Best Benefits Of A Salt-Free Water Softener
It is no big secret that the sunshine state of Florida has very hard water. A quick glance at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reveals that most groundwater running through Florida contains anywhere from 121 and 180 milligrams per liter of hard minerals. What does this mean? Florida’s water is very hard! Luckily, a salt-free water softener can remedy your hard water problems! First, let’s discuss what precisely hard water is and why you would want to fix the situation in the first place. Let’s dive into the best benefits of a salt-free water softener!
What is Hard Water?
In simple terms, hard water has a high concentration of minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium bicarbonates. Water doesn’t naturally contain large amounts of minerals. When discussing hard water, the hydrologic cycle comes into play. The cycle explains how water moves throughout the environment. Water molecules in rivers, lakes, and oceans evaporate to form clouds. The clouds then fall as rain. As a result, the ground absorbs the rain or runs into the rivers, lakes, and oceans. The minerals in the ground transform rainwater into hard water. Since water is a universal solvent (it can dissolve almost anything), it eats up anything found in the soil when absorbed. Water eats at limestone, a softer rock. When this happens, the water picks up much of the calcium and magnesium in the limestone. This process is how water becomes hard.
The process of creating hard water is why the hard water levels will vary depending on geographical location. For example, Florida has a high mineral concentration due to its “karstic” state. As a result, the majority of the land in Florida contains large concentrations of limestone. When the Florida ground absorbs the rain, it dissolves the limestone resulting in hard water.
Do You Have Hard Water?
A majority of homes in the United States have hard water. This is especially true if you live in a coastal state such as Florida, California, or Maine. You can usually tell if your water has extra minerals because it will taste and smell a little funky. It can also have a slight color, like a cloudy or murky hue. Other signs include:
Buildup on your faucet and the appliances in your home.
- Recurring plumbing problems.
- Dry skin and hair.
- An upset stomach.
What Is A Salt-Free Water Softener?
There are a couple of types of water softeners on the market: salt-based and salt-free water softener systems. What is the difference between the two? A salt-free option is not technically a water softener but a water conditioner or descaler. A water softener alters the chemical structure of water minerals through the descaling process, preventing solids from depositing in your plumbing. It crystalizes calcium and magnesium without removing the minerals from the water. On the other side, a conventional water softener adds salt and removes minerals through a process called an ionic exchange. It replaces the hard minerals like magnesium and calcium with soft minerals like potassium and sodium (salt).
Benefits of a Salt-Free Water Softener
Let’s discuss the many benefits of a salt-free water softener!
1. Health Conscious
Because a salt-free water conditioner does not have any chemical or salt-based additives, it is a better choice for health-conscious homeowners
2. Hello Gorgeous!
If you regularly scrub your hair in hard water, you probably don’t realize that your skin and hair can be so much softer. Not only does soft water improve the texture and health of your skin, but it also prevents skin problems. So if you regularly blame your poor soap for your brittle locks and flaky skin, maybe take a second look at your water.
Hard water is hard on hair because the mineral ions in the water prevent the water from being fully soluble with soap and shampoo. The result is a buildup of soap scum, causing your hair to look damaged and become brittle. A water softener enables you to enjoy a deeper cleanse and a full rinse because no m minerals are messing with the soap particles or natural oils on your scalp or skin!
3. Good-Bye Maintenance
Industry professionals praise the salt-free option because of its undemanding maintenance. Once installed, the system’s only needed routine care is changing the sediment filter annually. On the other hand, salt-based water softeners require you to fill the tank halfway with salt and continually monitor the salt level to keep it at least three inches above the water level.
Industry excerpts highly recommend checking and resetting salt levels at least once a month, if not more. In addition, salt-based water softeners usually have chronic breakdowns due to salt bridges. Salt bridges are salt layers formed in the brine tank. They prevent the water softener from working if they are not disintegrated or dissolved.
4. Keeping Your Wallet and the Environment Green
First, salt-free water softeners do not trap any materials. Therefore, they don’t need a cleaning cycle to remove captured ions. This means no wastewater purging minerals from the resin bed and no extra electricity to run a cleaning cycle. Better for the environment and way better for your electricity bills.
Second, it makes your hot water tank’s job way more manageable. The same calcium buildup in your bathtub and sinks is also in your hot water tank. The more buildup, the harder your hot water tank has to work, resulting in more energy to keep water hot or cold and, again, a higher electricity bill. In addition, mineral congestion inside pipes can narrow the area where water moves through, requiring a higher pump pressure and costly repairs when the pump or pipes can’t handle the stress anymore.
For additional facts about the impact of hard water, check out our article on the hidden costs of hard water!
5. So Soft… Laundry!
Another benefit of a water softener is how good it feels on your clothes! A water softener will reverse the adverse effect of hard, mineral water on your clothes and keep them feeling softer, cozier, and lasting longer.
6. Fresh Drinking Water
If you ever experienced an earthy or metallic taste from your drinking water, it could be due to hard minerals. Of course, everyone has unique preferences when it comes to drinking water. However, many people enjoy the taste of soft water over hard water because it is free of minerals that could alter the taste of the water.
Disadvantages of Salt-Free Water Softeners
Here at Crystal Clear Water, we believe in total transparency and honesty with each of our customers. So let’s briefly discuss a key disadvantage to having a salt-free water softener.
No Good For Well Water
Sadly, salt-free water systems do not work when it comes to the very place hard water is most prevalent: well water. This is because well water often has moderate to high levels of manganese and iron, and sadly these minerals render salt-free water conditioners utterly useless.
The science behind it is iron coats the TAC media. The TAC media is in the water tank and uses a specially coated bead resin technology called Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC) to make hard water minerals form micro-crystals that stay suspended in the water. The water with iron and manganese, the magnesium and calcium ions bounce off of the anti-scale media and flow into the household plumbing, creating scale formations as they go.
A Little Extra Knowledge About Water Filtration
A salt-free water softener helps protect your home and your hair. However, it will not remove other harmful contaminants like chlorine or lead from your water supply. Therefore, it is important to also invest in a water filtration system to truly reap all the benefits of contaminant-free water!
We Are Here To Help!
If you believe a salt-free water system is for you, reach out to us today. We are happy to give away professional, free water testing, so you know exactly what is in your water before purchasing. We want to ensure your home has the right system for your water needs.