One of the most common questions people ask about their water softener is whether or not potassium chloride can be used in a system that's been using sodium chloride, and vice versa. The fact of the matter is that the answer is almost always yes, but there are subtle differences between the two chemicals with respect to water softening. Here are some key differences between the two.
For many customers, the decision on whether to buy potassium chloride or sodium chloride comes down to cost. Potassium chloride will almost always cost more than sodium chloride, in fact, the average price of a bag of sodium chloride was $6 while the price of a bag of potassium chloride was around $27. This cost gap widens even further when you consider that a water softener system will require more potassium to run properly than if it were using sodium. When switching from sodium to potassium for your water softener, it's often recommended to bump up the salt dosage by 10%. The advantage here, then, clearly goes to sodium chloride.
One group of people that could benefit from using potassium chloride in their water softeners are those looking to cut down on sodium intake, since potassium chloride is 99.9% sodium free in most cases. This can be a big help when it seems like you've exhausted all options when it comes to cutting sodium out of your diet, especially since there are around 28 mg of sodium in an 8 ounce glass of water that's been softened using sodium chloride.
There are also a number of environmental differences between using sodium or potassium chloride in your water softener. Potassium is a necessary nutrient for both humans and plants, so the water that goes through your water softener can seriously benefit plants in addition to helping you cut down on your sodium intake. In fact, potassium is the most prevalent ingredient in potash, which is used around the world as a fertilizer to the tune of 20 million tons per year by some estimates. If your water softener also fuels your sprinkler system, this could be a no-brainer way to make your plants healthier and save a bit of money on fertilizer and plant care.
When you get right down to it, the main difference between sodium and potassium chloride is cost, but oversimplifying the matter can cause you to overlook benefits of potassium chloride, too. If you want to help out your body or your planet, then potassium is the way to go, but if you want to do your wallet a favor, then go with sodium chloride.
For more information, contact Johnson Water Conditioning or a similar company.