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My Plumber Said Saltless Water Softeners Do Not Work?

So you have read, or been told by your plumber that saltless water softeners don’t work?

I get this question often: Will this salt free water softener really work?

One thing is for sure when you do research on-line, or ask people about their opinion about something you might think they know about. And that is you might find yourself more confused than before you began your research. We’ve all been there.

This is also true when you started researching salt free water conditioners. I receive quite a few calls and emails from customers that really want an alternative hard water treatment method, but they have read so many articles on-line, or been told by a friend or their plumber that salt less water softeners do not work, they are a scam, and so on.

The truth of the matter is that salt free water softeners do not exist to my knowledge, and never have. This is because by definition, a “Water Softener” is a water treatment system that uses salt or potassium through an ion exchange process to actually remove calcium from water. This is considered a conventional water softener that most people have heard of, and possibly even used.

And this is where the confusion begins. Lots of on-line sellers of Saltless Water Conditioners use the term “water softener” because this is what most people are looking for in their search because they don’t know any different or what to ask.

Differentiating Salt Free and Conventional Softening Products

If you have already done some research and you’re sure that you are interested in a salt free water treatment product, just remember that if the product does not use salt or potassium, then it’s not an actual water softener, but rather a water conditioner. You will find dozens of different designs of water conditioners available on line. Some use wires wrapped around pipes (Electronic Water Conditioners) some use magnets that clamp on your piping, some use catalytic media in a tank, and some use a catalytic electro-mechanical core.

This article really isn’t about what works, and doesn’t work. I have talked to hundreds of customers over the years that will tell you without a doubt that they are certain the saltless conditioner they use works. And I also have many stories from customers that are still looking for a salt free treatment product because what they have already purchased and installed just does not seem to work well.

Reasonable Expectancy

Unlike conventional water softeners, saltless water conditioners do not remove the calcium from your water, but instead treat the calcium and convert it into aragonite which is still calcium, and will test just like calcium in a water test. If your water is fairly hard, then you might see a thin dusty residue on glass surfaces which looks like talcum powder. This is calcium that has been converted into aragonite form. For the people that do not want conventional salt treatment methods, this is a very good option, but you might need to wipe down glass surfaces to keep them looking clean, but you should not have crusty shower heads any longer if the salt free product is working as designed.

It’s unfortunate that many on-line sellers of salt free treatment products do explain this to potential buyers, so the product is purchased with the thought and hope that they are buying a product that will perform like a conventional water softener. And usually the buyer is not completely satisfied because they did not have a reasonable expectancy of how the product would perform for them.

My Plumber Said They Don’t Work

This is a statement I hear often, and it’s not their fault. It’s just ignorance. Nearly all plumbing professionals only sell conventional water softeners, and that’s what they understand. They have likely had no real training in alternative water treatment methods, and they compare the salt free method to the conventional method.

They Are Too Good To Be True

Not if you fully understand how they work and have reasonable expectations

Benefits of Salt Free Treatment Methods  

Aragonite is a form of calcium that has several benefits, one being that it is an essential mineral that your body needs. Salt Free Water Conditioners do not regenerate. This saves water and brine. If you pump brine into your septic system, you will spend thousands of dollars someday because the salt-chloride will kill the septic tanks bacteria. No salt to purchase and many popular saltless water conditioners do not require electricity so it has minimal, if any moving parts.

Know your options and understand your need before making a purchase

Completely understanding the difference between traditional salt based water softeners and saltless water conditioners will help you decide which is best for you. Not all saltless water conditioners work in all applications. If you feel that you absolutely have to actually remove the calcium from your water, then your search is over. You need a conventional water softener. If on the other hand you want the calcium to remain in your water, just as long as it’s manageable, then you are a good candidate for a salt free water treatment system.