What are the differences between a salt-based and salt-free water softener?
Identifying Five Essential Differences between Saltless and Salt-based Water Softeners
Significant differences between salt-free and salt-based water softeners make it easier to contrast rather than compare them. On issues that matter the most to homeowners, especially the one who takes care of the water softener, the salt-free option ranks higher on every count. Using salt to remove minerals may have seemed a good idea around 1900, but they have health benefits that the body needs. The original concept of using salt to soften water still exists in traditional water softeners. Fortunately, advances in technology offer superior alternatives with a salt-free water softener.
Hard water underlies most of the United States, and almost everyone faces the task of coping with it. Both salt-based and saltless water softeners prevent hard water spots and the accumulation of calcium and magnesium that clog pipes. However, salt-based softeners lessen the health benefits of drinking water by removing the minerals. No salt softeners also prevent spots and mineral accumulation, but they do it without lowering water quality.
Similarly, both softeners can change how the water feels in a shower or bathtub. Without the minerals, water has a soft feeling that many people regard as slippery and undesirable. The saltless softener neutralizes the minerals so that water produces a clean and refreshing feeling instead.
Most homeowners enjoy equipment that performs well and efficiently without requiring attention. Unfortunately, salt-based water softeners fail badly on that score, allowing the sounds of running to become a noise that interrupts the peaceful enjoyment of a home. In addition, the need for a power source, supply inlet, and drain add to the inconvenience of owning a traditional, salt-based softener. Whether power outages occur frequently or seldom, it affects softeners that require electricity. In addition, the complexity of installing a salt-based system needs a professional plumber to connect the water supply, brine tank, discharge outlet located close to a power supply.
By contrast, a salt-free water softener requires none of the annoying inconveniences. Without the need for electricity, power outages have no impact on water quality. After installation where the water supply enters a home, saltless softeners run silently and attract no one’s attention.
The contrast between types of softeners presents a marked difference, with one that requires frequent maintenance and expense and the other that requires almost none at all. A perpetual concern about the salt level in softeners that need it forces someone to look in the brine tank, a displeasing task. However, a low level means that the unit needs more salt, and most systems prefer the best quality. Cleaning the brine tank presents another distasteful job that may require stirring the sludge to clear the tank before scrubbing with detergent and mold remover. The resin tank may need professional services to clean it when the regeneration process fails to do so.
On the other hand, a no salt softener needs no maintenance other than a filter replacement about once a year.
A 40-pound bag of salt that a salt-based system needs replacing every month, and the residue needs disposal at the end of the cycle. Unfortunately, the softener discharges the brine into the environment and groundwater system every 24 hours. The damage that it wreaks on marine life occurs as it travels through lakes, streams, rivers, and aquifers. Aside from the pollution that regeneration and discharge contribute to the environment, wasteful water use concerns anyone who cares about the planet’s welfare. Estimates of the need for 25 gallons per day may not sound like an excessive amount. However, an annual total of more than 9,000 annually constitutes a significant waste of an essential resource.
Not surprisingly, a no salt water softener does not expel brine into the environment because it does not discharge anything. A self-contained filtering system allows each homeowner to treat water according to personal preferences without harming the environment.
Salt-based softeners require a size that can accommodate the number of people who live in a home. The resin beds inside the system can increase as demand grows, but nothing ensures the delivery of soft water without interruption. Some estimates place the recommended size of a system that uses salt at about as large as a water heater. Some people base it on the number of people using it. Others suggest using 80 gallons per day for each person and then applying it in a formula to determine the amount of hardness in a home’s water supply.
Evo Water Systems offer easy-to-install salt-free softeners with 1-6 bathroom capacity. In addition, Evo offers efficient and straightforward efficiency without complicated and hard to calculate formulas for sizing.