As a buyer, we think “What types of water softeners are there?” With the continuously evolving technology, many different types of water softeners have hit the market. All these may function differently from each other but have one sole purpose which is to reduce the hardness of the water. Here are some most useful types of water softeners:
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Salt-Based Water Softener (Ion Exchange)
Salt-based water softeners are also called Ion exchange softeners. Because they use salt as a base for the treatment of the hard water. However, the salt also needs to be added manually after regular intervals. The sodium from the salt reacts with the carbonate to free the calcium ions. Due to the ion exchange, the hardness of water is reduced.
Check Out: Top Salt-Based Water Softeners in 2023
Salt-Free Water Softeners
As the name indicates, salt-free water softeners work without using salt to soften the water. We also call them water conditioners as they reduce the hardness causing ions and minerals.
Moreover, they act to make it hard for the hardness causing crystals to build up limescale in the pipes, shower, and faucets. Their sole benefit is that they reduce the maintenance of the tubes by controlling and reducing limescale buildups. However, they do not affect the hardness of water and are not truly water softeners.
Check Out: Best Salt-Free Water Softener Systems
Portable Water Softeners
Portable water softeners make it possible to have soft water wherever you go. These are perfect for travelers in RVs or travel trailers. They require no electricity and can go for several weeks between regenerations. When you need to regenerate a portable water softener, all it takes is a bit of regular table salt. Generally, no tools will be necessary to complete the process. They don’t have the same level of water flow that you’ll get from a full-size softener, but they can easily supply water to a single bathroom or drinking water for several people. They’re also much less expensive than their bigger brothers who are designed to supply a whole house.
Showerhead Water Softeners
Another point-of-use water softener type is the showerhead water softener, which is built right into the showerhead in order to ensure that the water you are bathing in doesn’t contain heavy minerals that can dry out your hair and skin making it difficult to rinse away soap and shampoo. This is an affordable option to enjoy the benefits of softened water in the shower without needing to install a whole-home water softening system.
Showerhead water softener installation is very easy by simply unscrewing your old showerhead and screwing on the new one. They use cartridge filters to condition your water and remove unwanted minerals and more. The filter will need to be replaced about every two months. Some of these showerheads even feature vitamin filters that fortify your water with extra vitamins. Be careful about additives though. We tried some that also added scents and not everyone found them to be pleasant.
Check Out: 15 Best Water Softener Shower Heads in 2023
Dual Tank Water Softeners
The double tank units are heavy-duty water softeners. Because they consist of two large iron tanks and a brain tank. However, they are perfect for a household that has a high level of water consumption.
Besides, they use the process of regeneration in which the resin regenerates (or cleans) itself. The regeneration process mostly takes place at night when the water is not in use. Through the regeneration process, we can maintain the softness of water. They are a bit on the expensive side but are highly efficient in performance.
Check Out: Best Dual Tank Water Softeners
Reverse Osmosis Water Softeners
Reverse osmosis refers to the process of using high pressure to force water through a semipermeable membrane in order to filter minerals, metals, and nitrates from the water. These units are not typically made for whole-home water treatment, but they are popular systems for under-sink installation, giving you access to softened water at a single point. This type of water softener also works to filter out contaminants from the water, instead of just treating the heavy minerals. However, reverse osmosis systems come at a high price and are relatively limited in their use due to the point-of-use design.
Magnetic Water Descalers
Magnetic Descalers do not reduce the hardness of water but reduce the number of limescale deposits and prevent the buildup of new deposits. Besides, this softening unit is unconventional and is very convenient and hassle-free. The system doesn’t need any installation or plumbing at all.
All you need to do is wrap coils around your water intake pipe and plug in the gadget. Moreover, the electrical and magnetic system of this does not interfere with the piping system. The coils generate magnetic fields that reshape the existing minerals to break up the existing limescale buildup. Thus, giving cleaner pipes.
Check Out: 5 Best Water Softener Descaler in 2023
Steve Smith is a United State Licensed Plumber with over 18 years of plumbing experience. Steve has conducted residential and commercial plumbing jobs throughout the state and currently works for one of California’s largest plumbing companies. When he’s not working, Steve enjoys spending time with his daughter and son.