5 Best Salt Free Water Softeners
Hard water can cause scaling and clogged water lines and many households suffer from its negative effects. So, whether you are on city or well water, it is always important to look for the best water softening solution available. Although traditional salt-based water-softening systems are very effective in removing contaminants and softening hard water, they may not be very suitable for people who must restrict their salt intake, and in addition to this, they can be very expensive as compared to other systems of softening water.
Salt-free water softeners are gradually becoming one the most popular and sought-after water softening solutions on the market. To remove contaminants or reshape them, they operate by using electromagnetic waves or filters so the contaminants no longer pose a threat to plumbing. Salt-free water softeners don’t require a constant flow of salt, they can fully operate without electricity and they are completely maintenance-free and cost-efficient.
More and more systems are coming into the market as salt-free technology keeps evolving. With many options available, knowing which system to buy can become a daunting experience. In this article, we give you tips on how to decide which water softener is the best one for your home and we offer a collection of the best product options to choose from. Let’s dive in!
How Salt-free Water Softeners Work
To render a benign crystalline structure, the system completely alters the composition of magnesium and calcium ions present in the hard water. When it becomes mechanically stable, the heatproof crystals eliminate lime deposits that embed into pipes, appliances, or fixtures. TAC is a process that changes the composition of hard water minerals in treating it. This is what prevents the minerals from sticking to surfaces or causing scale. TAC can be achieved in different ways. Some systems use a magnetic or electric current while other systems use a special resin bed
What is a Salt-free Water Softener?
This is a water softener that doesn’t use salt but rather uses another softening process to crystalize hard water minerals, rather than removing them entirely from the water. It removes magnesium and calcium that cause hardness through an ionic exchange.
The process then replaces them with sodium compounds or soft potassium. Salt-free technology completely eliminates the use of minerals or chemicals to generate conditioned water without the negative effects of hardness
Why salt-free water softeners are the way to go
Unlike salt-based water softeners, salt-free water softeners do not require two large brine and resin tanks. They generally contain the resin required for the TAC in a single tank. However, if you purchase a magnetic water softener, you won’t even need a tank; it just uses magnets which are placed on either side of the water tank.
It doesn’t always use electricity
A salt-based softener at all times needs to be hooked up to a power supply so it knows when to regenerate and as such, you can’t use it without electricity. This is not the case with salt- free water softener. It is important to know that although some salt free water softener systems will need to be connected to a source of electricity, most of them don’t.
It doesn’t waste water
Salt-Free Water softeners do not require water during the water softening process and as such, do not waste water. This is not the case with salt based water softeners as waste is unavoidable with them. This is because once the resin tank is full to capacity with calcium and magnesium ions, it must be flushed out through water.
With salt-based water softeners, you will also need to frequently top-up your salt and be abreast of dealing with rising issues. This means it needs a lot of commitment. Salt-free water softeners on the other hand, require no maintenance at all. The system operates using the TAC media and only requires you to replace it once every 6 years. With magnetic softeners, you don’t require any replacement or maintenance all once you purchase it.
It doesn’t remove healthy minerals from water
Salt-based water softeners completely eliminate calcium and magnesium ions from water and although these minerals Can be very frustrating, they are also good for our health. They give water an alkaline taste which a lot of people enjoy. This is not the case with salt-free water softeners. They simply change the structure of these minerals which means you can still maintaining their health benefits without the hard water issues
It doesn’t add salt to water
Salt-free water softeners do not add salt to your water which is good for people who are on a low-sodium diet or for people who do not want to take in a lot of salt.
The best smart water softeners you will find on the markets are those that are certified by third party organizations. Although this is not a requirement, it gives the confidence that the product meets certain set standards by these organizations. These are the crucial factors you should consider and as such, should be on the top of your list. You should take your time and decide whether a unit will be suitable for your home or not – it is always better to purchase the best smart water softener system than waste your time and money on a poor quality one.
Reviews For The Best Salt-Free Water Softeners
1. SoftPro Elite Salt-Free Water Softener
This salt-free water softener is known for the “install and forgets it” operation. It is designed to provide a water treatment solution to busy families without any hassle, no maintenance and no work at all.
It is usually ideal for homes of 1-5 bedrooms. The SoftPro Elite salt-free water softener is able to remove large sediment particles that could cause damage to your home’s appliances or damage the softening resin as it is designed with a filtration media.
To protect this salt-free water softener, it comes with a neoprene jacket that is washable and removable.
The neoprene jacket helps to protect the tank from cold temperatures and humidity by reducing condensation.
SoftPro offers a free optional upgrade for its system. You have an option to check the box to receive a quick-connect hose kit at no extra cost and it is normally a good move to opt-in for this installation kit if you don’t have one.
SoftPro uses an amazing process known as the SCT or the Scale Control Technology. This technology does primarily 2 things.
First, to soften the hard water, the system dissolves the hard water causing particles that are present in the water and making them inactive.
The process doesn’t destroy the particles entirely but transforms them into minerals that can easily pass through plumbing and drains without sticking to surfaces and this helps to prevent scale.
Secondly, SoftPro Elite salt-free water softener also reduces the existing scale on your pipes and plumbing. It makes it much easier to enjoy the benefits of scale-free water.
- Doesn’t waste water as compared to other systems
- Can last for up to 6 years
- Doesn’t need electricity to run
- Comes with a free installation kit
- Includes a water filtration system
- Comes in one size only.
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2. SpringWell Futuresoft Salt-free Water Softener
Without wasting water or affecting your home’s water pressure, the Springwell Futuresoft Water Softener is capable of preventing up to 99.6% of scale.
It comes as no surprise that its maintenance goal is to reduce scale thoroughly as possible in your whole house without using salt.
The Futuresoft is able to filter out dust, dirt, and other large particles that have the potential of reducing the system’s lifespan and this is thanks to the pre-sediment filter it comes with. It also protects its softening media with a large stainless steel tank.
When it comes to its installation kit, the Springwell Futuresoft Water Softener comes as a complete package. You will have everything you need to set up including a spanner, fittings and mounting bracket, and a bypass valve.
You can enjoy only the health benefits of consuming magnesium and calcium in your water and not have to worry about its disadvantages as the Springwell softening system uses the technology known as Template Assisted Crystallization or the TAC.
This process crystalizes hard water ions and makes them unable to stick to surfaces. This results in your whole house benefiting from scale-free water.
The TAC process does need to regenerate and wastes no water at the same time. Springwell Futuresoft Water Softener is one of the few soft water system manufacturers that use completely certified materials in their designs. You will get a lifetime warranty on the water softener and a 6 monthly money-back guarantee upon purchase.
- Comes with a lifetime warranty and a 6 month back guarantee
- Doesn’t need salt to operate
- Filter needs to be replaced only once in a year
- A bit pricey.
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3. Pelican NaturSoft Water Softener Alternative
The Pelican NaturSoft is certified to NSF/ANSI Standard of 61 and this proves its ability to remove up to 99.6% of the hard water scale.
This Pelican NaturSoft water softening system comes pre-loaded with media making it ready to install and this is designed to save you time in installation.
The pre-filter also comes with mounting hardware to be used for installing it alongside the water conditioner unit.
Pelican NaturSoft comes with an installation guide to make it very easy to set the system up and in addition to this, it features the bypass valve which comes with 1-inch fittings for installing at your main water line before the pre-filter.
The Pelican NaturSoft comes with a media that features calcium carbonate structures on to surface. Pelican NaturSoft does this by attracting dissolved hardness minerals and pulling them into a crystallized surface.
The crystals on the media then enlarge as a result. Due to the formation of the movement of the water on the crystalized surface, pieces of these newly crystallized hard water ions break off and go back into your plumbing. This reduces their ability to stick to surfaces. These suspended particles not only remove pre-existing scale but also prevent future scale from forming.
This technique of scale prevention will reduce your detergent and soap use, expand the ghetto lifespan of your appliances, offer cleaning benefits, and much more. The Pelican NaturSoft comes with a media that lasts for 12 years. The pre-filter only needs to be changed every 6 to 9 months and it comes with a lifetime warranty.
- No salt needed
- Has a long lifespan
- No maintenance required
- Comes in 2 sizes
- Very expensive
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4. Tier1 Eco Series Whole House Water Softener
This Tier1 Eco Series system also uses the TAC or the Template Assisted Crystallization to prevent scale in a high performance, low maintenance way and it is capable of softening water in homes up to 3 bathrooms.
Tier1 comes as a full package with everything the user will need for its installation. This includes the shut-off valve, Flexi-connectors, and filter.
Although installation is relatively easy, it is advisable to use the services of a professional. The whole unit is very compact as it takes up just 3 square feet of floor space, making it suitable for installing in smaller spaces.
This system of softening water doesn’t require salt to operate nor does it need a brine tank and thus because it uses the TAC system to soften water.
Unlike salt-based water softeners, it doesn’t remove calcium and magnesium from the water. Tier1 Eco Series rather alters their structure by dissolving them into particles and reducing their ability to stick onto surfaces.
The tier1 comes with an easy installation kit. This is because the media is preloaded and at the same time doesn’t require electrical programming during the setup. When it comes to maintenance, you don’t have to worry as unlike it is with traditional systems, you don’t have to worry about replacing the resin regularly or topping up the system with salt.
The only thing you need to replace is the systems sediment pre-filter. It is advisable to replace these filters regularly as the inability to do that will lead to the softening tank clogging up and becoming more difficult to tackle hard water. You can rest assured when using the Tier1 Eco Series as it is NSF/ANSI certified to Standard 61.
- Installation is relatively easy
- Doesn’t use salt
- Reduces water wastage
- Little maintenance required
- Compact design
- Comes in only 1 size
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5. Aquasana Salt-Free Water Conditioner
For thorough water treatment, it is ideal to install the Aquasana salt-free water softener alongside another of Aquasana’s filtration system products. This Aquasana salt-free water softener is easy to install and very affordable. This salt-free water softener comes with a pre-filter that removes sediments like dust and rust that could harm the system.
In addition to this, it also comes with a softening tank which is 46 inches in height, 9 inches in diameter, and 27 inches across. Aquasana salt-free water softener comes with a few installation materials. Which includes the pre-filter, conditioner, a wrench, and shutoff valve, and a pre-filter support bracket.
However, if you want to upgrade to a professional-grade installation, you will be asked to pay slightly more. To alter the makeup of hard water ions, the Aquasana uses Scale Control Media (SCM). This technology transforms the hard water-causing minerals into a crystallized structure thus, preventing them from being able to stick onto surfaces. Aquasana salt-free water softener is very effective and doesn’t require salt for the process.
One of the biggest benefits of theAquasana salt-free water softener is that, unlike other salt-based systems, it doesn’t remove the healthy minerals from your water. Technically, you still have the hard water after the Aquasana treatment bit this time, the water won’t be able to scale or cause irritation on your skin.
When it comes to maintenance and replacement, the softening media has to be replaced every 6 years and this makes it easy to use, set it up and leave it to operate. Aquasana salt-free water softener doesn’t need electricity to run and doesn’t wastewater as well. You get to receive a 6 years warranty and a 90-day guarantee when you purchase the Aquasana.
- Doesn’t waste water
- No electricity needed
- Very little maintenance needed
- Can be installed alongside other filters
- Very affordable
- Comes in only 1 size.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do salt-free water softeners remove iron?
It technically doesn’t remove anything from the water on its own. However, when you combine it with a filtration system, it will remove the iron and other contaminants.
Are salt-free water softeners healthy?
Salt-free water softeners are generally healthy. This is because they contain calcium and magnesium minerals. To make your water even healthier, you can combine it with other filters.
How do I clean my salt-free water softener?
You don’t have to worry about cleaning when it comes to most salt-free water softeners. You simply have to replace their filters when they expire.
How long will my salt-free water softener last?
This will mostly depend on the type of water softener. An enclosed filter-based water softener can last up to 6 years before needing a replacement while an electromagnetic water softener can last up to 40 years.
How do I know that a salt-free water softener actually works?
One major proof is in your appliances. You will realise a great reduction in the scale build-up when you are using a salt free water softener.
Salt-free water softeners are a great solution to help increase the lifespan of your appliances and improve the overall quality of your water. We are confident that the information provided in this article will help you find the perfect system you should go with.