If you do an internet search for this topic, what you will find is a slew of articles accusing saltless filters as being some kind of “fake” water softener. They’ll make sure to clarify that saltless filters should be called conditioners rather than softeners… as if that were a bad thing.
For the expert plumber in Phoenix, AZ, it makes sense why you would never want to mix up a softener with a conditioner. Softeners remove minerals from the water, and conditioners simply remove the mineral’s abilities to stick to your plumbing. It would be a lie to say they’re the same.
But for the average consumer, who wants nothing more than for their water to feel better and to avoid scaling on their plumbing system, saltless filtration is still an excellent choice.
Actually, we’d argue that salt-less filtration systems are the better choice. We’ll explain more down below.
Efficiency and Costs
Salt-based filters use electricity and need to be resupplied regularly with 50-pound bags of salt. That cost can really add up.
It may sound hard to believe, but saltless filters use a process that doesn’t require electricity at all. The technology has been proven several times to effectively reduce the buildup of scale and the effects of hard water without using electricity (and you can forget about the salt bags).
Excess Water Consumption
As salt-based water filters remove minerals from the hard water, the minerals get trapped to a resin. This is how the water is softened. But when that resin becomes too full of minerals, it needs to be washed out in a process called “regenerating” or “recharging.” However, this can use dozens of gallons of water.
The amount of water it actually uses depends on your area and the hardness of the water, but the fact remains that a saltless filtration system will not demand these extra gallons from your system.
Friendlier for the Environment
The water that is discharged from salt-based systems has to go somewhere! That’s through a drain leading to your sewage system, and ultimately back into the environment. This discharge is full of sodium chloride, however, and that can cause trouble:
- Salt Is a Pollutant: The chlorides that get discharged into the environment, along with the treated wastewater can have a detrimental effect on aquatic life and agricultural crops.
- Higher Wastewater-Treatment Costs: In order to properly put all that water back into the environment, several expensive measures must be made by the sanitation district. That includes extra filtration efforts like microfiltration and reverse osmosis, as well as dumping the extra salt farther out into the ocean so that it does not affect local marine life.
- Increase in Total Dissolved Solids: All the dissolved minerals and sodium will contribute to the amount of total dissolved solids that the treatment plant must deal with. These plants need to have their equipment upgraded to deal with this problem, so that can mean a higher cost of the cities and towns that pay for the water treatment through their taxes.