Water Softeners vs. Salt-Free Conditioners: Why Salt-Free Is Better

The PROBLEM with Water Softeners

Here are specific benefits of getting a salt free water conditioner over a traditional water softener:

Red CrossWater softeners create pollution through wastewater.

Red CrossSoft water is silky filmy slippery water that is not suitable for many everyday household chores.Water Softener Valve

Red CrossHigh maintenance is necessary because you need to clean the system, buy salt and routinely check the system is operating correctly.

Red CrossThey sometimes use electricity, which can increase running costs.

Red CrossYou will still need an extra filter like reverse osmosis to filter the water and make it drinkable.

Red CrossSalt is necessary to make soft water and this can mean a salty taste in your drinking water.

Red CrossSoft water is not safe for plants.

Why a Salt Free Water Conditioner Might Be BETTER Than a Softener

Water softeners use salt to remove hard minerals while regenerating the resin bed. During regeneration, the positively charged sodium ions replace the hard water minerals trapped in the resin bed and the hard water concentrate is drained.

In contrast, water softeners without salt do not remove hard minerals from water.

Green Plus ArrowThey chemically transform magnesium and calcium so that they do not stick to surfaces and fail to create white scales.

Green Plus ArrowSince hard water minerals are not really caught by saltwater softening systems, no salt or regeneration cycle is required to remove the minerals from the system.

Key Salt Free Softener Benefits:

Saltless softeners or salt-free softeners can be a great alternative because:Optimh20 Whol House Filter

Green Plus ArrowYou save money on buying softener salt.

Green Plus ArrowThey are easier to maintain because they don’t need to constantly regenerate.

Green Plus ArrowThey do not need harsh chemicals to produce what is effectively “soft water”.

Green Plus ArrowThey don’t produce wastewater.

Green Plus ArrowLower running costs than a traditional softener.

Green Plus ArrowVery little on-going maintenance.See customer reviews

Green Plus ArrowNo filters to replace.

Green Plus ArrowUsually don’t need electricity in order to run or operate.

Water Softener Vs Water Conditioner Table

The concept of a salt-free softener means you get similar benefits as you would with a traditional water softener. However, here are specific differences that you should consider before making this big purchase decision.

Salt-Free Water Descaler / ConditionerTraditional Salt Water Softener
Does it require salt?NO
It is a salt based water softener
Scale prevention efficiency?41-98.9% effective
Depends on which method you use.
99+% efficient.
Whiter whites, brighter clothes?YES
Depending on which model you use.
Whites don't yellow and colors look vivid.
Slick slippery feel of water?NOYES
Impact on skin?Calcium and magnesium remain in the water. Eliminates calcium and magnesium which is bad for dry skin.
Environmental impactDoesn't create any waste water.Does not create any waste water.
ExampleAquasana Whole House Filter
Pelican Softener with Filters
Price range?$$$
Ships to US and CA.
Ships to US, CA and Puerto Rico.
Exactly how much does it cost?Check Price Button Check Price Button

3 Water Softener Alternatives

There are 3 main types of water softener alternatives:

  1. Magnetic “No Salt Softeners”
  2. TAC (Template Assisted Crystallization) “No Salt Softeners”
  3. Aquasana SCM Salt-Free Softening Technology

1. Magnetic “No Salt Softeners”

These systems are promoted on television, radio and internet. They are small (like a small shoe box) and can be installed in minutes. Just fix the wires around the pipe.Standalone Salt Free Aquasana

The theory of the magnetic water softener is that it uses a “complex signal field that is modulated with variable frequency and induces an electric field in the pipeline.

This changes hard water ions and increases their solubility. The result is water that is effectively “soft” because the hard minerals are displaced.

2. TAC (Template Assisted Crystallization) “No Salt Softeners”

This filter medium uses a technology called TAC (Crystalization Assisted Template). These “physical water treatment systems” are installed in a similar manner to conventional water softeners.

TAC hard water conditioners use a highly specialized medium that prevents hard minerals like calcium and magnesium from sticking to pipes and appliances.

3. Aquasana SCM Salt-Free Softening Technology

This technology naturally and safely reduces limescale deposits in plumbing and inner pipes without the use of salt or aggressive chemicals.Optimh2o Reverse Osmosis + Claryum

SCM stands for “Scale Control Media”. This is what uses the flow of water to naturally alter the structure of hard mineral ions in a crystalline structure.

And this is essentially what prevents the clash of minerals that form limescale. Unlike salt-based water softeners, Aquasana SimplySoft will not demineralize your water (this means it will not remove healthy minerals).

Nor will it damage your pipes with coarse salt or add excessive amounts of sodium waste to your drinking water.

Aquasana SimplySoft ResultsHere are some of the best benefits of using Aquasana SimplySoft:

Green Plus ArrowProtects plumbing and hot water heaters from scale buildup without lowering water hardness levels.
Green Plus ArrowLow to no maintenance. No cleaning, no need for salt and no back washing.
Green Plus ArrowNo slimy slippery water feel.
Green Plus ArrowSafe for plants.
Green Plus ArrowSalt-free drinking water i.e. there is no extra sodium in your water.
Green Plus ArrowDoesn’t pollute the fresh water supply.See customer reviews
Green Plus ArrowNo electricity needed.
Green Plus ArrowDoes not waste water.
Green Plus ArrowSafe for septic tanks.
Green Plus ArrowNo reverse osmosis or extra filtration needed to make water drinkable.
Green Plus ArrowCreates a significant reduction of hard water spots on your glassware and around your plumbing.

How Saltless Water Softeners Work?

They work by restructuring the minerals in water so that they don’t stick to the pipes and cause hard water deposits.

Many households and businesses try to reduce the effects of hard water by installing a water softener.

Aquasana SimplySoftAlthough softeners generally work well and effectively soften water, there can be some issues.

Conventional water softeners work by passing hard water through a cylinder containing a mechanism that replaces calcium and magnesium in water with sodium (salt).

This can mean continuous maintenance, the need to keep buying salt, the production of wastewater and the need to use electricity.

Both salt based and salt free technologies work in theory to make hard water soft. But the amount of minerals in the water does not change in salt-less water softeners.

The BEST Water Softener Alternative?

Aquasana SCM SimplySoft Salt-Free Technology.

If you want to soften water at home or in the office, but are looking for the best water softener alternative then I have identified 3 methods in this article.

Mr Water Geek ThinkingAlthough they generally work well and effectively soften water, conventional water softeners can be a lot of work, expensive and wasteful. You will also need to consider on-going maintenance and cost such as electricity and softener salt.

But water softeners are the ONLY way to go if you have very hard water.

Here’s a rule of thumb that can help you decide if getting a water softener alternative is right for you.Aquasana Rhino

A conventional water softener is best for = hardness levels over 25 PPM

This is very hard water, lots of limescale problems and white stains around your pipes and plumbing.

Consider getting a product like SpringWell.

A water softener ALTERNATIVE is best for = hardness levels up to 25 PPM

This is low to medium hard water but you just want something to protect your pipes and plumbing as you also have a water filter. Or are buying a whole house filter along with a salt free softener.

This is the case with what is on offer from places like Aquasana.

Check Prices & Read Customer ReviewsThe Aquasana SCM SimplySoft Salt-Free Technology is behind their products like SimplySoft machine. There is also the option to upgrade for you when you buy the Aquasana Rhino Gallon OR OptimH20.

Aquasana SimplySoft Water Conditioner and 10-Year, 1,000,000 Gallon Whole House Filter

Aquasana SimplySoft Conditioner and OptimH20 Whole House Filter

Aquasana Whole House Features ListAquasana SimplySoft
Softens and filters
SimplySoft is a salt free"softener" only.
But you can choose OptimH2O + Salt Free Softener
- 97% chlorine.
- Cysts.
- UV upgrade removes 99% bacteria, e.coli, giardia and cryptosporidium
- Over 90% chlorine and chloramines.
- 99% of lead and cysts.
- 99% of lead.
- 98% of PFOA/PFOS
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- 10 year warranty.
- 90 day guarantee.
- 6 year warranty.
- 90 day guarantee.
“50% “50%
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