Salt Free Water Softener: Really?

If you have spent any time studying about the benefits of soft water then you already know that the existence of a salt free method for softening water is a myth. If not, then you may not know that there truly is no such thing as a salt free water softener. A system that bills itself as a “saltless water softener” is actually a descaler. If you have decided that you do indeed want softened water as opposed to water that has been processed by a descaler then you should avoid purchasing what is often marketed as a salt free water softener. This article aims to clarify the difference between a so called salt free water softener and a true water softener.

Why would I claim that there is no such thing as a salt free water softener? Well, first of all, let’s establish the definition of a water softener. In order for a water softener to be a water softener it must physically remove hardness ions from water to levels at or below 1 gpg (grains per gallon). All modern ion exchange water softeners physically remove magnesium and calcium from water and work on generally the same principle – exchanging ionic contaminants in water for sodium or potassium ions. Why don’t saltless water softeners fit that description? Because they do not perform that function – plain and simple.

So what do salt free or no salt water softeners do? They aim at reducing or eliminating the scale or the build-up of minerals in the pipes that deliver the water. That’s called.. say it with me – “Descaling”. But since these technologies aren’t softeners (they don’t remove hardness ions), they can’t legally or ethically be sold as water softeners. Many technologies exist for removing or reducing scaling in water. Some of these technologies do help to minimize or reduce scale formation in certain cases. However; let’s be honest and call them what they really are. If a company is selling a descaler then they should be sure to describe it accordingly instead of misleading consumers.

Assuming you have decided that you truly do want to have softened water rather than descaled water then you should definitely avoid purchasing a salt free water softener. Be sure to use a reputable installer for your Phoenix water softener installation. Some things to consider in regard to soft water vs descaled water include:

  • The effects of soft water on the longevity of your clothes.
  • How soft water interacts with your household equipment such as the washing machine.
  • The effectiveness of soft water on cleaning dishes.
  • Benefits of soft water for bathing.

Hopefully the difference between a true water softener and a so-called salt free water softener or descaler is now clear. Three things to remember are: (1) there really is no such thing as a salt free water softener; (2) salt free water softeners are actually called descalers; and (3) if you want soft water then you should avoid salt free water softeners.

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