May 12, 2022

Dealing with hard water can be annoying, even costly or unhealthy. Getting rid of hard water, with messes on glass or fixtures, costly repairs, replacements before components or fixtures should need them, the effects on skin or drinking water, are all good reasons to find a solution. When it comes to eliminating hard water, a whole house descaler filter – a salt-free softening system – is a popular, good choice. Not all water conditioners are the same. There are different strengths and drawbacks, and different factors for each system or product. To start with, what is a whole house descaler filter? When would it be the right fit for your home?

Salt-Free Water Softening

A salt-free water conditioner, which may be called a descaler, actually creates binding of minerals in water together. The minerals are what makes hard water hard. Once the minerals are binded, the system removes the hardness, or scale, out of the water.

Salt-free conditioner systems are virtually maintenance and upkeep free once you have it installed. They are also environmentally friendly.

Some minerals, including through water we consume, are good and necessary for our health. Descaling or salt-free water softeners solve the problems of hard water and scale deposits without removing healthy minerals from water. Systems generally have water pass through a process which takes particles and forms them into crystals, or powder. They remain in the water, but will not rest and buildup on say, showers, in sinks or inside plumbing. It won’t buildup in appliances or on surfaces such as glasses, plates and clothing, either.

If hard water creates stains and deposits on shower doors, in crevices of the bathroom, on dishes, it can lead to mildew, mold and corrosion, not to mention a mess you don’t want to see, wear or consume.

Salt-Free water conditioners are upkeep free as well as eco-friendly. They resolve the problems connected with hard water and mineral accumulation without using electric energy or causing other drainage issues in the process.

Benefits of Water Descalers

Water descalers work in a simple, nearly maintenance free, way. Even for installation, it’s typically not complicated. You need an electric outlet. You don’t need much technical or DIY ability. Once you’re using a salt-free water softener, here are some of the main benefits.

  • More cost effective than other water conditioners
  • Easier to set up than salt-based water softeners
  • If it’s being used with the water for a larger facility, such as a restaurant, clinic or workplace, installation and upkeep expenses will be less in the long run
  • They are small and versatile so placement is easier
  • Water descalers do not remove essential minerals and nutrients from water
  • They help with the results from your laundry and clothing
  • They do not change the TDS level in water
  • It protects against hard water particles sticking to heating elements, pipes, taps, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, surface areas and more
  • They remove the currently existing scale and buildup on the inside of pipes and water-using appliances
  • Descalers require little to no upkeep over time because you do not need to change or add parts or components on them
  • They do not waste water and do not flush chemicals in the sewer lines
  • It’s likely an eco-friendlier option to take into consideration
  • They work great with almost all types of pipes, including PVC
  • One device is enough for some homes
  • They do not add salt to your water so there is no concern of salt consumption for people and animals

Water Descaler Drawbacks

First things first, they are harder to find. Since the technology is still relatively new, water descaler systems may be found easiest on a company’s or supplier’s online store site.

Salt-free water treatment may not give you the ideal clean water feeling on your skin of a salt-based softened water. If you use water descalers, you may still see some spotted or streaked places on your glasses, cookware or bath tubs. The main benefit is that you will not need to scrub them anymore, as they will disappear much easier than untreated hard water.

What is a Whole House "Descaler" Filter?
Hard water can cause buildup and corrosion on plumbing components.

Times to Pick a Descaler vs. a Salt-Based System

  • The hard water level in your area is up to 25 GPG. Simply put, water descalers handle high levels of hard water better.
  • You want to spend less money on the purchase, installation, and upkeep of a water system.
  • You are eco aware and want to use less water in your home. If you wish to live a healthier lifestyle, a water descaler is probably the best option as it does not eliminate healthy minerals in water.
  • The main problem is the lifespan and functionality of your pipes, appliances and fixtures.

Salt-Based Water Softeners

The more common method for treating scale buildup and hard water is with an ion exchange method, generally called water conditioning. With this kind of system, water runs through a brine solution into a tank where material beads trap the hard water minerals with salt. The solids in the tank are filtered out and eliminated.

This system and method does an excellent job of solving scale build-up and giving you a soft water throughout the house. It eliminates excess minerals, making your water feel softer, too. Practically speaking, this means your skin will have that silky feeling after a shower.  Soap will lather much better. You’ll end up with better results on washed dishes and glasses. The same goes for laundry and any appliances which use water.

A Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter test will show this, too, with no or very few solids left in your water. When the minerals are eliminated, the TDS score is very low or zero.

Those considering a salt-based softener should be aware, however, that there are a few points to take into consideration before going with this type of treatment.

Salt softeners need some hands-on upkeep. They require the user to buy bags of salt and restore the tank on a regular basis. The amount of salt required will rely on knowing the details about your water source. You should keep track of more factors such as water usage and how many people are using water in your home.

Salt-based treatment may occasionally impact the taste and the functionality of your water. For instance, you may not want to use your newly-softened water on plants as the sodium levels may be too high.


South End Water Filtration specializes in HALO Water Filter products including the HALO H2 Zero Whole Home Water Filter. HALO systems solve hard water problems, give your family clear, great-tasting water and are totally maintenance free. We’re just a click away to help and answer any questions. South End Plumbing and South End Water Filtration will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-486-1988 or contact us online to schedule a visit.