What Are the Advantages of Salt-Free Water Softeners?

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Subject: salt free systems proof

To end the discussions for everyone there is a certifying body named DVGW. They certify actual performance of a technologies ability to prevent scale scientifically.
There's no guessing , no sales pitch and no reliance on anecdotal findings. Only the best systems pass and you even know the exact amount of scale prevention achieved over a long period of time. Don't trust ANY product. ONLY trust the I dependant certification and you should be fine.


Subject: salt free systems proof

To end the discussions for everyone there is a certifying body named DVGW. They certify actual performance of a technologies ability to prevent scale scientifically.
There's no guessing , no sales pitch and no reliance on anecdotal findings. Only the best systems pass and you even know the exact amount of scale prevention achieved over a long period of time. Don't trust ANY product. ONLY trust the I dependant certification and you should be fine.


Subject: wter softener

I have had a water softener for over 25 years yes it uses salt but I have gone to potassium which uses less salt and my water is soft your skin is slippery but rain water is also so that tells you that softner is working I haven't change my water heater in 25 year also..My water has any where from 26 gr. of hardness to 40 gr yes i uses a few gal. of water every 2 weeks or so I'm on a well I also have the char filter and a clorine filer and 4 filters at my drinking source for coffee these Electronic treatment is bogus they tell you that it goes down the drain YEA after it covers your body,hair, and you drink it DUH go with the softner it pays in the long run if you in a dry state move to New York


Subject: Salt free Water softener Research

I work for Ecowater and just did research on salt free cause I lost a sale to this. No agenda here.
Whole house water filter: carbon, filters minerals, chloramines

Water softener alternative: template assisted crystalization to not adhere

They claim removing chemicals makes water acidic

He says: Ecowater: added maintenance, cost for filters and warrantee does not mean for anything more than manufacturer defects

Cost Range: 3,000 – 8,000

they do not remove calcium and magnesium ions from water (as softeners do) but, rather, they change these hardness minerals from their ionic form to a harmless crystalline form. In this very stable form, calcium and magnesium do not attach to pipes, appliances, and fixture surfaces. The crystals are so small, in fact, that they are readily rinsed away by the normal flow of water. This technology is often referred to as “template assisted crystallization,” or simply TAC.

“Our experience has been the same with the salt-free water softeners. They tend to be far less effective at preventing the negative effects that hard water has in the home. For this reason, we generally recommend that individuals use a salt-based softener unless the level of hardness is low or they have an objection to the potentially harmful environmental impact that a salt-based system may cause. “

Although TAC requires no electricity to run and doesn’t require backwashing, there is one drawback to preventing scale without removing calcium from the water. Soaps based on fatty acids tend to form a slimy “scum” in hard water—and TAC won’t help with this, potentially reducing its applicability to homes.
While the next-ScaleStop tank is warranted for ten years, the process medium should be replaced every three years because its effectiveness gradually becomes reduced by trace minerals.

the water must be supersaturated in calcium or magnesium carbonate, and even then it would be expected to only reduce the carbonate concentrations to saturation levels. It can do nothing to prevent scale deposition at higher-temperature surfaces where the carbonates will be less soluble, nor can it remove the hardness ions down to a level at which they will not form scums with soap or leave deposits on evaporation

Salt based systems will outperform salt free for overall water softening.
Saltless systems do not remove hardness.
water heater. Those areas can still get a buildup of limescale.


Subject: Many people are trying to

Many people are trying to sell their product or religion here! Why there is no quantitative analysis of the difference between the main two kinds of water softeners?


Subject: flow-tech water conditioning systems(no salt used

do these really work. we had a flow-tech water filter installed and immediately regretted not having the water conditioner put it at the same time. we previously had a regular salt used water conditioner that just started leaking, so it was removed. we understand the difference between flow-techs water filter system and the quote (water conditioner), ionization process that it works from, but does it get the job done. I'm looking at an addition $1,000. bill in order to install this. Any help would be appreciated,
we are in southern ca. in a previously known as "farming community", COW PRODUCING AREA. (their all gone now but it takes time to fix the problems associated with their having being here.


Subject: writing, spelling

These comments would mean so much more if some of the authors would write in complete sentences, try harder to spell words correctly, and use some sort of grammatical structure that normal people could understand!


Subject: Water conditioners.

Hi Mark,

My name is Mark Davison. I own a small plumbing business in San Antonio called Sol City Plumbing, and I am a Master Plumber, Master's license #38624.

Electronic water conditioners are good at putting plumber's kids through college, but if you really want to scare the magnesium and calcium bicarbonate from your water with an a.m. transmission you can save a lot of money and just place a small radio on the water heater set it to your favorite talk show.

The original oilfield technology works because metals change shape in the presence of strong, changing magnetic fields. Metal pipes are resilient, scale is not, so it breaks off. An a.m. broadcast qualifies as EMF, but sorry, it's not strong enough to work on your pipes.

Water conditioners promise bigger, less harmful crystals. New methods appear all the time. But there's still 4 causes for scale. Change in temp, pressure, volume and plain old turbulence. Hot water recirc pumps and pipes are notorious for scale build up, with 3 out of 4 conditions present.

So bigger crystals will still precipitate into your water heater. And scale will still appear where hard water evaporates. But, as the marketers insist, "bigger crystals" are "easier to clean".

If you want soft water, you need a water softener. If you don't want slimy feeling water, you have to buy a good one that can remove excess sodium from the media after it's been recharged. Not the 300 dollar jobbie at the hardware store.

Activated carbon filters work well for chlorine, chloramines and dissolved organic contaminants. Highly recommended anywhere. Must have media changed about every two years.

Bart Carlson

Subject: saltless water softners

There is a whole house RO system that uses no salt and treats water up to 25 grains of hardness.. TDS ranges from 10 to 40 ppm. This is bottle quality water at every faucet in the house.


Subject: Re:

It would be helpful if you could name the make and model of this device, along with a link to the company's website. Otherwise, comments like this simply become useless clutter.

tufer won

Subject: water softening

A lot of people seem to be promoting something, here. I have dealt with both hard water and iron rich, bad smelling well water for a long time. I currently have a salt free water conditioner, but have had salt brine water softeners in the past. If you want truly soft water, the softener has to remove calcium and magnesium, period. So far, I have nnt been able to find a salt free system that does this. If all you want to do is remove iron and bad taste, filters will do this. Add an iron filter and a charcoal filter will do the job. Reverse osmosis filters work great for providing great contaminant free drinking water. I love the feel of soft water because it means no soap scum on my skin or the shower. However we in California are in a drought right now and I can't justify the extra water use of a salt system, which has to go through a rinse cycle every so often and can use up to 100 gallons of water.


Subject: water softeners

I'm getting ready to get my first water treatment system. I've done plenty of research on this matter. What I found out is this, the answer you get depends on the question. this may sound funny, but this is what I mean. I've contacted no salt water treatment company's,they say"our equipment removes up to 99.9% of the minerals that make up hard water" then ask iron too, they say "no"" because iron does not make hard water, I need to get another unit that will handle that. Bottom line, I really don"t care what they do in Europe their standards may be less than ours. I contacted a water treatment company that's been around since the 1930"s they still use salt, combined with a reverse osmosis system,for drinking and cooking. I'm ready to go.I don't even need a U V thing. Oh yea I'm on well water

Bill Carroll

Subject: Lies and Manuipulation

People will never get an straight or honest answer about options to Environment destroying Salt Water Ion Exchange units, when the person answering is at an email address *******salt.com please. Get some reliable independent reviewers,as there are good, working, verified Electronic Water Conditioners on the market. Proven and in use for over 20 years in Europe.

STOP this BS, do some research, check out the HydroFLOW products.

Marion Caldwell

Subject: Water Softeners

Have lived in present home 20 yrs and am on third water softener (salt). In all cases, the pellets have dissolved and have ended up in the house plumbing. Another symptom is the loss of water pressure until the softener is put on by-pass. All three machines were "consumer" grade softners costing approx. $500 to $600 with warranties timed to expire when the pellets did. Had I to do it again I would have gone with a two-tank system with premium grade pellets from the beginning. I have only recently learned that, like all products, there are different grades of pellets and "consumer" grade machines are the bottom rung. The water here is very hard and living without a machine is not really an option, especially since we have become accustomed to the benefits of having soft water.

Do your homework and don't go cheap.

Kathy Yocum-Lamb

Subject: Water Systems, your clothes and hair

I do use a salt system in my home. We have lived in our home for 7 years and I want to shower without the slime on my skin when done as well as regain my soft curly hair. HELP as from what I am reading going salt free is not a great idea.

Michelle LeGault

Subject: Slippery feeling -- soft water

Hi Kathy,

I'm one of the Angie's List Experts writers and I work for Peterson Salt in Hopkins, MN. I wanted to respond to your question about the slimy feel of the soft water.

With soft water, it is common for customers to notice that their water feels smoother, or more slippery. A couple of things to note:

1. Most softeners can NOT be programmed to add hardness back into the water, the softener's goal is to remove all hardness. There may be something in the California market or in places where they are very conscious of water conservation, but here in Minnesota I know we don't offer anything like that.

2. With soft water, you can use a lot less soap (maybe even 50% less) and so that may help.

3. If you really want hardness in your water to reduce that "slippery" feeling, you can crack open the softener bypass just a little bit. However, there is no way to regulate how much hardness you will get by doing this. Also, this is not recommended for your appliances, as now they would all be exposed to the hard water, which is why you probably purchased a softener in the first place.

I'm sorry I don't have a better solution for you. I know this is something customers occasionally ask about. If someone out there has a better solution, I'd love to hear it.

Best of luck!

Robert Jackson

Subject: Water softener

Moving into new house. House is plumbed for water softener. I am researching salt, no salt systems. Need objective advice on which system to go with. Each retailer say's theirs is the best. I realize that each process has pro's and Con's. I am looking for an informed opinion. Thanks


Subject: no salt conditioners not very good

The three main technologies capable of producing soft water are ion exchange
water softeners, reverse osmosis, and distillation. Of these, ion exchange is
currently, and is anticipated to remain, the dominant technology for softening
water on a residential or small commercial scale. Other technologies, such as
specialty media, electrochemical demineralization, citric acid, and magnetic and
electromagnetic devices do not produce soft water, defined as less than one grain of hardness per gallon. Their performance is not yet validated by independent third parties due to lack of scientific standards and accepted testing protocols.
Scottsdale az. water department technical report

john falk

Subject: well water treatment

am looking at a salt free electric free system to treat well water (iron content the biggest issue)...any feedback??


Subject: Best salt free water softner to remove sediment and iron

I have read info on the Pelican and the Aquasana systems that are salt free water softners. I had my well water tested and it has sediment, some iron, a little hardness and a pH of 6.5. Besides the two systems mentioned, is there another salt free water softner or possibly another traditional whole house water softner or conditioner system that may be more suitable? I want a reliable reputable system that won't break my wallet and not leave a slippery salty taste when drinking a glass of treated water. Thanks for your input and advice.




Subject: Water softners

Water softeners Do NOT use salt to soften the water. A water softener softens water by using small silicon beads. Dissolved and not so dissolved minerals become attached to these beads as the water passes through the tank full of these silicon beads. At some point the silicon must be cleaned of
the material collected in order to be able to collect more. Here is where the salt comes in. At intervals designated by you or whoever programs the softener for you, a cleaning cycle is started. Water from the salt tank, goes into the silicon tank where it removes the collected material from the silicon, and then goes down the drain. Fresh water then rinses the silicon and that is sent down the drain as well. More water then goes into the salt tank to absorb salt be ready at the next cycle. These cycles take about 20 minutes are usually set to occur at hours when it is least likely water will be used, ie. middle of the night. First few uses of water after the cleaning cycle could have small amounts of salt residual. But very small and will rinse away quickly as water is used. These cleaning intervals are needed less frequent with less water usage and could be needed as little as once a month or as often as once a day/night. So this notion that softeners use salt to soften the water therefore carry lots of salt into the water you use all day is erroneous.


Subject: water softners

Thanks. That is the best explanation of how salt is used in a water softener. Very clear.

Ashley Breed

Subject: Ion exchange resins do "liberate" Na+ ions (salt) into the water

Conventional water softening is most often based a process known as ion exchange, utilizing a synthetic polymeric (plastic) material in the form of very small beads called ion exchange resin. The resin is porous so that each bead has tremendous surface area and the surface area is chemically constructed to contain billions of active or "exchange sites". These sites have considerable affinity for metals in the water with valences (i.e., charges of +2 and +3). Thus, when water containing calcium, magnesium (the two major constituents of hard water), dissolved iron, copper or aluminum, the active sites attract and "hold" these ions. However, in order to do so, the sites must have a less tightly held ion to "exchange" for the metal hardness ions. While the resin does not prefer ions with a single charge, fortunately under conditions of high concentration and extended time of exposure, sodium ions can be "forced" onto the active sites by slowly passing a concentrated solution of sodium chloride (table salt) over the resin. These ions are released into the water when the hardness cauing ions are absorbed.

larry laidlaw

Subject: water softeners

magnetic and electromagnetic devices are bogus. watch saltless devices for cartridge replacement costs. consider brine recapture for deicing use and minimizing enviro impacts. consider softening of hot water supply only - if shower and dishwasher function poor, but your water otherwise good.

Bill Carroll

Subject: Stop the BS

You are very much misinformed , and by spewing the Salt water softener company lines you look like a fool. There are verified, patented, and working electronic water conditioning system that have been available in Europe for 20 years plus. These systems work and do not destroy our environment and water resources like the ion exchange units do. Do a bit of research, as your ignorance is showing. You are a classic example of the Salt companies advertising and manipulation working on the weak of mind.

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I actually just replaced my Pelican Natursoft "water softener" with an more-traditional ion exchange model.  I used the natursoft for a little over 4 years, and I can say it worked as advertised.  When remodeling a while back we decided to get a tankless water heater.  All the documentation indicated that hard water with the tankless heater is a no go.  We had to do somehting, but since I'm lazy (didn't want to deal with the salt or plumbing in a drain) and my wife didn't like soft water, the salt-free model looked attractive.  I too was somewhat skeptical, but the reviews I found looked good, and I know enough about the science of nucleation (I was a material science major in college) to know that what they said made sense, so I bought one.


One thing needs to be made clear - the natursoft system is NOT a water softener!  It contains a media which nucleates some disolved metalic salts out of solution.  These crystals, once formed, remain in the water, and still react with oils, detergents, etc. in the same manner as the disolved salts.  They also continue to form scale wherever water is allowed to evaporate, such as faucet nozels and shower heads. In fact, it's possible that evaporative scaling was even worse than before we installed the system.


Importantly, however, once in crystaline form, these salts do not stick to pipes, or in my case, heat-exchangers.  My tankless heater has a sensor to indicate when it needs to be descaled, and the manual indicates that for my water hardness and hot water use I should have had to descale approximately every 6 months.  In four years with the natursoft the descaleing indicator has never gone off.  For further evidence, when I installed my new softener a few weeks ago, I had to cut sections from the copper pipe on both the inlet and outlet side of the natursoft.  Both sections of pipe were installed at the same time as the natursoft, but while the pipe on the inlet side was green and rough on the inside, the outlet pipe looked and felt like new.


As such, if you want or need a salt-free system for some reason (low-sodium diet for blood pressure, don't like the feel of soft water, can't easily plumb a drain into the softener location, or can't carry heavy bags of salt to the softener), then I can unequivocably recommend the natursoft.  If, like my wife and I today, you want soft water, that feels soft on your skin, creates less soap scum, rinses cleaner in the dishwasher, etc., then the natursoft probably isn't for you.


I bought a home with a 9 year old Kinetico in it in 1989. With our family of 6 the Kinetico used 1/2 the salt of two other brands we owned in previous homes, even though the water was harder in the home with the Kinetico non-electric system. When I sold the home in 1993, the buyer insisted I leave them the Kinetico. I bought a new one for my new home, my family grew to 8 and now after 21 years, it has only needed one repair (new resin) 5 years ago.

To answer your question...Kinetico would be a "Mercedes" while others carry the "yugo's." Kinetico offers many models to meet the needs of all families. The single tank Essential unit works well in homes with no iron and 1 or 2 people. Like other single tank systems, it can't provide soft water to your home while it regenerates. However, the Essential only takes 15 minutes to regenerate where electric units might take hours from start to finish. It also carries a full 5 year warranty on all parts. Other systems typically exclude the most important parts after only 1-3 years. All single tank softener can and will occasionally run out of soft water. (laundry day)

The Twin resin tank Kinetico models have several advantages like...5 yr warranty on Signature and Premier models have a 10 year warranty on all parts. So with the twins, you get better water, have virtually unlimited capacity, use less salt, are quiet, use soft water to clean themselves, use no electricity, have no clocks, batteries or computers to ever repair or reset. Power outages & surges have no effect on them. Having a Kinetico sold me on their value. Ask your dealer about renting one, so you can try before you buy. 

P.M. Kalamazoo