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Thread: Saltless Water Softeners - Do they work?

  1. #1
    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    Saltless Water Softeners - Do they work?

    I'm thinking of putting in a water softener to combat dry skin. I was looking at the yellow pages and one company stood out because they have a water softener that doesn't require salt.

    Apparently softening your water in this manner in Europe is fairly common.

    1. Does anyone use these or know anyone that does? Does it work well?

    2. Any idea what technology is being used to soften the water?
    Last edited by purecomedy; 10-21-06 at 08:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    It's nice....bathtub stays cleaner (soft water = less soap scum), not much for deposits on sinks, toilets, etc. I have a Master filtration system, plus a big Sanitron infra red bulb the pipe passes through to kill 99.something percent of bacteria.

    I have a shallow well..about 24 feet.

    The system flushes each night for about 45 minutes, injects water from a big tank I keep filled (or try to) with potassium chloride pellets. Needs to keep topped off with about 2x 40 pound bags each week. The bags run about 8 bucks each.
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    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YeOldeStonecat
    It's nice....bathtub stays cleaner (soft water = less soap scum), not much for deposits on sinks, toilets, etc. I have a Master filtration system, plus a big Sanitron infra red bulb the pipe passes through to kill 99.something percent of bacteria.

    I have a shallow well..about 24 feet.

    The system flushes each night for about 45 minutes, injects water from a big tank I keep filled (or try to) with potassium chloride pellets. Needs to keep topped off with about 2x 40 pound bags each week. The bags run about 8 bucks each.
    I grew up with soft water most of the time so I'm used to it and know what it's all about.

    I'm looking for comments about the SALTLESS part.

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    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Sorry...thought you may have been referring to the POTASSIUM chloride versus older SODIUM chloride method of regenerating the tank.
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    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YeOldeStonecat
    Sorry...thought you may have been referring to the POTASSIUM chloride versus older SODIUM chloride method of regenerating the tank.
    Most salt-based water softeners work with either now. Apparently Potassium chloride usually isn't as pure so there is usually just an extra filter or extra thorough rinsing process to get rid of the extra crud. I think the Potassium doesn't make the water feel as slimy as sodium does. The other benefit I believe is that sodium is bad for people living outside cities with septic systems.

    I want to go saltless mostly just to avoid some of the plumbing involved for leaving outdoor water, toilets and drinking water free of salt. The salt isn't good for the environment either.

    I'm a little concerned because I've got the feeling from a few things that I have read that saltless is a hoax. Other sources are saying that it's very common and Europe and works fine.

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    HS's Proctologist triniwasp's Avatar
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    I believe they make de-ionization systems for home use. Perhaps that's what your referring to?
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    SG Enthusiast Far-N-Wide's Avatar
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    There was something I saw in Germany. It was a box about the size of two packs of smokes (placed end to end). The device was plugged in to an outlet and it had about three foot of wire coming out of each end. This wire was wapped around the incomming water line and was supose to Ionize the water making it softer.

    I don't know the name of the product, but if this discription jogs someones memory, please post. I'm living in a area that has some hard water.
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    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Hi purecomedy

    I posed your question to a Friend of mine who sells Water Softeners for a living.

    "Saltless Water Softeners - Do they work?"

    His reply to me.

    There is no such thing as a saltless softener. What it is a softener that uses potassium chloride pellets instead of salt to clean the resin beads.
    It just form of advertising a regular softener
    --

    minir

  9. #9
    SG Enthusiast Leatherneck's Avatar
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    There are "salt less" softeners advertised, but they simply don't work worth a hoot. Some claim to use magnets and other gadgets to extract minerals.

    Quote Originally Posted by YeOldeStonecat
    The system flushes each night for about 45 minutes, injects water from a big tank I keep filled (or try to) with potassium chloride pellets. Needs to keep topped off with about 2x 40 pound bags each week. The bags run about 8 bucks each.
    That's nuts man! Am I hearing you right? x2 40 pound bags a week? How many grains is your unit? That seems like an awful lot of salt. I used to have a puny Culligan unit (26,000 grains) that used quite a bit of salt, but I have since installed a 96,000 grain Water Boss with a digital "on-demand" head and I use less than 1/4 of the salt that I used to. It regenerates every 700 gallons because I have really hard water. 200+ foot well ice cold water! I use pure solar salt at $4 a bag. 2 50 lb bags of salt will last a couple months.
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    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by minir
    Hi purecomedy

    I posed your question to a Friend of mine who sells Water Softeners for a living.

    "Saltless Water Softeners - Do they work?"

    His reply to me.



    --

    minir
    Rings similar to what I found when I inquired Minir, when I redid my house...I did quite a bit of research. I used the best place in my state to install my system, after asking around with a lot of contractor friends.

    Potassium Chloride is quite a bit less.

    Pollution? Nah...systems even remotely within specs don't pollute. Heck..that big body of water in my backyard..that's ocean..salt water. Take a sip from my tap, take a sip from out back..compare. The old taste buds don't lie.

    So salty it kills plants? Well...couple of things. My backyard..there the "T" intersection of my outgoing pipe meets my leech field? That wet spot? Grass is always greenest there all summer long. Second thing...I like tropical houseplants..specifically exotics....have a few orchids..and building my collection up again. I run them under my shower all the time. If my water was so salty that it burned plants up..err...my extra sensitive orchids would certainly be long shriveled up and burnt by now.
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    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigmo66
    That's nuts man! Am I hearing you right? x2 40 pound bags a week? How many grains is your unit? That seems like an awful lot of salt..
    Yup..hearing me right. They told me to keep that big white container at least 1/3 filled with pellets. Let it drop..and the filter tanks gets screwed up. Couldn't tell ya how many grains the unit is. ns-10t model number on the side...I'm about 6'4" 'n change..the tank comes up to pretty much my chest.
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    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    http://www.soft-water.com/

    This was the link that I was talking about specifically. In the how it works section is sort of sounds like it is the potassium pellets. Only curious thing to me is why there is no need to restock the potassium at some point. The guy on the phone only said that I need to clean it once a month by pressing a button.

  13. #13
    Ohh Hell yeah.. Sava700's Avatar
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    Ugg.. I hate soft water.. I feel like I never the the soap off.. I prefer hardwater

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    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sava700
    Ugg.. I hate soft water.. I feel like I never the the soap off.. I prefer hardwater
    That feeling is gone with the new systems...you can't tell the diff in the shower.
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  15. #15
    Ohh Hell yeah.. Sava700's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YeOldeStonecat
    That feeling is gone with the new systems...you can't tell the diff in the shower.

    yeah the Captain that takes me and a few guys out every year fishing has a single wide trailer setup at his home near his docks that we stay in while fishing that weekend and he has that soft water and man does it feel like takes forever to get the soap off

  16. #16
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    That's a fraud, plain and simple. Can't work, violates the third law of thermodynamics.

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    SG Enthusiast Leatherneck's Avatar
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    I used to hate that "slimy" feeling from soft water, but it's actually the feeling of being clean and having the soap come off! That "squeaky" clean feeling from hard water is actually residue. You save a lot on soap and shampoo also with soft water. I use soft water in the showers & laundry, but anywhere in the house that might be drank is good 'ol cold well water.
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    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sava700
    yeah the Captain that takes me and a few guys out every year fishing has a single wide trailer setup at his home near his docks that we stay in while fishing that weekend and he has that soft water and man does it feel like takes forever to get the soap off
    I have found with hard water my showers are maybe 10 minutes because it feels like the soap gets off faster. Before I took about a 15 minute shower to rinse off really well. Right now with hard water I could do the shower in 5 minutes if I used a hell of a lot of soap to get it to lather.

    You have to look at your situation

    1. How hard is your water to begin with. Calgary = very hard

    2. How susceptible are you to dry skin. Me = Worse than average

    3. How dry and cold is your climate. Calgary is at 4000 ft and east of a mountain range = very dry. In January and February we're talking - 20 C (-4 F) fairly often in the morning on the way to work waiting for a bus or train. Combine that with wind and you dry out very fast outside. Your furnace is bringing in dry air and most humidifiers are not all that great at adding water to the air in your home. I know some people in the southern US are laughing right now about the idea of adding humidity and heating your home rather than cooling....I laugh about poisonous snakes and alligators...

    4. Did you grow up with it, are you used to it. Me = Yes, hard to live without it.

    5. How much do you hate washing the scale off of your shower, tub, sinks. Also relates to #1. Me = I want low maintenance.

    6. Water tank, piping considerations: If your water is hard it can build up in your pipes and in your water tank and make it very inefficient. I personally believe the salt makes your water heater last for a much shorter duration...Take your pick pay for energy or more frequent replacement of the water heater.

  19. #19
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Hi purecomedy

    Info from my Friend
    --

    "I went on the site, to the best of my knowledge that will not work. It
    reminds me of the old magnet people used to put on their pipes to soften
    water, it only changes the character of the hardness so if won't be calcified as
    quickly.
    --

    Potassium chloride pellets are a salt substitute used to regenerate the
    resin beads in the softener. They look like salt pellets but are potassium.

    They do not leave sodium residue on the resin after cleaning ( regeneration ) of the resin beads. There is no magnetic properties .

    The softening process is a ion exchange. Resin beads act like a magnet of sorts and holds the hardness on the beads. The salt or potassium cleans the resin so it will keep on attracting the calcium lime, soluble iron, magnesium etc."
    ---

    minir

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    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    I notice that Culligan has a warning out about the saltless watersofteners saying that it is a hoax.

    I think I'll phone the BBB to see what they have to say about it. May as well inform as many people as possible so that they don't get swindled.

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