If you are experiencing problems with hard water in your home and the issues it can bring, it can be a good idea to add a water softener to get rid of the minerals responsible for the hard water.
What Is “Hard” Water and Why Is It a Problem?
Water is regarded as “hard” if it contains elevated levels of magnesium and calcium. The minerals can lead to various problems throughout your home such as a buildup in copper pipes, scaling on plumbing fixtures, reduced effectiveness of water using appliances including spotting on glasses and dishes, as well as the need for increased detergent when your launder clothes.
What Are the Solutions to “Hard” Water?
Two solutions have been found to be effective when it comes to dealing with “hard” water:
– Salt-Based Water Softeners
– Salt-Free Water Softeners (Conditioners)
How Do Salt-Based Water Softeners Work?
Water softening refers to the removal of the minerals responsible for hardness from the water through a process known as ion exchange. Salt-based best water descaler have a resin bed that filters the water through and exchanges the hardness minerals (magnesium and calcium) for sodium particles.
Once the resin bed reaches a saturation point, the cleaning cycle starts whereby a series of back flushes purge the trapped minerals out of the system. The sodium particles are replenished too, and the system continues softening.
How Do Salt-Free Water Softeners Work?
Salt-free water softener technology is now available. It uses technology that conditions the water naturally and prevents scaling without the need for salt, chemicals, or back-flushing. This means that you get to save on your water bill and fewer chemicals are released into the environment.
Salt-free water softeners don’t produce any discharge and don’t require any electricity to operate. The systems use tested technology that various leading institutions have proven and hundreds of thousands of such units are being used all over the world.
Salt-free water softeners don’t use ion exchange, but instead use a technology known as Template Assisted Crystallization. Any minerals present in the water are transformed into nano-crystals that stay in the water but are not harmless.
Do Salt-Free Water Softeners Really Work?
The truth is that there is no such thing as a salt-free water softener and they never have. It might seem like a contradiction based on the information provided above, but with the explanation provided below, you will see why this is not the case.
A “Water Softener” is by definition a water treatment system that uses an ion exchange process to get rid of the minerals from water. However, a Salt-Free Water Softener is technically a Water Conditioner. The term “softener” is used for marketing purposes since it is what most people are accustomed to.
The Importance of Having Reasonable Expectations
Unlike the conventional water softeners, salt-free water conditioners don’t actually remove the calcium from your water, but instead treat it and convert it into aragonite, which is technically still calcium and tests exactly like calcium in a water test.
If you have fairly hard water, you will most likely see a thin dusty residue on glass surfaces that resembles talcum powder. However, this is just the calcium that has now been converted into aragonite form.
Salt-free water conditioners are an excellent option if you don’t want conventional salt treatment methods. However, you should be ready to keep wiping down glass surfaces to keep them looking clean. Still, you won’t have to worry about crusty shower heads any more if your salt-free water conditioner is working as designed.
The unfortunate thing is that most sellers of the salt-free water treatment products online never explain this fact to potential buyers. So, people buy such products hoping and thinking that they are buying a product that works like a regular water softener. The result is that buyers are never fully satisfied since they didn’t have a reasonable expectation of how they expect the product to work for them.
Wait… But My Plumber Said That They Don’t Work
It is common to see complaints online of people claiming that salt-free water conditioners don’t actually work. However, this is completely wrong. It is worth keeping in mind the fact that plumbers only recommend conventional water softening systems since it is what they understand.
It is highly likely that plumbing professionals don’t have any actual training in alternative water treatment solutions and they simply compare the salt-free water conditioner to conventional water softening systems, which should not be the case.
Benefits of Salt-Free Water Conditioners
Salt-free water conditioners are good for the environment because they don’t produce waste that has salt content, which means that ground water is also preserved.
Salt-free water conditioners are low maintenance because you never have to buy salt or any other chemical to keep the system running.
Longer Lifespan for Your Appliances:
Scale can be very devastating to many appliances and not just pipes. With salt-free water conditioners, you prevent the formation of the scale and protect your appliances.
No Carrying Bulky Loads:
With salt-free water conditioners, you don’t need salt, which means that you won’t have to carry huge bags that contain salt.
Salt-free water conditioners have a compact design, which means that they can fit just about anywhere whether indoors or outdoors.
Understand Your Needs & Know Your Options Before You Make a Purchase
If you want to choose the best system for you, it is important to completely understand the difference between conventional salt-based water softeners and the salt-free water conditioners. Not all salt-free water conditioners work in all applications.
If you feel that you absolutely need to remove minerals from water, then your search is over since all you need is a conventional water softener. However, if you want the minerals to remain in your water as long as they are manageable, then the salt-free water conditioner is perfect for you.
The Bottom Line
Do salt-free water softeners work? Yes they do, but just not how most people think they do. The information provided here should help you understand how these systems work and will help you make an informed purchase decision.