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Best Salt Free​ Water Conditioner

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When it comes to water conditioners and water softeners these days, everyone has questions. Does my house need one? How much is it going to cost? What brand is the best or which one is best for my home? In order to address these questions we need to take a look at why water conditioners and softeners exist and what they do. 

Why You Need a Water Conditioner

Some regions in the US get their drinking water from groundwater wells. The water that comes out of these wells is often laden with the mineral grains Calcium and Magnesium. These minerals cause the water to become “hard”.

But even areas on a municipal water supply can have hard water. If the hardness of your water is above 7 grains per gallon (or 120 mg/L), you may want to consider adding a water softener to your home.

Premium Water Hardness Test Kit - Quick and Easy Hard Water Test Strips for Water Softener Dishwasher Well Spa and Pool Water | 50 Tester Strips at 0-425 ppm | Calcium and Magnesium Total Hardness

Water Hardness Test Strips

Test your water hardness with these water hardness test strips.

Hard water creates deposits on your faucets and fixtures, stains your bathtub, shower, and sink, and leaves mineral spots on dishes. It causes soap scum to stick to shower walls and build-up in your pipes. It alters and fades the color on white clothing and dries out skin.

Using a water conditioning system in your home can help reduce, and even eliminate, the effects of hard water. Whether your water source comes from a well or your local municipality, hard water can be a very big problem.

Calcium and Magnesium

Salt-Based Water Softeners and Conditioners

Conventional salt-based water softeners introduce precise levels of salt to bind to the Calcium and Magnesium in order to remove the mineral grains from the water altogether. This process requires a device which will draw power and cost the homeowner extra money on their power bill.

Another downside of conventional salt-based water softeners is that they completely removed the mineral grains. At first, you may think that this is your ultimate goal, but actually the Calcium and Magnesium grains are only harmful when allowed to affect our plumbing, appliances, clothes, skin, and hair.

They are not harmful to our health, and as it turns out, are important to our nutrition and a vital part of our diet.

Water Softener in Dictionary

Salt-Free Water Softeners and Conditioners

Fortunately, because of the creation of salt free water conditioners, you don't need to choose between a healthy diet and healthy pipes. Instead of removing the mineral grains from the water altogether, salt free water conditioners negate their negative effects.

The process prevents the mineral grains from having a negative impact on the plumbing without completely removing them from the water.

There are several different types of systems on the market today, and each operates a little differently. We'll take a closer look at each to help you determine which system is best for you. Here are the four main types of salt free water softeners:

  • Filtering Softener that uses Polyphosphates
  • Full Filtering System
  • Softener that uses Electro-magnetic Waves
  • Softener using Magnets Only

polyphosphates in a filter container

Polyphosphate Water Conditioner Systems

Salt free water conditioners that filter with polyphosphates require regular maintenance such as cleaning and polyphosphate refills. These systems condition the water without removing the benefits of the mineral grains present in the water.

It does this by filtering out any large particles of Calcium and Magnesium that pass through, and leaves a polyphosphate coating on the remaining smaller particles.

Polyphosphates are safe chemicals added to the water to coat the mineral grains so that they can’t stick to pipes, and thus negate all of the negative effects of untreated mineral grains.

When a polyposphate system is installed it will also help remove hard water mineral build-up within your pipes that is already present. As the polyphosphates travel with your water they'll  pick-up  and coat additional grains along the way . . .  effectively clearing your pipes.


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Although, keep in mind that this type of system is designed only as a water softener. Salt free water conditioners that filter with polyphosphates do not treat beyond the hardness of the water, and thus miss other important elements of truly clean water.

Salt free water conditioners that filter with polyphosphates fail to treat iron in well water, chlorine in city water, and they fail to kill viruses and bacteria. In addition, they do not remove herbicides and pesticides. 

Water with bubbles

Full Filtering Water Conditioner System

For more complete coverage from any possible pollutants in your home's water, look into a full filtering system. Full filtering systems soften the water much like a polyphosphate filter, but they also simultaneously remove chlorine and chloramines from city water, as well as removing herbicides, pesticides, bacteria, and viruses from well water. 

Overall, full filtering systems offer a more complete water conditioning and filtering process than polyphosphate filter models.

Because of their ability to remove chlorine from city sourced water, they are a perfect candidate for a residential home that uses city water. However, if your home has especially hard well water, this type of system may struggle. 

Electromagnetic Field

Electromagnetic Water Conditioner System

If your water supply has low levels of hardness, you may want to take a look at an electromagnetic system. They work best with  water that has 15 or less grains per gallon. You can purchase test strips to check your water hardness at any hardware store, or they're also available through Amazon.

One of the main advantages of an electromagnetic system is that it does not require you to plumb it into your pipes. Instead, installation is easy since its plugged into the wall, wrapped around the pipe, and sends an electromagnetic wave through the plumbing. 

The electromagnetic  wave keeps hard water mineral grains suspended within the water, by magnetizing them. Thus preventing the grains from sticking to anything, including pipes, clothing, etc. 

Although this process does draw power from your house, its a relatively low amount of power. There's also very little upkeep or maintenance required with a electromagnetic system.  

Magnetic balls attracted to a magnet

Magnetic Water Conditioner System

Much like electromagnetic systems, magnetic systems are able to suspend the mineral grains within the water. However, the difference between the two is that a magnetic system does not require power. Strong magnets are attached to the outside of the pipes which magnetize the water as it passes through.

The benefit of a magnetic system is that it's extremely durable and requires literally no maintenance. However, it's not effective when it comes to removing pollutants. 

Both the magnetic and electromagnetic systems are best used as a final step to conditioning your household water. Over time, each system will remove mineral deposits from inside your plumbing.

Although these systems require little maintenance, it is important to keep in mind that the magnetic pull will gradually decrease and eventually, the mineral grains will flush through your plumbing system again. 


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Which is the Best Salt-Free Water Softener for You?

There's a lot of salt free water softeners available on the market today, but these are some of our favorites.

Hard Water Bullet Triple Action Poly 

With a 30-micron filter, the Hard Water Bullet Triple Action Poly does a great job of removing water impurities, while at the same time, the polyphosphates help condition the water by coating the mineral grains to prevent them from sticking and building-up within your plumbing. 

Not only will your plumbing and appliances be protected from the affects of hard water once you install the system, but your pipes will also be cleaned from any build-up that may have occurred  before  the installation.

Even the busiest household won't need to worry about losing water pressure with this system, since it provides 30 gallons per minute of water treatment!

Maintenance is simple and easy with the Hard Water Bullet Triple Action Poly, which is one reason why it may just be the best salt free water softener on the market. All you need to do is replace or refill the polyphosphate every 6 months and flush the filter annually.

Triple Action Poly Salt Free Water Softener

Triple Action Poly Hard Water Bullet

The Triple Action Poly Hard Water Bullet combines both a filter and the use of polyphosphates to remove pollutants and soften water.

Aquios FS-220

With a 5 micron filter, the Aquios FS-220 can remove pollutants missed by larger filters. Sediment, choline and other water pollutants can all be filtered out with a 5 micron filter.

This in-line salt-free water conditioner is easy to install and requires minimal maintenance. Because the filter and the polyphosphate are both housed within the filter, both are replaced at the same time. 

Maintenance is required when 40,000 gallons of water passes through the filter. Depending on water usage and the condition of the water, this is typically every 4 months.

If your home is drawing your water from the city, the Aquios FS-220 is considered to be one of the best salt free water conditioners because of its ability to filter out chlorine. Not to mention, the low maintenance demands makes this system especially appealing to homeowners. 

Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt Free Water Softener and Filter System - New Model

Aquios FS-220

The Aquios FS-220 is similar to the Hard Water Bullet in that it combines the use of filters and polyphosphates to treat the hardness of water. However, it's filter is much finer which allows it to remove far more pollutants.


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Aquasana THD-AS20 Simply Soft

The Aquasana THD-AS20 is a 20-inch salt-free water softener marketed as a 2-year device. However, if the filter is replaced, the lifespan can actually be extended much longer.

The Aquasana THD-AS20 SimplySoft Salt-Free Water Softener is a top choice for anyone looking to quickly and inexpensively improve the quality of their water. And because it can fit into any situation, it's easy to install and maintain. It's also reasonably priced, which has helped make this system a favorite among homeowners.

SimplySoft Salt-Free Water Softener for Tankless Water Heaters Aquasan

Aquasana THD-AS20 Simply Soft

The Aquasana THD-AS20 performs similar to other polyphosphate filter systems, but coating the mineral grains of hard elements in order to prevent the negative effects of hard water in the home. It's designed for tankless water heaters, but can easily be installed inline with any tank-style home system.

Aquasana Whole house

One of the benefits of this system is the easy and inexpensive maintenance. The filter will need to be changed every 6 months, but the polyphosphate component can go 5 years before needing to be replaced!

If your water comes from the city and you don't require large amounts of water at once, the Aquansana system is a great choice.

Aquasana Carbon & KDF Home Filtration EQ-1000 Whole House Water System-Filters Sediment & 97% Chlorine, 10 Yr, 1 Million Gl

Aquasana Whole House

In city water, the Aquasana Whole House Filtration System removes 97% of chlorine. However, it should be noted, that the added filtration process will reduce the flow rate to just 7-gallons per minute. This system is a more pricey full filtration system that's specifically designed to remove very small particulates and other pollutants from your water.

Eddy Water Descaler

This system utilizes electromagnetic waves to soften water without the use of salts. The easy installation makes this a favorite among homeowners. Simply plug the control box into the wall and wrap the cords around the pipe!

By using electromagnetic waves, the Eddy Water Descaler suspends the mineral grains within the water which prevents them from sticking to the inside of your pipes. In addition, the system will even remove build-up that may have existed before installation.

Since the Eddy Water Descaler isn't installed inline with the water line, and there isn't a filter or polyphospates to replace, there is virtually no maintenance required.

In most situations, this system works best when it's paired with another water softener. For example, install the Eddy Water Descaler after  a filtration system. This would ensure that not only the water hardness is being reduced, but also that pollutants are being filtered out.

Eddy Electronic Water Descaler - Water Softener Alternative

Eddy Water Descaler

The Eddy Water Descaler uses electromagnetic waves to prevent mineral grains from building up inside your plumbing.


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