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CAn you use water softener salt to make brine

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by kcplowman, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. kcplowman

    kcplowman Member
    Messages: 63

    I have quite a few bags of water softener salt laying around, and I was curious if I could make brine with it. It is supposed to be like 9x percent pure salt and I know it disolves good. So i figure why not use it if I can.
     
  2. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,952

    yes you can. It makes a very clean brine compared to bulk salt. When I was using it to make brine it was costing about 26 cents per gallon. Now using bulk salt its costing 11 1/2 cents per gallon. But the bulk is nowhere as clean.

    Salt brine maker 300 gallon per hour.jpg

    Salt brine maker 300 gallon per hour.jpg
     
  3. kcplowman

    kcplowman Member
    Messages: 63

    Just curious how do you have that brine maker plumbed up as far and are there aggitators in the top tank. Sorry for all the questions Im still learning the liquid stuff.
     
  4. Deco

    Deco Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    yes , if you can liquify it
     
  5. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,952

    No agitator necessary! I fill the top tank with 850 pounds of salt ( your choice bag deicer, solar, bulk deicer, etc ) then fill with water up to the 200 gallon mark. Then fill lower tank to 200 gallons. The yellow handled valves with quick connects are then connected to a 5 hp transfer pump ( trash pump ) with 2" suction hose. Suction from lower tank pumping into top tank. Top tank has 2" pvc going up to top of tank then divided into (4) 1" pvc pipe going down to the bottom of the tank. I kept them about 3" off the bottom. Start the transfer pump and recirculate for about 35 minutes. With the 4 pipes in the top tank it causes a lot of turbulence and stirs the salt. I would have to say about 90% dissolves. As long as it tests 23-24% saturation its close enough for me. How big of brine maker do you need? If I run this setup for 1 hour each day x 7 days per week ( which would be less time than I spend on PlowSite ) I would at the end of the week have made almost 2,500 gallons. I try only to make 500 gallons ahead so I don't have to store it. I have stored it for 9-10 months with no falling out of suspension. The plumbing is very unimpressive to look at, but works perfectly. DO NOT hook up the 2" hose to the valve at the bottom of the tote. The little warning label you will sometimes find on these totes saying not to pump from or thru the valves are absolutely correct! I know I tested it! Sucked the butterfly and stem right out of the housing. :laughing:
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    12_25_09 016 (Custom).jpg

    12_25_09 017 (Custom).jpg

    12_25_09 020 (Custom).jpg
     
  6. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,952

    Liquefying it has not been a problem since I started to use the 2" pump to recirculate with 2 tanks. Last year I had only 1 tank and used a 3/4 hp sump pump to stir the tank but that took about 4 hrs / 200 gallons, still 90% dissolved. But I was always at 23-24% saturation.
     
  7. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,868

    Well, we all know the saying: If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with BS.

    :dizzy: