Water softening includes an exchanging process of ion which eliminates both Calcium (Ca2+) and Magnesium (Mg2+) from the water. When the ion exchange process takes place, a polymer wax bed attracts hard water minerals and change them with sodium ions. This process of removing calcium and magnesium is called as water softening.
First, salt-free systems are not a pure water softener, but a water conditioner. People has a common misconception that salt-free water softening systems also uses the same technique to remove hard water minerals as the salt-based water softeners do. You can check online and read water softener reviews to determine which one works better.
Salt-free systems minimizes the development of lime scale, reduces the production of a chalky substance that appears in dehydrate hard water spots, and other chemicals. Salt-free systems also exchange the chemical structure of water minerals which help in blocking the solids through a descaling process.
Salt-based water softeners vs. salt-free water softeners
As you know how the salt-based water softeners work, but these process also includes salt to clean the water softener and reproduce the wax bed. This reproduction of wax bed, positively charged sodium ions changed the hard water minerals captured in the wax bed.
Whereas, Salt-free water softeners do not discard hard water minerals from the water. It transforms the calcium and magnesium chemically, to avoid clinging to surfaces and precipitating into scale. It replaces the calcium and magnesium with soft minerals sodium and potassium through a process called ion exchange.
Is a salt-free conditioner the way to go?
You may feel that salt-free systems are not as beneficial in places where water sits, such as in water heaters. The development of lime scale can occur in those areas. The way salt-free softeners works, they don’t waste water, require less maintenance charge, and also take less cost to operate.
They don’t have a slippery feel which can be a great advantage of salt-free water softeners. Region by region, the types of contaminants varies and hence the operation of salt-free water conditioners. These systems work really well, so it’s important to do a research and consider water softener reviews available online before buying any.
Benefits of salt-free water softeners
- Appliance repair savings: When the dissolved minerals in water are accelerated, the hard water scale occurs and the water gets warmed. The minerals generated by the process bond themselves to the internal surfaces of your machine, such as tanks and pipes that heat the water. The scale has the ability to block the pipes and delay the flow of water.
If you’re using a water heater with hard water, it’s recommended to replace it thoroughly, but with soft water, it can be used for over years. Soft water also reduces the water heating bills as well as the maintenance charges.
- Fixture savings: The materials used in making showerhead can reduce the flow rate of water by 75% after a couple of years. A water softener can help you increase the lifespan of bathroom and plumbing fixtures.
- Saving on cleaning: Dishwashers or detergent powders don’t match with hard water, and you’re forced to spend money on color enhancers, shower cleaners, and detergent. The use of salt-free softeners can save up to 50% of cleaning costs.