Ion-Exchange vs. Salt-Free Water Softeners

Ion-Exchange vs. Salt-Free Water Softeners

According to the United States Geological Survey, roughly 85 percent of American homes have issues with hard water. Simply put, hard water is water that is rich in minerals such as magnesium carbonate, calcium, and manganese. Over time, hard water can leave scale deposits in water-using appliances and water heaters, clog plumbing, and make tasks such as washing dishes, clothing, hair, and skin more challenging.

To combat this issue, many homeowners purchase and install water softeners in their homes that minimize the adverse effects of hard water. When considering the vast variety of water softeners on the market, however, it can be difficult to know their differences and determine which type is right for your home. Our Columbia Plumbers have put together this easy-to-read buying guide to help reduce some of the confusion and help you make an informed decision.

The main types of water softeners are as follows:

  1. Ion-exchange water softeners: These types of water softeners replace hard water’s minerals with salt, potassium, or hydrogen ion-exchanging resin, depending on the type of unit. Salt is the best known and least expensive water softening regeneration solution, though many have turned away from its use due to concerns of additional sodium intake for individual with low-sodium diets and the environmental effects of releasing large amounts of salt into the waste water supply. PIon-exchange softeners are available in single tank or multi-tank configurations with varying outputs depending on a household’s soft water needs.
  2. Salt-free softeners: Unlike ion-exchange softeners, salt-free or “descaling” softeners do not use any sort of chemicals to remove minerals from hard water. Instead, these systems utilize nano-technology to modify the structure of the molecules in the water from building to non-scale building, causing them to affect the existing mineral buildup in pipes and de-scale a home’s plumbing system. These systems are favored by some due to their reduced need for regular maintenance, increased efficiency, and low-energy use.

At Plumbing Solutions LLC, our knowledgeable Columbia plumbers can help test your water and provide an effective solution for your hard water, either through the installation of a water softening system or water filtration. Backed by
numerous positive client testimonials and a commitment to providing timely, friendly service, we can provide the quality workmanship you need at a price you’ll love.

Call (803) 618-4163 or schedule a service online today to get started!