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Water Descaler or Water Softener?

There are two types of water softening systems: those with salt, and those without. The latter are also called water descalers which many water treatment specialists, including Connor Plumbing, believe are the better of the two.

First, they don’t actually soften water. Instead, they remove water scale, which are mineral components left behind on surfaces the water touches. The descaler creates an electric charge that pulls these deposits along with the water, making them part of the wastewater.


Still, why would you purchase a descaler if it doesn’t soften the water? For one thing, they cost a lot less. By comparison, they also require very little maintenance. Salt-free descalers, by definition, don’t require the constant replenishing of salt as does a water softener.

More importantly, descalers are effective against hard water when the hardness level is 25 GPG (grains per gallon) or less. That’s when the dollar savings and greater convenience really pay off. If, however, the GPG level is higher, you’re better off with a water softener.  Water softeners are superior to descalers at:

  • Removing the milky haze often found on dishes and glasses after running the dishwasher
  • Preventing your whites from yellowing in the washing machine
  • Preventing white scaly build-up on plumbing fixtures and shower glass doors
  • Preventing internal pipe corrosion
  • Relieving you of itchy skin and dry, frizzy hair
  • Reducing the amount of cleaning products you need for household chores and personal cleaning

Can your water supply be improved with either a water descaler or softener? Contact Connor Plumbing to schedule a water quality test. From there, we’ll define any deficiencies that might exist and recommend the best solution for your home and family.

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