How to Make Softened Water Safe for Drinking
As you might’ve heard, softened water contains a fairly significant amount of sodium. Researchers and water purity enthusiasts have long been debating whether it is safe to drink or not.
While we are all aware about the pros and cons of hard and soft water, we cannot ignore this live-giving element’s most important role: keeping us hydrated. So, with that in mind, how can we remove the sodium from softened water and even replace some of the beneficial minerals? Let’s find out:
Soft Water and Sodium
Sodium plays a major role in softening water. A water softener removes the mineral content of hard water and replaces it with a small number of sodium ions. While this solves the hardness issue, it complicates things when it comes to drinking.
You see, sodium is directly responsible for increased blood pressure. As you can imagine, this takes a huge toll on your heart in the long run. And excess sodium can cause a whole load of other issues. No wonder doctors emphasize on regulating your sodium intake.
How to Remove Sodium From Softened Water
The most common and effective way to remove salt from water is through physical filtration. Like any dissolved solid, sodium needs an actual barrier between it and the water that you’re about to drink.
Most people either get a whole house water filter or a reverse osmosis system to solve this issue. And we can’t deny the fact that doing so works wonders. However, the cost of replacing filter cartridges and the level of wasted water from RO systems say a lot about their effectiveness.
Fortunately, other methods work just as well with very few downsides. You might’ve heard the term “saltless water softener” get tossed around from time to time. Thing is, that term is too broad to cover the entire spectrum of devices available. We’ll try to go through most of these methods in as little time as possible so you can fully understand what they’re about.
Salt-Free Water Softening Methods
So now we’ve got out of the way how to remove sodium in case you already have a water softener. But what if you could soften your water without needing a salt-based water softener?
This is where the following salt-free water softeners come into play. Each of them has their own set of quirks and features, and they’re worth taking a look at. Without further ado, here are the alternatives:
The core principle of a water descaler relies on cathodic protection. Without going into too many technical details, what this device does is reshape calcium and magnesium crystals to make them less sticky.
It does so by sending capacitive electronic impulses throughout the pipe. These signals directly influence how minerals behave, and thus eliminate the buildup of limescale without any chemicals and without altering the water itself.
- Water descalers reduce the formation of limestone in your pipes. As such, your entire plumbing system will become easier to clean. And it will need cleaning far less often.
- Helps with the reduction of currently existing limescale within the pipes.
- Doesn’t remove beneficial minerals from water. You can still get a healthy dose of calcium and magnesium from drinking descaled water but still get the benefits of softened water.
- No water wasted whatsoever.
- No need to change filters, replace brine tanks, etc. All you need is to connect it to an electrical outlet.
- If the power goes out it stops working, and won’t start doing its thing again until the power comes back on.
- Depending on how hard your water is, it can take up some time to notice visible improvements.
Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC)
TAC is one of the newest water softening methods that don’t involve salt. One thing we like about this type of system is that you don’t need to connect it to a drain. Instead, it works by pushing the water through a granular medium much like a RO system.
- Doesn’t require electricity to work.
- Zero maintenance required.
- No brine discharge or backwash, which means that you’ll save money on water bills.
- Doesn’t remove beneficial minerals, so it works in a way as a water descaler.
- Keep in mind that this type of water softening treatment hasn’t had the time to be tested in the long run. If you want to buy it, you need to be aware of this risk.
- You’ll need a pre-filter for iron, manganese, and excessive sediment because these impurities will damage the unit beyond repair.
We’ve talked about it earlier and most people already probably know what this type of system does. In short, it filters a vast part of water contaminants through a membrane that rejects particles based on size and ionic charge.
The higher the ionic charge of a particular contaminant, the harder it is for it to pass through the reverse osmosis system’s membrane.
- Great for homes that use traditional salt-based water softeners because it greatly reduces the amount of salt and sodium in the softened water.
- Many restaurants use reverse osmosis systems to filter the water because it makes food taste slightly better.
- The reverse osmosis process doesn’t consume any energy. So you’ll have no extra costs on your electricity bill.
- If maintenance is not done properly, the tiny pores of its membrane can get clogged. And filters can add up a lot to the cost over time.
- Some RO systems waste a lot of water.
Electronic Water Conditioners
At a base level, electronic water conditioners work similarly to water descalers. However, instead of capacitive electronic signals, they output inaudible sonar signals directly into the main water pipe.
Although not perfect, they at least get rid of the sodium problem. In short, these will keep the minerals intact, but instead of reshaping the crystals to become smaller and flatter, they reshape the crystals in such a way that they become bigger. Let’s look at what that means for the average user:
- Costs much less than a typical salt-based water softener.
- Greatly reduces mineral AND rust deposits on faucets, drains, showerheads, and appliances that use water.
- Doesn’t waste any water, so it’s perfect for people looking for an environmentally-friendly solution.
- It doesn’t require much maintenance aside from checking the frequency when necessary.
- Because calcium and magnesium crystals become bigger, you’ll still have trouble with lathering, hair and skin conditions caused by hard water.
- Turns off if the power goes out and resets to the default frequency, so you’ll have to go through the trouble of fine-tuning it depending on hardness levels.
Liquid Water Softeners
Finally, one of the best non-salt water softeners is, ironically, the liquid version. These units have mostly the same properties as traditional water softeners but without the need to add salt.
Instead, they use liquid polyphosphate, a non-toxic food grade solution that can prevent limescale buildup and eliminate minerals in the water. If you’re concerned about polyphosphate’s toxicity, note that this same ingredient has been used in drinks and foods for years and years without any report of intoxicated people.
- Doesn’t require any electricity, so it will do the job regardless.
- Non-toxic chemicals make this solution more environmentally-friendly than classic salt-based water softeners that can even damage your septic system.
- It doesn’t waste any water or discharge any brine.
- The pouch is relatively small and the installation component doesn’t take up much space on the main pipe to begin with.
- The pouches tend to add up a lot to the overall costs, as they need to be replaced frequently. Depending on how much water you use, this can leave a significant increase on your bills.
- No added salt, but it still rids the water of precious minerals, making it less than ideal for drinking.
The Rundown on Making Softened Water Safe For Drinking
As you can see, you have quite a few options if you want to enjoy the benefits of soft water without its sodium-induced downsides.
Which one you’ll pick depends on your preferences. You’ll need to balance out the good and the bad of each method to find the right pick that fits you.
However, if you were to ask us, one of these methods is superior in many ways when compared to all the others. With the only real downside being that it requires electricity, a water descaler is, in most cases, the best option.
Why Choose a Water Descaler For Safe and Softened Water
As stated earlier, a water descaler works by reshaping mineral crystals in such a way that they become less sticky.
When compared to TAC, for example, the descaler solves the lathering issue and prevents scalp calcification or eczema caused directly by the hard minerals.
Unlike a reverse osmosis system or a traditional softener, the descaler doesn’t waste any water, nor does it require you to know about plumbing or try to figure out long-winded instruction manuals.
You can install a descaler in about 15 minutes using only the tools provided inside the box. It’s as simple as that and once you get it running, you’ll be able to enjoy softer water without any of the downsides. As for the existing limescale deposits, the descaler will also eliminate those in due time.
Benefits of Getting the Yarna Electronic Water Descaler
When purchasing the Yarna Electronic Water descaler, you get a full one-year money-back guarantee and warranty.
You can choose from the CWD24 (for 1-inch pipes), the CWD30 (for 2-inch pipes), CWD48 (for 4-inch pipes). And if that’s not enough for you, we will also extend your warranty to 10 years once you register your product on our website.
You can also purchase our descaler models from our Amazon store page and get the same extended 10-year warranty when you register them on our website. And if that wasn't enough, know that you can save up to $1000 on yearly bills with the help of the Yarna water descaler. How so? Because eliminating existing limescale and preventing future buildup will make your water heater function much better. Not to mention that water flow will be higher and you'll be able to take a shower using less water.
Furthermore, your dishwasher, washing machine, and just about any other appliance that uses water will also be able to do their thing without any hindrance. That, again, means less water consumption for basic tasks, and less energy consumption because their heating elements and other components won't be affected by limescale deposits. With all that said and done, don't forget you can try our descaler for a full year risk-free with our money-back gurantee.
The Bottom Line
Since more than 80% of US households suffer from the effects of hard water, getting a water descaler makes a lot more sense than leaving it be.
While classic water softeners have worked well for many people, the underlying effects of sodium in your drinking water can’t be ignored. No wonder several states have banned water softeners throughout the years.