Many households suffer from hard water, whether it’s well water or municipal water, which causes water stains and clogged pipes. Traditional salt-based water softening systems are an effective way to remove contaminants, but they are expensive to purchase and maintain. They are also not ideal for those who need to limit their daily salt intake.
Salt-free water softeners are an alternative to water softeners containing salt. They use electromagnetic waves and filters to remove contaminants and reshape them so they don’t negatively impact plumbing. Salt-free water softeners, as the name implies, do not require a constant supply of salt, making them easy to maintain and cost-effective.
This guide explains how salt-free water softeners work, how to choose the best water softener for your home and the product options available.
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Best Salt-Free Water Softeners
The use of phosphates to soften water is a practice that dates back nearly 200 years. This process does not remove impurities from the water, but uses filter cartridges to condition the water so that impurities do not cause scaling in pipes and faucets. This type of system is primarily used in commercial environments, such as restaurants, to protect appliances from scaling.
Electromagnetic and magnetic
Like other salt-free water softeners, electromagnetic water softeners do not remove the particles that cause water hardness, but rather condition them. By magnetizing the particles, they soften the water and prevent them from sticking to surfaces and causing scaling. These systems are an attractive, low-maintenance option for softening water because they plug into a standard wall outlet and do not require plumbing in the home. Magnetic systems serve the same purpose, but do not use electricity and require little maintenance. However, they are less powerful and only suitable for smaller homes.
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Complete filtration systems not only soften water, but also remove other contaminants from drinking water. This salt-free water softener prevents minerals from crystallizing as the water passes through the filter, causing minerals to clump and scale, damaging pipes and appliances. They also remove contaminants such as herbicides, bacteria, viruses, pesticides and chlorine. Filters for water softeners are expensive but usually last six months to a year.
Best Salt Free Water Softeners | Comparison Table 2024
Top Quality | 5-Star Pick | Great Prices
|AO Smith Whole House Water Softener Alternative - Salt Free Descaler System for Home - Works with City & Well Water Filters - 6yr, 600,000 Gl, AO-WH-DSCLR
|Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System - Alternative Water Softener Salt Free for Whole House, Reduces the effects of Limescale [Max 2" Pipe]
|Aquios® AQFS220 Full House Salt Free Water Softener and Filter System - New Model
|Aquasana Replacement SimplySoft Salt-Free Water Softener Tank for Whole House Water Filter Systems
|APEC Water Systems TO-SOLUTION-15 Whole House Water Filter, Salt Free Water Softener & Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration Systems for 3-6 Bathrooms
|APEC Water Systems
|Tier1 Whole House Water Filter System w/Salt-Free Softener - Filters Sediment & 97% Of Chlorine - Carbon & KDF Home Water Filtration - Eco Series
|APEC Water Systems FUTURA-10 Premium 10 GPM Whole House Salt-Free Water Softener & Water Conditioner
|APEC Water Systems
|Aquasana EQ PRO-AST Whole House Well System-Water Softener Alternative w/UV Purifier Salt-Free Descaler, Carbon & KDF Media-Filters Sediment & Chlorine-500,000 Gl, Blue
|Eddy Electronic Water Descaler - Water Softener Alternative - Reduces Limescale
Best Salt Free Water Softeners | 2024 Products Overview
The AO Smith Whole House Water Softener Alternative is a salt-free descaler system designed to reduce scale buildup in pipes and plumbing without the use of chemicals or salt. This black system has a capacity of 600,000 gallons, and its dimensions are 30″L x 9.25″W x 9.25″H. The product is lightweight at 0.01 ounces.
The descaler system is effective on water used for drinking, cooking, showering, and bathing and is perfect for households with 4 or more people. It works with both well and city water systems and reduces scale buildup for up to 6 years or 600,000 gallons. The product includes a whole house descaler, shut-off valve, hose adapter, and nipple and comes with a limited 6-year warranty. The system will not reduce Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), sulfur, or iron levels.
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The YARNA Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System is a salt-free alternative to traditional water softeners. The system is designed to treat water for the whole house and reduces the negative effects of limescale. The descaler works by using electric pulses generated by the electronic unit, which are transmitted via Ultra Flat Impulse Bands wrapped around the water pipes. These pulses change the structure of the minerals in the water, preventing them from forming into limescale and protecting appliances.
Installing the YARNA descaler is easy and can be done in just 15 minutes without the need for any tools or specialized help. The system is compatible with any type of piping up to 2 inches thick, including iron, copper, stainless steel, plastic, PVC, and PE-x. The descaler system is completely maintenance-free and does not require the use of salt or waste any water. Unlike traditional water softeners, the YARNA descaler system allows the hardness level of water to remain unchanged, preserving beneficial minerals in the water. The product comes with a 365-day, 100% money-back guarantee, ensuring a risk-free purchase for the customer.
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The Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt Free Water Softener and Filter System is a new model designed to provide clean and safe drinking water for the whole house. This innovative system is a point of entry (POE) water filtration system that removes dirt, sand, silt, rust particles, and other sediments from the water supply. The material used in the carbon block filtration is eco-friendly and requires no electricity, drain, or backflush. The purification method of this system is through the use of 5-micron coconut carbon block filtration, which can remove 98% of chlorine odor and taste.
In addition to being a water filtration system, the AQFS220 also provides scale prevention by sequestering hard minerals and inhibiting the formation of scale deposits. The system also forms a protective coating on metal surfaces to provide corrosion inhibition against acidity, alkalinity, and other mineral salts that may lead to the rusting of pipes and equipment. The AQFS220 is a non-electric and battery-powered system, making it an eco-friendly option for households. With a capacity of 40000 gallons, the AQFS220 is a reliable and cost-effective solution for clean and safe drinking water for the entire household.
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The Aquasana FBA_EQ-AST-WH-R is a replacement tank for Aquasana whole house water filter systems. This salt-free water softener tank helps reduce the build-up of scale on internal pipes and plumbing without the use of chemicals, providing natural softening without adding excess salt waste to the environment.
To ensure the best performance and contaminant removal, it is important to use only genuine Aquasana replacements. The tank replacement is easy and doesn't require a plumber, and should be replaced every 6 years or 600,000 gallons. This replacement tank is a great choice for those who want to maintain the performance of their Aquasana whole-house water filter system while also reducing the environmental impact.
The APEC Water Systems TO-SOLUTION-15 is a multi-stage water filtration system designed for homes with 3-6 bathrooms. It is a comprehensive solution for all of the water purification needs of an entire home, providing clean and refreshing water for healthier skin and hair, as well as better cooking. The salt-free water conditioner effectively controls scale and corrosion, prolonging the lifespan of pipes and home appliances without the use of corrosive chemicals or salt. It is suitable for homes with a hardness level below 25 grains per gallon.
In addition to the whole-house filtration system, the product also includes a point-of-use reverse osmosis drinking water system. This guarantees to remove up to 99% of contaminants, delivering unlimited, great tasting water straight from the kitchen tap for cooking, making coffee, tea, and ice. The complete system is easy to install and requires no maintenance, providing many decades of quality water for your family. The only requirement for installation is a drain line. With its elegant coffee color, the APEC Water Systems TO-SOLUTION-15 is a stylish and practical solution for your home's water filtration needs.
The Tier1 Magnetic Water Descaler System is an alternative water softener that is salt-free, reducing the effects of limescale and rust formation. The system does not require electricity or any maintenance costs, making it the most cost-effective, durable, and environmentally safe option on the market. It benefits those who suffer from blocked plumbing systems, dull surfaces, and malfunctioning appliances, as well as high cleaning expenses or scale accumulation in pipes that can lead to corrosion.
The Tier1 Magnetic Descaler works by changing the characteristics of Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3), preventing the formation of regular crystalline structures that cause scale deposits. Instead, small crystals are formed in the water in plumbing and appliances that do not adhere to surfaces, but fall to the drains where they can be easily removed. The system does not eliminate wanted minerals such as Calcium and Magnesium and does not use salt or waste any water. The Tier1 Magnetic Descaler can effectively treat water up to 132 Grains of hardness and has a maximum pipe size of 1 inch. Depending on the condition of plumbing, it may take up to three months to notice significant improvement.
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The FUTURA-10 is a premium whole house water softener and conditioner designed for 1-3 bathroom homes with a flow rate of 10 gallons per minute. This system effectively prevents the buildup of scale and prolongs the lifespan of pipes and home appliances without using harsh chemicals or salt. It is easy to install and maintain, as it doesn't require electricity, backwash, drainage, or salt replacement.
The FUTURA-10 uses an advanced ceramic media that neutralizes hard water properties without the need for regeneration, backwashing, or electricity. This maintenance-free system conditions the water without leaving a slimy feeling and makes cleaning up hard water spots easier on cars, windows, and dishes. Suitable for water hardness levels below 25 grains per gallon, this system is 100% safe for plants and reduces health risks and improves your cardiovascular system. The FUTURA-10 comes with a 10-year limited warranty and life-time expert support from the manufacturer.
The Aquasana Whole House Well Water Filter System is a high-performance water filtration system designed to provide clean and great-tasting water from every tap in your home. With a capacity of 500,000 gallons, this system removes 97% of chlorine and reduces organic chemicals, including pesticides, herbicides, and VOCs, using a combination of carbon and KDF filtration media, an ultraviolet purifier, and a salt-free descaler.
The Aquasana system is cost-efficient and long-lasting, with a flow rate of up to 14.7 gallons per minute. Maintenance is easy, with no draining or back flushing required, and pre and post filters can be easily replaced every 2 months. The system comes with a top-grade install kit, including a filter tank, descaler tank, 20" pre-filter, post-filter, brass fittings, bend supports, and shut-off valves, and the warranty now covers DIY installation. With its unique upflow, dual-tank design, the Aquasana Whole House Well Water Filter System is intelligently engineered for ultimate performance and to prevent clogging or media channeling.
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The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is a salt-free alternative to a water softener that reduces the buildup of limescale in your water system. It retains healthy minerals in your water supply, so you don't have to sacrifice the quality of your water for the sake of reducing limescale. The product is made in Britain and comes with a 12-month money-back guarantee and a lifetime repair or replace warranty, making it a confident choice for customers.
The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is easy to install, with the option to do so on metal or plastic pipes. It's also maintenance-free, giving you peace of mind knowing that you don't have to constantly tend to it. The product has been shown to be effective up to and above 20 gpg, making it a reliable option for those with high levels of limescale in their water. Additionally, this water descaler is environmentally friendly, as it doesn't add any salt to your water. Customers have reported great improvements to their hair and skin, making this product not only practical, but also beneficial for personal health and wellness.
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How To Choose The Best Salt Free Water Softeners | Ultimate Guide 2024
Size and water consumption
Unsalted water softeners come in different sizes to meet the needs of different households. The size you need depends on how much water you use and how hard it is.
The average person uses 75 gallons of water per day. Therefore, the amount of water used can be easily determined by simply multiplying the number of people in the household by the number of gallons per day. For example, a family of three uses an average of 225 gallons of water per day.
Based on the water hardness (grains per gallon) and the amount of water used, determine the size of the softener you need. Multiply the water hardness by the amount of water used in the household. For example, if a household uses 225 gallons of water per day and the water hardness is 10 grains per gallon, a water softener with a capacity of 2,250 grains per day is needed.
A salt-free water system operates between the main piping entering the home and all water containers in the home and treats the water that flows through the home's plumbing. Salt-free water systems perform filtration, which can affect the flow of water and slow its flow. Electromagnetic water treatment systems are not connected to the water lines and therefore do not affect the flow of water through the household. In this regard, water softeners with filtration systems must match the flow rate of the household demand to avoid a reduction in water pressure.
An average home, with one to three bathrooms, requires a filtration system with a flow rate of 8 to 12 gallons per minute. Larger homes will need about 15 gallons per minute.
One of the main advantages of a salt-free water softener is that it is much easier to install than a brine softener. While water softeners require a professional to install, salt less water softeners can easily be installed as a DIY project. Electromagnetic salt less water softeners require no plumbing work and can usually be installed in about 15 minutes. This type of water softener has a wire that wraps around the water supply pipe and a power supply that sends electromagnetic waves to the wire.
Full-filtration and whole-house systems are more complex, as they must be attached to the water supply pipe, but they are relatively quick and easy to install.
There are different types of salt-free water softeners. The most common and most effective is the salt-free water softener using TAC (Template Assisted Crystallization) media. This salt-free water softener does not add anything to the water and does not remove healthy minerals, but it does prevent the hardness minerals in the water from causing scale.
Some salt-free systems use chemicals to soften the water, and they are generally more affordable than TAC water softeners. There are also electromagnetic water softeners, which are the least expensive but least effective.
Water flow rate
All OCP water treatment units, including conventional water softening systems and salt-free systems, can provide maximum flow rates. Your family size and water usage are factors to consider when sizing a salt-free softener for your home.
If you purchase a water softener that cannot keep up with your water usage, you may find that the water flow rate is not sufficient. Low water flow can affect the efficiency of appliances and reduce the power of the shower.
For homes with one to three bathrooms, look for a system with a flow rate of at least 12 GPM; for homes with four to six bathrooms, a salt-free system with a flow rate of 15 GPM is required.
Installation and Maintenance
The water softener should be installed at the front of the house, in front of the water heater. This ensures that high quality water, including hot water, is available in the home. It is advisable to prevent scaling as early as possible in the water supply, as scale build-up can reduce the efficiency of the water heater.
Types of salt-free water softeners
When deciding which salt-free water softener is right for you, there are several different options to choose from. It is important to remember that a salt-free water softener is an option that conditions water to reduce limescale and other deposits.
For this reason, salt-free water softeners are often paired with other styles of water filtration, allowing you to choose the best solution for you. These include multi-stage filter options and electronic water scalers, which are considered salt-free water softeners.
Salt-free water softeners combined with filtration
There are several water softening solutions that can combine salt-free water softening with quality water filtration to remove contaminants in the water.
This is a very effective solution when space is limited or when water quality needs to be improved beyond the reionization process performed by a salt-free water softener. The system combines an ionization process with multiple filters that more effectively remove solids and other heavy metals.
Electronic descaling options
In addition to all the other water softening options available, another solution that works well as a salt-free water softening option is an electromagnetic water softener. These systems are attached to the water pipes.
As the water flows, they deliver a re-ionization shock that breaks the water molecules into smaller parts, so contaminants are removed from the water molecules. The electricity destabilizes the ions, so the minerals have nothing to attach to. This helps to reduce the build-up of limescale and tons between your appliances and pipes.
Advantages of salt-free water softeners
Salt-free water softeners offer a number of advantages over traditional brine-based softeners. Below is more information on the benefits of a salt-free water softener for your home's water.
Unlike traditional water softeners, salt-free water softeners do not use sodium chloride. This means that no salt is added to the drinking water.
This is a great advantage for households that need to limit their salt intake due to high blood pressure or other health issues.
It is also easy to maintain
Unlike traditional water softeners, which need to be filled with more than 40 pounds of salt each month and cleaned regularly, salt-free water softeners require very little maintenance. Some require the filter to be changed every three to six months, while electromagnetic systems require very little maintenance.
Low Operating Costs
Salt-free water softeners use a steady supply of salt and electricity to ionize and soften the water, which involves ongoing costs in addition to the initial cost of purchasing the system. Salt-free systems do not use salt or electricity, which reduces costs.
Protects plumbing and appliances
Like basic water softeners, they remove and modify impurities in water, eliminating scale that can clog pipes and optimizing the performance of washing machines, water heaters and dishwashers.
Best Salt Free Water Softeners | Infographic
Best Salt Free Water Softener | Video Explanation
Frequently Asked Questions
If you still have questions about how a salt-free water softener works, or if you're wondering if your new water softener is working properly, here are answers to the most common questions about these devices.
How does a water softener work?
The way a water softener works depends on the type of softener. All water softeners work by treating the water that enters the home. Some water softeners filter out the minerals that cause the water to be hard, while others reshape the water so that the minerals do not build up and scale the faucets.
Can a salt-free water softener remove iron?
Salt-free water softeners remove small amounts of iron from water but are not capable of treating large amounts of iron. In these cases, it is best to use a conventional water softener.
How do I know if my water softener is working?
Water softeners prevent dirt from building up on faucets, sinks and toilets. It should also reduce soap and shampoo suds when bathing. To determine the effectiveness of a water softener in a more scientific manner, use a simple water hardness test kit.
How do I clean my non-mineralized water softener?
Most salt-free water softeners do not need to be cleaned at all. Filter water softeners are sealed and do not require cleaning. Simply replace the filter when it reaches the end of its useful life. Electromagnetic water softeners require very little maintenance because the coils are mounted around the pipes. From time to time, check for dust and debris around the coils. If so, vacuum up all debris.
How long does a salt-free water softener last?
This depends on the type of salt less water softener. Electromagnetic water softeners need to be replaced after 40 years or more, while sealed filter water softeners need to be replaced after about six years.
Are salt-free water softeners effective?
Depending on your expectations, the best salt-free water softeners can be very effective. However, it is important to remember that this water softener does not technically remove contaminants. It conditions the water with molecules so that it is safe to drink.
What are the most reliable brands of salt-free water softeners?
We have reviewed many water-softening systems and have a great idea of the best brands. When it comes to salt-free water softeners, we covered a number of brands in our review earlier in the article. Pelican is one of the most popular brands and seems to get great reviews from almost all users.
Does the salt-free water softener remove iron?
Technically, it doesn't remove anything from the water by itself. However, when combined with a solid filtration system, it can remove iron and other contaminants.
With a salt-free water softener, the water is safe to drink, but the contaminants are still theoretically present. The molecular structure is disrupted by the reionization process, but not technically removed.
Are salt-free water softeners safe?
On the whole, they are healthy. Water from a salt-free water softener is healthy and can be good for your hair, skin, and nails. You can also improve your water to make it even healthier by combining a salt-free water softener with a water purifier.
How much does a salt-free water softener cost?
The price of a water softener depends on how sophisticated your system is. On average, a salt-free water softener will cost between $400 and $1500 or more for a high-end system, although the highest costs are associated with systems with more features.
This guide explains how salt-free water softeners work, how to choose the best water softener for your home, and the product options available.
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Hi, I’m Jennifer Lawrence, Went to Calhoun High School (Georgia) my goal is to make the kitchen fun by providing a mathematical and logical component to our approach to cooking good food. I look not only at delicious recipes but also at kitchen tools and gadgets to give you the tips and tricks we hope you will find useful. Read More Here