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.
Kind Water Systems offer easy-to-install salt-free softeners with 1-6 bathroom capacity. In addition, Kind offers efficient and straightforward efficiency without complicated and hard-to-calculate formulas for sizing.
Comparing the Benefits of Saltless and Salt-based Water Softeners on Seven Key Factors
Seven categories of benefits of Kind water systems may help inform homeowners considering purchasing a water softener. Therefore, issues that concern anyone responsible for bringing quality water into a home deserve careful analysis. Comparing the benefits of salt-based and salt-free softeners shows the differences that can support a sound purchasing decision.
The Kind salt-free water softener addresses the hard water scale that vexes many homeowners for the damage and inconveniences it imposes. In addition, the system prevents the accumulation of minerals that can block pipes. Further, the protection from mineral deposits can extend the life of appliances. Finally, the Kind line provides an economic investment with certified components. While the price may not present the most pressing concern for homeowners concerned about water quality, it undoubtedly contributes to decision-making.
Removal of sediment, silt, and debris from drinking or bathing water makes it more enjoyable to use while helping prevent hazards to health. Studies at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) cite the health benefits of minerals in hard water and especially very hard water. While salt-based softeners remove the minerals, salt-free models leave them in place by neutralizing them and retaining the health benefits. NIH considers the minerals in hard water an “important supplementary contribution to calcium and magnesium intake.” Health issues deserve thoughtful consideration, especially when an average family uses about 210 gallons indoors per day and an additional 90 outdoors. In addition, flowers and shrubs need minerals, and water that uses salt to remove them can damage them.
The freedom from buying and hauling home 40-pound bags of salt every month accompanies salt-less water softeners. Traditional water softeners cannot work without them. A task for someone who can handle and lift heavy weights, salt bags require a learned skill of emptying them without dropping or spilling. Other inconveniences that accompany softeners that use salt include the need for a drain to dispose of the backwash. The convenience of a salt-free water softener increases with its flexibility for installation inside or outside. A pleasant addition to a home that brings ease of use and a desirable product, the Kind line of no saltwater softeners makes things more accessible instead of harder. Convenience in using a softener over the long term can make a considerable difference in deciding which type of system to buy.
As one of the easiest to install systems, the Kind salt-free water softener requires only two connections. Homeowners with some DIY plumbing experience can complete an installation. No salt softeners never need replacing, and homeowners can remove and reinstall them at another location when moving. As a significant area of differences between salt-based and salt-free softeners, the installation process may provide a decision point
Many people who use a traditional water softener express objections to the slimy feel that soft water leaves on the skin. The salt that removes the magnesium and calcium minerals can cause the skin to feel that it still needs a rinse to remove the soap scum. Other complaints come from people whose hair feels lank and flat, lacking the bounce of clean hair. While soaps and shampoos may produce abundant lather in soft water, most bathers find that they do not rinse adequately. Options to avoid the effects of soft water on the skin include an alcohol-free toner to remove soap scum, a facial brush or mask to remove clogged pores. Volumizing products may give hair the volume that soft water strips away, and a vinegar rinse can remove soap buildup that makes hair look flat. A saltless water softener can prevent the problem and the need for potential remedies. The enjoyment of a full lather can quickly disappear when it proves too difficult to rinse and leaves hair looking dull and lifeless.
Protecting the Environment
In the prevailing concerns for the planet and the awareness of the damaging impacts that some products can impose, traditional salt-using softeners may not meet the demands of discerning, knowledgeable customers. Waste of water occurs with the regeneration process that occurs once every day, a process that flushes brine into the environment. Eventually, the salty water travels to rivers and streams, damaging aquatic and marine life. In addition, landscape shrubs and flowers cannot tolerate the high level of salt that creates impediments to growth and vitality. As the salt-free design of water softeners avoids damaging impacts on the planet, it may encourage environmentally-conscious homeowners to choose a product that comports with preferences.
The assurances that guarantee a product enhance customers’ satisfaction with guaranteed quality. Kind carries the best salt-free water softeners that customers can rely on as a consideration in a purchasing decision. First, as valuable consideration, they have a Lifetime Limited Warranty that provides one of the most comprehensive in the industry. Second, they include a Performance Guarantee that ensures proper operation. Finally, a 120-Day Satisfaction Guarantee offers customers an opportunity to see the equipment work and enjoy the results it produces.