Categorized | Salt-Free Systems

Do Salt-Free Water Softeners Really Work?

I talk to many people each day, inside and outside the water industry, and the claims by many companies who are trying to sell salt-free, saltless or no-salt (call them what you will) are really confusing. Many are also not rooted in fact. I try to keep an open mind and I am receptive to new and improved technology, but it first has to pass the “smell” test. Devices that “cure” a plethora of water problems and “one size fits all” are dead give-aways to false claims. Let the buyer beware. Frankly, most do not do what they say. However, there is no reason to be confused. The German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW) has developed protocol for testing scale prevention properties of these types of devices. This testing protocol is called DVGW Standard W 512.

In order to be certified by this agency, a device must reach the threshold of being at least 80% efficient. There are several devices throughout the world which are certified as being at least 80% efficient, but to my knowledge, there is only one such device in the USA that achieves this level of efficiency, that being nextScaleStop manufactured by next Filtration Technologies, Inc. of Incline Village, Nevada and that is the salt free water conditioner US Water Systems handles, and it is sold under the brand name “Green Wave.”

Remember this: Only a salt-based water softener “softens” water. If you like the “slick” feeling of soft water, you won’t like salt-free systems . Systems that really work without salt, “condition” the water by preventing it from sticking to any surface and one more thing that I think should be done that no magnetic or electronic water conditioning device can do, is to remove or reduce the hazardous chemicals like chlorine, THM’s, PCB’s, pesticides, tastes and odors – while leaving the beneficial minerals. This would be the “greenest” system on the market!

I would not be comfortable selling a product that wasn’t nearly 100% efficient at reducing scale and had the certification to prove it! No electronic or electro-magnetic process does that, but there is a process called Template Assisted Crystallization that does.

This would be a good time to review some blogs and discussions about salt free-systems. Here are some links:

http://www.waternet.com/detail.asp?Parent_ID=137072#137072

http://www.waternet.com/detail.asp?Parent_ID=135334#135334

http://watertechonline.com/detail.asp?Parent_ID=137161#137161

PDF’s:

no-salt-soft-factfiction-or-fantasy

next-scale stop media

http://www.wefixbadwater.com/pdf/Scale%20Stop%20Science%20SF.pdf

To date, the only Salt-Free System in the USA that has passed the Stringent German Standard (DVGW-W512) is nextScaleStop media, used in Watts One-Flow and US WATER’s GreenWave systems.

Here’s a copy of their certification:

http://www.wefixbadwater.com/pdf/DVGW%20report.pdf

Q. Do salt-free water softeners really work? – David M., Greenville, Ohio

A. Well, I am going to have to assume that you are referring to electronic, magnetic or media devices that are purported to “condition” water. Notice, I did not say “soften” water. In my opinion, the only way you can “soften” water is by removing a “hard mineral” (calcium, magnesium) and replacing it with a “soft mineral” (sodium, potassium). Conditioning can be accomplished in a number of ways:

  1. Filtration – by removing sediment, silt and other contaminants the water is boing “conditioned.”
  2. Carbon Filtration – by passing the water through a media containing carbon to remove chemicals and chlorine.
  3. Seed Crystalization – by using either electrical current, magnetic or media crystalization to form “seed crystals.”
  4. Oxidation – by using chlorine, potassium permanagante, hrdrogen peroxide, ozone or oxygen to oxidize contaminants in the water.

Filtration, carbon filtration and oxidation are well-established methods of conditioning or treating water, so I will further assume that you are referring to the plethora of companies who are promoting “salt-free water conditioners.” I will say that there is some validity to most of these methods, however companies or websites who say that they “soften” water without salt or make other prespoterous claims like “salt can be absorbed through the skin” or that electronic devices increase sudzing are not dealing in reality and should not be trusted. I always refer people to The BunkHouse – Gallery of water-Related Pseudoscience – Junk Science in the Marketplace - Check it out! While there are some fine products in this category of “water conditioning,” there are also plenty of outright frauds and other companies selling products which have limited validity and application.

How do you tell the difference? There’s the rub… I can rely on my 36 plus years in the water conditioning industry and tell you that while I have always felt that electronic or magnetic water conditioning has some validity, no one can truly articulate or prove how. There is a protocal for testing and validating these types of water treatment devices and to date, no ecectronic or magnetic device in the United States has passed that certification. By the way, to be certified, the developer of ths protocal, called DVGW-12, has established that in order to meet the requirements, the device must be at least 80% efficient in preventing scale. Ask to see the certification of any device which claims to condition the water by any mechanical, electronic or magnetic means. To date, I know of no magnetic or electronic device that mets that criteria in the USA. My guess is that it means they cannot meet that minimum threshold of 80% efficiency in preventing scale. I never cease to be amazed by the claims that many of these companies make. Most of their claims have little basis in reality.

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351 Responses to “Do Salt-Free Water Softeners Really Work?”

  1. Joanne says:

    I use well water. I was going to use an EWS system followed by a water softener.
    What is the harm in drinking water that has gone though a salt softening process. I do not want to put in an RO system. Thank you

    The Water Doctor Replied:

    Joanne,

    Have you had your water tested?

    What type of EWS system were you planning on using?

    Is it a carbon filter?

    What are you trying to accomplish?

    These are all things I would need to know before I can comment.

    Insofar as drinking water that has been softened, I think it tastes funky, but that’s just me. How much sodium you put into your water depends upon what the hardness content is in your raw water. Again, what is your hardness?

    Do you have iron? Manganese? Sulfur? E-Coli?

    It sounds like you are ready to spend some money – make sure you spend it wisely and get a detailed water analysis before you do anything.

    Here’s a link:

    http://www.uswatersystems.com/shop/products/NTL-Watercheck-Test-Kit.html

    If you plan to spend hundreds or thousands on a water treatment system, you really need an X-Ray of your water – the water analysis does that.

    By the way, there are many EWS systems I WOULD NOT recommend for soft water.

  2. LaPure is assuring me that my well water can be purified by their no-salt New Generation system. My well water has 130 grams per gallon of calcium; a ph of 7 and total dissolved solids of 2,000 pp million.
    Is it reasonable for me to purchase this system for $2495, plus $200 for equipment that will give the “slick” feeling to the water.

    I am a widow with no one to ask about this.
    Thank you,
    Sandra Brooks

  3. Rich says:

    I just moved to a community with very hard water. The home I moved into does not have a water softener. I noticed that my dishes are not clean after cycling through my dishwasher. I also noticed that my silverware is turning black. I want a water softener that works! I’ve read about the saltless softeners but I’ve read that they don’t really work. I have border line high blood pressure so salt-based softeners scare me. What do you recommend?

  4. mark says:

    Sandra,

    I see all kind of “RED FLAGS” about this. NO, they will not purify your water for that amount of money. I will be glad to help you (not sell you). Call me at 800-608-8792. Ask for Mark…

  5. mark says:

    Rich,

    I don’t have enough information, but even if you have soft water you don’t have to drink it!

    Tell me more about your water.

  6. mark says:

    Nela,

    The Green Wave uses media which was certified when it was first made. Subsequent to that the media has been upgraded and improved, but has not been re-certified.

    I have had customers send me Pelican’s “alleged certification” as well and it has about 1/20 of the documentation of our original media. I smell a rat ,or to put it a different way: I have not seen anything that leads me to belive that statement. I NEED TO SEE PROOF!

  7. Tyler says:

    I live in a neighborhood with very hard water. The dishes in the dish washer are left with spots and are not fully clean, and our cars horribly water spotted from our sprinklers. Does anyone have advise for me? I need a water softener system but don’t know what would work best for my situation. Do they have any that work for sprinklers.

    Any advise would help
    thanks
    Tyler

  8. Kory Marks says:

    Water Doctor,

    Which salt-free water system do you recommend for someone who wants an earth friendly and environmentally safe system? Thanks in advance for your suggestions. Could you post a link to the product for us as well?

    Kory

  9. mark says:

    Tyler,

    Two different issues here – the dishwasher problem can be easily fixed with a standard water softener, however, the salt added to the water would not be great for your grass. You could use potassium chlorine instead, but that is very expensive. The salt-free systems will not remove anything from the water, so while your spots on your cars may wipe off easilly, they would still be there. In my mind, a water softener with potassium chloride is the best way.

  10. mark says:

    Kory, Here’s what I recommend and sell:

    http://www.uswatersystems.com/shop/categories/Salt-Free-Systems/GreenWave-Salt%252dFree-Systems/

    There are four models to choose from

  11. Jennifer says:

    I was going to buy Easy Water, but after reading all of this I am not confused. What is the best system to use? I have well water that is extremely hard. I need it softened. The last salt water conditioner I had used so much salt it ran my well dry just processing it. I am under construction and need a system right away before I begin installing dishwasher, washing machine, etc. The hard water eats the finish right off of metal and I don’t want it destroying my new appliances

  12. Jennifer says:

    PS I have sulfer and iron in the water also

  13. mark says:

    Jennifer,

    You need to get a complete water analysis. The Easy Water won’t work on well water with iron and sulfur according to the company.

    Before you do anything, get this test:

    http://www.uswatersystems.com/shop/products/NTL-Watercheck-Test-Kit.html

  14. Bob says:

    We have water supplied to us from the city from a well source close by. This water is very heavy in calcium (we think) We get light green build up of minerals everywhere and quickly. This is a problem everywhere in the neighborhood. What method do you think is best to prevent build up of deposits in appliances? We have a RO system for drinking water but I want to protect my pipes, water heater, and appliances. These “salt free” systems sound perfect. If they work…

  15. mark says:

    Bob,

    The “green” could be an issue. Before you do anything, I would advise that you get a detailed water analysis. Here’s a good one:

    http://www.uswatersystems.com/shop/products/NTL-Watercheck-Test-Kit.html

  16. Eugen says:

    Hello,

    Can someone point me to a link for the DVGW Standard W 512? I searched on their web site and couldn’t find it.

    Thank you,
    Eugen

  17. mark says:

    Eugen,

    You won’t find it – I will address it very soon on a new blog post – watch for it.

  18. Ron Turner says:

    I have been in the water filter business for over 30 years, and my experience with electronic and magnet (salt free) system will not
    reduce the hardness from your water. I buy my equipment from every major water supplier in the usa and not one dealer sells these salt free systems, simply because they do not work, for what you would spend for a salt free system you could get a good water softener
    that will last 10 to 15 plus years if maintained correctly.
    I had a customer on a well, he called a electronic scale removal
    compoany and ask about their systems, I talked him out of buying an electronic systems and sold him a water soft. He major problem was, when he heated the water it would make small calicum rocks, about two weeks later he called and said his water softener was not working, it took about a week before I could get back to check his water softener for a problem. During that time he purchased an electronic system from the company he first talked to. I checked the water hardness with the softener and the electronic systems that had been installed- the results were the same hardness I had checked before both systems were installed, both systems were not removing the hardness. I checked the water softener and found a small venturi was blocked, which caused the softener not to work.
    after I fixed the softener the water hardness was removed. I bypassed the water softener after the repair just to see how the electronic water system was working and the hardness came back to the same hardness it was before either system was installed, indicating the electroic system did not remove any amount of hardness. another problem occurs with hardness in the majority of cases is the problem of iron. hardness and iron are found together.
    electronic systems would not remove the iron problem and in some case might cause the water to turn brown or red .

    Ron Turner
    1 800 705 9383

  19. Ibrahim says:

    Hey Mark,

    Im going to start to work with a company called Hanish Water. They also claim to have the greenest system in the world. Can you please confirm their statements or products. Im planning to start a large business project with them and its quite urgent.

    Thanks.

  20. mark says:

    Ibrahim,

    I am aware of Hanish Water. It seems to me that they don’t want anyone to really know much about their product and/or methodology. That concerns me. I do know that they were in some type of arrangement with nextScaleStop, but evidently aren’t any longer. I can make no recommendations except to say that this industry needs regulation.

  21. Darrell says:

    It always nice to talk about new products,however to date there’s no WQA rating that im aware of on the salt free/ descale systems.In industrial settings where flow rates can be controlled and the proper rest times given they do show some promise, however most homes very on both flow rates and pressure making these systems almost useless…..Not to mention the fact the water can’t contain iron, sulfur,or mangenese these must be filtered out first before the descale media can even be used,by this time you might as well go to wal-mart and buy that $300.00 softener and add it to your system all it has to do is soften the water…it won’t get any more efficient than that.The WQA has asked time and time again to test these so called salt-free water conditioners to test them against their claims.to date not one company has come forward and said Here test our system.If you go to IWQA or OWQA you will find that neither will stand behind any of these types of systems.I have seen shower doors, glasses from the dishwasher, and chrome faucets all spotted up after these kinds of systems and i was’nt impressed at all.but hey their salt free that what counts right??They have a long way to go!!!!!!!!!!

  22. mark says:

    Darrell,

    For every person who like the “slick” feeling of soft water, there are 5 who hate it. I like it, but many people don’t.

    I have seen the shower doors, dishes, etc. that were spotted, but I have also seen first-hand what these systems can do when properly applied. They don’t make soft water, but they can preent scale and do it rather well.

    Just as you don’t apply a water softener to fix water that has sulfur or bacteria, you hae to apply salt free systems properly as well.

  23. Gavin says:

    I have been making and selling electronic descalers for 10 years andwe have a 99% success rate with customers. These units will NOT soften water as they do not remove the Calcium ions but they do have a physical effect which leaves the calcium in the water in a crystallised state and makes the water seem soft.

    Be absoloutly sure to get MONEY BACK GUARANTEE if you buy one of these units

  24. mark says:

    Gavin,

    99%? Pretty Amazing!

    Hard to believe.

    Actually, based upon 38 years of experience, I don’t believe it.

    It’s sort of like the salesmen who comes to me seeking a job and tells me he has a 99% closing rate.

    When I hear that, I run…

  25. JRobin says:

    I have a US Water Green Wave, it is the previous TAC version. When the media needs to be replaced can the TAC media be replaced with the new MEP media in my old system?

    Thanks

    The Water Doctor Says:

    Yes, absolutely!

  26. Michael says:

    To whom it may concern.

    What’s the deal with saltless water conditioners?

    I have no background in water treatment. My research is based entirely on
    Information from the Internet and through e-mail exchange with relevant
    Companies.
    My research has led me to the following thoughts,conclusions and
    Observations:

    Some time back we purchased a saltless water conditioner from a company
    Called “Water is Life Iberica S.L.” In Spain.They claim to sell a saltless
    water
    Conditioner produced by ROWA, which is supposed to be certified by DVGW.
    (the Water is Life brochure says so). Water is Life was not able to show
    The alleged certificate or respective test result and DVGW wrote me, that
    They do not know ROWA and have not issued a certificate to them. Note: DVGW
    Has a site where anyone can look up the products they have certified:

    http://mycert.dvgw-cert.com/verzeichnisse/index/7/de/produkte-wasser.html

    There are DVGW certificates for resin(S) used in saltless water conditioners

    The tests are, however, only conducted for a 21 day period, not making any
    Statement about how the resin works or for how long. Note: most saltless
    Water conditioner sellers claim their resin will work for 5 and more years.

    DVGW wrote me a statement, saying that they do not evaluate (not to date at
    Least) saltless water conditioner.

    The manufacturer of a DVGW certified resin PS3 (Watchwater.de) replied to
    Questions about how long their resin will last in saltless water
    Conditioners and how the resin is supposed to work (nanocrystals?) with: “we

    Only manufacture SP3″……

    Critics claim, that the resins in question do work initially due to ion
    Exchange (the principle used in conventional salt systems),
    But quickly loose their effectiveness. They say, that the nano crystal
    Theory is pseudo science.

    I have yet not found any nanocrystal proof from independent and qualified
    Scientists.

    I have also not found any long term (beyond 21 days) independent scientific
    Based tests evaluating these systems .

    My common sense tells me, that if these systems would work as claimed, the
    Manufacturers would have all these tests in place,
    Especially considering how long these products are already on the market and

    Considering the high demand for such a product.

    If this nanocrystal theory holds water, then that would be a truly
    Revolutionary invention:
    Who invented it and wouldn’t there be a Patent?
    It seems all well known and reputable companies in that field are not
    Selling these
    Devices.

    One would think, that a genius who can come up with such product would also
    Be able to provide a measuring device being able to distinguish between
    calcium in
    Solution versus calcium locked up in “nanocrystals”.

    I am sure I missed a lot of data – maybe some which would explain some of
    The questions I’ve listed.

    One of my mottos is: “what if I am wrong?” Any body with relevant data and
    Insight is welcome to comment. Honest and polite information is appreciated.

    Use the same subject line, or the reply will possibly get automatically
    deleted.
    If you do reply, please let me know if I am allowed to use your statement in
    public papers.

    With regards,

    Michael Zimmermann. zmrman@hotmail.com

    The Water Doctor Replied:

    Micheal,

    You are correct in many of your observations, however reputable companies like Watts are selling these products. As simple as it sounds, no one has came up with good evaluation methods for testing the products. We have seen them work wonderfully for more than 5 years without service and then we have seen then not work for 5 weeks – on the same water.

    None of them can agree on standards and testing protocal and then there are the charlatons…

    It will be years before any good comes from this. In the meantime, many do work well. I wish I could say “all” but that’s simply not true.

  27. Harry says:

    We have a well that has hard water. The water destroys laundry, water heater tanks, and dishwashers. To compromise, we installed a salt based water softener ONLY ON THE HOT WATER PIPES. This way, we drink salt free water and have a salt free lawn. Only the hot water is softened. The water heater, wash machine, and dish washer are now more efficient at heating and cleaning without spots and without using huge quantities of soap. Our skin is better for it and showers feel great. For a family of four, we go through a bag of salt in 30 to 60 days, depending on who’s home and doing what. The water softener is what makes life bearable in our house. Personally, I wouldn’t trust a salt free descaler to treat our water as I don’t beleive it would save us any money. I know for a fact that the water softener is saving us money because I haven’t had to replace the dishwasher since installing it, and I’m using a fraction of the soap I used to. I have yet to hear anyone bragging about the soap saved since using an electronic water descaler.

  28. mark says:

    Harry,

    You are 100% correct!

  29. Michael says:

    …adding to my previous post:

    I just realized, that while the seller of our anti-scale device always referred to the media as being resin based, their brochure
    talks about ceramic media (where they trying to make the link to
    a catalytic automobile converter?).

    As to the nanocrystal proof: since the crystals are supposedly around 30 or under µm, the hardness of a sample of treated water pressed through a 20µm filter should be significantly lower than that of a sample of untreated water…

    If there is a fault with my theory, then please enlighten me!

    Regards, Michael.

    The Water Doctor replied:

    The crystals are under 30 µm – way under, like a million times under. They are ions. We are speaking of the ionic range which is in the .001 µm range. The fault with your theory is that you assume that the particles are way bigger than they actually are.

  30. Jim says:

    Are you familiar with the Scaltrol units and if they are effective? See scaltrolinc.com. They claim: “Scaltrol stops mineral scale by introducing a measured amount of sequestrant [polyphosphates] into the water. The mineral molecules, which have a positive charge, are attracted to and held in suspension by the negative charge of the sequestrant. The mineral molecules are unable to join together, so scale is unable to form.”

    The Water Doctor Replied:

    Jim,

    Polyphosphates are one way of treating water. Read their MSDS Sheet and ask yourself if you really want this in your water.

    Also, I have seen them “gum-up” the pipes something horrible. I am not familiar with this brand, but in my 38 years of water treatment experience, I have never had good results with polyphosphates except in hog-watering operations.

    One of the problems with using a cartridge of polyphosphate is that it is a very inaccurate way of introducing the material into the water. When it sets all night, the first water coming through is saturated with it, but under high flows there is practically none present. Additionally, hot water tends to break it down.

    If you are bent on polyphosphate, a better way to introduce it into the water is with a proportional injection system and a Chemical Feed Pump, like these:

    http://www.uswatersystems.com/shop/products/Stenner-Proportional-Chemical-Injection-System-.html

    http://www.uswatersystems.com/shop/products/Stenner-30-Gallon-Series-Tank.html

  31. Michael says:

    “The crystals are under 30 µm – way under, like a million times under. They are ions. We are speaking of the ionic range which is in the .001 µm range. The fault with your theory is that you assume that the particles are way bigger than they actually are.”

    Assuming? – I was actually quoting the manufacturer of our device:
    Se link, page 2.

    http://www.rowa-wasser.de/files/FCKeditor/File/trinkwasser/produkte/antikalk/ROWAAntikalkfibel-GB.pdf

    Regards, Michael

  32. Naoma says:

    My salt softener has a bad timer, but is over 20 years old. I have a 190 ft deep well, 9 -10 hardness water and has recently been clorinated for mild Coliform (1 colony/100ml). After searching the net and reading about salt free aplliances I became interested since I cannot carry the salt bags and I like the idea of descaling the pipes of my 55 year home. I read that HyraCare guarantees a one year money back policy and wondered if it is worth while to try something like this or to just buy a new salt softener and give it time for the saltfree technology to improve. Do you have any suggestions? Do you know of any saltfree product that is approved? Thank you for any advice you may be able to give me. Naoma

    The Water Doctor Replied:
    There are no salt-free water softeners. I would recommend that you get a detailed water analysis first. Feel free to call me at 800-608-USWA.

  33. Lacy says:

    Just had a Watts water softener installed- love the soft water!!
    Having a problem with sand- have a rural water well and the watts filter just before the softener kept clogging- added a spin down sand separator filter before the watts filter and now I’m having to flush the separator out up to twice a day. Need help!! Any suggestions for a sand problem??

    The Water Doctor Replied:
    A Micro-Z filter or a Big Bubba might be the answer. Feel free to call me at 800-608-USWA for info.

  34. Nina says:

    Hi,

    I recently moved to San Antonio, Texas. I noticed that the water here is very hard. I have so many spots and streaking on the dishes, shower doors, and sinks. I had a salesman that worked for GE come and do water testing. Have you heard of Aquafuzion?
    I want to know more about it before I purchase it because it is very costly about $8,000. I have had a water softner system before and I really dislike the sticky feeling it leaves on my skin. So I wanted to look into something that was salt-less. But are their any con’s of having a water conditioner system versus a water softner system.
    Thank you for your feedback.

    The Water Doctor Replied:
    The AquaFuzion is a water softener (albeit a very overpriced one). You should be able to buy something for 1/8th to 1/4th that amount. They are using a play on words. Free free to call me at 800-608-USWA if you want more info.

  35. Ed says:

    Hello,

    We just had a pushy woman ask us last night if we had our water tested. We said No, and she said its realy cool.. takes 5 minutes. 5 minutes later she came back and pushed through with a guy and his tools, and she then left. 2 hours later we got the $8000 price tag and financing for only 200 a month. Needless to say we did not buy it, and I found it quite pushy and certainly not a company I would trust after how it started. I know we have hard water, and of course the test showed we have very hard water and my has expressed intrest in a water filter. I did not believe the price they were showing me. I keep thinking its called oasis, but I am not sure. Looked a lot like the FILTRAMAX systems I found online.

  36. Ed says:

    I found the company with the hard sell… added the URL to the message.. it seems they are Pentair filters.

  37. joanna says:

    Hi. We just purchased a house in N.J. with a private well and a septic system. The seller provided water testing results (required by law). Everything was within the norms. Water was not tested for hardness but we know it is very hard. We have white film on the dishes, buildup on shower heads and rings around the toilets, dark laundry looks gray and stiff etc… A friend recommended Kenmore 370 water softner, the price is great. Have you had any feedback about this model. Thank you

  38. Paul says:

    I noted one writer here indicated he had just instlled his softner to feed the water heater. If I were to do this it would involve far less pipe and plumbing work. I don’t really care if my water is soft I just want to b able to run watter without having faucet aireators and washing machine input screens plug up with calcium particals every few weeks to say nothing of what the inside of my water heater looks like. Will I be improving my situation much by a softner down strewn of my water heater?

  39. dan says:

    I am on city supplied water but a septic for sewage. My concern is the effect of the salt on the septic system and leach field. Is my concern warranted and do you have a recommendation for a specific brand or system type.

    Thanx, dan

  40. mark says:

    The Water Doctor Replied:

    Dan,

    Small amounts of salt will not be detrimental to your septic system, which is why I recommend a system like the Fusion which keeps salt and water usage to a minimum:

    http://www.uswatersystems.com/shop/categories/Water-Softeners/Fusion-Professional-Water-Softeners/

  41. mark says:

    The Water Doctor Replied:

    Joanna,

    In our industry we call Kenmore “throw-away” water softeners, because after 3 or 4 years it costs more to fix it than a new one, so you “throw it away” and get a new one.
    You will have much better quality with a professional grade softener like this:

    http://www.uswatersystems.com/shop/categories/Water-Softeners/Fusion-Professional-Water-Softeners/

  42. mark says:

    The Water Doctor replied:
    It happens every day – I am for people making a fair profit, but that is insane.

  43. Bill says:

    I’ve enjoyingly read through all these comments. I’ve been selling electronic de-scalers for seven years and never had one returned. I’ve seen faucet screens and garden hose spray nozzles plug up with scale after installing a de-scaler. I have installed units for customers that doubted if they worked and told them to pay when/if they were satisfied. Every one of them came into my store and paid me. You might want to check out: http://www.h2oconcepts.com/pdf/IAPMO.pdf I don’t know your opinion of IAPMO, but I believe they are a very reliable testing lab. By the way, I sell TAC these days and have a good opinion of this technology.
    The world is changing and water softeners are bad. The WQA is losing their war. The “Hey Culligan man!!” is dead. So is Servisoft (I worked for them during college). I manufacture aerobic treatment plants and water softeners are bad for them too. A Fusion will void the warranty. Water softener’s days are numbered.

    The Water Doctor Replied:

    OK, I’ll bite. Sodium is undesirable, in a vacuum, but we don’t live in a vacuum and oftentimes when we try and solve one problem, we create another. If sodium is undesirable, then what about the additional 50-60% more soap, phosphates, detergents, bleach, water conditioners and chemicals you have to use without softened water? What about Lime-Away? Are you saying that sodium is bad, but that’s not?

  44. jim says:

    I have been wanting to get a water conditioner for my home and someone told me about this product that can be found on this web site http://www.equinox-products.com but does it work and has anyone ever used this product or is it a gimmick..

  45. Dean says:

    Hey Mark,

    I read this thread with great interest, and I thank you and all the others for a lot of good information and comment.

    I have done some of the research you have suggested, and find that everything you say is right on target.

    Out city water is very hard, and contains some chlorine. I want to be able to drink the water out of every faucet in my home, and am not too concerned about it being hard.

    From what I gleen from my reading of this thread, I should simply get a good filtration system, that takes out the chlorine and other VOC material….and possibly a salt-free “conditioner” that WORKS! :) Am I on target?

    I would appreciate your opinion on which systems work the best…also!

    Thanks for the time you take to educate folks,

    Dean

    The Water Doctor Replied:

    Dean,

    Your are correct. Sorry it took me so long to respond. I have just been swamped (which is good).

    Here’s a suggestion:

    http://www.uswatersystems.com/shop/categories/Salt-Free-Systems/

    For Drinking water:

    http://www.uswatersystems.com/shop/products/Kwik%252dChange%252d3-Under-Counter-Drinking-Water-Unit.html

  46. Michael says:

    For those still wondering about devices based on nano-crystals, (or
    saltless water conditioners) I finally got an somewhat interesting
    response from a seller of such products. Since our conversation was
    in German here is a machine translation:

    “In the formation and growth of crystals of a substance is a phase transition from the dissolved (liquid) instead of the solid state. This crystallization can occur only if the solution is saturated or supersaturated easy. On the surface of the anti-lime granules is effected by corresponding surface forces, a local supersaturation of calcium and carbonate ions. Through this supersaturation leads to the formation of calcium carbonate crystals (lime).

    Before we added the anti-lime granules in our product range, we have so treated water was filtered through a filter with 0.2 micron pore refinement. In measuring the total hardness before and after the anti-lime granules, we have a reduction of total hardness (lime) of about 10 – found 15% (there were several series of tests performed). That is, a part of the dissolved lime is converted into the solid phase (crystals), so that this part could be filtered off. The main part remains dissolved in the water. If there is further deposits of limestone, for example, by heating the water, we find this separation preferred instead to the seed crystals, so that will be protected, for example, heating elements of flushing or washing machine.

    Whether this theoretical model of explanation is in all questions of detail 100% scientifically proven strength, we do not know. Through the experiment conducted by us us, however, appeared plausible. Our past experience and the feedback of customers have also confirmed.”

    I am still waiting for independent scientists in this particular field to publish their findings.

    With regards, Michael

    The Water Doctor Replied:

    Still no definitive answers. Just more questions.

  47. mark says:

    Ruth,

    We have found that the electronic systems are generally “scams.” I have tested them all and have not found one good enough to sell.

    This does work:

    http://www.uswatersystems.com/shop/categories/Salt-Free-Systems/

  48. Angel says:

    Shopping around for salt-less systems and found Pelican NaturSoft System has been tested and fulfilled the requirements of the W512. I pulled this statement off there website, what do you think between Pelician and USwatersystems?

  49. Edith says:

    I bought a non salt water softener, Excalibur of Barrie Ontario. it was not called a conditioner. It was sold to me by Brian Nogler.. PURE WATER AND AIR SOLUTIONS. I was guaranteed to have my money refunded if it did not live up to manufacturers specification. He returned every month to check and see how it was working. IT DID NOT WORK!! I repeatedly asked to have it removed which was not done. So the Excalibur softener and the company, both are not any good.

  50. Jeremy says:

    Mark,

    I have a home with a dug or shallow well. I had a water softener that used salt but my water always had a smell and I had to change filters very frequently. My salt-based system sprung a leak in the water tank and I’m now looking to replace it. What is your best recommendation? Should I stick with salt-based or do you have another suggestion? I do plan to have a new well drilled at some point but it will rely totally on finances.

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  1. wholesale distributors…

    I truly appreciate you taking the time to share this . Look forward to more posts from you. Cheers :)


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