The Salt-Free Softener Deception
Go on the Internet and you can find just about anything about everything. Alien abductions, cures for cancer, herbs that make you live forever, how to not pay taxes (good luck with that one), and salt-free water softeners.
Sorry folks, but that is all fiction. Well, maybe there have been some alien abductions… I’ve seen their spaceship, they are not taking me back… do you know what they did to me? OK, I'll stop!
Seriously, the biggest hoax on the internet may be companies pretending that they have salt-free water softeners. That’s the biggest hoax in my opinion. Pelican, Filtersmart, NuvoH2O, Lifesource and several other companies are persisting in calling their systems “salt-free water softeners” when in fact, their systems do not soften the water.
Watts One Flow and nextScale Stop also have technology similar to these companies but they call them Salt-Free Water "Conditioners” not Salt-Free Water "Softeners" because they simply do not soften the water. They are being honest with the consumer and doing the right thing. They are not trying to misled consumers. These companies saying that they have salt-free “water softeners” are doing that simply to mislead consumers and trick them into buying their products.
I am contacting attorney generals and other attorneys and urging them to take action against these charlatans. Tens of thousands… maybe hundreds of thousands of people have been duped into buying what they believe are water softeners that do not use salt, when in fact, these products do nothing to soften the water. We get many complaints about this every day. I am urging people to seek class action suits against the companies.
Until recently, another company (Aquasana) also called their product a salt-free water "softener” and I called them out plenty of times on this. They were recently bought by A.O. Smith and A.O. Smith made them change the name from salt-free water “softener” to salt-free water “conditioner.”
Part of the reason A.O. Smith changed was because they saw the handwriting on the wall: The Water Quality Association (“WQA”) recently changed their Code of Ethics (more about that in a minute). WQA is dedicated to promoting the highest principles of honesty, integrity, fair dealing, and professionalism in the water quality improvement industry.
A little over a year ago, I wrote a blog that it was time for the WQA to Enforce Their Own Code of Ethics. Well, they have started. At the recent WQA Convention, the WQA Board approved a revision to the Code of Ethics in early 2019 that is to become effective January 1, 2020, allowing time for WQA members to review and implement. The new version includes an additional Marketing Guideline that says "terms and definitions shall be used in accordance with terms published by WQA in the Knowledge Base Glossary."
The key change is the addition of this little sentence:
“Terms and definitions, either written or verbal, shall be used in accordance with established definitions of these terms as published by WQA in the Knowledge Base Glossary.”
The fact of the matter is that the companies who are selling salt-free water “softeners” which, in fact, do not soften the water, are in violation of the WQA Code of Ethics, and WQA will “kick them out” effective January 1, 2020.
A.O. Smith has complied by having Aquasana change their product name from salt-free water “softener” to salt free “conditioner.” Watts One Flow and next Scale Stop have always called their products by the right name. Now, Pelican (owned by Pentair), NuvoH2O and Lifesource, among others need to comply as well.
Will they wait until December 31st, 2019 to do so? If they do, I will maintain that they are not interested in being honest marketers. If it is wrong then, it is wrong now. It’s not hard to do. We run a website. I can have it fixed in about two hours. There’s no reason to wait. Do it now and quit lying to the public, Pelican, NuvoH2O and Lifesource. Lifesource has threatened to sue me before. Why don’t you do it now? Oh, yeah, there’s that thing called “truth.” Show that you know somethings about it and just tell the truth.
None of them have a salt-free water “softener.” They need to make it right now and quit tricking the public! We sell a salt-free water "conditioner" called the Limeblaster, but we don't call it a softener... just like theirs are not softeners!