What's your take on salt-free softeners?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Glowrdr, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. Glowrdr

    Glowrdr New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I've been sitting on the fence for a couple years about getting a softener installed in the house. I've recently done some fairly large remodels (kitchen, bathroom, with morre to come).

    Long story short - I live in a 4-story split house. My main water supply comes into the house in my Laundry room (mid-basement). All of my plumbing and hot water heater are in the lowest basement, with no access to a drain.

    Im pretty much looking at 3 options. 1) Putting in a floor drain; 2) pumping all the backwash up a level (which is what my A/C sump pump is doing now) or 3) using a salt-free system that doesn't require a drain.

    In a perfect world, and if I believe everything the innerwebz tells me - I'm sold. But I'm looking for some real world experience on wheter or not these things work. Almost sounds too good to be true, and we all know how that works out in the end. So what do you have for me?
  2. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Soft water is traditionally defined as the absence (or very low levels of) calcium and magnesium ions in the water (hardness). None of the alternative "softeners" actually soften the water by removing calcium and magnesium ions. So if you want to remove hardness ions you need a traditional softener.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
  3. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    There is another thread here about these things that has a couple hundred posts on it. Read through and make your own decision. I have been fighting these scams for years and so have a lot of other folks. As far as I am concerned you may as well toss your money out a window ( or better off give it to me ) than bother with this stuff, and I'm talking radio waves, magnetic pulses, electrical pulses, Klingon phase shifters :) et al. There are some saltless filters out that do work. they are tank type and use a very expensive media that does work but is expensive to maintain.
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
  5. Skip Wolverton

    Skip Wolverton In the Trades

    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Ocala, Fl
    Come on Red. That telephpne pole has to be real. You buy one and get a friend to buy one who gets a friend to buy one. Someone has to be making money 'cause everyones buying one. LOL
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,292
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    One definition of "salt less" is that it does not use sodium chloride, but DOES use Potassium Chloride. These units do have drains. ANY THING else, either has to have a cartridge which you discard periodically, or else everything that comes in with the water STAYS in the water. If the device is actually removing the hardness, it has to dispose of it somehow, which is what the conventional softeners do during their recharge phase. I once asked a distributor of one of the more expensive "salt free" units HOW you can tell they are working. He said, "You can't, unless I bring a semi truck with several thousands of dollars worth of equipment to test the water."
  7. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Yea in the end someone has an offshore account full of money and the lucky purchasers that got some $$$ back are saying oh well I bought a magic jack for $100...

    The unlucky ones don't see a dime...

    Then it comes out with a new name and is purple instead of white...
  8. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,239
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    A softener is commonly installed where the water supply enters the house.
    If you have a laundry room there, you have a drain.
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