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united state

Water softener and Brita

We have a water softener.
I installed a GE sink filter. In addition, we filter the water with a Brita pitcher.
Do these filters remove the sodium?


West Granby, CT
Your water softener probably uses sodium chloride salt to regenerate the cation exchange resin which removes calcium and magnesium from the water. In doing so, it replaces the calcium and magnesium with sodium. If you are not on a well and have chlorinated water, you probably also have a charcoal filter to remove the chlorine. This is primarily to prolong the life of the resin.

The Brita pitcher filter contains both a charcoal filter and and cation exchange filter which will not remove sodium. This essentially duplicates what your softener already does and you may not be able to taste the difference in the water when using this filter.

The GE sink filter may be just a particulate filter. As such, it will not remove sodium. If the GE filter is a reverse osmosis (RO) unit, it will remove sodium.

You can eliminate the vast majority of sodium by using potassium chloride salt in you water softener. Using a RO unit to filter your drinking water as well as refrigerator icemaker and water will also eliminate the vast majority of sodium.

There is rarely enough sodium, even in softened water, to cause a medical problem. If you know the hardness of your incoming water you can estimate the amount of sodium in the softened water. Multiply the grains of hardness by 18. This values is the milligrams of sodium in each liter of softened water.


united state
Not sure if I understand all of that, but according to the web site for my water company, in 2004, my area had 15-39 ppm Sodium.
I've been using
Morton ® System Saver ® II Formula Pellets

Morton® System Saver® II Formula Pellets are made from a very high purity salt combined with the patented System Saver® II formula to make your water softener work better.

* Patented formula contains softener resin cleaning additives
* Salt and cleaning additives are thoroughly flushed from the system during resin regeneration.

Morton® System Saver® II Formula Pellets are designed to:

* Help soaps & detergents lather better
* Help prevent hard water spots on faucets, dishes, and tile
* Help prevent scale build-up in water heaters and pipes
* Help keep laundry and kitchen appliances stain free

Would I be better off with?
Potassium Chloride Pellets

Morton® Potassium Chloride Pellets soften your water while adding potassium to it. Potassium Chloride Pellets are 99% sodium-free, therefore reducing sodium levels in your softened water and reducing chlorides discharged into the environment. This product also provides the essential plant nutrient potassium to the ecosystem.

Leander, TX
Yes -- if you are worried about sodium in your water, then use the Potassium Chloride pellets.


united state

1 edit
I never really thought about it, but it just popped into my mind.
Are there any advantages/disadvantages to Potassium, other than the sodium?


West Granby, CT
I prefer the potassium salt for my softener because soap does not feel quite as slimy or slick as it does when using sodium salt. My wife has a number of indoor plants and they do better with potassium.

Cost is a disadvantage with potassium chloride, it can cost twice as much as sodium chloride. Over the past year potassium salt has been increasing in cost and harder to find. I can no longer find the Morton brand. Lately, my local hardware store has begun stocking the Nature's Own brand.

reply to haroldo
If I'm not mistaken, you will also need to reprogram your control valve if you switch to potassium chloride, it's not a straight swap.

I was always told NOT to use the pelletized products, they turn to mush and harden in the salt bin, causing a horrible mess in the future.

Finally, if your hose bibs are softened, you should NOT use that water to watering your lawn, if you do use sodium chloride. Salt kills plants. For that reason I have one hose bib that's softened and one that's not. Car washes seem to come out better using softened water but the lawn enjoys my iron rich unsoftened water.

This has been my experience, you milage may vary...