Water softner

Looking to learn more about installing a water-softening system in your home? Understanding the different kinds of water softener systems will help you and your local plumber to determine the best water softening system for your area.

Installation of your water softener

The first step you’ll need to take before experiencing all the best things about having a soft water system in your home is to find an experienced plumber. Hiring a trusted, local company ensures that your plumber is up to date on all current regulations and the latest installation techniques and tools. Your plumber can also work with you to determine the best place to install your water-softening system.

The process of softening water begins

There are a handful of different kinds of water-softening systems. You can consult your plumber to understand better what kind of water-softening system will be the best for you, your family, and your house. To better understand how water softeners work, follow along to understand the four types of water softening systems.

Salt-Based System

A salt-based water softening system is the most common type of water softening system and process. In a popular salt-based water softening system, resin beads are positively charged with sodium ions. These sodium-charged resin beads create a barrier where, once hard water passes through, the resin beads capture and remove minerals found in hard water. Once the water passes through the beads, the hard water becomes soft water purified of harsh minerals. After passing through the softening system, this water enters your household through the pipes for easy access to softened water.

Dual-Tank System

A dual-tank water softening system uses the same process as a salt-based system but takes the process one step further. This two-tank system encapsulates different functions of the water-softening process. One tank holds the salt-charged ion beads, and the other holds a brine solution. When the sodium-charged resin beads become weak after capturing harsh minerals from hard water, the brine tank will rinse the beads and leave them with a refreshed positive charge that allows the water-softening system to renew itself continuously.

Salt-Free System

While technically not a water softening system, a salt-free system is generally helpful to minimize scale buildup in your home’s plumbing and appliances. The necessity and usefulness of this system will depend on the hard water in your area. 

The salt-free system utilizes a template-assisted crystallization (TAC) method and potassium chloride. This system will use a process that will lessen the build-up of scale in your water delivery system.

Magnetic System

Like salt-free systems, a magnetic system is not a proper water softener. Instead, a magnetic water softening system uses a specialized process to eliminate scale and buildup in your home’s water delivery systems. Using an electromagnetic coil, this method pushes water through a magnetic field that changes calcium and other minerals to a crystalline structure that does not allow the minerals to build up in pipes.

You experience the benefits of your water-softening system.

Understanding the difference between hard and soft water is the first step in knowing when soft water is better than hard water and when each type of water is okay. The United States water supply is hard water, which can be helpful for many tasks and uses. However, some of the benefits of soft water in your home include the following:

  • Preventing the buildup of scale and minerals in your home’s appliances and water delivery systems.
  • Lengthening the life of appliances in your home that use water regularly.
  • Removing excess minerals from your home’s drinking water.
  • Soft water is better for hair and skin health.

If you live in a home with hard water, it helps to understand how water softeners work and their many benefits for your and your home’s health. Discussing various water softeners’ pros and cons with your trusted local plumber will help you determine the best water softening system for you and the area where you live. When switching to a water-softening system, using the best local plumber will ensure that your system is quickly and correctly installed.

Brennan, D. (2021). Difference Between Hard Water and Soft Water

Home Water Softening: Frequently Asked Questions – EH: Minnesota Department of Health. (2022).

How Does a Water Softener Work?. (2022).

Types of Water Softeners: What You Need to Know – HomeWater. (2022).