Sodium and Soft Water Basics


A common question for families considering installing a water softener is “how much salt does a water softener add to my drinking water?” Particularly those who suffer from high blood pressure are concerned about adding sodium to their diet.

Is this concern justified? Let’s look at the true amounts of sodium in soft water – and how Kinetico can help you lower or even eliminate the presence of sodium in your drinking water.

How Much Salt is added to the Water?

When hard water flows through a softener, sodium ions replace the hard minerals that cause the white build up on glass shower doors, faucets and anything else the water comes in contact with.

Typically, the sodium in a glass of water softened is less than the sodium found in a single slice of bread. It is far less than the amount found in a can of Diet Pepsi, which is considered a low-sodium beverage. So while sodium is definitely present, it’s not in particularly egregious amounts.

If you know how hard your water is there is a simple formula to determine the actual amount of sodium added to your water through the softening process.  Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon (gpg) and anything less than 1gpg is considered soft, 3.5gpg is hard, 7gpg is very hard and 10.5gpg is extremely hard.

For every 8oz glass of water 1.89mg/l of sodium is added for each grain per gallon of hardness.  If your water is 10gpg the water softener will add 19mg/l of sodium to an 8oz glass of softened water.  As a comparison an 8oz glass of milk contains 120-125mg/l of sodium.  A slice of white bread will have about 170mg/l of sodium.

Drinking Water without Added Sodium

There are a few ways to reduce or completely eliminate the salt from your drinking water. A reverse osmosis system, like our Kinetico K5 Drinking Water Station, will remove virtually everything from the water, including sodium. Another option is to bypass the cold water in the kitchen, so it stays hard water.  This will allow water in the rest of home to be softened and the drinking water will not.

Want to learn more about soft water, or drinking water filters? Speak to the pros at Kinetico today.