Does a No-Salt Water Softener Actually Work?


To answer this question I need to know your objectives.

But first, let’s just get ourselves on the same page.

For the purposes of this, I will assume you are referring to individual domestic or small office application.

A Salt Water Softener works on an ion-exchange principal. This generally involves replacing Calcium and Magnesium (and other metals) ions with Sodium ions. This is the only true way of permanently converting ‘hard water’ to ‘soft water’. Well, at least until that water is once again exposed to rock and soil that contains hard minerals.

Saltless Water Softeners (AKA Conditioners/Descalers) are not intended to permanently change the make-up of the water, but rather to temporarily ensure that the affects of hard water on your plumbing is significantly reduced. This is achieved devices that utilise magnettism or electricity techniques.

Here is a very general comparison between the benefits of a Salt-Based and Saltless Water Softener

Salt Water Softener

  • Reduces corrosion on plumbing
  • Reduces limescale build up
  • Reduces plumbing insulation
  • Wont cause hard water hair
  • Wont cause hard water stains such as soap scum and rings around plugs and stove-tops
  • Gives hair and body smoother, silkier feel
  • Improves the taste of water

No-Salt Water Softener

  • Reduces corrosion on plumbing
  • Reduces limescale build up
  • Reduces plumbing insulation

As you can see above, a No-Salt Water Softener changes the form of the water while it is in the pipes, giving it the characteristics of soft-water. However, the “after-tap” feel and effects will remain the same, as it is no longer exposed to the magnetism or  electrical charge that was previously altering it’s behaviour.

So, what are you trying to achieve by installing a water softener in your home?

If you’re simply wanting to extend the lifespan and maintain the effectiveness of your plumbing, then a Water Conditioner/Descaler that use magnetism or electricity may work for you just fine. After all, these options are significantly cheaper that whole house water softeners.

Importantly, hard water is not detrimental to your health. So, drinking and showering in hard water is perfectly safe. Many people simply like the feel of soft water on their body, prefer the taste and don’t enjoy constantly removing hard water stains.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a way to not only improve your plumbing, but also eliminate unsightly stains, have better tasting water and feel the benefits of showering in soft water, then a true-to-label salt water softening system is for you.

To help you compare the various products (both salt and salt-free systems) on the market, we have designed the Ultimate Water Softener Comparison Guide.