What Are Different Types Of Water Softeners?
If you're troubled by hard water causing havoc in your home, with mineral deposits blocking all your pipes and lime scale destroying your appliances, then you may be looking to install a water softener system in your home–but how do you know which type to get?
There are several different types of water softeners on the market today, many of which do the same job in a slightly different way and the kind you choose will depend on the size and type of problem you need to fix.
The most widely used water softener for the entire house is the water softener ion exchange machine, but here is a short overview of a variety of different forms of water softener that you can buy:
1. The Salt-Based Ion Exchange Water Softener
This is the most common form of water softener in the household. This operates by circulating the water in the home into two tanks of water. One of the tanks contains different beads with brine (salt water) in the other. It works by switching the ions out of the strong calcium, magnesium and iron minerals for sodium ions, which softens the water.
2. Salt-Free Water Softener Systems
This form of water softener is ideal for those dealing with sodium consumption because it uses a potassium-chloride salt replacement and then functions in the same way as the ion-exchange method. It works somewhat differently, not by extracting the hard minerals from the water, but by preventing them from forming deposits that cause pipeline and equipment harm, making it like a decal device. These are not considered as effective as traditional water softener systems.
3. The Dual-Tank Water Softener System
Water softener systems need to be periodically recharged, which brings the machine off line if you have just one tank. Most systems get around this by regenerating overnight, however, this can become a problem if soft water is constantly needed.
A dual-tank water softener solves this problem by having one regenerating tank which allows the other to remain in use. This device is especially good for large families using lots of water, or places where the water is extremely hard.
The advantage of these kinds of dual systems is that they can have smaller tank sizes, providing more versatility both in terms of size for your house but also in terms of price, which you don't get with a single tank.
4. Magnetic Water Softener or Descaler Products
The somewhat controversial alternative is the electronic or magnetic water softener/descaler plug-in devices. They are clipped into an incoming pipe and emit a magnetic field that alters the mineral properties, so they are then repelled by the pipes that avoid build-up. They don't heat the water and work more like a water conditioner.