What’s best for Culligan water softener: pellets or crystals ?

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Written By John Roe Stephen

Quick Answer

  • A Culligan water softener can be used for both pellets and crystals, but the best option will depend on the type and the user’s requirements.
  • They are suited for various sizes and levels of usage of water softeners since pellets are denser and dissolve more gradually while crystals are smaller and dissolve faster.

Generally, the manufacturer of the water softener recommends that pallets should be used in Culligan water softener. Since the resin tank is placed inside the brine tank, the salt crystals may be harder for the system. In addition, it may form a crust around the resin tank and block the flow of the water.

What is the difference between water softener pellets and crystals?

difference between water softener pellets and crystals

The selection process of the water softener pallets and crystals may be an intimidating task.

The salts for the water softener are found in different varieties. Pallets and crystal salt are very common in a water softener

However, they both have pros and cons that make them compete to use the salt in the water softener. 

If you have recently moved to a new home where water software is used to clean the water, then it is better you first check the type of salt used in the water softener.

Then, you can see how the particular type of salt is working by looking at the tank. 

Many users develop a personal opinion based on their experience with the different types of salt.

However, in most cases, the decision is driven by the problem that occurred due to using a particular type of salt in the water software. 

Difference between the Pellets and Crystals


  • The pellets are excellent in preventing the bridging in the water softener’s brine tank.
  • Pellets are recommended for people who are using the all-in-one softening system. However, it does not allow the system to bridge the block and stop the water flow through the tank.
  • The pellets are great for heavy water users. Large water container requires heavy water processing power without blockage. The pellets offer a resistance-free condition and make the water flow smoothly.


  • The crystals usually are recommended for the two parts water softening system. 
  • Use the crystal-based water softener if you have lower monthly water usage.
  • When used in the house, the water consumption is more than average, which would result in bridging, which will block the flow of the water.

Softener crystals versus pellets

The crystals are manufactured using the solar evaporation process.

First, the brine is obtained using seawater or mining.

Then, when the sunlight hits the saltwater, the water in the mixture evaporates, leaving the layer of salt on the ground. These layers of salt on the ground are in crystal form. 

The crystal-based salt is recommended for the homes using two parts of the water softening unit. First, the high units of water content would make the crystal-based water softener produce bridging. 

Bridging is the process where the layer or crust of the salt buildup on top of the vessel. It creates the space between salt and water. Space makes the water move without getting it cleaned.

As a result, the water is not softened, and it will not be useful as well.

Compared with the crystal, the pellets are more popular in the water softening systems where high volume water is used.

It is suitable for households and fits the all in all tank water softening systems.

It clearly shows the pellets are great for the water softening system. It will make the water clean without bridging.

What’s the best option for a Culligan water softener? Pellets vs. crystals

Pellets vs. crystals

Water is generally tough and contains minerals and various substances that make it difficult to process from the small chambers.

The water software makes the water soft by removing the contaminated minerals and metals from the water.

The hardness of minerals will be removed, and process water is moved to the next cycle. 

Two types of water softeners are used in the system Pellets and crystal form.

Choose between two available options. You must know how both of softener works and understand the difference between both of them.

Knowing minerals processing power of softeners

The primary job of the water softener is to remove the minerals from the water. As a result, dissolved substances like manganese, magnesium, iron, dirt, and other particles are trapped in the water. 

When the water moves through the softener, the softener gets active and traps the substances, and allows the clean water to pass from the filter. 

When the softener is fully jammed, it blocks the water flow and reduces the water heater’s efficiency and any other equipment attached to it.

Hard water is not helpful for cleaning. Any soup used with hard water makes it tough to clean. The clothes also become yellow and stained laundry.

Pellets vs. Crystals

The pellets are used in the large water container to process the water in a high volume. It makes water processing easy, and the excess amount of substance proceed quickly without blocking. 

Crystals, on the other hand, are more resistant to the substance. It sometimes creates a layer when the crystals interlock with each other. The water will not pass through the system. The crystal-based water softener is good for low-volume water. 

Can you use salt crystals and pellets together in the same softener?

Usually, the water softeners are built with the same type of water softener. However, they are flexible about the various other formats of the softeners. 

Therefore, you can use any of the softeners found in the market. Usually, the pellets and crystals are used in the water softener. 

There is no harm in using the two different softeners in the same system. They can work as per the need and process the water without any damage. 

However, you should consult with the manufacturer before using the mixer of the salt softener because not all the water softeners will have the facility to accommodate the given substance as usual. 

If the water softener has a system where it may produce clogging, it will not work as expected, and you will not clean the water. In addition, based on the design of the particular softener, you will not be able to activate the softener. 

However, the manufacture of the all-in-one or single tank softener suggests using the pellets to fit perfectly fine in the softener. Also, pellets are highly recommended for the softener required high volume water processing power.

The resin tank is placed inside the brine tank, where all the material passes through. The salt crystal may get trapped, and over time it will create crust inside the tank. Once the clogging is formed, the water will get blocked, and the whole system will be ineffective.

The only way to prevent clogging in the tank is to use the pellets. Suck the crystal and replace it with pellets if the system is creating trouble. For example, the crust in the bottom of the tank may have blocked the pipe. 

As a result, you will not be able to clean the water. The hard water will stay hard even it is passing through the system. Adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendation to find the best choices available in the softeners.


You should make the decision based on the availability of the softener in the region and the type of system you are using. It is not 100% certain that the pellets will help you clean the water, and the crystal will not. 

The crystal-based salt water softener also performs great and operates at the steady cleaning method. Pellets and crystals are both efficient. You can choose the substance based on the requirement and volume of the water.

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