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Diamond Crystal Pellets - A Shotgun Wedding Gone Good

Mar 18, 2009 (Updated Oct 29, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Fairly priced, Keeps tank clean and mainteance free. Easy carry & opening bags.

Cons:None at all

The Bottom Line: Cargill Diamond Crystal Pellets are an excellent choice.  Easy carry & open poly bags. Keeps tank clean and mainteance free. Fairly priced.

A little over a year ago, I ended up taking a chance and bringing home Cargill Salt Diamond Crystal Pellets because our local Home Depot stopped carrying the pellets I used for years.  Morton System Saver Salt Pellets had been my choice for well over 13 years and I had no desire or reason to change brands.  I liked using the trusted Morton brand pellets because I never experienced any softener system problems and the price was equal to or better than any other options available.  Unfortunately, the only other local retailers that continued offering the System Saver are currently charging up to $6.99 per bag when I was used to paying under $4.50. 

Upon moving into our home, it became immediately evident our well water would need a softening system or we would encounter serious damage to our home's fixtures and expensive new appliances.  Rust rings formed quickly in our toilets, sinks and showers and I had major concerns about what the water would do to our hot water heater and washer.  One of the first things we did was purchase a softener, this decision was also one of the smartest decisions we made as well.

The pellets reviewed here are comprised of pure salt.   The manufacturer claim is that the pellets are 99.8% sodium chloride which makes them suitable for use in any water softener system.  After more than a full year of use, I honestly can’t notice a bit of difference in comparison to the Morton pellets I used and trusted for the life of my system.  Your softener’s life will be greatly affected by your choice.  It’s this high purity salt which you should be looking for when considering a choice of salt to prevent hard mineral deposits to build up in the screens and valves of the softener over time. 

After more than a year, the fixtures, tubs, toilets, tub and shower enclosures and tiles all still stay nearly rust free with little evidence of the hard minerals I know are coming up from our home’s well water.  From past experience, eliminating the water softening system or a high quality salt for any length of time would be devastating to our home’s appliances and fixtures.  We do still use a Brita Pitcher for our regular drinking water but there’s no question use of the softener system and a high quality salt pellet give our well water a much cleaner taste.  Our clothes come out of the washer with no loss of brightness or color just as they have for years.  We've also noticed no difference in the amount of lathering from soaps since switchng over to these salt pellets.

The manufacturer claims to have a patented additive which prevents “mushing and bridging” of the pellets in the tank.  Just prior to my completing this review, I allowed the system to work down near the bottom of the salt tank.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Cargill Salt Diamond Crystal Pellets have performed equally well to my old stand-by choice in this respect as well.  The pellets do indeed remain in a solid form right down to the bottom of the salt keeper lending credence to Cargill’s claims.  I still see no need to clean the brine tank which validates Cargill’s claim that the pellets are virtually 100% water soluble.  

This product can be found in a variety of package sizes.  Locally, I usually purchase this product in the 40 lb poly bags but the Cargill website states that they may be found in:
25 lb paper or poly bags
40 lb paper or poly bags
50 lb paper or poly bags
80 lb poly bags
20 kg poly bags (French/English)
35 kg poly bags (French/English)

I like the 40 lb size poly package because they’re fairly easy to handle yet still an economical choice.  The package comes with a tear-off corner very similar to what I was used to for years with the Morton System Saver.  The corners of the Morton bags were a little easier to remove but you should not have a huge problem with these bags.  The poly bags also have handles built into both ends for easier handling.  You simply punch-out the perforated handles which are strong enough so I have yet to experience a tear or failure.

Even though it seemed like a shotgun marriage when I first tried this product, after more than a year, I now feel pretty comfortable with the change.  The fact this choice does not cause a maintenance issue by leaving residue in the tank is real important to me.  It also seems to perform on par with Morton System Saver when it comes to rust and mineral deposits on our fixtures and tile and overall water taste.  I would most likely still be purchasing the Morton branded product if I could locate it at similar prices.  Now I can pick up the 50 lb bags of these pellets at Costco for or the 40 lb bag at Home Depot for $4.39 both of which are an extremely fair value.  Since I'm saving well over $2.00 per bag now I'll continue using Cargill Salt Diamond Crystal Pellets and offer up a full 5 stars here at Epinions based on both value and performance.

Recommend this product? Yes

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