There are many reasons why you might want a saltless water softener. This page has information on other alternatives and some of the possible downsides that people attribute to using a water softener system that uses salt to soften your hard water problem.
One of the first problem and sometimes major problem with a water softener system that uses salt is that of course your water will have a very high amount of sodium which for some people can be hazardous, highly dependent if you have a particular medical situation or if you have a particularly strong hard water system which of course means more sodium overall in your water. Another drawback is that certain regions ban softener systems that use salt due to possible environmental damage.
So what are the alternatives?
The first one is a water softener potassium chloride system which does practically everything the same without requiring salt. Most modern water softener systems that are meant to be used with salt can also be used with potassium chlorine but make sure to read your manual first of course to confirm that it can indeed be used as a salt free water softener. Potassium chlorine basically simply replaces salt when recharging the resin beads while being healthier for you and the environment. Some nutritionists say we can use more potassium in our diets in general so unlike salt, which is usually something we should reduce, there’s actually a health benefit in making the change. Of course, this switch comes at a cost because a “saltless water softener” will cost much more than a traditional system that uses salt since potassium is more expensive
There are many alternatives that are often proposed when you want a saltless water softener but keep in mind to always double check if the system seems that it can work and if they have a warranty or other such promotions. There are many systems out there that many vendors claim are a “salt free water softener” but simply do not remove the hard water minerals as effectively! So after installing one of these systems make sure to double check if the hardness of your water is actually decreased.
Finally another alternative are systems that are based around a reverse osmosis system (sometimes called an electronic water softener) that basically uses magnets to remove minerals such as those that create your hard water problem. A problem that has been put forward at times with this salt free water softener system is that if you drink the resulting water it’s lacking in essential minerals you should be getting from water. Ideally, you probably want to turn your water softening system into a potassium chloride water softener so that the water is drinkable and not harmful to the environment! Their are other proposed solutions by different companies but while some of them might work, if you decide to go this route make sure to double check after installation how well the hard water problem Is actually being filtered.