Can you really soften water without salt? No, but you can transform calcium and magnesium in your water into something that won’t harm your pipes. The SoftPro Elite Salt Free Water Conditioner is an alternative to water softening that doesn’t use salt, and requires almost no maintenance.
The SoftPro Elite salt free water conditioner uses a chamber filled with Filtersorb SP3 softening media. This media breaks down calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate using Nucleation Assisted Crystallization (NAC).
As water passes up through the filter chamber, calcium carbonate and magnesium bicarbonate attach to the media. This forms a nucleation site, kick starting the formation of crystals. As these crystals form, the bicarbonate molecules break down into microscopic calcium and magnesium carbonate crystals, carbon dioxide and water. The crystals are harmless, and won’t form limescale on your plumbing.
Normally, when carbon dioxide and water mix, they form carbonic acid. This acid is what breaks down rock and makes water hard in the first place. If carbonic acid is in your water, it will turn the crystals back into bicarbonate molecules. However, the CO2 formed by NAC accumulates in non-reactive colloidal micro-bubbles. These bubbles don’t just resist chemical reactions. They gently scrub the limescale off of your plumbing. When it’s time to replace this filter, your pipes will be cleaner than they were before installation.
A water conditioner doesn’t soften water, because it doesn’t use ion exchange. Since it doesn’t use salt, it doesn’t change the water’s PH. If you already have clean, good-tasting tap water, you still will after using a conditioner. If you don’t, you can add equipment to correct the problems with your water. Since they use a passive filtration system, conditioners don’t need to be back-flushed, and they don’t need additional chemicals.
SoftPro makes this conditioner in only one size, which has a maximum flow rate of 12 GPM. The company says this should be enough for a home with 1-5 bathrooms. However, your actual water usage can vary widely, depending on your appliances. The softener sizing and water analysis report calculator on site can walk you through matching a water softener or conditioner with your household needs.
The media in this water conditioner won’t last as long as a traditional ion exchange system. Some manufacturers hide the amount of media they include with their conditioners, using too little to be effective long term. However, SoftPro is up front about pre-loading the Elite with 5 liters of SP3. Users should expect the filter to last between 5 and 10 years, depending on the hardness of their water. This is in line with other high quality water conditioners. The SoftPro Elite can handle water hardness up to 17 GPG, so it will work almost anywhere.
Clogging is an issue with SP3 media, so SoftPro includes their Big Blue Carbon Filter, a 5 micron sediment and chlorine pre-filter, with the Elite conditioner. This protects the NAC media, and it improves the taste of the water. The filter should be flushed ½ cup of household bleach once per year. This is the only maintenance on the entire water softening system.
SoftPro Elite Salt Free Water Softener / Saltless - No Salt Conditioner
Depending on the quality of your water, you may want to pair the Elite water conditioner with other treatment systems. These upgrades do not affect the flow rate of the conditioner.
The Elite water conditioner has a 6 month warranty. However, the buyer pays shipping and up to 25% restocking fee, and on-site repairs not covered by warranty.