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How Salt is Used in Water Softeners

Salt is extremely important for the functioning of water softeners. In order to complete the water softening process, salt must be added to the softener regularly. Does this mean softened water tastes like the ocean water you splash in at the beach? Is the level of sodium in softened water unhealthy for your family’s diet? This post will take a look at how water softeners use salt and what effect that salt has on your home’s water.

How a Water Softener Uses Salt to Regenerate

Your water softener comes equipped with resin in the form of small, round beads, which are packed in the bed of the water softener’s tank. The resin beads are pre-charged with a coating of sodium ions that naturally hold a positive charge. The resin beads cause the hard water elements, such as calcium and magnesium, to stick to the resin in a process called ion exchange.

Now salt enters the picture. The salt you regularly add to your softener creates a heavy salt brine mixture, which is used during a process called regeneration. When regeneration occurs, the salt-water displaces the calcium and magnesium ions so they can be washed down the drain, rather than flowing through your pipes and appliances. The brine then coats the resin beads with sodium ions so they can restart the process of collecting hard water minerals.

How Salty is Softened Water? 

It is typical for a person to consume a quart of water per day. Coming from a properly functioning water softener, that water contains 75 to 100 mg of sodium. According to nutritional data, just one serving of many common foods and drinks have sodium levels that are even higher:

  • One slice of multi-grain bread contains 109 mg
  • 8 ounces of almond milk contains 150 mg
  • One slice of cheddar cheese contains 174 mg

While the amount of sodium in softened water is minimal, you have the option of filtering your water after softening. A drinking water filter can be added to a home’s treatment system to help remove salt after the softening process.

Find the Right Water Solution for Your Home

The WaterBoss contains an innovative self cleaning, built-in water filter engineered and built using advanced water treatment technology. To discover your ideal water solution, visit one of our retailers to purchase your very own WaterBoss water softener.