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Do Saltless Water Softeners Work?

Saltless Water Softeners

Most of the water through our taps contains hard minerals that can ruin appliances and make our laundry grungy. Water softeners solve the issue by making the water softer, but not all of them are made the same. Most use salt to remove hard minerals, but a salt-free variety is gaining traction with consumers since it doesn’t require a steady supply of salt to work.

Some people believe that the only difference between the two is that one uses salt and the other doesn’t. Saltless water softeners do not soften water. They condition it.

To understand whether saltless water softeners are worth the investment, we must first understand how a salt-based water softener functions.

What Is A Salt-Based Water Softener?

Water softening is an ion exchange process that eliminates hard minerals such as calcium and magnesium from water that comes in through your pipes. During this process, the minerals are attracted to a bed of polymer resin which sends sodium ions in their place, thus ‘softening’ the water. This way, it reduces mineral concentrations that would otherwise damage your plumbing, skin, hair, and water heater.

Even though it needs salt, saltwater softeners do not increase sodium levels in your drinking water. It only adds about 12.5 mg of salt per glass. This is one of the reasons why these are considered to be more efficient and more cost-friendly compared to the salt-free options.

Without a salt-based softener, you will need to use more detergent for your clothes, see the colors from your clothes fade faster, and spend hours removing buildup from faucets. That is time that you can not afford to lose.

What Are Saltless Water Softeners?

Instead of salt, saltless water softeners use potassium which triggers a chemical reaction that crystalizes mineral buildup resulting from hard water. In other words, it prevents the mineral from adhering to anything the water touches, such as your laundry, pipes, coffee maker, etc.

Salt-free water softeners are not softeners at all. They descale or condition water. This means the water is still hard after it emerges from the softener, but it cannot create scales or deposits.

Are Salt-Free Water Softeners Worth It?

A water softener that doesn’t need salt seems like a good option since it doesn’t add sodium to your diet offers almost the same benefits as the salt-based variety and is low maintenance. However, salt-free softeners are also more expensive because of the potassium pellets they use and are also considered less efficient. They are low maintenance because they don’t work as hard as salt-based softeners do to treat your drinking water.

A water softener that doesn’t need salt cannot reduce scale sufficiently in areas where water rests for long periods. On the flip side, it ensures that equipment that uses water doesn’t need to work as hard to fulfill your needs.

Which One Should You Choose?

Now that you know how both softeners work, which one is best for your needs? It all comes down to your requirements and budget. While both systems are designed to treat water hardness, they do so differently and provide different results.

For example, salt-based systems make hard water slick enough to help you make a good lather with soap or your shampoo. The treated water feels clean when it runs down your body because it doesn’t contain minerals that would otherwise dry your skin.

Plus, clothes washed with water treated from salt water softeners retain color brightness that abrasive hard minerals may otherwise remove. So if your clothes look grungy after a good wash, you are using more soap than you should need, and your shower door has a scaly buildup, you need a salt-based water softener.

Salt-free water softeners or conditions, on the other hand, leave minerals in the water and create crystals that do not stick to equipment and appliances.

So if you want to eliminate scale buildup on shower doors, do not like the feeling slick water gives you as it runs down your body, and do not want to spend money on salt, stick to saltless water softeners. Just don’t expect the same quality that salt-based ones can give you. The bottom line is that salty water softeners will always outperform salt-free softeners when it comes to softening hard water. Your choice will depend on your budget and what you are able to put up with.

Contact the Professionals for Water Analysis

Your family deserves clean and safe drinking water. With time, hard water can cause several serious health concerns. If you are searching for professional plumbers who can analyze your water quality and recommend a water softening system, get in touch with King.

Our experienced plumbers can install the best water filtration and softening systems for your home that can give you years of good service. This includes reverse osmosis filters that can remove foreign contaminants such as lead (municipal pipes are decades old, so lead contamination is still a threat) and pesticides before they reach your appliances, shower-heads, and faucets. These can also improve the feel and taste of your home’s water supply.

If you are ready to take the leap and make a positive change to your water supply, we are ready to help you any way we can. Call us or fill out the form on our website with your queries, and we will get started.