Update On No-Salt Water Softeners
The world of salt-free water treatment is constantly evolving with more and more companies joining the fray. Some companies are selling their products the right way (explaining how it works and not engaging in hyperbole), while others are not so "above-board" in their tactics. I would encourage anyone who is looking to go "salt-free" to think about whether the company they are considering is really a "water treatment company" or just a company that is interested in selling a salt-free product and little else. There is no "black box", that solves all water problems, but if you are dealing with a "full-line" water treatment company, you generally can rest assured that they have the expertise to know which product to apply to specific water problems.
The fact of the matter is that there is water which is conducive to salt-free systems, and water where you would ABSOLUTELY NOT want to use a "salt-free" system. I do think it would be good to consider the definition of "conditioner" and "softener" because many companies are calling their product "salt-free water softeners" and to my knowledge, a salt-free water "softener" has never been invented! There are salt-free water "conditioners" however. What's the big deal about using softener or conditioner? Here's the difference:
- A "softener" softens the water by removing the calcium and magnesium ("hard" minerals that form scale) and replacing them with sodium (which is a "soft" mineral that does not form scale).
- A "conditioner" simply conditions the water so that the calcium and magnesium will not form scale, but does not remove it.
Here's the rub - there are lots of devices on the market that claim to be softeners or conditioners - some work well and some do not work at all! How do you differentiate? Well, if a company only sells "one technology" or product, I would pass on that company. That would be like going to a doctor who only prescribes one drug regardless of the disease. THERE IS NO ONE DEVICE OR "BLACK BOX" THAT SOLVES ALL WATER PROBLEMS! IF SOMETHING SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT USUALLY IS!
Claims that salt-free conditioners will greatly reduce soap usage are simply untrue. I would challenge any company that sells salt-free systems to prove that. Take two flasks of water, one conditioned and one not treated, and add a like amount of pure liquid soap to the water and see if there is any difference. There is not!
If you look at salt-free conditioners (or softeners) on the internet, you can find some amazing claims. One major seller of these systems, which they call "water softeners" claims this:
- "Reduces laundry detergents 40-60%"
(I think that this can easily be shown to be untrue). DO THE SOAP TEST!
Hey, I am open to being shown that I am wrong. I have been wrong before, so if they disagree with me or think I am wrong, then the ball is in their court. I do think it is deceptive to call these devices "water softeners" because they do not soften the water. This same company claims that their system has met DVGW-512, but unlike nextScaleStop
(used in the GreenWave
systems as well), there is no percentage of scale reduction stated. The nextScaleStop
media's report shows a 99.6% reduction in scale. What is their percentage of scale reduction? Who knows?
How can you tell if a salt-free conditioner is working? Simple: Do the "boil" test! Here's how - take a pan with about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom and boil it dry. After the pan cools, you should be able to wipe off the white residue with your finger if the system is working. If it's not working, you will have to scrubb it off or use a chemical like "LimeAway" to remove it.
I recently received a letter from a competitor which states the following:
It has come to our attention that you have been making disparaging claims against our company and products on your Askthewaterdoctor.com website. On the following page https://blog.uswatersystems.com/2007/12/do-salt-free-water-softeners-really-work/ , you make the following two direct references to our company and products:
Comment 1: This appears to be a “knockoff” and there are many, of the NEXT system. It probably uses FilterSorb which is an Anion-based resin and in our testing has not proven to be acceptable. It seems to have an effect by lowering the pH of the water in the initial stages, but looses it’s effectiveness very quickly. I notice their website says: “Use 50% Less Detergents for Whiter or Brighter Clothes” - That is easily proven false: Put two 250 ml flasks of their treated and untreated water side-by-side and add 5 drops of pure soap. There will be no difference. If that’s not a true statement, what else is untrue?
Comment 2: What I read on their site was very generic and their claims are somewhat suspect. I don’t know what they are using, but I don’t think it’s truly TAC!
These negative comments are an unwarranted attack against our company's reputation and credibility. You have no knowledge regarding our systems and are therefore making unreasonable assumptions and passing them over as fact. It is also disingenuous because you are the owner of both us.watersystems.com and wefixbadwater.com and promote your own competing brand. Pursuant to this letter, we are asking for the complete removal of your comments regarding our company and products from your website.
If you fail to comply with this request, we will consult with our lawyers and take appropriate legals steps to enforce and protect our rights including, without limitation, filing claims for trade libel.
Please immediatley acknowledge your receipt of this letter and you intent to comply with the requests as set forth herein.
APEC Water Systems
Well Tina, here is your response:
- All answers are in response to questions propounded by readers of the blog. I am not sure where you are from, but in America we have what is called freedom of speech and I am merely giving my educated opinion in response to a question.
- If I am wrong about anything, this is your opportunity to set things straight. I don't edit the blog, so fire away and if I am wrong, I will admit what I am wring about.
- Was I wrong in saying that it is false that your product will cause consumers "to use 50% less detergents?" If so, supply me proof! I will gladly publish it. Is it untrue that your product will save 50% on detergents? If it is, I think I would like to sell your product. Enlighten me!
- Was I wrong that your claims are somewhat generic ,and that you really don't explain how your product works? Does it use Filtersorb or not?
- You say that I have "no knowledge regarding your system. Well, that is incorrect - I do have knowledge, but you have very little information as to how your system works - here's your opportunity to tell the world. I would like to hear your explanation.
- You say that it is "disingenuous" of me to promote my own brand. Well, I have never hidden that I am one of the owners of uswatersystems.com and if someone asks where they can get the product I recommend, I do send them to our site. We are independent and offer a huge variety of products from a plethora of manufacturers. We pick the best of the best to sell on our site. If your product does what you say (and I am giving you a chance to prove it), maybe we should sell it. We sell the GreenWave system because it's performance has beaten every other unit we have seen and tested, but I am open to seeing what you have to say.
- You said "If you fail to comply with this request, we will consult with our lawyers and take appropriate legals steps to enforce and protect our rights including, without limitation, filing claims for trade libel." WOW! There's a lot I could say here, but I'll save it for court. Since when is it libel to tell the truth and give your opinion? This is not Nazi Germany!
- I am acknowledging receipt of your letter - if you want to provide proof that my opinion is wrong, then feel free to do that. Explain how your product works, the science behind it and prove your claims. Or, we can go to Court, if that is what you want. Rest assured, I will not be threatened or intimidated by your letter.
This is my SECOND blog on Salt-Free Conditioners. I just closed the previous one, as there are nearly 300 comments there, but you can still access it HERE