Saltless Water Softeners; Too Good To Be True?
Isn’t technology great? With the internet, we can research and find out exactly what we want in a company, product or service. I’m happy you were able to find this article to warn you of the biggest danger of saltless water softeners which is the agonizing defeat to your pocketbook!
Along with technology comes various methods of advertising and marketing to inject ideas into our lives. The appeal to the idea of saltless water softeners is understandable. It would be hard to find someone that likes having to buy or haul salt to the water softener. There was a time when I was similarly attracted to a product that made a lot of promises. I purchased a Save a Blade razor sharpener as a result of enticing advertising I came across on the TV and internet. Let me say it would have been nice to stumble upon the Popular Mechanics review of this product to save some money and my face instead. Or perhaps I could have thought back to my grandfather’s famous advice “I don’t believe anything I hear and only half of what I see.”
What triggered me to write this article was an advertiser on a radio station I enjoy providing claims that someone not in the water treatment industry would think is fantastic. This particular advertisement for Easy Water, No Salt Water Softeners. I immediately found humor in the advertisement, listening to the host stating that the Salt Free Softener leaves all of the good minerals in the water. The good minerals? Wrapping your plumbing with electricity such as the Easy Water system requires will not rid your water of any minerals, good or bad if there were such a thing. Because I am asked about these no salt or saltless water softeners from time to time, I wanted to get some need to know information out regarding “no salt softeners.”
Get the Facts About “Salt Free Water Softeners”
Starting with their name, they are deceiving. A Water Softener by definition is a device that reduces hard water (dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium). Saltless systems do not remove hardness.
The term water softener represents a technology called ion exchange. Ion-exchange removes hard water ions in an exchange for sodium ions. Learn how real water softeners work.
Various companies will advertise “salt free softeners” using tanks similar looking to water softeners but are designed to reduce sediment, odor and chemicals such as chlorine. These systems can greatly improve your water quality by removing chlorine, sediment and odor but will not produce the desirable and money saving “soft water” consumers are looking for.
There are technologies available that are incorrectly advertised as saltless water softeners that will prevent scale from accumulating, but will not soften your water. You will lose 90% of the benefit of having soft water, but can prevent the hard water from “scaling.” Credible companies sell this technology as anti-scaling, or scale inhibitors. A good example for proper use of this technology is a customer of mine with a surgery center. This customer has an autoclave or sterilizing machine that uses water that is not overly hard yet still provided a large amount of scale corrosion. An anti-scaling system has been used to prevent damage to this expensive machinery.
Marketing trickery of some companies will sell their water softening product under the idea that it is salt free, by using potassium chloride and not sodium chloride (salt). This system will still reduce hard water mineral but potassium is 5x more expensive and 30% less efficient.
I know I want soft water and I want to save on salt and water, what can I do?
The water softening industry is forever growing and improving. The same technologies that have been proven for over 100 years are still being used and are more efficient than ever.
- Make sure you are looking at a metered or an “on demand” water softener. This is a water softener that will count the gallons your household is using and clean itself accordingly.
- Consider High Efficiency Technology. The Hellenbrand ProMate 6.5 Water Softener will use up to 50% less salt than other conventional water softeners.
- Recycle Your Salt. The Hellenbrand ProMate 6.0 Water Softener offers an add-on feature that allows your softener to reuse and recycle up to 30% of your salt.
- Understand the financial savings and improvement on quality of life with a water softener. Realizing the true savings will have any homeowner happy to buy salt for a water softener.
If you are on a well and experience iron staining, you should consider removing the iron first with a chemical free iron filter. Iron present in the water can greatly increase the amount of salt used.
When it comes to hard water, the water softener is the only appliance in your home that is going to protect your plumbing and appliances while making your water enjoyable to use for washing clothes and bathing.