Who Do We Believe?All across the Internet, the claims are proliferating regarding salt-free (salt-less) water conditioners (if you have read previous blog entries you know that my argument is that there is no such thing as a salt-free conditioner). It seems like there are a dozen or more new players entering the arena every day. The price of admission is low - generally there are no certifications, licenses or testing involved. Consumers see some salt-free companies exhibiting the Water Quality Association (WQA) "Gold Seal" and mistakenly believe that this seal constitutes some type of product endorsement, testing or certification as to functionality. Sadly, they are mistaken. The above graphic was taken from one such company's website. Does that mean that their product is proven to work? Absolutely not! To find out what the WQA Gold Seal means, click HERE. On the WQA's site they specifically say:
Disclaimer: Listing in these directories does not constitute an endorsement, guarantee, or warranty of any kind by the Water Quality Association or its members of any of the products contained in them.Don't be mislead - the WQA seal on a "Salt-Free" or "Salt less" water treatment device simply means that the product has been tested for structural integrity and that it will not add anything detrimental to the water supply. THERE IS NOTHING THAT ENDORSES THE PRODUCTS FUNCTIONALITY. Personally, I believe that calling these products "softeners" brands the seller as a charlatan because they do not in fact, soften the water. An argument can be made that they "condition" the water, but that is also deceptive in my opinion. Most people who have hard water use the words "softener" and "conditioner" interchangeably. There are magnetic devices, RF (Radio Frequency) devices and other types of mechanical water treatment devices which have some effect upon the water molecules and (to varying degrees, depending upon water chemistry) prevent scale. I know of no such device that "softens" the water without salt or potassium. If I am wrong, then here your forum to prove it. Many such devices do nothing to remove chemicals, chlorine and the like, and others which do, make only a minimal effort. Carbon filtration has proven very effective at removing these chemicals and most companies who sell salt-free products at least attempt to offer carbon filtration as a part of their "system." Again, how well they function depends upon the design (back-washing vs. non-back-washing, amount and type of carbon, and other factors). The best advice I can give when it comes to a salt-free water treatment system is to buy it from a company who obviously has a "full-line" of water treatment products. All water is not the same and even the BEST salt-free system does not work on all water. Deal with a company who can provide a "solution," not just a product. A "one-trick pony" company is not the way to better water. There needs to be regulation and certification of these devices. Until then, it's still, let the buyer beware!