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What Water Softener Salt Do I Need?

What Water Softener Salt Do I Need?

6th Dec 2018

A lot of people will move into a new home and find they have a water softener fitted. Hopefully the old owners were kind enough to leave you some salt so you know where to start. If not maybe they left you the user guide or some notes to help you out. 

Maybe they left you nothing which could cause you a headache. Here's what to know and do to help you figure out what salt you need:

Salt Types

There are 4 main salt types you would use in a water softener, they are:

Tablets - A pillow type lump of salt around 25mm x 25mm x 25mm, they are usually round or square depending on the brand. This is the most popular form of water softener salt and available in 10KG and 25KG bags. 

Block - As the name sounds these are a large Block / Brick style form of salt. Each block is 4KG and they come in packets of 2. This means each pack is 8KG. This makes them the lightest packet of salt, they are the easiest to store and cary. We supply both Harveys and Kinetico block salt. Both companies are two of the main manufacturers for salt and machines in the UK & Europe.

Granular - This is the least popular form of salt for domestic machines. Granules are as they sound and a little bigger than sugar. Most people will use Granular salt in their dishwasher. Some people buy it from the supermarket in small 2/3KG packs which works our very expensive in comparison to the 25KG Bags. Most softeners that use Granular salt can also accept Tablet salt, but not all Tablet softeners can accept Granular salt.

Granulite - Is a hybrid of tablets and Granular salt. It's usually made up for the shavings and offcuts of Tablet salt. It's is consider by some to be a cheap alternative to Granular salt and used in dishwashers and granular water softeners it can cause problems for some machines as it is slightly larger than true granular salt.


Salt is produced to a BAR / Pressure rating. The higher the number the better the salt. The quality of the salt varies depending on the brand you are buying. Cheap salt doesn't tend to last as long as the slightly more expensive salt. It can also block water softeners. Nation wide stores/companies that sell salt for £10-£15 per bag don't necessarily have even higher quality salt than other stores. They are trying to benefit from their name and the convenience of you being there.  

How do to tell what salt i need?

1. Open your water softener. The lid should be on the top and open up like a bin. Take a look inside the hopper to see if there is any left over salt lurking in the bottom. Hopefully you should be able to tell from what's in your hopper what salt you need.

2. If you can't tell from what's inside your softener due to it being empty or hard to get to. Your next step is to look at the machine and get the brand name and or model name/number off of it. Then use your favourite search engine to search for results. 

3. If you're still unsure about what you need, take some photos and send them to your water softener salt supplier (hopefully us). Due to the various brands and models of systems we don't know what salt a water softener will use just by their name or model number. Photos should be able to help if you're stuck as your supplier can see what you've got installed and the type of salt that goes in your hopper. 

4. Contact a local water softener technician, it may be wise to do this anyway to check your unit over and service it if it hasn't been looked after for a while. They come across lots of machines new and old and should be able to help.