Have you heard about salt free water softener systems and wonder whether they are the best choice for you and your situation? A water softener is a good option if you are experiencing any of the following issues:
- Dry hair
- Mineral deposits appearing on your bathtub of shower
- Dry skin
- A water heater making crackling sounds
- Scale build-up on the inside of your fixtures, pipes, shower heads or appliances
- White film appearing on your silverware or glasses
The reason for the above issues is most likely hard water in your system. Calling water “hard” may seem odd but what it refers to is the presence of minerals. The minerals that cause hard water are typically magnesium and calcium.
Your hard water situation has likely led you to thinking about using a water softener. The way most water softeners operate is to remove those calcium and magnesium minerals via a process called ion exchange. The minerals are removed by putting sodium in their place. That’s what happens when using a salt-based softener.
Using a salt-based water softener is effective but comes with these typical complaints from people using that option:
Water waste: This might be an issue in areas with drought issues. These systems use a lot of water to wash out the hard minerals.
The use of too much salt: There are ongoing costs associated with these systems because purchases of large bags of salt are required.
The use of electricity: Salt-based softeners need to be plugged in. This uses electricity. Another drawback might occur if you aren’t near a convenient plug.
The resulting water feels slick: Once the calcium is replaced with sodium, the resulting feel to the water is often described as slippery. Some people don’t like the way this type of water feels on the skin and actually prefer the effects of hard water. Slippery water makes it difficult to get soap off during a shower or when washing dishes.
A drain is required: Since there is a lot of water released with these systems, they require a nearby drain. It’s difficult to install a sodium-based water softening system if a drain isn’t located close to the unit. Since it is salt water getting discharged, the drain must release the water into a sewer system.
Another Option Is A Salt Free Water Conditioner
Salt free systems use a different process. It helps to condition the water in order to make it softer, but without the use of any chemicals, back-flushing systems or salt. These saltless systems don’t need electricity and there is no discharged sodium-based water. A salt free system is a convenient method for:
- Producing zero environmental issues
- Preventing scale build-up in pipes or on shower heads
- Handling the hard water issue without the waste associated with sodium-based softeners
The minerals that cause water hardness are converted into nano-sized crystals via a salt free system. The minerals are still present in the water. However, they no longer cause any water hardness in their new crystalized state.
More specifically, these salt free systems use what are called nucleation sites. These nucleation sites are beads that the calcium and magnesium minerals bind onto. This binding process creates the environment whereby the mineral crystallization occurs. The resulting crystals are then released into the water. The result is soft water. You can think of this salt free process as one that simply neutralizes the effects of hard mineral deposits in your water.
Benefits of Using Salt Free Systems
There are several advantages to using a salt free water conditioning system. These benefits include the following situations:
- When you desire to get rid of any scale build-up inside your pipes, shower heads and other fixtures
- When you hear crackling in your water heater and want to protect it from the hard water causing those knocking sounds
- When you want to help your appliances, washing machines and showers do a better job of their cleaning processes. This happens when the reduction of hard, white deposits occurs and water is more easily wiped away
Now let’s look at all the various situations and reasons for why you might want to use a salt free system to get rid of your hard water problem.
Reasons to Use a Salt Free System
You need to monitor your intake of sodium – Since there isn’t any sodium used, you’re safe in situations where you have cardiovascular issues or other conditions where you must lower your salt intake.
There isn’t enough space for a sodium-based unit – Saltless water softener options can come in tight, compact design options. They can be installed in almost any space you desire. These types of units can be placed on counters or even inside cabinet areas.
You’d rather avoid any chemicals in your attempts at beating hard water – There are no chemicals used with sodium-free systems.
You don’t like slippery water – Using the salt free version allows you to avoid water that feels slimy and slick.
You want to avoid maintenance tasks – Salt-based water softeners require the constant addition of salt and other maintenance issues. Sodium-free units don’t require much maintenance at all.
You’d rather save water – Sodium free systems don’t waste any water because there isn’t a need to discharge water throughout the process.
You want to avoid any need to change the mineral aspect of your water – A salt free system doesn’t add anything to the water at all. It’s simply a conditioning process.
You want to help lengthen the lifespan of your appliances & pipe system – Hard water scale harms the inside of your pipe system and can cause leaks. It will also harm your appliances. Using a salt free water conditioner removes the scaling problem.
Save money – After you buy a salt free system, there aren’t any costs to worry about. On the other hand, salt-based systems come with ongoing costs associated with the use of electricity, buying salt, etc.
You want to protect all systems around the house that use water – Getting rid of hard water scaling issues will help with the lifespan and efficiency of your sprinkler system heads, tankless water heaters, cooling towers, misting systems, solar heating systems and humidifiers.
You want to fix your hard water issue quickly – There are a wide variety of sodium-free systems to choose from. Some are small units. Others are big enough to service your entire house. You will get fast results no matter what your needs are.
You actually want minerals to remain in your water – There is information available that reveals how magnesium and calcium may actually be beneficial to your overall health. Since a salt free system merely crystallizes these minerals in order to get rid of the hard water issue, the health benefits remain intact.
There are many benefits and reasons to use a sodium-free water softening system. Don’t become overwhelmed by the choices on the market or trying to sift through the various pros and cons involved. Instead, use the above tips to educate yourself. Ask yourself whether the benefits match with your personal feelings about the environment and health. If the pros and cons of sodium-free water softeners align with your values and needs, then consider using one to solve your hard water problem.