Hard water can leave your skin dry and itchy and your hair feeling brittle. It will leave a white film on your dishes, glassware and shower doors as well. It can also cause a buildup of scale in pipes, hot water heaters and appliances that shorten the life of them. Pro-Water Conditioning can install a water softener to solve all of these problems and more.
A water softening system will remove calcium, magnesium and other metal ions in hard water. It will increase the lifespan of appliances, plumbing fixtures and hot water heaters. Laundry will come out cleaner, smell fresher and last longer with softened water, plus you will save money by using less soap, detergents, shampoos and cleaning supplies. A water softener can also improve water flow and water pressure due to the elimination of scale building up in water pipes and taps. In-line anti-scaling Phosphate filters work well in some cases where a softener is not an option.
Important information on SALT-FREE VS SALT-BASED water softeners
Water Softening involves an ion exchange process, which removes both magnesium (Mg2+) and calcium (Ca2+) from water. During the ion exchange process, a polymer resin bed attracts hard water minerals and replaces them with sodium ions; this removal of magnesium and calcium defines "water softening."
It is a common misconception that salt-free water softening systems remove hard water minerals the same way that their salt-based counterparts do. Some believe that the only difference is that one uses salt, while the other does not. In reality, salt-free water softeners DO NOT actually soften water at all – they “condition” it.
Salt-based water softeners utilize a negatively charged resin bed to attract and remove magnesium and calcium from the water supply. These water softeners also utilize salt to clean the water softener and regenerate the resin bed. During regeneration, positively charged sodium ions replace the hard water minerals trapped in the resin bed, and the hard water concentrate is flushed down the drain.
IMPORTANT FACT: It is a misconception that salt remains in the water. Salt is merely used to clean the resin beds during the regeneration cycle.
Salt-free water softeners, on the other hand, do not remove hard water minerals from the water. Rather, they transform the magnesium and calcium chemically so that they do not cling to surfaces and precipitate into scale. Because salt-free water softener systems do not actually capture the hard water minerals, there is no need for salt or a regeneration cycle to purge the minerals down the drain.
Since the very definition of water softening requires that hard water minerals be REMOVED, and the salt-free process only ALTERS the minerals, allowing them to remain in the water, salt-free water softeners are not actually softening water – instead, they are for “water conditioning” or “descaling.”
We at Pro-Water Conditioning do not install or promote salt-free softeners because they do not soften the water. Instead, they are used as a basic descalant.
- Soft feeling water comes only from softeners; water that is descaled still feels hard.
- Softeners make the water feel soft on your skin, reducing skin irritation.
- With softeners, you will use less detergents, soap & shampoo.
- Softeners will last 8-10 years before re-bed. Descalants require new cartridges every few years.
(A salt-free softener does the same thing as a phosphate filter which we do install in certain applications. As an example, we install them on lake lot residences that don’t have septic fields and cannot use a regeneration system. They are an economical option and approximately 1/3 the price of a salt-free softener)