Water Softeners

What to Know About the Different Types of Water Softeners

Got hard water? Hard water can wreak havoc on your home, as well as cause hair damage and skin irritation. It contains excess minerals such as calcium and magnesium that can build up and leave a residue behind, damaging your plumbing and home appliances.

Owning a water softener prevents this from happening, and can save you money. It can make cleaning easier and leave you with softer hair and skin.

Read on to learn about the different types of water softeners and make the right choice for you and your home.

Salt-Based Water Softeners

Salt-based water softeners are the most common, and they work well for all sizes of homes. They use an ion exchange system that draws heavy minerals into the softener and exchanges them for sodium ions (salt). This removes the heavy minerals entirely.

Some people find these inconvenient because they need to be recharged with salt around once per week depending on your level of water usage. However, it’s possible to get metered or timed softeners that can automatically regenerate the salt when needed.

Salt-Free Water Softeners

Salt-free water softeners don’t use salt to remove heavy minerals. Instead, they use template-assisted crystallization (TAC). In this method, water flows through a tank of tiny polymer beads which crystalize hard water ions and condition the water.

These types of water softeners often cost more but they can last for years without needing any maintenance. They are also smaller than salt-based systems, so they may not work well for large homes or householders with higher than average water usage.

Electric Water Softeners

Electric or magnetic softeners are ideal for small homes as they sit directly on the water pipe and take up minimal space. They don’t remove the heavy minerals and instead use a magnetic field to neutralize positively or negatively charged ions. This acts as a water softener treatment.

These are an affordable and ideal option if your water hardness is mild, and they tend to have a long life of around 40 years.

Dual-Tank Water Softeners

These are salt-based softeners with two tanks. This is so that one tank can be softening your water while the other is regenerating. These are best used in large households, apartment buildings, and commercial locations where a large volume of water is needed.

These can be challenging to install and can be expensive but if having consistent soft water is important to you, these are the ideal option as they don’t need to regenerate and can handle a significant flow of water.

Types of Water Softeners: Find the Best Option for You

Finding the best water softeners for you depends on how hard your water is, the space you have available in your home, and your budget.

There are other easy-to-install types of water softeners like showerhead softeners, and portable water softeners for use in RVs or while traveling. Consider what your needs are to make the best choice for you.

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