Salt Based vs Non Salt Based House Water Filtration Systems?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by OscarRuns, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. OscarRuns

    OscarRuns New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    Location:
    chicago
    I have done a little research on filtration systems and was comfortable going with the Hellenbrand system with the Clack valve, which one of our local companies regularly installs. We were also planning on installing RO, so we weren't as concerned about the added salt to the water after filtration since it would be taken out at the RO faucet anyways. But now I am wondering if we should go with the non salt based systems anyways since it would be less maintenance over the long term (no need to add salt 1-2x/year) and no need to change the resin eventually. But the mechanism of the non salt based systems confuses me. It essentially breaks apart the minerals into components that don't 'stick' and form 'scum', but the minerals are still there in some form. These companies' big marketing thing is that minerals are good for you. What are your thoughts???
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    They don't soften. I think everybody agrees with that. Some suspect that some might do something positive. I am more skeptical. There is one published study on NAC TAC by a Dr. Peter Fox – Arizona State University. I don't know of any independent verification of benefits. Some with magnets and wires are just plain frauds. I am not a pro.

    As to what you should drink, what is going on with your water? Chicago city water?
     
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  4. OscarRuns

    OscarRuns New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    Location:
    chicago
    Yes, city water in one of the chicago suburbs. Known to be hard water (our builder agreed as well). The Culligan rep tested the water and showed it tested at 26 or 27 I think (can't remember clearly). Initially, I wasn't sure if we also needed dechlorination or not. I knew I wanted to soften the water and wanted RO. Another company came by and offered the Hellenbrand filtration system (plus dechlorination carbon filter), and Ecowater for RO. What are your thoughts on dechlorination? Any type of dechlorination system better than the other? For a family of 4, what should I be asking in terms of capacity, etc etc? When I first looked into water filtration, I figured it would be a quick decision....probably with Culligan (mostly because I recognized the name). But the more I looked into it, the more I realized how confusing the industry is and how I have to further educate myself. We are not a DIY couple and have crazy schedules, so we will hire someone to do this for us and don't want to waste too much time poring over details either.
     
  5. OscarRuns

    OscarRuns New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    Location:
    chicago
    Oh, the non salt based company I was referring to in specific was Aquasana....which seems to pop up in a lot of the top 10 lists and is often in the top 5. But I felt like a lot of those sites that had the rankings were biased, promoted by a certain company, etc....so not sure how objective they were!
     
  6. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Many of the non salt based systems are pure marketing, dont be taken in by the marketing. A salt based system works. We manufacture dozens of different salt free solutions, I have a salt based softener at my house. I have to be careful of what I say in an open forum since many of these companies will send threatening legal documents if you make claims that their products don't work or if you give them a bad review. The real question is simply, what is the scientific test method to determine the scale reducing effects? Water softener can be tested for the reduction of scale forming minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, etc. most non salt systems will have carbon which is extremely effective at reducing chlorine, organic chemicals etc, but not scale reduction. If you have a local guy who will sell you a Hellenbrand unit at a reasonable cost then go for it, you will not be disappointed. Depending on how old your softener is you will likely see a significant reduction in salt use assuming the company that installs it does the proper programming and testing.
     
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  7. OscarRuns

    OscarRuns New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    Location:
    chicago
    Thank you for your response. Though I am not familiar with the industry, my gut was telling me to stick with the salt based systems. What are your thoughts on dechlorination? Any type of dechlorination system better than the other? For a family of 4, what should I be asking in terms of capacity, etc etc? Are most Hellenbrand units a standard size/capacity? Any recommendations for an RO company? Is Ecowater pretty reputable? What would be considered reasonable cost? Our local company is quoting $3800 for the Hellenbrand filtration system, carbon filtration, PLUS RO installation under our sink. When I first looked into water filtration, I figured it would be a quick decision....probably with Culligan (mostly because I recognized the name). But the more I looked into it, the more I realized how confusing the industry is and how I have to further educate myself. We are not a DIY couple and have crazy schedules, so we will hire someone to do this for us and don't want to waste too much time poring over details either.
     
  8. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Definitely stick with Hellenbrand over most others.

    Dechlorination is very nice, not necessary but the price they are quoting for it being installed sounds better than most companies, especially if you are not DIY types and dont want to waste too much time figuring it out. I have worked with the Hellenbrand group for years, great guys!
     
  9. Matt Peiris

    Matt Peiris New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2018
    Location:
    Long Beach,CA
    At low flow rates (<5 gpm), dechlorination can be done with a simple big blue carbon block filter.
    Conventional ro systems can waste up to 4 gallons to purify just 1 gallon of water. I would go with a ro that utilizes Pentair GRO membrane with 1:1 ratio.
     
  10. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    I would not recommend a BB carbon filter for a whole house application. A BB carbon block simply does not have the capacity or flow rate handle a whole house application. Maintenance costs will also be excessive. Carbon has a real world service flow of approximately 3 gpm per ft3. Considering a 20" bb carbon has about 1/6 ft3... you can do the math... :) Do it right, use a 10x54 1,5 ft3 at minimum with a backwashing valve. We sell thousands of whole house BB filters to our customers but we never recommend them.
     
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