Hard water can be hard on the skin and hair, causing dryness, eczema, acne, to mention a few. As you might know, water softeners are one of the few practical solutions to hard water. However, many Canadians have difficulty deciding between salt-based and salt-free water softeners.
Here, our comparison will cut across some of the benefits and the downsides of the two solutions for hard water. Before we get started, why should you decide on a water softener?
The Water Purification Industry
After the water crisis in Flint Michigan in 2019, the focus was shifted to the water purification industry.
Let’s take a look at this video that explains the secrets of Canada’s tap water:
Why All Canadian Homeowners Should Invest in a Water Softener
Do dryness and excessive usage of moisturizing to keep irritation at minimal sound familiar? If hard water is you’ve ever known, you might be oblivious to what soft water feels like. With softening water, you will have healthier and smoother skin.
Your hair also comes into consideration. A water softener is perfect for those with hair that requires special care. Most Canadians put too much faith in shampoo, conditioner, and other hair products. Without much thought about the water, they use for their hair. Hard water might be responsible for your brittle, dull, and damaged looking hair. Water softener allows you to have strong and shiny hair.
The earthly taste in drinking water can be due to the water source. When you taste hard water, there’s a taste of unwanted minerals and metals. However, many Canadians would instead go for soft water because of the way it is appealing.
Only a water softener can ensure you don’t have brown or white streaks all over your kitchenware. It also prevents your pipes and tap from blocking as a result of accumulated hard minerals.
Lastly, the water softener looks cleaner and is perfect for your laundry.
Benefits of Salt-based and Salt-free Water Softeners
Shortly, we will be comparing the benefits of salt-based and salt-free water softener.
With a salt-based softener, you remove the hardness minerals like Magnesium and Calcium in the water. The process is also known as ion exchange. The salt-based softener has a resin bead that filters the water thoroughly.
Salt-based softener comes with perks that make it perfect for home use, including:
- Salt-based softener requires minor repairs and plumbing maintenance.
- Hard water prevents soaps/shampoo/detergent from lathering well. Consequently, some curds stick to the body, bathtubs, shower stalls, and sinks. Don’t even get me started with the aftermath of the hardness minerals on clothes during laundry. But with a salt-based softener, you can save money on soaps/shampoo/detergent.
- The buildup of minerals in hard water is detrimental to home appliances using water such as water heaters, air conditioners, and washing machines. But a salt-based water softener will reduce scaling.
Salt-free Water Softener
On the other hand, salt-free water softeners do not utilize ion exchange to remove hardness minerals the way salt-based softeners do. Here, water is refined by a catalytic medium using Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC).
Below are some of the advantages when you decide on a salt-free water softener.
- It is pretty easy to maintain.
- A salt-free softener is more environmentally friendly. With cleantech energy, you won’t be needing electricity for the cleansing of the cycle. Furthermore, there will be no wastewater in filtering the unwanted minerals from the resin bed.
- The cost of running the system is affordable compared to salt-based softeners.
- It is eco-friendly and carbon-neutral.
- A salt-free water softener is considered a perfect choice for those who dislike soft water’s slippery feel on the skin.
- You stand a chance to enjoy healthy and high-quality water in the absence of sodium and phosphate.
- With the right equipment, you can easily find your way around the installation process. Thereby saving you the cost of hiring a technician.
Cons of Salt-based and Salt-free Water Softener
The maintenance of a salt-based softener comes with a lot of hassle. It demands that you clean out the resin bed and top up the salt.
Other than that, there is the presence of waste of water in the course of regeneration. The resin bed requires replacement every 5 to 10 years.
Although, the technicality of the salt-based softener makes the best choice. It is quite capital intensive which makes it non-affordable for those with limited budgets.
Salt-free Water Softener
A salt-free water softener does not filter rock particles and unwanted minerals from the water. All it does is change the chemical structure in the water minerals. That is achieved with the descaling process that intercepts solids from escalating around your home. However, in areas where water is deposited, you might still have an accumulation of limescale.
The system depends on electro-magnets to alter the water’s structure, and composition makes it slow to operate.
Water Purification Summary
In general, while a salt-based softener reduces scaling and saves the cost of detergent/soap/shampoo, a salt-free water softener is easy to maintain and eco-friendly. With that said, you can choose based on your preference from the benefits and downsides mentioned above.