When speaking to customers we are often asked what type of softener we would recommend for their home and family. this answer is different for each person based on a few factors. In this section we try to explain those factors so that you have a better understanding of softeners and hopefully an idea of which type you would like to purchase and have installed(we install all types).
Salt free softeners are actually called Salt free Water Conditioners, but give you similar results as traditional softeners so for easier understanding, we call them salt-free softeners. All of the information found here is directly from the manufacturers or credible websites only. We also have a section on our home page of "Recommended Products" that have been chosen based on reviews directly from customers as well as on- line and from us.
Some Factors That Help us Make a Recommendation
Water softening means you are removing the hardness (minerals like calcium and magnesium)
from the water through a process called ion exchange. Salt-based water softeners contain a
resin bed which filters the water through, exchanging those hardness minerals for sodium
particles. When the resin bed is full of hardness and can’t hold onto anymore of it, the cleaning
cycle (or regeneration) begins. This is when a series of backwashes purge the trapped minerals
and flushes them out of the system. The salt is then replenished as well and the system
continues to soften.
• A salt-based water softener will completely remove minerals, such as calcium and
magnesium, from your water.
• A saltwater system will reduce the excess amount of lime-scale build up that appears in your
sinks, on your faucets, and in your bathtubs slightly better than a salt-free system
You will also notice that more suds and bubbles are formed when the water is soft from salt.
This is due to the minerals being taken from the water and no longer being present to dry your
• Unfortunately, a salt based system can be a little bit more expensive.
• The salt based water softeners require maintenance to clean out the resin bed and
replenish the salt. During the regeneration, unfortunately, there is water “wasted” and the
resin bed will need to be replaced every five to ten years.
Salt-free systems do not use the ion exchange process to remove the hardness minerals as the
salt-based systems do. Instead, the water is processed through a catalytic media using a
physical process called Template Assisted Crystallization. The minerals’ shape is changed to
a hardness crystal that does not stick to surfaces or pipes without removing minerals. That is why it is called a water conditioner instead of a water softener since it does not technically “soften” your water. Since
these types of systems do not capture and remove minerals, there is no need for a cleaning cycle to remove
• They are commonly less expensive than salt based systems.
• Salt-free water softeners do not use any softening chemicals to soften the water in your
home(no need to add salt every month) and also do not have wastewater so they are more efficient.
• This type of softener will counteract contaminants like calcium and magnesium so that they
do not stick to your pipes and damage them over time.
• In the salt-free process, it creates hardness crystals but leaves minerals present in the water
• Systems that use salt are typically better at showing results for hard water stains versus a salt-free system. Although there will be a large reduction in build up on fixtures there will still be build up present.
A water softener is a system that uses the water treatment process called ion exchange to remove hardness minerals in water – such as calcium and magnesium.
Water softeners are used in both residential and industrial applications.
hard water is simply water that has calcium and magnesium present. Looks whitish in color and can build up inside your pipes and on faucets and shower doors.
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