A problem with hard water could cause unsightly stains, watermarks, or filmy residue in your home’s plumbing fixtures.

Salt Free vs Salt Water Softener

Calcium and magnesium, abundant minerals found in hard water, are known for their destructive potential. Installing a good water softener at home is a fantastic solution to this problem!

Installing a water softener can result in financial savings on your monthly water bill and increased longevity for your plumbing and appliances. You can even use it to make your hair and skin softer.

You should know that there are two types of water softeners, those that use salt and those that don’t. While it’s true that one doesn’t use salt, that’s not the only distinction.

There are numerous differences between the systems that ought to be thought about before making a purchase. That begs the question, though, which is superior?


Understanding Salt Free Water Softener

The term salt free water softener is somewhat misleading. Why? Because conventional salt free water softeners don’t soften the water. 

Water conditioning systems prevent scale buildup in pipes by crystallizing calcium and magnesium ions. Therefore, it is more accurate to refer salt-free water softeners as salt-free water conditioners.

Instead of multiple tanks filled with salt, a salt-free water conditioner uses a single tank filled with tiny pieces of potassium. Because of a chemical reaction, the calcium and magnesium in hard water will crystallize when potassium is present in the environment. The treated water is then reintroduced into your plumbing system without the risk of scale formation.

However, the calcium and magnesium particles remain in the water and can cause damage to your home when the water leaves the plumbing system and comes into contact with oxygen. As a result, you should still expect to encounter many difficulties typically associated with hard water.


Understanding Salt Water Softener

It is a water softener that uses salt to remove minerals that contribute to hard water via ion exchange. Minerals like calcium and magnesium fall into this category.

Two tanks make up the typical salt based softener. Tiny resin beads fill one tank with a metered valve on top. The resin tank is the container holding the resin. The other tank is full of a saltwater solution called brine. The brine tank is a large storage container.

Hard water is poured into the tank that holds the resin. After that, the resin beads act as a filter, removing the minerals that contribute to the hardness of the water. After going through the process of being softened, the water is then piped into your home.

Once the resin beads have accumulated sufficient calcium and magnesium, they must be cleaned. The brine tank is designed for just such an operation. Once every few days, the brine tank’s contents are pumped into the resin tank, where the sodium cleans the resin and is washed away.


Revealing the Advantages and Disadvantages of Salt Free Water Softeners

Some advantages of salt free water conditioners include the following:

  • Has the advantage of not needing salt to be added.
  • It can function without the use of batteries or electricity.
  • Does not require water-wasting backwashing or regeneration.
  • This procedure uses no ion exchange procedure. 
  • While the water’s hardness is maintained, its properties are changed so that it no longer forms scale when it comes into contact with other materials. 
  • It removes some scales located in the home’s water pipes and electrical appliances.
  • This system requires no upkeep and has much lower maintenance costs than salt-based alternatives.
  • Neither an additional drain line nor electrical wiring is needed, so there are various installation options and lower costs.
  • This eco-friendly technology has been widely praised.

Some disadvantages of salt free water conditioners include the following:

  • It conditions the water, eliminating the softness, sometimes described as the slimy sensation that can linger on washed hands and hair.
  • A trace amount of minerals may remain on your dishes and glasses after running the dishwasher. It is easily removable via rinsing or wiping.
  • There is a high cost and limited shelf-life associated with media. Anywhere from two to six years, depending on how hard it is. The money spent on replacement is comparable to what would be spent on salt.


Revealing the Advantages and Disadvantages of Salt Water Softeners

Some advantages of salt water conditioners include the following:

  • Softeners can handle metals and hard minerals, unlike conditioners, which only deal with calcium and magnesium.
  • These are the most effective because they soften the water by removing the hard minerals and metals that flavor it. Clean dishes and laundry can be done with less detergent and still look great.
  • The sodium ions are swapped for the hard minerals and metals with the ion exchange process used for softening.
  • Deposition on fixtures and utensils, dry hair after shampooing, rough hands, and a harsh taste can all be avoided using soft water.
  • Hydrogen sulfide cannot be removed by this method, and additional treatment may be necessary if iron or manganese levels are too high.
  • The resin has a typical lifespan of 10 years. However, the resin’s lifespan can extend to twenty years or more with care.

Some disadvantages of salt water conditioners include:

  • Salt and occasionally a conditioner are needed to keep the resin in a softener working correctly. Fail to do so, and you risk premature fouling that will render the system inoperable.
  • Water is wasted during the lengthy cleaning cycle. Wastewater that seeps into the ground can be toxic to plants. 
  • The installation process may be complicated if the sewer line must be buried beneath a street or driveway. Electricity must be brought to the installation site, which may be costly if not planned for in advance.