Buying a water softener can be complicated if you don't know much about them. Learn about the different types of water softener systems here.

If you’re experiencing issues due to hard water in your home, it may be time to invest in a water softener. There are different types of water softener devices, so it’s important to pick the right one to meet your needs. Read on to learn about the types of water softeners and how they work.

Why Use A Water Softener?

The tap water for most homes is hard. Hard water is full of minerals and metals, which affect your appliances and water pressure over time. Water softeners filter or restructure those minerals so that they don’t get the chance to leave a residue.

With softer water, you’ll notice that your soaps and detergents work better. You’ll also need to call the plumber less often.

What Types Of Water Softeners Are There?

So, how do you know the best type of water softener system for your household? There are three main different types of water softeners: 

Salt-Free

Technically, salt-free softeners are better termed “water conditioners.” These systems don’t take the hard minerals out of the water. However, they change the structure of the minerals so that they don’t stick to surfaces. 

Two methods for salt-free water softeners are electromagnetic and template-assisted crystallization (TAC). Electromagnetic softeners use magnetic fields to neutralize the hard minerals and prevent them from bonding.

A TAC system alters the minerals’ structures using catalytic beads. FilterSmart has an informative blog if you’re looking for more information about these systems.

If you want lower maintenance and less sodium in your diet, one of these may be the best type of water softener for you compared to salt-based options.

Dual-Tank

Water softener systems use a mineral tank to filter water. Every so often, your tank will need to go through a regeneration period to cleanse itself of hard particles.

Dual-tank options are great for large households. The model involves two resin tanks, allowing soft water to be always available even if one is in a regeneration cycle. Both salt-free and salt-based softeners have dual-tank options.

Ion Exchange/ Salt-Based

Ion exchange models are the oldest and most popular route. These systems use electricity, resin, and salt to filter out hard minerals such as Calcium and Magnesium. The resin attracts the positively-charged hard minerals and replaces them with sodium.

Ion exchange systems require frequent maintenance. When the resin runs low on sodium, you’ll need to add more (approximately once a week).

Additionally, salt-based softeners are bad for the environment. They consistently release wastewater with every use. For this reason, some states have banned these types of softeners.

Types Of Water Softener Solutions – Learn More

These are the basics, but there’s a lot more to learn about the types of water softener solutions. For example, some options come with time controls or automatic regeneration features. If you don’t need one for your entire home, you can get a simple showerhead or sink water softener.

The right water softener can make a world of difference when it comes to cleaning and plumbing. Find more tips for home improvement in the life and household section of our blog.