So you’re interested in a Water System for your home…
Introducing a Water System for your home can be a game-changer for your lifestyle and family. A Water Softener or Conditioner can mean better drinking water, cleaner clothes, sudsy soap, full-flow showerheads, and less overall soap usage.
The primary job of a Water System is to eliminate “Hard Water.” Hard water comes from hard mineral build-up and can create expensive maintenance issues, plumbing inconveniences and can limit the life of your household appliances like water heaters and dishwashers.
If you’re thinking about getting a new water system for your home, you might be wondering about the differences between a Standard, Salt-Based Water Softener or a Saltless Water System.
As water systems are not necessarily a topic familiar to all, we understand that you might have questions. Here’s all you need to know about purchasing a Standard vs. a Saltless Water Softener for your home…
Standard Water Softeners (Salt-Based)
A Standard, Salt-Based Water Softener removes calcium and magnesium from the water through a process called ion exchange. The basis of the exchange is that a polymer resin bed releases sodium particles for minerals in hard water.
This ion exchange results in “soft water,” meaning that the only mineral present is sodium ions that are reintroduced to the resin bed once the cycle completes. This is as opposed to calcium-concentrated water that often leaves deposits in water systems (hence the term “hard water”).
These standard systems use an electronic valve that meters water by the gallon and triggers a cleaning cycle when the resin bed saturates. Once the cleaning cycle begins, the valve cycles several back-flushes to remove hard minerals from the system before flushing them into the drain attached to the system.
Saltless Water Systems
While the standard process of water softening removes magnesium and calcium from the water, the saltless process retains the minerals. The difference is that Saltless Water Softeners essentially change the form of the minerals so that they cannot adhere to surfaces to create scale or hard “deposits,” while still retaining the benefits the minerals that water holds. The technical name for the process is Template Assisted Crystallization, or TAC.
As TAC changes the form of the minerals without removing them, we often refer to Saltless Water Systems as a water “conditioners,” rather than water “softeners.”
A water test should show the result of a Saltless Water Conditioner: Before treatment, a reading would measure 10 grains per gallon, and a subsequent post-treatment measurement would also record 10 grains per gallon. This indicates how the beneficial minerals are still present, but have now been processed to not adhere to surfaces and cause a build-up.
A salt-free system requires no electrical valve, as the system works as a conditioner and never captures anything. Therefore the need to purge any minerals has been eliminated in this efficient system.
What are the benefits of a Saltless Water System?
A Standard, Salt-Based System requires a constant supply of salt fills, requiring salt purchases to keep up with the demands of the system. Some turn their interests to Saltless Water Systems to avoid the maintenance of salt fills.
Saltless systems require very little maintenance, and function as an efficient and beneficial home water system without requiring cleaning cycles, valves, a regular salt supply, and a drain system.
With Salt-Free Water Conditioners, you can also expect a reduction in scale build-up, less soap usage, and slightly brighter laundry. However, as this can be expected for either water system, the main benefit from a Salt-Free system is the maintenance-free, easy-to-use system. This water system requires no electricity, no wastewater, and no salt/chemicals.
So are you getting build-up on shower doors or glassware? Do you want your clean clothes to come out a little brighter? Do you NOT like the slick feeling of soft water? And are you looking for a home Water System, but don’t want the hassle of salt/chemicals and regular upkeep?
If this is the case, a Salt-Free System might be the one for you.
What are the drawbacks of a Saltless Water System?
Unfortunately, it’s possible for Saltless Systems to lose their effectiveness after a long period of time, in places where water sits stagnant, for example in a water heater or showerhead. As the old water lingers, scaling can start to occur. This is because, without regular conditioning, the minerals can indeed start to build up.
The convenience of the Saltless Water System is an attraction for many people deciding between water systems.
What are the benefits of a Standard Water Softener?
A Standard, Salt-Based system uses salt to soften the water to give it a slippery, or soft feeling. With this type of system, you can expect bubblier soap, your clothes washing cleaner and lasting longer and water-use appliances working better and for longer periods. This cleaner-feeling water is due to the minerals being taken from the water and no longer being present to dry your skin.
Standard Water Softeners are reliable systems that remain efficient after a long period of time.
So ask yourself; Is your skin feeling dry? Are you noticing scale build-up on your showers or sinks? Do you want to use less soap? Are you hoping for cleaner, brighter clothes from the laundry? A standard, salt-based water softener would be the choice for you!
What are the drawbacks of a Standard Water Softener?
The most significant concern for consumers is the maintenance required to run a Standard Water Softener. This system requires large salt supplies, an electric valve, a drain system and regular upkeep and maintenance that can be less appealing for some individuals.
We recommend researching both Standard and Saltless systems to gain a good understanding of Water Softener/Water Conditioner benefits before deciding what works best for your home.
A Water System is undoubtedly a valuable and positive addition to your home.
Looking for better, softer water but an easy, low-upkeep system? A Saltless Water System is what you need. If you’re looking for the best results, the slickest, softest water, and don’t mind regular maintenance, a Standard Water Softener is where it’s at.
Still confused? Contact us with any questions, or book a no-charge water analysis for your home. We’re here to help, and we’re happy to find the water system that’s perfect for your home and family.