If you live in an area where your water is hard and is not treated before entering your house, you may want to consider one of the many available magnetic water softener or other types of systems. Drinking hard water is not harmful however using it for washing clothing, dishes, bathing in etc. can be frustrating. It inhibits lathering of soap and leaves a dirty looking soap scum behind which is difficult to remove. It also causes scaly build up of calcium and lime deposits over time, clogging pipes, decreasing flow of water and leaving tough scales on kettles, and coffee and tea pots.
Conventional water softener systems adds salt to your water, and if you are softening at point of entry into your house and you are going to be drinking it, this may be an option you wish to avoid because you don’t want to be drinking too much salt.
An alternate choice you may wish to consider is a magnetic water softener which can also be called an electronic water softener. There is no concrete evidence on how effective these water softeners are for domestic use, however, they have proven to be very effective in commercial application. Ceramic magnets are used to surround your water pipes to create a magnetic field which stirs up the electrons in the water. With this action, calcium crystals precipitate out at low density preventing the lime build up from occurring.
Most home magnetic water softeners use 2 magnets creating about ½ inch of contact time. Contact time is the amount of time that the water is subjected to the magnets through the flow. More contact time creates more effective conditioning of the water and so some magnetic water softeners increase the number of magnets making the contact time longer.
Using magnetic water softeners is a more environmentally safer method of conditioning your water as they are chemical free. It is also relatively maintenance free and uses no electricity. Most of these ceramic magnets last for more than the life time of a person, and so chances of ever having to replace the magnets is next to none and there are no moving parts to replace. Cost wise it may save you in the long run with no parts replacement, no maintenance, no electricity, no chemicals to buy etc. If your goal is to use a salt less water softener or salt free water softener than this is a great solution.
Using a magnetic water softener is an alternative to conventional sodium based ones, but do your research as not all information is positive and there are some requirements which your home will need to meet to make it effective. Also, magnetic water softeners only work with “not too hard” water. They do not really do a good job once you are above a certain ppm density of hard metals which depends on which model you buy. Usually water softener systems that use salt can reach higher levels of hard water without any problems.