A potassium water softener is a system that uses potassium chloride instead of sodium to remove dissolved minerals from hard water. The term “potassium water softener” is a bit of misnomer, as most new systems can use both sodium and potassium. Using potassium is an attractive option for people on low sodium diets, or those who want to minimize the environmental impact of sodium waste water.
The Benefits of Using a Potassium Water Softener
Potassium water softeners not only don’t add sodium to your water, but the mineral they do add is healthy. If you plan to drink your softened water, or give it to your plants or pets, this is could be a significant benefit to using a potassium water softener. Of course, many people choose not to drink softened water, and some doctors recommend against it – even if using a potassium water softener.
In most other ways, using potassium chloride in your water softener isn’t much different than using salt. The water gets softened just as well, and there’s no additional maintenance required. Because you’re simply replacing conventional water softener salt with potassium pellets, many of the same pros and cons of using a water softener apply.
Perhaps the biggest difference is that the potassium pellets are harder to find in stores, and typically three to four times more expensive. This adds to what is already one of the biggest hassles of owning a water softener – keeping it stocked with salt.
Also keep in mind that the waste water produced by a potassium water softener is still damaging to the environment – just not as much as the brine waste water from sodium.
If keeping your environmental footprint to a minimum is a major concern for you, you might want to consider a saltless water softener, or if possible, refrain from buying a water softener at all. But another way to help the environment while also helping your body is to buy a potassium water softener.