Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What About Salt-Less Water Conditioners?

We are experiencing sulfur odor in both our hot and cold water.  I chlorinated the well a week ago and it cleared up the odor until today when it has returned.
I am looking to treat the water for rotten-egg odor and hardness with low yearly maintenance requirements.   My well output is 6 GPM.  What are the options for removing the sulfur odor and hardness?  What about a saltless water softener?  Is this a good solution or is the water too hard?
Britton B.

Air Charger
Filter Cutaway
A good option for treating odor with low maintenance and without the use of chemicals is to use an air charging filter system.  These filters maintain a pocket of air inside their filter tank, which serves to naturally oxidize sulfur into a filterable state.  The water then passes through a bed of high-quality carbon filter media, which actively traps and removes the sulfur.  Later, the sulfur is flushed out during the system's regular backwash, which also replenishes the air in the filter tank.  You can read yesterday's blog post to learn more about air charger filters.
To soften your water, we recommend a Softener Plus system or a salt-less water conditioner with Filtersorb media.  
The Softener Plus system is low-maintenance and salt-efficient, and will effectively remove hardness and prevent scale in your water.  
Tanks Used for Salt-less
Conditioning Systems
A salt-less water conditioner would also be very effective at removing and preventing scale deposits - in fact, an Arizona State University study found that salt-less conditioners are the most effective method of preventing scale build-up among common softening methods -  however, it won't actually remove hardness from your water.  Instead, salt-less conditioners crystallize hardness minerals into firm calcite crystals that cannot attach to pipes or appliances to form scale deposits.  Because the hardness is not actually removed, water conditioned with a salt-less conditioner doesn't exhibit the "slippery" feeling associated with soft water.  However, since salt-less conditioners don't use a brine solution as water softeners do, treated water won't exhibit the salty tastes and odors often experienced when using a water softener.  
Salt-less conditioners can treat hardness levels up to about 20 grains per gallon (GPG), with best results occurring at hardness levels around 15 GPG.  Since the water sample you sent to us contained only 11 GPG of hardness, a salt-less conditioner would work just fine for your application. 
For more information about salt-less water conditioners, consult the FAQ at the bottom of this page.
We hope this information helps you eliminate the odor and hardness in your water. Based on your water sample, either a softener or a salt-less conditioner should do the trick.  Let us know which you choose and how it works out for you!  
You can send pictures and testimonials, as well as questions or comments about water and water treatment, to or to our Facebook page.  Thanks for the letter!