Hard water usually contains more minerals than ordinary water. Because of the high concentration of calcium and magnesium, hard water can potentially clog pipes. It also makes it difficult for soap to dissolve in it. Using a water softener can help remove the minerals from the water.
Water softeners work by replacing the calcium and magnesium ions with another ion. Typically, the replacement ion would be either sodium chloride or potassium chloride. The water passes through a bed of resin beads covered with either of these salt ions. This is where the exchange happens. Using potassium chloride has several benefits over using other water softeners such as sodium chloride.
- Good for the body. People who need to be on low sodium diets would do well to use potassium chloride in their home filtration systems. It also helps to add more potassium in their diet.
- Good for the clothes. Potassium chloride makes it easier for soap to dissolve and develop into a fuller lather. Unlike sodium chloride, it does not harm the clothes either, resulting in cleaner, brighter and fluffier laundry.
- Good for the environment. Eventually most water used in the house will go back into the environment. Using potassium chloride is considered safer for plants and systems rather than sodium chloride. Potassium eliminates the addition of sodium into the septic system tank and drainfield. Water that is softened by potassium chloride can also be safely used to water gardens and irrigate farms. In fact, potassium is a much-needed nutrient, so it even makes plants healthier. It is also safe to drink for animals.
Nowadays, a lot of people have installed whole house water filtration systems in their residences. Whole house water filters also remove impurities from the water and allow access to a safe supply throughout the house. People always mistake water filters as water softeners. They are not the same. After water passes through water filters, it is best to pass the water through a soft water system. Soft water systems like those created by Fleck dissolve the minerals that the water filters have allowed to pass through.
Every now and then, the salt bed becomes filled with calcium and magnesium and can no longer soften the water. At this point, the bed needs to be regenerated. This simply means that the bed needs to be soaked in salt ions for it to be usable again. One can buy potassium chloride pellets such as those manufactured by Morton to regenerate the salt bed.
Though more expensive in comparison to sodium chloride, potassium chloride is definitely worth the expense due to the health and environmental benefits it has over sodium. The equipment maintenance needed for water filters when using potassium chloride are basically the same as when using sodium chloride.
Despite the benefits of using potassium chloride as part of your water softener system, it is still important to seek expert advice. Note that some people may be sensitive to the added potassium in the system. It is best to ask a doctor if using potassium chloride would adversely affect one's health.