The different types of water softeners for hard water (updated 2019)

The only solution for treating hard water is installing a water softener in your house. There are different types of water softeners out there and choosing the best one for your hard water is not easy, but if you read this article from beginning to the end, you will be able to find the right system.

The different types of water softeners for hard water

The different types of water softeners for hard water

Salt-free water softener

As the name suggests, salt-free water softener does not require salt well known as sodium to soften your hard water. What this softener does they do not remove hardness in your hard water but condition it, so that does not form build-up around your house appliance.

The salt-free water softener retains all hard minerals in the water but alters the chemical structure making them harmless through a technology called Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC). The Template Assisted Crystallization system needs no electricity, brine tank, salt, backwash waste, wastewater (since no regeneration cycle), control valve or electronic control system.

The system requires no maintenance because you don’t require buying and adding salt regularly you only need to replace the medium and some brands like Pelican Water Salt-Free Water Softener NS3 Natursoft has lifetime media.

The life expectancy of the salt-free medium can be lifetime no needs to replace while other brands have specific life expectancy depending on the product. When buying check the life expectancy

The salt-free water softener uses specialized treatment medium consisting of polymeric beads that are contained in a mineral tank when hard water is passed through the medium rearrange the water hardness structure such that do not form build upon the house appliances.

The TAC technology is an excellent alternative to conventional water softener which was first introduced 15 years ago in Germany, seven years ago in the USA and Canada and is gaining popularity worldwide.

Common brands that are salt-free water softener includes Aquios FS 220, AQUASANA, Nuvo, Pelican NS3 Natursoft and Tier1 

Salt-based water softener

The salt-based water softener is well known conventional water softener that has been there for a quite while.

It uses salt to remove all minerals in the hard water.

This type of water softener has two tanks brine tank and resin tank.

The resin tank has resin beads and salt which are negatively charged. The hard water first passes through the resin tank, the hardness ions present in water which are positively charged are attracted on the negatively charged resin beads giving sodium ions through a process called ion exchange or cation exchange.

Minerals that were present in the hard water will remain on resin bead and treated water goes through your faucet for human consumption.

After some time the resin beads become coated with minerals present in your hard water. The mineral coat causes the resin beads not to operate effectively which needs to be cleaned.

The brine tank filled with sodium solution runs automatically or manually to the resin. It picks ions in resin beads cleaning the beads to operate effectively. The hard minerals are washed off from resin beads and flushed out the resin tank through the drain pipe. This process of cleaning resin beads is known as regeneration.

Water conditioners

The water conditioners use magnets and electrical devices to send waves and pulses. The device is placed around water supply pipes to alter the molecular structure of the water’s hardness.

The conditioner does not remove minerals that cause your hard water to become hard but paralyze it for 48 hours, so it will not cause build up in your house appliance.

Both salt-free water softener and conditioner are best for people with a restricted diet.

Best brands that use either magnetic or electronic waves or pulses to condition your hard water are Eddy electronic descaler or ClearWave.

Types of water softener

How do you know which type to use

Test your water hardness you can use test kit at home, call or email your municipal if you use piped water.

If your water hardness is between 12-15 grains per gallon purchase a salt-based water softener less than that you can use a salt-free water softener.

If you only want to protect your appliances from scale and matters build-up you can consider buying a water conditioner.

Back to you which type water softener do you use to treat hard water at your home? Inform us in the comment section below.

Related articles:

  1. Buyers guide water softener
  2. Water softener parts
  3. Water hardness test kit
  4. Water conditioner
  5. How to test water hardness at home
  6. Water softener installation
  7. How a water softener works
  8. How much is a water softener
  9. How to maintain an ion exchange water softener
  10. Type of water softener resin
  11. How to clean water softener resin
  12. Water softener resin cleaner
  13. Turn off the water softener
  14. The benefit of a water softener
  15. Regeneration 
  16. How to program a water softener
  17. Water softener resin replacement
  18. Effects of hard water
  19. Portable water softener
  20. Signs your house need a water softener
  21. Best water softener for well water
  22. Genesis water softener
  23. GE water softener
  24. Fleck Water softener
  25. Pelican water softener reviews
  26. Whirlpool water softener reviews
  27. Morton water softener reviews
  28. Water boss softeners reviews
  29. Nuvo water softener reviews
  30. Kinetico water softener reviews
  31. Kenmore water softener