Salt vs Salt-Free Water Softening: What’s the big deal?

Hard water is a serious problem for millions of homeowners across the country, and it can wreak havoc on your plumbing on top of making it tough to get the most out of the soaps and detergents you use every day. When you are able to solve the hardness in your water, you can enjoy better-tasting water, appliances that last longer and a thorough clean for your clothes and your body. Thanks to advances in modern technology, there are new ways to correct hardness, including a salt-based water softener or salt-free water softening systems. Which option is right for your family?

Why is Soft Water Better Than Hard Water?

Water that is soft has a total hardness level of 17.1 milligrams per liter or less. This means that high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium have been removed and the water will function as expected when you are using it. Higher-quality water does not have high levels of hardness levels present. While some people are fortunate enough to have water that comes to their home already soft, many more people need to invest in water softening solutions to lower the hardness levels.


What Is Salt-Based Water Softening?

These systems have been used for a long time to remove the hardness minerals from the water. Salt-based water softening uses a unique process known as ion exchange. In ion exchange, a polymer resin bed that contains sodium particles will be forced to absorb the excess hardness minerals in exchange for adding that sodium to the water. Salt-based systems are very effective for water with high levels of hardness, and they will make sure that you can easily use your water for washing your clothes, drinking, washing your body and washing your dishes without the build-up that you might have seen before. However, some people need to explore salt-free water softening due to concerns over consuming sodium through water on top of the sodium they consume through their diets. This is also common in people who might have health conditions that require them to carefully limit their sodium intake.

What Is Salt-Free Water Softening?

Salt-free water softening will not remove the calcium and magnesium in your water like a salt-based system will. Instead, the form of the minerals will be changed. Instead of minerals being taken into a resin bed, they will be converted into a hardness crystal. While salt-free conditioning can improve the hardness of your water, it is possible for the hardness crystal to convert back and again cause scaling on your dishes and appliances. Of course, if you have a health concern and need to rely on salt-free water softening it is the best choice. However, if you have high levels of hardness and are most concerned about completely removing the minerals from your water, a traditional salt-based system can be ideal.

Which System Is Right for You?

Now that you understand some of the differences in the technology between the two systems, it’s important to decide which is right for you. While salt-free water softening is a great option for people who need to be very cautious about their sodium intake, salt-based systems are generally considered to be the gold standard. They have higher water softening capabilities, and they are more effective with high levels of hardness minerals. One of the systems that we offer is the Hague WaterMax system. This high-performance system will keep track of how much water you use and make sure that the right amount of water and salt are being used for regeneration to ensure that you are getting the most bang for your buck.

If you require a salt-free softening system, we can install the ULTRAMAX Chlorine Removal System. This system is great for areas with brine restrictions, people who are sensitive to salt and those who want to explore salt-free options. This filtration system offers both water-saving and energy-saving technology, and it eliminates backwash, filters out sediment, requires no additional softener equipment and is environmentally friendly. We can help you to make sure that you choose the right salt-based or salt-free water softening system for your home, your budget and your water needs. We are here to help! 

Test and Treat Your Water with Hague Quality Water of Maryland

If you are concerned about the quality and contents of your water, we are here to help with your water improvement projects. Whether you need the Hague WaterMax® BEQ System or additional filtration beyond that, our team cares deeply about the health and safety of your family.  We offer a convenient mail-in water testing kit for conducting a complete water test at home. If you’d prefer to drop off samples, you can also do so easily. For additional assistance, call Hague Quality Water of Maryland at (410) 757-2992.

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