“Saltless” is the new catchphrase for people who want to improve their water without maintenance or recurring expenses. Before deciding to use a Saltless system, it is important to be aware of the pros and cons of each process.
Saltless systems generally will not remove iron and other contaminants from your water unless it is using a replaceable filter. Most of the available Saltless systems are for scale reduction. Depending on the process, the benefits of soft/conditioned water may not be experienced (soap usage, smoother skin, easier cleaning, eliminating soap scum, etc). It is recommended to not purchase the system based only on testimonials, for it is best to just the effectiveness of this product from personal experience.
One process contains a media which nucleates some dissolved metallic salts out of solution. These crystals, once formed, remain in the water, and still react with oils, detergents, etc. in the same manner as the dissolved salts. They also continue to form scale wherever water is allowed to evaporate, such as faucet nozzles and showerheads. In fact, it’s possible that evaporative scaling could be worse than before installing a system.
Another process reduces scale by using a replaceable media to change the calcium carbonate into a calcium carbonate crystal. This crystal then limits the scaling properties of the calcium in water-using appliances and plumbing. If your need is to simply reduce scale, then this type of treatment may be what you would need. The media is replaceable based on gallons used and hardness.
An additional process claims to change the structure of the molecules in the water by using an electrical charge or magnetic force. This process has been around for years but has never been certified by any third-party sources. Generally, it is presented based on testimonials.