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The Lowdown on Salt and Saltless Water Treatment Systems

water treatment
Reading Time: 2 minutes

It’s so easy to forget about how important water is in our lives. We all know that water is fundamental to the functioning of our bodies, but what you might not know is that it is essential to making our homes run smoothly too. In our homes, effective water treatment is crucial to ensuring that the water is doing its job successfully. Hard water, a common problem in Florida, is the biggest culprit when it comes to damaging our homes and appliances on a day-to-day basis.

Effective water treatment removes or alters the hard minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, from the water and in turn makes the water “soft” or “conditioned”. Using hard water in your home can often lead to clogged pipes and can cause detergents to lose effectiveness, which is why it is so important to choose the right water treatment solution for your home. At Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric we strive to ensure that all of our clients are well-informed and educated on various water treatment solutions and that is why we are going to tackle one of the most popular questions in the world of water treatment: what is the difference between salt and saltless water solutions? Here’s the lowdown:

What is a salt-based water solution?
Salt-based systems remove the hard water minerals through a process of “ion exchange”. This process removes the hard minerals and replaces them with sodium (or salt) that is then released into the water to be used. Salt-based systems produce soft water that is commonly said to have a slick, silk like feeling.


  • You won’t have to deal with any lime-scale build-up in your pipes and appliances caused by calcium and magnesium in water.
  • Cleaning, washing, and bathing is a lot more effective when done with soft water. The reason being that hard minerals impede the effectiveness of detergents, soaps, and other cleaning agents.


  • This system needs regular maintenance due to the nature of the mechanisms involved in the ion exchange process.
  • Salt is being added to the water to displace the hard minerals, which means that the sodium content of soft water is much higher than normal.

What is a saltless (salt-free) water solution?
Saltless water treatment solutions are also known as water conditioners, simply because they do not remove the hard minerals from the water. Rather than making the water soft, these systems change the chemical structure of the hard minerals and therefore prevent them from sticking to your pipes and water-using appliances.


  • The water is rich with minerals that have various health benefits when consumed in moderation.
  • These systems are very easy to install and require minimal upkeep.


  • If it’s the “slick” feeling of water that you’re after, saltless systems won’t give you that because the water is not being softened but rather conditioned.
  • Lime-scale can build up where water sits, as it is only effective on water passing through a pipe. Appliances such as water heaters will still be affected by lime-scale build-up.

For more information about water treatment solutions and help with choosing one that suits your and your home’s needs best, contact Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric.


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