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No-Salt Water Softener Systems - The Perfect Alternative?

A water softener could prevent all damage caused by hard water. Nonetheless, a no-salt water softener could prevent even more. With a different technique of softening hard water, this kind of system doesn't require salt to remove hard minerals from your water. 

What exactly makes it be the perfect alternative for its salt-based version? Well, to find out the answer, we will have to analyse this matter right from the root.

The Traditional Water Softener

This system is the most common water softener, but not the most effective. And we say this because it works by constantly feeding salt, which is not the healthiest or the most cost-efficient "fuel". 

Through its ion exchange process, a salt-based water softener removes the hard water minerals through a change with sodium ions. The latter comes from the salt, which is regularly introduced in one of system's tanks for preparing the salt brine. 

Therefore, this solution helps the whole process to regenerate but allows the sodium ions to be a part of water consistency. Here come the downsides: salt can affect health and is not cost-effective in the long run.

Why Isn’t Salt The Best Solution?

About 90% of Americans 2 years old or older consume too much sodium. Regardless of the human body needing a small amount of sodium to function, the excess can be harmful, especially for those following restrictive diets. 

Moreover, even if salt doesn't have a huge price, it adds up over time. The average price for a 50 lb salt bag in the US is somewhere between $5-$25, depending on the manufacturing company. 

Given the typical example of a 60,000-grain capacity water softener, with two people in the house and a water hardness of 110 grains, you can calculate the salt usage following this formula

[No. of people x gallons per person in one day x 110 (hardness)] ÷ efficiency of salt exchange. 2 x 65 = 130 x 110 = 14,300 grains in one day. Divided by 2,000 grains removal per pound of salt equals 7.15 pounds per day. 90 days at 7.15 = 643.5 pounds. 

Water Softeners That Don’t Require Salt 

Softening alternatives are not always based on the complete removal of calcium and magnesium from hard water. In the absence of salt, water softeners usually use various methods, such as reverse osmosis technology, capacitive deionization, magnetic water treatment, and so on. 

In order to shed even more light on how salt-free water softeners work, below you will find some specific answers on this topic.

No-Salt Water Softeners FAQ’s

  • Is hard water really softened by this system?
  • Hard minerals like calcium and magnesium are not completely removed. Compared with salt-based systems methods of treating hardness, these alternatives are neutralizing hard minerals, so they do not stick to surfaces. In this way, water quality will not be affected by the addition of sodium.

  • Is softened water from salt-free water softeners safe to drink?
  • The water resulted from the softening process of a traditional system has potential health risks for people on low sodium diets. Summarily, through the ion exchange process are added 7.5 milligrams per quart for each GPG of hardness removed. A no-salt water softener does not use salt and sodium is not introduced into the water’s consistency, just as healthy minerals are not removed.


  • What maintenance is involved in salt-free water softeners? 
  • Because these water softeners do not go through any regeneration cycle, their maintenance is extremely low. Depending on the chosen model, the only thing you will need to do is change the sediment filter once a year. However, there are salt-free water softeners that will not even require this step.


  • How much costs a saltless water softener? 
  • The average price of a saltless water softener can be between 300$-4000$, depending on its operating system, features, and manufacturer. Another important thing to keep in mind if you buy a no-salt water softener that uses a filter is its cost, which you will have to change after a certain time.


  • Why are they also called “water conditioners”?
  • They are called this because saltless systems only alter hard water minerals but does not remove them. Minerals are coated by micro-crystals going through this conditioning process. In other words, magnesium and calcium are crystallized, being unable to attach to pipes to form scale.


  • Are these working based on ion exchange like salt-based softeners? 
  • As we mentioned earlier, salt-free systems generally use other methods to soften the water. However, there is only one exception with the potassium chloride water softeners. These systems are salt-free, but they are using potassium chloride for the ion exchange process. 


  • Can I install a salt-free water softener by myself?
  • Just like the maintenance, installing a no-salt water salt softener is not rocket science. On the contrary, the installation of such a system is easier than the salt alternative. There is no brine tank to worry about and, in many cases, installing such a system can only take 30 minutes.


  • What is the average lifespan of a saltless alternative? 
  • A salt-free water softener has a lifespan of about 5-10 years. However, this is not a rule. The life of a salt-free water softener depends largely on its size and the amount of hard water it is softening over time.

    Moreover, some systems can only treat a certain level of water hardness, while others can soften water of any hardness level without being affected in any way. Always check the manufacturer's specifications to find this out. Otherwise, it is possible to buy a product that will last less than you expected.

    Our Saltless Suggestions 

    Below, we have prepared some recommendations for the most effective salt-free water softeners now. Each of them comes with different features and particular user experiences. In fact, our selection is based on high reviews from users who have already tried these products.

    Clearwave CW-125 Salt Free Electronic Water Conditioner 

    The process used by this saltless system attacks hard water particles with electro-magnetic waves, treating the entire water system in your home without the use of salt. Therefore, calcium and magnesium particles remain in suspension, flowing freely through the system and down the drain. 

    A big advantage offered by The ClearWave Conditioner is that it doesn't only prevent new scale formation. Over time, it helps break down the existing scale, protecting the water heater, pipes, showerheads, and appliances. 

    Furthermore, this water softener is maintenance-free, environmentally friendly, and uses less water than traditional water softeners. It works on all types of pipes, including copper, PVC, galvanized, and stainless steel.

    Nuvo H2O Dphb Salt-Free Water Softener System

    In this case, the pH level of water is lowered based on the basic scientific process of chelation. Shortly, the mineral ions causing hard water are bound to the chelating agent in NuvoH2O's proprietary formulation, which keeps the minerals soluble and unable to cause hard water problems. 

    The water resulting from this process is soft and healthy for all your household uses. This means that not only your pipes will be protected, but also your health. If you have a restrictive diet that does not allow salt, the softened water in this system is ideal for you.

    With its compact design and no need for electricity, this water softener can fit almost anywhere.

    Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt Free Water Softener

    This system will ensure that sediment, hard minerals, and other undesirable substances are removed from your water and provide clean, and healthy water for consumption in your home.

    AQUIOS Water softener uses a natural technology based on polyphosphate additive, also known as Siliphos, which inhibits scale deposits. Moreover, this method will slowly reduce scale buildup on your pipes and appliances over time. 

    Its unique design ensures virtually no pressure loss or reduction in water flow rate and requires absolutely no programming, electricity, or maintenance. Also, The AQUIOS Water Softener comes bundled with a cartridge rated for 40,000 gallons of usage before it requires replacement.

    Yarna Water Desclares 

    In addition to the previously recommended models, we would like to introduce you to our water descalers CWD24CWD30, or CWD48. As with the above models, these descalers do not need salt for softening the water in your home. 


    What makes them special is the fact that they do not need filters like salt-free water softeners. Yarna Descalers are a one-time investment that require no additional water to operate and no filters. The water savings alone makes an electronic water descaler a smart investment for a long time.


    Moreover, they treat water hardness through electric impulses, which are generated in the electronic unit and are controlled by a computerized micro-chip that gives protection without having to handle dangerous currents. The microchip inside the descaler regulates how current flows through the two active coils, and only sends small currents inside your pipes, not on the outside.


    Perhaps one of the biggest advantages is the extended warranty. If you choose one of our descalers, you will enjoy a one-year money-back guarantee and a full ten-year manufacturer warranty just by registering the product on our website.

    The Verdict 

    There is a water softening solution for any house and needs. For users who want a practical system that does not require regular refilling, salt-free water softeners are the perfect alternative. 

    The good part is that there are also many other alternatives on the current market that offer various features for users, as in the case of descalers, known as the most advanced water softeners alternative so far. 

    However, it is up to you to decide which system is the right one for you. With detailed research based on your preferences and your house demands, you will surely find the ideal solution for your water hardness.