If you have hard water in your home, you've probably heard of a few different types of water softeners on the market.
Since water treatment is a somewhat technical issue, understanding what different products do, and which is right for your home can get confusing.
If you're in the market for a water softener and want to know a little bit more about what a salt-free water softener is, we're here to help.
This article is going to dig into what a salt-free water softener is, what it does, how it works, and who they are best for.
Let's get started!
What is A Salt-Free Water Softener & How Does It Work?
Contrary to what its name suggests, a salt-free water softener isn't actually a water softener at all. It's a water conditioner.
Hard water comes from excess minerals in your water, such as magnesium or calcium. A true sodium-based water softener removes these minerals, while a salt-free water softener crystallizes them.
This crystallization can help the water feel softer and will prevent scale buildup in your plumbing. However, this crystallization will not improve most of the common symptoms of hard water, like preventing soap scum and softening your skin.
What's the Point of a Salt-Free Water Softener?
A salt-free water softener is a low cost, low maintenance bandaid on the issue of hard water. If you have city water that has an okay quality, and you're just looking to improve the longevity of your plumbing system, a salt-free water softener may be the right choice for you.
On the other hand, a salt-free water softener is not a replacement for a salt-based system or water filter. This is especially true if you have dirty well water. Some city water will be fine without a salt-based water softener installed in your home, but it all depends on where you live.
What Are The Benefits of A Salt-Based System?
Unlike salt-free systems, a salt-based water softening system has a plethora of benefits outside of simply preventing scale buildup in your pipes.
When you think of soft water, the type that dries well, cleans easily, and makes soap lather like a dream, you're probably thinking of a salt-based system.
The benefits associated with a traditional salt-based water softening system include things like removing minerals from the water. These minerals are what is responsible for scale buildup, bad taste, and soap scum.
When you actually remove these minerals, instead of just crystalizing them, you get to take advantage of all of the benefits of soft water.
Only Salt-Based Systems Meet Industry Standards
While standards may change based on where you live, generally speaking, only salt-based systems mean the Department of Public Health Codes. So, if you're required to install a water softener in your home, you'll need to get a salt-based one installed by a professional.
Salt-free water softeners are generally seen as a consumer-level add on, and not a true water softening system. While they can be effective at improving your plumbing system, the benefits stop there.
Which On is Right For You?
Before you go buy the latest and greatest salt-based water softening system, you should ask yourself if it truly is what you're looking for. Many people simply want a water softener to improve their plumbing, and don't care about all of the other benefits.
If you're in the market for a new water softening system, let us know which types you're considering in the comments section below!