Salt-Based (Ion Exchange) Water Softeners: The sodium ion exchange is far and away the most popular type of water softener technique. As mentioned earlier, salt-based water softeners use positively charged sodium ions to absorb negatively-charged hard water minerals. While highly effective, water softeners still do best with some upkeep. Maintenance usually consists of replacing the system’s supply of salt.
There are certain salt-based systems that use a dual-tank design. Dual-tank water softeners may be a useful option if you’re concerned about the tank failing, because the second tank can serve as a backup.
Salt-Free Water Softeners
A few water softener systems use a potassium-chloride substitute as opposed to the ion exchange process to manage hard water. Salt-free systems have higher initial installation costs, but maintenance needs also tend to be lower. Before you decide, try to get a sense of several water softeners so you know what’s best for your plumbing. Feel free to contact our plumbers so you can discuss options with an experienced professional.
Other types of equipment are often labeled water softener systems even though they are designed differently.
Reverse osmosis system: This intricate, highly pressurized system strips minerals from your water before re-adding a few in smaller, healthier quantities. A reverse osmosis system can also be considered a type of water filtration system.
Magnetic water softener: The newest designs can prevent mineral buildup with a magnetic field wrapped around the plumbing. Without the ability to bond together, the minerals remain water-soluble and break down before they accumulate.