View Full Version : Salt free softeners
06-03-2009, 08:04 AM
Are these new salt free softeners worth the money and do they do the job as well as ones that use salt?
06-03-2009, 08:48 AM
There are two salt free water softeners that I'm aware of. The ones that use potassium chloride instead of salt. (It's about three times the cost of salt and doesn't work as well) Then there are the magnetic softeners that majically remove hardness, iron, sulphur, manganese and even air bubbles from your water without even touching it. If you believe that, I have a bridge I would like to sell you.
06-03-2009, 03:24 PM
There is another salt free softener. I have heard they are good but don't know for sure, they do have a good trial period (90 day) and 10 yr warranty. The technology has been around since the '60's and was used for industrial cooling towers from what I remember when I was looking into them. I just don't know anyone personally that has one. You can search for FilterSorb or Pelican softener and read up on them. I do believe that they are good. I ended up buying a salt using softener from qualitywatertreatment.com and if my water wasn't so hard (up to 45-50 gpg hardness), I may have tried a salt-free unit out.
Here is some info listed at the qualitywatertreatment.com website.
"The FilterSorb SP is a catalyst with molecular patterns on its surface on which, depending upon the calcium and magnesium carbonate content of the water, calcite crystals grow. When the crystals reach a size in the range of nano meters "one billionth the size of a meter" they detach and are carried away by the water flow. These crystals are heat resistant and can no longer cause lime deposits.
The crystals are relatively insoluble effectively isolating CaCO3 from the water chemistry and anything the water contains. Filtersorb SP media works as catalyst only, not as a filtration media therefore there is no accumulation of anything in the media tank. Long lasting media not consumed by the reaction. The constituted ingredients of the Filtersorb SP media are listed in CR21 as an approved food ingredient."
master plumber mark
06-03-2009, 05:08 PM
if this great technology has been around since the 1960s,
and they are supposed to work great,
then how come they have not run culligan and all the other water conditioners out of business by now????
the reason is that they simply dont work..
and no one has ever been satisfied with them
they have had 40 years to prove themselves........
06-03-2009, 05:17 PM
The life span of that mineral/media is 5 yrs. It does not soften water, it is meant to make water act as if it has been softened. I've been using one for 2 yeas in July. It produces water nowhere near the quality of softened water and I refuse to sell anything using it. I bought it to test one and see if I could sell them. I use it on many different waters as we travel around the country in our motor home that we live in fulltime since 10/1/06.
I question why someone that has bought a regular water softener would post about a Pelican etc. unless they are only promoting the company they bought from. I can say from my experience as a competitor of theirs that the company doesn't service their customers very well. I base that on their customers that contact me asking for me to help them.
06-04-2009, 06:51 AM
I was trying to do a quick reply, maybe I should have explained more. When I said, "The technology has been around since the '60's," I mean it has been used in industrial use since the '60's, not as a home softener. I am glad Gary Slusser made his post, he has tried one for 2 years and is not satisfied with it. As I mentioned before, I don't know anyone that has one but with the advertising and web comments they have, I was very tempted to get one but chose a salt using softener because my water is very hard. I would very much trust Gary's test, if he says not to get it, then I wouldn't get one.
06-04-2009, 10:12 AM
PWT (physical water treatment) magnets and electronic anti scale and descaling devices are said to work in industrial applications and when they do, it is because the water is being treated in a closed loop that is constantly moving. In residential, the water moves while being used and then stops when the faucet is shut. To very different applications or environments.
The mineral/media used in the "Pelican" etc. (FilterSorb or SoftSorb) is not the anything like a magnet or electronic device. It does change the characteristics of hard water some, just nowhere near as much as a ion exchange water softener does.
My Irish Spring soap has more suds and there are far fewer water spots on our SS fixtures and the shower walls and glass door. Other than that, the thing is not worth 3/4ths the price I see them sold for. You get only a few lbs of the mineral and it has a short 5 yr life and at my wholesale cost from only one supplier, it is close to $8000 per cuft. The difference between 'it' and a softener is about the same as a kid's tricycle w/o trainer wheels and a 21' truck that you actually haul stuff in.
The name of the process is "Template Assisted Crystallization". I have a couple of these units in the field as a trial. So far, I haven't had negative feedback from any of the homeowners.
I had the same reaction when I first heard the name, and saw what it was. As water treatment guys, we're used to talking about media in cubic feet. And this stuff is measured in liters?!? I have never backed a single "alternative" water conditioner in the past. I think that most of them, if not all, are junk science. I mean.......magnets?
So......The boss wants to look into it, and the supplier is pushing it, so I put a couple of them in on 22gpg city water. I checked back over the next few weeks, and was actually surprised by the results. The water spots that I did see wiped away easily. The homeowners have expressed satisfaction with the results they've seen.
The Idea in a nutshell is that the charged calcium ions in your water, which are constantly looking for a surface to attach to, are instead combined into organized crystal structures. This basically means that the calcium ions are "busy", and unable to attach to downstream surfaces.
There are other things to consider. These units are not intended to replace salt using softeners as a whole. The science hasn't been around long enough for us to know all of the facts. Water chemistry varies greatly throughout the world. Due to differing water qualities, this technology may be more effective in certain areas than in others. The media life span can't be known for sure. The 5 year figure is an estimate, and can be effected by other factors (i.e. chlorine or hydrogen sulfide). The upper limits for calcium are also debatable. Some say 25 grains, while other sources say as high as 85 grains per gallon.
This equipment is not meant for everybody. If you have had a water softener in the past, and LIKED it, this is probably not for you. For the environmentally conscious customer, it's most likely right up your alley. No electricity, no backwash, no control valve.
For me, the jury is still out on this one. I've always been the kind of person who likes to try new things, but not until I know they work. For now, I'll be careful where I install them, and wait to see how they do.