Salt Vs Salt Free Water Softeners

A recent debate that is brought up often after water softeners are which systems are better, the salt based or salt free softeners? Several factors will need to be considered when answering this question. In this installment we will look at how both systems work and what advantages/ disadvantages of each to understand which system is best suited in a certain situation.

Salt Based Water Softeners

Taking a closer look at how these products work, these systems are designed to remove hard water minerals like calcium and magnesium from your water which than provided soft water. This process of hard water removal is done through “ion exchange”. Salt based softeners require the use of salt pellets and regeneration periods or a recharge cycle. As a result, these systems will prevent scale buildup, reduce future staining on appliances and laundry, and personal hair and skin softness. They will ultimately save you money by prolonging the life of your water base appliances and use less soap/ detergent when cleaning. If your home has high levels of hard water, this type of softener will be your best choice for your concerns.

Salt Free Water Softeners

Despite their name, salt free water softeners do not soften hard water. They work by crystallizing calcium but does not remove it. Salt free water softeners are more specifically a water conditioner that prevent the hard water from adhering to the surface of an object such as the inside of your water pipes. An advantage of using this type of water softener/ water conditioner is that they do not waste water the same way as traditional softeners. They are also less expensive to operate and require less maintenance. This method of hard water treatment is not as effective as a salt-based system and will not be able to remove high levels of hard water.

Choosing Potassium Chloride

A third option that can be done to remove your hard water issues but will remain on the healthier side would be soften water by using the alternative of potassium instead of sodium. Potassium is an essential mineral that provides good health to people and to the environment. Water conditioning units at Reynolds Water are designed to use potassium just as well as the use of sodium. Simply change the product by changing to a different bag option and your set.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at

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