If you are new to water softening and stuff then there are so many things that you need to learn. One may think are pellets or crystals better for water softeners? When it comes to water softener crystals and pellets, they are used on a number of occasions. While water crystal is effective for houses with low usage, water pellets are utilized to fit the demands of higher-water needs properties.
However, there’s a lot more to learn about water softener pellets and crystals. If you are interested in the world of water softeners then keep on reading.
Because in this article, you will not only learn the basic concepts but also when to use each one effectively. So without any further ado, let’s begin.
Are Pellets or Crystals Better For Water Softeners?
There are two different sources of the material that is used in making water softener pellets and crystals. These are salt and polystyrene beads. Salt is mined out from underground caves while polystyrene is derived from petroleum by-products.
While both types of materials are effective for softening water, they have their own pros and cons. To begin with, let’s compare salt vs. polystyrene beads first.
As you would have guessed already, salt is mined from underground caves or mines. Salt crystals are made by melting the mined salt at high temperatures without any additives involved. They are generally white in color and they tend to vary in size as well.
The size of pellets varies from +-1/8″ to 1/2″. Both the smaller and larger sizes of salt crystals are used. However, larger ones are applied more often than the smaller variant is due to their effective water softening abilities.
Salt has a tendency to leave a lot of residues behind. That’s why it is not preferred by many homeowners who require soft water for their personal use. To tackle this, salt has been blended with additives such as aluminum oxide and calcium carbonate in the past.
Even though calcium carbonate doesn’t dissolve easily in water, it allows large salt crystals to break down easily. However, the most common additive used is aluminum oxide which does not dissolve in water at all.
Using salt crystals is one of the cheapest ways to soften water provided that they meet your demands for soft water. That’s because salt has a high concentration of minerals that are necessary for making hard water fit for use.
These are the most common variant of water softening pellets. They are made from petroleum by-products and have a white color just like salt crystals. However, their size varies from +-5/32″ to 3/4″. In general, they are smaller than salt crystals but not that much.
Polystyrene beads are favored by homeowners who require hard water for many different purposes. This is because polystyrene beads do not leave any residue behind.
The biggest disadvantage of using polystyrene beads is that they are more expensive than salt pellets although they meet the demands of households with higher-water needs. You should also know that these softening pellets are also more efficient than salt crystals.
There are many reasons why the difference between pellets and crystals is not that much for water softeners. That’s because both of them soften water by taking minerals out of it without adding any harmful chemicals.
Both types of softening materials use their own mechanisms to remove the necessary minerals from water which includes sodium, calcium, and magnesium.
Now that you know the basic differences between salt crystals and polystyrene beads let’s move on to when to use each one in a water softener system.
Salt Pellets or Crystals – How to Pick One?
To begin with, there are many homeowners who opt for salt pellets over crystals because of the former’s lower concentration of harmful chemicals. That being said, if you require water for human use then using salt crystals is your best bet.
Salt pellets are generally considered suitable for areas that experience incredibly high hard water rates. This is because they do not have any additives to deal with the problem of excessive build-up of minerals.
Salt Pellets Vs. Polystyrene Beads – Which One to Pick?
There is no denying the fact that both salt pellets and polystyrene beads are good at softening water. However, the most common choice for most homeowners is salt pellets.
That’s mainly because they are suitable for both high-water needs and low-water usage whereas polystyrene beads are only suited for higher volumes of water that require softening.
However, if you want to use a water softener in your home then it is best to consult a professional as they will be able to recommend the right system for your home. Otherwise, you can install a floating salt valve that is capable of regulating water usage and softening it according to demand automatically.
For more information on the benefits of using water softeners in households check our Water Softener Benefits page. There you will find information about the different benefits of using a water softener in your home.
Also, if you are interested in using salt pellets or crystals in a water softener check our Water Softener Salt page. There you will also learn more about the different types of salt suitable for use in water softeners and whether they have any side effects.
Water softeners are not just beneficial for homeowners. They also have plenty of benefits for business use. Make sure to read our Water Softener Benefits For Business page if you want to find out more about the benefits of using water softeners in businesses.
Are pellets or crystals better for water softeners? Well, there are many reasons to use salt pellets over crystals. The biggest reason is that they are suitable for extremely hard water whereas crystals will stop working after a certain level of minerals have accumulated in the water.
However, if you want to use salt pellets then you should choose canning salt or canning/pickling salt instead of table salt. The reason is that table salt contains a lot of additives that will not be suitable for use in water softener systems.
There is also the problem of over-softening with pellets so you have to make sure they are safe for your household’s consumption as well as your appliances. For example, it may produce problems like the residue build-up and the material degradation of your clothes washing machines.
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Born in the Philippines, Joseph Solis Moved to Canada at age 6. He attended Simon Fraser University and received his Masters’s in Chemistry. His research domains include water filtration, water softening, and overall water treatment.