Salt vs. Salt-less Water Softeners

Think a salt-free system is just as beneficial as salt water softener?
Think again.

NO ONE WANTS TO HAUL SALT. (Unless you’re the salt delivery guy.) And you
don’t find many of them around that have done it for very long.

I’ve been in the water business for 25 years and in the past five years
there has been a great “buzz” about salt free water “softeners”. Many of
our neighbors have invested in many different products that profess to be
water softeners that don’t need salt. Hooray!!!!!!!!, at last someone has
done it. To their disappointment, that water doesn’t come out “soft”. It
comes out different on some of them. But no soft, silky shower and the
spots are still there.

The bath tub ring is still there and the water heater collects more
calcium build up and still goes out prematurely.

In the past years we’ve seen, magnets on the pipes, wires wrapped around
the pipes. The magnets and wires do change the “ion” alignment
temporarily. However, the ions go back to their preferred place when out
of the magnetic field. Some have had carbon filters with electrodes in
them. Lately some of them have purported to have a “special” resin that
makes the calcium fall out of suspension and leave spots but the spots can
easily be wiped off. It is still in there.

So how can they claim that they have a softener without salt? Well, it
sold them a lot of units and they made them a lot of money and moved on.
In the meantime we go back and reinstall their old softeners or they buy a
salt system.

In the past couple of years, with the pressure on, they’ve changed the
wording to say salt free water conditioners or filters. Or, “whole house
filtration systems. No need to haul salt any more. Get better tasting
water at all of the taps in your home, no more sticking to your pipes.
Those are true statements. The systems that have carbon in them take out
taste and odor. Most of the taste and odor comes from chlorine if you are
on a municipal water system. The chlorine is placed in there to kill the
bugs that could make you sick. The carbon does a good job of removing the
chlorine. Some of them even have placed sediment filters in them to take
out dirt and other particles. Well, the city has already done that at the
water treatment plant.

As for not sticking to your pipes, your hard water doesn’t stick to your
copper or plastic pipes. It used to stick to the galvanized steel pipes.
We don’t see that used anymore. So that is just a story to tell to make
you think that it is a benefit.

SOFTENED WATER has gone through an ion exchange process that one ion is
traded for another. So, the bad guy, calcium is traded for the better guy
sodium, (or magnesium if you prefer magnesium chloride to regenerate you
softener. It costs 4X more). Sodium ions don’t stand in the way of
cleaning and is a lot friendlier to any surface that it comes in contact

It definitely tastes different, and to some extreme cases can be less
healthy, but calcium can be less healthy in extreme cases also. Some
people don’t like the “slick” feeling that comes in the shower with soft
water. 99% of the people can get used to that. That is the body oils on
your skin to keep it supple and from cracking. When you get used to the
soft water feel, you hate going back to the hard water.

In conclusion, if I could invent a water “softener” that doesn’t use salt
I wouldn’t have to work for $ anymore. Water is the most important
commodity that you use in your home. The more people that move into an
area, the more water must be supplied to them. Our water is getting less
and less in quality because of the need for more of it all the time. One
thing that perplexes me and has for over 25 years, why a person would buy
the cheapest water system that they could find to put their water through,
and then buy the best T V that they could find to watch their program, or
the fanciest car or the biggest home. That just doesn’t make sense to me.