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Posted on Apr 29, 2013

What Type Of Water Softener Is The Best?

Electromagnetic Or Magnetic Water Softener

There are three types of water softener, the Electromagnetic or Magnetic water softener, Salt-Based Water Softener, and Salt-Free or Saltless Water Softener. Let us discuss them one by one. Electromagnetic or magnetic water softener using the coil or wire surrounding a water pipe, with the goal of creating the electromagnetic waves or turbulence, so that the content of calcium and magnesium carbonate crystals split into smaller molecules. Thus the scale/ deposit which is potentially clog water pipes can not attach to the surfaces. While magnetic water softener only formed of two magnets and clamped in parallel to a water pipe, it has the same goal with electromagnetic methods. // // This method is somewhat outdated and less effective. One study suggested that after a few hours the water is not used, then the content of calcium and magnesium (carbonate) come back to high level. Calcium and magnesium carbonate crystals composed of elements such as marble, chalk and limescale. Among the three limescale is the most difficult to be broken. I myself found this way is inefficient, and often does not give good results despite the price electromagnetic or magnetic water softener system is fairly cheap. It’s time to leave this method and using newer and more effective methods.

Salt-Based Water Softener

The second type of water softener is salt water softener. With some reasons, these tools have been banned in many states. To this day 34 states in the U.S. have banned their use. As the name implies, salt water softener uses sodium salt or chlorine to eliminate calcium and magnesium carbonate. Sodium ion exchanger can be replaced by others such as potassium chloride, but this is not commonly done, and Na+ or brine are generally used to free water from carbonate particles that can cause limescale. Dissolved sodium is used as ion exchanger agent through exchange media such as zeolite or resin beads, so that the calcium and magnesium that cause limescale and water “hardness” reacts with sodium (salt) that is “soft” and those minerals are released from the water. At the end of the process, sodium will be released into the water, and calcium and magnesium deposits left in the wet sand or zeolites as the ion exchange medium. After months of use, a scale will build up inside the water softener, so salt-based water softener needs to be cleaned or regenerate by flush it with a solution of Nacl or table salt to make the deposit swap back with sodium. After the recharge, the salt water softener will come back to functioning optimally. The time required for cleaning or the back flush process depends on how much carbonate deposits are accumulated in the exchange medium. Some experts argue that this is the most ideal way to eliminate “hard” water. With “softer” or “slicker” water, it does the job and damage to your plumbing system and water heater can be prevented, since the deposit does not occur in it. The use of cleaning agents such as soap, shampoo and detergents become more efficient because more foam is produced. But keep in mind, the salt water softener also has drawbacks. Water produced by it containing sodium and will becomes unfit to drink. Besides it tasted awful, high sodium levels in drinking water can cause certain diseases and overload the function of body organs such as the kidney and the heart. Kidney will work harder to flush the sodium out from the body, and blood pressure will increased causing our heart works harder to pump the blood. People with high blood pressure will feel the bad effects even more. According to the American Heart Association, patients with symptoms of high blood pressure shouldn’t drink water with sodium more than 20 mg/litre, but in some places in America, the levels of salt in drinking or tap water is much higher than that maximum standard. Moreover, salt or sodium which is released by salt water softener in order to replace calcium and magnesium can pollute the environment and soil. In the long term, the balance of the environment will be damaged. Lastly, you have to buy salt regularly because salt water softener can not work without the salt. If you drink the water produced by salt-based water softener, I suggest you purified it in advance using a water distiller, to reduce the sodium level. Water produced by a water distiller is the best drinking water because it removes not only sodium excess but also all the contaminants in the water such as dangerous chemicals, inorganic and organic compounds.

Salt-Free Water Softener

The third type method is salt-free water softener. It is free from the ban and approved by the FDA for various reasons relating to health and the environment. In fact the term that is more appropriate for salt-free water softener is probably a water conditioner, as calcium and magnesium are not cut off from the water, but broken down into nano-sized particles by a catalysator or catalytic media. Thus carbonate in water can not stick to the surface of solid objects such as water pipes and water heater, so the clog in water pipe or plumbing system at your household would not be build up. I think, this method has a number of advantages and in the future will be more widely used. More environmental friendly, as it does not produce salt that can damage the environment and structure of the soil. Some States in the U.S. have been banning salt-based water softener, relating to environmental damage which may be incurred. Produced water is healthier to drink because it is not containing sodium in high level. Remember, this method does not make the water into “soft” water but conditioning the water so the carbonate mineral particles become nano-sized and lose the ability to scale up. It is simply maintenance free, because it does not need to back-flushing this applliance at regular intervals. You don’t need to buy salt or sodium and free from the hassle and cost of maintenance. Another advantage is, deposit that has been build up long before in the waterways or pipe can be cleaned up properly. Although in fact, the water produced is not “soft” or as “slick” as salt water softener, and the use of cleaning agents such as soap and detergent will only be reduced to the half compare than before. One thing you need to note, this type of water softener might be decreased at their level of effectiveness for the water that is too “hard”. If hardness levels at your environment is more than 75 grains per gallon, it can be a factor that reduces the performance or capability of salt free water softener for descaling. You can at first do some test using water hardness test kit. Another minus is, catalysator inside the salt-free water softener would not be working optimally for water that is not flows or sits, such as in the tank water heater. Because water is only conditioned and not really made into “soft”, the scale still can form inside your water heater. And if the water quality in your residence is too bad, muddy or containing solid particles that are large enough, you better combining salt free water softener with an extra water filter. This is intended to avoid the particles to enter the catalytic agent and causing damage. If you are interested in a salt-free water conditioner, there are some pretty good brands, such as NuvoH2O, Pelican, Watersoftenerpros, or Evoclear.

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