Salt-based and salt-free systems are the two main classifications of water softeners. Experts may contest about which one is the best but what about the laymen? In order to clear the dilemma, you must take into account how both systems actually work, their advantages and disadvantages. Each type is best suitable for a particular level of hardness. Let’s take a look at a detailed analysis of the basic mechanism of salt based and salt-free systems.
Salt-based water softeners
This kind of machines actually performs what it’s supposed to do, that is water softening. Mineral rich water, loosely termed as hard water, causes scale formation around and inside the plumbing fixtures of the house. Salt-based units expel calcium and magnesium of the water through Ion exchange method. In this process, the polymer raisin bed replaces hard mineral ions for sodium particles. Salt-based systems require additive or salt pallets. The softener runs a regeneration cycle every time the fiberglass resin tank reaches a saturation point. During the cleaning cycle, an electronic metered valve located on top of the tank, flushes out the mineral particles through a series of back flushes. The recharge process restores power in the unit and it’s ready to go again. Salt-based system is an excellent solution when the level of hardness in the water is too high, above 10 GPG.
- Completely eliminates calcium and magnesium ions from the water, gives you access to demineralised water when you turn on the faucet.
- Safeguards kitchen and toilet appliances like dishwasher, shower, bathtub, sink and pipes from scale build-up, extends durability.
- Enhances the lathering ability of soaps and shampoos. Soft water is ideal for bathing as it cleanses skin and hair thoroughly.
- Demineralised water with high amount of sodium isn’t a very healthy option for anyone, specially for the patients of high blood pressure.
- The system requires tons of salt to function properly, it increases the overall expense for water softening.
- Proper and frequent maintenance is critical.
Salt-free water softeners
Salt-based water softeners like the Nuvo H2O utilize descaling method to condition hard water. Remember, no hard mineral is actually removed from the water. Descaling refers to the method of altering the molecular structure of hardness ions through chelation process. The changed form of minerals prevents them from sticking to the interior of the pipes or any other water source. What mainly happens is that the water passed through a catalytic media inside the equipment. Through Template Assisted Crystallization process, the hardness minerals are transformed into hardness crystals which are unable to adhere to the pipe surface. Zero-maintenance, no waste of electricity or additives are the biggest plus points of salt-free technology. If you’re looking for an effective way to combat serious scaling issues, descaler is the answer.
- Salt-free technology is highly recommended to those who want an eco-friendly, chemical-free solution to tackle hard water problem.
- The chelation method does not evict calcium and magnesium from the water, both these minerals have immense health benefits.
- Installing the device is a cakewalk for simply anybody.
- The maintenance cost is almost nil.
- Some critics don’t believe salt-free systems to be as effective as its counterpart unless the level of hardness is low-medium.
- Salt-free devices run on electricity which often slows down the conditioning process.
Making an assessment of the water running through your house’s tank is the easiest way to make up your mind. Whether salt-based or salt-free is the best seems like a never-ending debate. Now that you’ve the right information on both, the decision is entirely yours.