Salt Free Water Softener – Does it Exist?

Alternative Methods to Reduce Scaling in Your Water System

Water Softener SaltTraditional water softeners have come under attack in parts of the US where increasing population and development lead to questions about fresh water supplies. Although today’s salt regenerated softeners are more efficient then ever, local and State governments see them as an easy target to show that they are doing something about a water shortage or salinity problem. Governments and citizens alike are looking for salt free water softener technologies to reduce the effects of hard water on clothing, dishes, skin, hair, and fixtures.

Water treatment studies suggest that there are several salt free water softener alternative technologies that have been shown to have varying success in reducing water hardness and scaling problems.

Salt Free Water Treatment Solutions

Capacitive Deionization

Capacitive deionization is a process that uses electrically charged electrodes and membranes to remove the anions and cations from the water. Periodically the electrical charge is reversed to purge the collected ions to drain.


  • Salt free water treatment systems
  • Produce very pure water


  • High upfront cost of equipment
  • Consumes large quantities of electricity
  • Requires running water to a drain periodically
  • Produces water of such high purity that it must be treated to keep it from damaging the plumbing system
  • Used commercially, although some companies are trying to make it feasible for home use.

Magnetic Water Treatment

Magnetic water treatment “MWT” is where hard water is passed through a magnetic field to alter its ability to stick to the downstream plumbing. A wire is wrapped around the water pipe and a current controlled by a transformer is passed through the wire.


  • Salt free water treatment systems
  • Study claims 50% reduction in scale formation


  • Does not produce soft water

Electrically Induced Precipitation

Electrically induced precipitation “EIP” uses an electrically charged electrode.


  • Salt free water treatment systems.
  • Study claims 50% scale reduction


  • Periodic cleaning and backwashing required
  • Does not produce soft water

Template Assisted Crystallization

Template assisted crystallization or TAC is a catalyst coated media that causes micro sized “seed particles” of hardness minerals to form on the catalyst. As these seed particles are released from the media they continue downstream and collect more microscopic hardness minerals and pass through the plumbing system without forming scale. The media is affected by other contaminants in the water like pH, manganese, iron, tannins and chlorine.


  • Salt free water treatment systems
  • Does not require electricity or running water to drain


  • More expensive than traditional water softeners
  • Three year media life dependent on many factors, including water volume and hardness
  • Expensive media
  • Does not produce soft water

It is important to note that this study only addressed scale reduction. It did not include data on the hardness of the water. While a salt free water softener is appealing, there is no real evidence to suggest that these technologies provide soft water.

Traditional Water Softeners Provide Truly Soft Water

Soft water provides many well documented benefits including:

  • Elimination of scale 100%
  • Large reduction in soap and detergent requirements
  • Extended life of water using appliances, septic systems and sand mounds.
  • Softer clothes that colors stay brighter and fabric lasts longer.
  • Longer water heater life
  • Reduction of skin irritation.
  • Softer more manageable hair
  • Less time spent cleaning showers, tubs sinks and commodes.
  • And no more soap scum!

Someday a superior salt free water softener technology may be invented to provide real soft water, but for now the traditional water softener is the only way to provide real softened water for your home. Contact American Clear Water LLC. today for more information about just how affordable a whole home water softener can be.