No-Salt Conditioners Are Not the Same as Water Softeners

March 5, 2020 4:13 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

One question we occasionally get from our customers is whether a salt-free water softener in Shelby County, OH works better than salt-type water softeners, and whether or not it’s advisable to use a no-salt conditioner.

There are several ways we can approach this question. First, it’s important to note that a no-salt conditioner is not exactly the same thing as a water softener, so the question itself is sort of flawed. This kind of equipment is generally referred to as a “water conditioner” or “descaler,” rather than a water softener.

One might think there’s not much of a difference if the result either way is softer water, but it’s important to understand how these different pieces of equipment function so you can determine which is the best option for your needs and situation.

Salt-free systems will indeed help you prevent a buildup of limescale, which is the powdery, chalky substance that shows up in spots of hard water that dry out on surfaces. They also help cut down on the amount of chemicals that show up in the water. These systems are designed to change the water’s chemical structure through descaling, preventing solid materials from staying behind in pipes, fixtures and appliances.

Water softeners that use salt, meanwhile, remove minerals from the water (like magnesium and calcium) to prevent water hardness through the process of ion exchange. The salt has a chemical reaction with those materials that essentially pulls them from the water and replaces them with sodium and potassium, which are much softer minerals that have their own benefits.

When does it make sense to use a salt-free water conditioner?

So, now that you know the difference between a water softener and a water conditioner, what are some situations in which it makes sense to go with a salt-free water conditioner? Or should you just always go for a water softener?

The big concern with systems that do not use salt is that they’re not going to be quite as effective in locations where water just sits still, such as a water heater. Areas that see standing water are more likely to get a buildup of limescale.

However, you should also consider the fact that salt-free systems are likely to waste significantly less water than water softeners, meaning they’re going to cost you less money to operate and require less in the way of maintenance due to the lower amount of wear and tear. The conditioned water also doesn’t have the same sort of strange, slippery feeling that can result from a water softener, but that ultimately is a matter of personal preference.

You should consider the kinds of contaminants that are present in your water, as the effectiveness of a water conditioner will essentially depend on the type and level of contaminants that exist. There are some saltless conditioners that will work well in a variety of situations and others that will not, so do your research and talk to an expert before making a purchase decision.

To learn more about the pros and cons of a salt-free water conditioner in Shelby County, OH, contact Fogt Water Conditioning today.

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