt

Rock salt is very common to find in a lot of local stores and considered quite cheap. However, if you use rock salt in your unit, then you will need to maintain your system a lot more frequently.

This is due to rock salt containing a lot of other minerals that can leave a residue in your brine tank.

Solar Salt

Solar salt is created by evaporation of salt water that has been received by the sea. The water will evaporate, and salt crystals are then produced. Solar salt is considered 99.5% pure and much more soluble than rock salt.

As a result, using solar salt is a much better option to use as it will keep your system healthy as it does not contain any other minerals which could result in a residue being left behind.

Evaporated Salt Pellets

Evaporated salt pellets are the most expensive salt we have mentioned in this article so far. This is due to the fact that it is a very pure form of salt.

This type of salt is created by the raw salt crystals being reduced to sodium chloride. Then a heater is used to remove any more moisture the salt may be containing. 

This salt is sold as a pellet and is often seen as the most effective way in treating and getting rid of hard water.

How Do You Use A Salt Pellet?

If you decide to use salt pellets in your brine tank, then you simply add the recommended amount of pellets to the tank.

Then the pellets will slowly begin to dissolve, and the solution will then be flushed into the mineral tank to remove the hard ions and recharging the resin beads as well.

How Do Water Softener Systems Work?

How Do Water Softener Systems Work

For the ion resin method, plastics beads and salts turn hard water into soft and clear water. The unit will usually be made up of 3 parts, including: a brine tank, mineral tank and a control valve.

It is in the mineral tank where the hard water is changed into softer water. The tank holds resin beads that have a negative charge. The sodium ions from the salt are attached to the resins due to their light charge.

Hard water is known to contain ions that have a positive charge, which is higher than the sodium ions.

When the hard water goes through the resin beads, the sodium ions detach and the hard water ions are attracted to the resin beads. This is where the resin beads consume all the hardness and the water that is produced is soft and clean.

The control valve on these tanks, just limit how much water is going in and out of the mineral tank. Once the resin beads are full, they will no longer work.

This is where the brine tank comes in, as it’s important to keep the resin beads charged up. The brine tank will be released by the control valve into the mineral tank.

This will help recharge the resin beads, so they are ready to start tuning hard water soft again.

Why Shouldn’t You Use Hard Water?

Hard water contains impurities such as calcium and magnesium. Drinking this water does not pose a huge health risk to humans, but it does pose a risk to your appliances around the house and your skin.

The major impact hard water has is reducing the lifespan of your appliances due to a sediment build up. This happens in pipes, and faucets, and you will notice things not working properly.

Alongside that, hard water makes things harder to clean, so you will end up using more soap and detergent. When you use hard water while bathing, it causes your hair and skin to dry out. This can be an issue for someone who suffers with eczema.

Different Water Softening Methods

In a system, there are various methods that can help turn hard water soft.

  • Ions And Resin Exchange – Sodium ions replace the hardness ions.
  • Lime Softening – Lime water/calcium hydroxide is added.
  • Chelating Agents – Making the water more soluble by the addition of natural or synthetic chelators.
  • Washing soda – Add washing soda, which reacts with the minerals.
  • Distillation – Distilling the water will separate the minerals from the water.
  • Reverse osmosis – A membrane is used to separate the hardness ions from the water. This is a chemical free method.


As we have discussed, hard water can have negative impacts on your skin and appliances. Therefore, you need to use a softening method to make sure everything keeps working.

It is important to keep your brine tank filled with the right amount of salt.

The type of salt you choose will depend on the type of system that you’ve got. However, we hope this article has helped you come to a decision.

Mandy Anderson