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Archive for the ‘Water Softeners’ Category

Is It Better to Rent or Buy a Water Softener?

Posted by Rayne Water

Whether you’re starting to notice mineral buildup on your faucets in your new home or you have noticed it building up over the years, it’s never the wrong time to invest in your home’s water quality and  eliminate hard water problems. 

You might be wondering, “what is hard water and what exactly does a water softener do?   Installing at-home water softeners can reduce the amount of “hard” minerals—like calcium and magnesium—in your water, therefore improving your appliance performance, as well as protect your plumbing and soft water for your skin, clothes and hair. 

Before you take the plunge towards soft water, consider your options—should you rent or buy water softener equipment? The answer will depend on your personal preference.  In this article, we’ll break down the benefits of buying vs renting to help you decide which investment type is right for you and your family.  

Whether you choose to buy or rent a water softening system, you’ve still taken a step in the right direction—supplying your home with softer, cleaner water.

Renting vs. Buying: Which Is For You?

The decision to rent or buy water softener equipment isn’t all that different from other rent/buy quandaries—it all comes down to your personal opinion and preference.  

But, comparing water softener systems  to home-buying or renting isn’t the most helpful analogy. Instead, let’s consider a different example—a washer and dryer. 

Your local appliance shop likely offers three options for purchasing a washer and dryer:

  1. Payment in full
  2. Payment in installments (financing)
  3. Renting

If you’re determined on the model and are fully ready to upgrade your washer and dryer to newer, more efficient models, paying for the appliances in full is probably the simplest option. A benefit of this is that you don’t have to worry about paying interest or dealing with monthly payments. 

If you aren’t too sure about what options best fit your needs, renting may be the right fit for you. If you finance your washer and dryer, you’ll have to make monthly payments and most likely pay interest as well.  

 Renting is an excellent option in a few scenarios:

Just like funding any other appliance, deciding to buy, rent, or finance a water softener depends on several factors. Either way, you’re in the right direction for softened water that’s clean for all your water usage.

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

Reasons to Rent

If you’re still having a hard time deciding whether to rent or buy water softener equipment, let’s explore a few reasons why a water softener rental might be right for you and your water problems. 

Freedom to Upgrade  

Instead of thinking of renting as a temporary solution, consider it a research opportunity. 

If you choose to rent equipment, you have a chance to “try before you buy.” You have multiple options for water softeners, and renting can allow you to sample all of your options. 

There’s also another perk—you can upgrade  your system at any time. 

When you rent a water softener instead of buying, you have the freedom to make changes to your custom solution setup at any time. 

Opportunity to Test Out Combined Systems

You might be on the fence about which water system is right for you. After all, you have numerous options to consider:

If you have multiple water-related needs but are unsure which single solution will produce the best results, consider testing out various combinations of water systems to find the perfect equipment for your circumstances. 

Renting gives you an excellent opportunity to assess all of your options and tweak your system to achieve optimal results before committing to a purchase  . 

With the exception of salt, all service and required maintenance are part of the rental agreement

3 Reasons to Buy

If you’re all set to purchase a system, but renting is starting to sound like an attractive option, don’t rule out payment in full just yet. Let’s explore three reasons why making an in-full purchase or financing might be the ideal choice for your situation. 

#1: It’s a Permanent Solution to a Long Term Problem

Hard water is always going to be around. So when you decide to buy a water softener it automatically fixes your problem of having hard water. Why wouldn’t you want to say goodbye to mineral buildup and clogged pipes.

#2: Saves Money 

Depending on how long you need a water softener for, long term buying may be  the financially smart choice. The longer you use your water softener, the more you get out of your money. The initial cost of buying a water softener system seems scary, but if you consider the long term investment of owning your equipment, the savings can be substantial.

#3: An Average System Lasts 15-20 Years

When you purchase a water softener system you are making an investment for your future. An average water softening system lasts a good 15 to 20 years depending on how well it is upkept. Another added benefit of purchasing a system is that it adds value to your home. So enjoy the benefits of your system today and in the future.

Rayne Water Conditioning: Providing Your Family With All Your Water System Needs

Whether you rent or buy, a  water softener system provides you and your family with many benefits. 

Sometimes, you  need help from an expert. At Rayne Water, we’ve been helping people just like you choose the best water systems as well as the best programs and packages   since 1928.   For  94 years in business, we’ve helped countless families in California, Arizona, and Nevada by improving the quality of their water

Contact us today for professional advice, an estimate, or a home visit, and take control of your home’s water quality. 

Find a location near you!


  1. Minnesota Department of Health. Home Water Softening. 
  2. Rocket Mortgage. What is Compound Interest and How Is It Calculated? 
  3. Dun & Bradstreet. Financial and Credit Risks. 

What Size Water Softener Do I Need?

Posted by Rayne Water

Hard water can definitely be hard on your household. From discolored spots on your favorite china to tap water that tastes less-than-refreshing, hard water can impact so many aspects of your day-to-day life. If you’ve pondered the thought, “do I need a water softener” and decided to invest in one to remedy hard water’s effects on your home, you may already be dreaming of spotless plates and delicious glasses of water right from the tap. 

But before you can start reaping the many benefits of a water softener, you may be wondering, “What size water softener do I need?” 

The answer depends on the hardness of your water, the size of your house, and how much water you use . In this guide, we’ll discuss water hardness, how it impacts water softener sizing and the type of water softener you’ll need, and the equation you can rely on to calculate your ideal water softener. 

What You Need to Know to Determine Your Water Softener Size

Thankfully, you don’t need a degree in water science or advanced mathematics to calculate the perfect size water softener for your household. You just need to know two things: 

#1 Your home’s water hardness levels – A water’s hardness level is determined by how many grains of dissolved minerals (specifically calcium and magnesium) are in your area’s water source. The more mineral grains in your water, the harder the water will be and vice versa for soft water. The harder the water, the more work your water softener will have to do to remove those minerals for optimal results. This is why water softeners are sized by grains rather than household. 

Water hardness will vary based on your location, as different regions will have different factors impacting the water (factors include climate, geological make-up of water source, and even the age of your area’s public water filtration systems). Check out your zip code’s drinking water quality report (available online) to learn more about water hardness levels in your city water.

You can also purchase a water hardness test kit online or at your local home improvement store if your local water department cannot provide hard water mineral levels. You can also take water samples and send them to one of the testing labs listed on the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website as an alternative.1

#2 About how many gallons you use every day – For an accurate estimate, take a look at your water bill and divide the gallons used by the number of people in your home. Or, you can simplify this step by using the national average daily water use. According to the U.S. Geological survey, Americans use between 80-100 gallons of water a day.2 Multiply this number by the number of individuals in your household and you’ll have a rough estimate.

Why is this number important for your calculations? The more water used, the more grains will need to be removed. 

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

The Water Softener Size Equation (Simplified)

Ready for a little water softening math?

Multiply the daily amount of water used by your household (in gallons) by your home’s water hardness (in grains per gallon). Then, multiply that number by seven since a water softener will   ideally regenerate every seven days. 

The final result is the number of grains your water softener will need to remove every week. 

Let’s work with an example to help see this equation in action. Meet the Armans—the Armans are a family of four and are excited to find a water filtration system for their home in Escondido, California. The Armans took a look at their water bill and discovered their water consumption was up to  360 gallons per day on average. Their neighborhood has a water hardness level of 12 grains per gallon. 

Let’s plug that into our equation: 

Now that you know how many grains your water softener will need to remove, you can start shopping for the accurate size.

A Quick Guide to Water Softener Sizes

Water softener capacity is a bit more specific than “Small,” “Medium,” or “Large” which is why choosing the right size water softener takes some background knowledge. Water softeners are categorized by grain capacities. The following are the most standard sizes: 

Most families of four that have water with a hardness scale of five or ten grains per gallon (GPGs) would need a 30,000-grain capacity water softener. 

However, any four-person household with a 15 or 20 GPG water hardness score would typically need to use a water softener system with a 40,000 grain softening capacity

With that in mind, it’s important to choose the right water softener. Let’s revisit the Armans and their 30,240 grains of minerals. They would probably choose the 32,000 size. 

Can You Get Too Big of a Water Softener?

When in doubt, size up. Why? Because a system that is one step up in size may process grains more efficiently, making it more ideal for your family.

However, it is possible to purchase a water softener that can process more water and grains per gallon than you need. This increased processing may not only waste water but also over-soften your water. There are several side effects associated with this, including:3

Can You Choose a Water Softener That’s Too Small?

Absolutely. It’s not ideal if you purchase a water softener that’s too small either. It may overperform, causing its motor to go out sooner than it otherwise would have. The water softener system may also experience flow rate issues, meaning it doesn’t treat water as efficiently as it once did. 

Keep In Mind What You’re Using Your Water For

The amount of water usage you and your family use and what you’re using it for can significantly impact your water softener needs.4 You may, for example, have a higher demand to remove minerals in your water supply if you’ve developed a rash or are washing a baby’s clothes than if you’re planning to water your family’s lawn. That is also why it is important to know how to add salt to your water softener to reduce the amount of irritation on your skin. 

Bottom line? If you have a pressing need for soft water, go bigger. 

Find the Perfect Fit with Rayne Water

If you have hard water and want to soften your water to soothe dry skin or to help protect your home’s plumbing, finding the right water softening system is a bit like living your own version of Goldilocks and the Three Little Bears. To find your “just right,” you’ll need a little know-how and of course, the support of a trusted professional. 

Our water conditioning experts here at Rayne Water are eager to learn more about your water softening needs and recommend the right product to improve the quality and taste of your water. Find your happily ever after (and your softest water yet) with Rayne Water. 


  1. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Contact Information for Certification Programs and Certified Laboratories for Drinking water.
  2. United States Geological Survey. Water Q&A:
  3. Minnesota Department of Health. Home Water Softening.
  4. Family Handyman. How to Choose the Right Water Softener.
  5. Urdesign. What Size of Water Softener is Best for Your House?

Water Softener vs. Water Filter

Posted by Rayne Water

Not all tap water is created equally. Each city relies on a different source, each with a varying level of contamination and minerality in the water. Also, municipal water treatment processes may vary as well. Though they all are regulated through set standards, there are other factors that affect the quality of water as well. These include but aren’t limited to: the water treatment system itself, how often water is tested, a city’s pipe system, and runoff from neighboring rural and industrial areas, as well as city streets. 

Often, the quality of water, once it reaches a home or business, is often less than desirable. It could be cloudy, have sediment, or be unpleasant to smell or taste. It could also leave behind mineral deposits which can wreak havoc on your pipes and clog your plumbing. Fortunately, there are both water softener and water filtration systems to help remove minerals, toxins, and pollutants from the water, making it better for use and more enjoyable to drink. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind, these water treatment methods are not the same and do not provide all of the same benefits. Though there may be some similarities, it’s important to know the differences between water softener vs water filter systems and the value of each.

Water Softener Systems: What They Do

Hard water is what leaves behind stains, soap scum, and residue on water-based appliances and surfaces. It damages clothes, leaves behind spots on dishes after washing, and makes it difficult to work up a good lather of hand soap or shampoo. This leads to increased water (and soap) consumption because it takes more to do the job properly. 

Salt based water softener systems remove the mineral hardness naturally present in tap water. As water is distributed from its originating groundwater source, it picks up hard water minerals along the way, which end up running through the pipes and pouring out of your faucet. Two of the main minerals are magnesium and calcium, which affect the taste, odor, and appearance of the water.

Water softener systems use a process called ion exchange to eliminate the harshness of the minerals from affecting the water and appliances. Ion exchange is when there’s an exchange of positively charged mineral ions in hard water with positively charged ions, which takes place in the resin and brine softener tank of a water softening system. In the resin tank, the sodium ions from the brine, or salt, solution exchange places with the water hardness ions. 

Hardness minerals attach to resin beads which are then flushed from the tank using sodium chloride or potassium chloride. The water that remains contains a small number of sodium ions and virtually no hard mineral ions. The second part of water softening is the recharge process when the brine tank recharges the resin tank by flushing it out and rinsing it with saltwater. Any dissolved minerals are flushed from the system and it’s ready to head back to the resin tank for the water softening process to begin again. 

Some water softener systems require you to manually add salt. How to add salt to a water softener? You add it in the brine tank.

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

Benefits of a Water Softener

Two of the biggest benefits of using a water softener are eliminating residue and mineral deposits. Hard water has a high level of minerals which means it leaves behind soap scum and/or stains. Minerals typically found in tap water can leave behind a yellowish-white residue or sometimes a rust-colored stain. 

This ends up on your clothes, around your shower and sink drains, and can leave behind a slimy film on your dishes, even after they’ve come out of the dishwasher. Rather than destroying your belongings because of the hard water of your home, softened water can help avoid these common problems. 

Additionally, hard water leads to an accumulation of mineral deposits, which can cause blockages in your pipes, affecting water pressure and leading to plumbing damage. This affects the cleaning power and could eventually cause backups if the pipes aren’t constantly cleared. If your home or building has hard water, take a look at the kitchen spout or showerhead. If you notice crusts, films, water spots, or limescale left behind, it’s likely your water supply has a high level of harsh minerals.

When it comes to an advanced water softener system for the home, the whole house water softener systems provide all the benefits of soft water and offer the ability to adjust the feel of the water via a non-corrosive, durable, UV-resistant, blending value. The systems also provide on-demand regeneration, which saves on water and electricity bills and creates superior flow rates of water for the entire home.

There are several options to choose from, depending on your unique needs. Some are better equipped to use in smaller homes, while others have a high flow capacity necessary for larger homes. There are also systems that both soften and filter water. We can help you determine what solution will work best.

Water Filtration Systems: How They Work

Another popular water treatment method is water filtration. This is part of what your city’s water system uses to make tap water potable. A typical community water treatment process goes through the steps of coagulation and flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection to remove contaminants, pollutants, viruses, and bacteria from the water. Though not 100% effective, the filtration method helps lower the amount of these elements in the water to the approved amount. 

However, not all municipal water systems follow the exact same treatment method and may not have a sanitary water supply to begin with. Cities that are near industrial factories or farming communities may have a much higher level of pesticides, chemicals, and other contaminants than other areas. Additionally, cities with outdated water pipes can leach metals into the water, such as lead, that can flow from the city water systems through the pipes that go into your home. 

Meanwhile, tap water can also leave behind an unpleasant odor or taste or a cloudy appearance that doesn’t make it desirable to drink. Since a water quality report is only distributed annually, unless individual testing is performed, tap water could be affected without knowing for months. In short, despite a city’s water treatment methods, people may not have as clean of water as they might be led to believe. That’s why the use of home water filtration systems is popular today to improve the quality of tap water at the faucet.

There are different types available, but one of the most common is reverse osmosis. A reverse osmosis filter pushes unfiltered water through a semipermeable high-quality carbon filter membrane which removes impurities, dissolved solids (such as lead, arsenic, iron, mercury, etc.), and contaminants from tap water. It also removes the chlorine taste and smells from city-treated water, as that’s what’s typically used to disinfect water. What’s left is pure, clean water that tastes fresh. 

Benefits of Reverse Osmosis

The key benefit of using reverse osmosis is removing contaminants that plague tap water. Although no system can claim to remove 100% of impurities from water, reverse osmosis is highly effective. The process also eliminates the unpleasant odors that can come from tap water with high levels of chlorine or sulfur. Additionally, it gives people freshwater on-demand without resorting to buying single-use plastic bottled water to stay hydrated. 

By installing a reverse osmosis system in the home or business, it uses the tap water available and filters it, making it drinkable for all. This cuts down on both cost and the carbon footprint.

Our reverse osmosis drinking water systems effectively filter out 95-97% of total dissolved solids and other harmful contaminants, such as copper, lead, nitrates, arsenic, and other pollutants that regularly end up in tap water. This improves the taste, appearance, and quality of the water for everyday use.

Water Softener and Filter: Enjoying the Benefits of Both

Both the water softening and water filtration processes help to reduce   varying degrees of contaminants in your water. The difference is a water softener uses ion exchange as the catalyst in its mineral removal process and a reverse osmosis filter uses a semi-permeable membrane to remove contaminants from the water. Since they both have their unique advantages, it makes sense to have the benefits of both in one system.

The Guardian Series systems are designed as whole-home, multi-purpose units with the ability to both soften water AND greatly reduce chlorine, chloramines, bad tastes, and odors in the water. It conveniently combines the advantages of water softener and water filtration systems to improve the quality of the water in your home. It provides you with water quality that’s gentler on your plumbing, dishes, and clothing, while also being clean and refreshing enough to drink.

Each type of system has options based on the size of your home and your specific water needs. The good news is you don’t have to make a determination on your own. Our experts at Rayne Water will make recommendations to find the solution that will best fit your needs. Through the power of innovation and technology, everyone can have the quality of water they desire right from their own faucet.

How to Add Salt to Water Softener

Posted by Rayne Water

Tap water is available in various forms of softness, depending on the level of minerals it contains. Water softener systems add salt or potassium to change hard water to soft with various kinds of water softening salts to choose from. First, though, it’s good to know how to add salt to water softener systems. 

But before delving into that, let’s first distinguish the difference between a water softener vs water filter. Water softeners remove the calcium and magnesium that cause hard water. Meanwhile, a water filter removes unwanted compounds, which include but are not limited to debris, sand, dirt, sediment, etc.

Though water softener salt made from   Sodium Chloride is similar to table salt, the amount you need to soften water effectively is measured in pounds and must be added on a regular basis. In fact, the salt doesn’t even soften the water. Rather, it’s the resin beads that are responsible for changing hard water to soft.

A water softener process is made up of two tanks: the resin tank, often known as the mineral tank, and the brine softener tank. As the water flows in the resin tank, tiny resin beads change out calcium and magnesium found in tap water and replace them with sodium or potassium. This is a process known as ion exchange.

When the resin beads can no longer hold calcium and magnesium, they require to be refreshed, a process where they’re rinsed with a brine solution from the second tank. Brine is the solution made from the salt that’s been added to the tank. It’s the brine that drives the calcium and magnesium ions to be charged from the beads and changed with potassium or sodium ions. 

After the resin beads have been rinsed and refreshed, the brine is then flushed with fresh water and the process repeats.

Types of Salts to Add to Water Softener

In addition to knowing the basics of how to add salt to water softener systems, it’s also helpful to understand the different types of salt available for use. There are several varieties, including crystals, pellets, sea salt, rock salt, and potassium chloride. The type of salt that’s added to water makes a difference in how well it softens it.

Purity is a main factor to consider. The purity of salt references what percentage of other materials is present other than salt. Some salts contain less soluble materials and won’t last as long as salts without a high level of impurities. Additionally, a high purity percentage won’t leave as much residue left behind. Plus, pure salt dissolves easier and reduces the likelihood of clogging the system.

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

Salt Crystals 

Salt crystals are made by evaporating water from a salt and brine solution. This process leaves behind approximately 99.6% sodium chloride. This type of salt is most commonly recommended for smaller households that don’t use as much water as the average household.

Salt Pellets

Salt pellets are another option for water softening. These are made from refining salt crystals into 100% sodium chloride and are largely considered the best salt option to add to water softeners. Because of their effectiveness, they are often more expensive than other types of salt.

Sea Salt

Sea salt is produced by evaporating seawater. It dissolves easier than other salts and is typically less expensive. Its purity level reaches up to 99.5%, although sea salt has a higher percentage of impurities when compared to other salt types, which prevents it from dissolving as easily in hard water. This can result in salt bridging or salt mushing, which can ruin your tank if not cleaned properly.

Rock Salt

Although not as pure as other salt types, rock salt is still a solid option. True to its name, it consists of uneven salt pieces that look like rocks. Using rock salt as a softening agent leaves behind a residue in the basin, which requires frequent cleaning to prevent buildup.

Potassium Chloride

Finally, potassium chloride is an alternative to salt softeners for those who don’t wish to have salt added to their water source. This is a valuable option for those who have high blood pressure or other health concerns where salt usage must be limited.

Signs of Hard Water

Visually, soft water and hard water look the same. However, there are tell-tale signs of hard water that’ll indicate it may be time to add salt, two of which are soap scum and mineral deposits.

Soap Scum

Take a look around your sinks, showers, and counters. Do you notice a film that has built up on the surface? This residue or film is created by the mineral reaction in hard water when mixed with the soap used for cleaning, whether it’s shampoo, laundry detergent, or dish soap. The slimy film can be hard to keep clean and can be breeding areas where mold can grow more easily. 

In addition to seeing soap scum left behind, you’ll also notice it’s tougher to get a good lather when washing your hands or shampooing your hair. Hard water also makes it more difficult to fully rinse the hair free of shampoo. Because of this, people with hard water often end up using more soap to clean than necessary. A water softener system can help cut down on energy and costs working with hard water requires.

Mineral Deposits

Due to the amount of minerals in hard water, one of the most noticeable signs is the deposit left behind. Hard water mineral deposits appear in the form of water stains near the water source (faucets, tubs, sinks, and toilets) and can also start to form crusty deposits around your showerhead, affecting the water pressure quality. 

Depending on what types of minerals are found in your water, you may notice different colors of stains. Though mostly white or yellowish, if tap water contains iron, the deposits left behind may appear as a rust color. These deposits are then transferred to and can ruin clothes, dishes, and appliances.

Furthermore, any buildup prevents the flow of water, which affects the cleaning abilities of your appliances as well. As a result, your machines have to work harder, using more energy and water to do a thorough cleaning job.

Benefits of Water Softening

Hard water contains a significant amount of dissolved minerals, specifically magnesium and calcium, which are picked up through rocks and soil from groundwater sources. Depending on where the water source originates and how far it travels before reaching the tap is what makes some city water supplies harder than others. Though these types of natural minerals aren’t harmful to health (when in the regulated amounts), they do leave behind mineral deposits that affect everyday conveniences like doing laundry, washing dishes, and taking showers. 

Softening tap water removes minerals and eliminates hard water stains from fixtures, appliances, and clothing. It increases the longevity of the appliances that require water and allows you to use less soap and detergent, allowing you to save money. Water softening also contributes to softer skin and hair when bathing.

The type and level of salt needed to soften tap water depend on the building size, water usage, and water hardness levels. For instance, a smaller home may require nearly two 40-pound bags of salt every two months to maintain water at optimal softness levels. Whereas, larger homes and buildings that have a high level of minerals in the water will require more to achieve the desired water softness levels.

However, using too much salt or the wrong kind of salt for your water may result in a buildup, which can leave behind a residue or begin to form a crust that affects water quality and its effectiveness. Fortunately, you don’t have to determine what’s best on your own. We offer several different water softener maintenance solutions to meet your specific needs. 

Whole House Water Softener Systems

Water softener systems remove hard minerals from your tap water through the ion exchange process, leaving only softened water behind. This process is performed within the resin tank and the brine softener tank. Ion exchange resin beads and water are combined to allow minerals to attach to the beads and be flushed out of the tank by using either sodium chloride or potassium chloride. 

The brine tank then recharges the resin tank through the flushing process and is rinsed with salt water from the brine tank. With on-demand regeneration as part of our whole house water softener systems, it saves money and energy, using less water and salt and regenerating the water as needed.

Salt-Free Water Systems

Salt-free water systems are an alternative for people   who don’t want to add salt to their water. Though these water systems do not soften the water, they can help to reduce damage from hard water and provide soft water benefits. It’s an environmentally friendly solution that reduces hard water damage, reverses existing scale and corrosion damage, and reduces chloramine, chlorine, and bad tastes and odors commonly present in tap water. 

Depending on the quality and goals when using your existing tap water source, there are specific models within each category of water treatment systems. At Rayne Water, we can help you find the specific match of what’s needed for your home or business. There are also hybrid options and alternative water treatment methods to improve the quality of water as desired. 

It’s not unusual for a tap to dispense hard water, but when you want to change it for the better, a water softener system can make it more beneficial for everyday use.






How Often Does a Water Softener Regenerate?

Posted by Rayne Water


*Reviewed by Ken Christopher, Senior Vice President at Rayne Dealership Corporation

If you’ve taken the leap and installed a water softener, you’re likely enjoying the benefits. From easier cleaning to softer hair to longer-lasting appliances, the benefits of installing a water softener are numerous.1

Now that you’ve made the switch and are relishing in your new life of aquatic luxury, you might be wondering: how often does a water softener regenerate?

There are a wide variety of factors that affect the frequency of water regeneration.2 To help you decide whether to manually or automatically regenerate-and how often-we’ll take a deep dive into the world of water softener regeneration.

What Is a Water Softener?

You have a water softener—but do you understand what it actually does?

The first step on your journey to calculating your regeneration needs is to understand what makes water hard and how softeners correct the issue.

How hard is the water in your geographic area?

Here’s a simple breakdown of the water hardness scale:

Hard, untreated water can have numerous unwanted qualities. Yours might taste chalky, make your laundry stiff, ruin your coffee, or even take a toll on your plumbing. Luckily, a water softener can help improve your water quality and contribute to lower hard water minerals.

The Science Behind Water Softening

How does a water softener work?  Through the process of ion exchange, water softeners emit the mineral ions in hard water, softening the water before it ever flows from your faucet3

As a result, the unwanted minerals are removed.

Get started today! We specialize in providing the purest water possible!


What Is Water Regeneration?

Now that you understand water softening, you’re ready to take the leap into the world of regeneration.

As water flows from your taps, the process of ion exchange repeats, and, eventually, the resin beads become inundated with these hard minerals. 

So, what do water softeners do? Simply put, water regeneration is the process by which these beads are cleaned so they can continue their mission of softening your water.

There are three main options for the water regeneration process:

How Does a Water Softener Regenerate?

Generally, the water regeneration process takes about 85 to 90 minutes and involves four main steps:4

  1. In the backwash cycle, which takes about 10 minutes, the water reverses its flow to clean the tank.
  2. Next, salt brine solution flushes out unwanted hardness minerals, which takes 50 to 60 minutes. 
  3. This salt brine and the unwanted minerals are then sent down the drain, which adds another 10-15 minutes.
  4. Finally, new water refills the tank to make more brine for the next service cycle, taking 10 more minutes.5

What Factors Affect Water Regeneration Frequency?

As we noted, the average family’s water softener should regenerate every other day. But some families might need daily regeneration, while others need it only once per week.

This begs the question once again—How often should my water softener regenerate?

To calculate the answer, you’ll want to pay attention to two main factors:

  1. Water usage
  2. Water hardness  

In addition to your water usage and water hardness, you’ll also need to know:

Once you’ve determined these two numbers, you can input your water usage and water hardness to determine how often your water softener needs to regenerate. 

The Math for an Average Family

A typical family of four might use 75 gallons each, or 300 gallons total per day. This water usage encompasses standard activities like:

If that family has 25-grain water, they’ll divide 30,000—the capacity of their softener in grains-per-cubic-foot—by 25—the hardness of their water—to find that they can soften about 1,200 gallons between each regeneration cycle.

If this family of four has a 1-cubic-foot softener and 25-grain hard water, their water softener will regenerate every other day. On the other hand, with 12-grain water, the water softener regeneration cycle would occur every four days. With 50-grain water, it would need to regenerate every day.2

How to Complete A Household Water Audit

Many homeowners are unaware of how much water they actually use. Think about it—were you surprised to learn a typical family of four might use 500 gallons of water per day?

If you need to know how much water your family uses, you can complete a household water audit. Here are three easy ways to conduct this audit:

For faucets, collect water for 10 seconds and multiply the water quantity by six to calculate gallons per minute. For toilets, turn off the water supply, mark the water line, flush, fill the tank with tap water, and measure the volume of water required to reach the water line mark. For appliances, the manufacturer should specify the flow rate. 

Measure how many times per day you use each fixture. Multiply water flow per fixture by minutes per day and water flow per appliance by the number of times it’s used per week.6

How Do I Know If My Water Softener Is Regenerating?

If you’ve gone through the process of installing a water softener, you will want to ensure that it’s working correctly, so you receive its full benefits.

Two majors factors indicate your water softener isn’t regenerating properly:

  1. Changes in water pressure
  2. Observed water hardness

Cheaply made or poorly taken care of water softeners can result in these issues.7 That’s why you should ensure you buy a high-quality water softener from a trusted company like Rayne Water.

Your H2O Superhero: Rayne Water

You might have asked yourself the question: Do I need a water softener? Once you’ve experienced the benefits of a water softener, you’ll never want to go back. Who doesn’t want softer hair, cleaner dishes, and more efficient appliances?

Rayne Water can also help you get the most out of your water softener. We serve California and Arizona, offering a wide variety of products and solutions, including water filtration, drinking water systems, and, of course, water softeners.

Contact Rayne Water for all of your water treatment needs and to improve your water quality. We’ll never leave you high and dry.

Find a location near you!



  1. Rayne Water. Benefits of Soft Water and Having a Water Softener. 
  2. Driller. Steps for Regeneration for a Residential Water Softener. 
  3. Consumer Affairs. How Does a Water Softener Work? 
  4. Ibid.
  5. SF Gate. When Manually Regenerating a Water Softener, How Long for Each Cycle? 
  6. Maryland Department of the Environment. Conducting a Household Water Audit. 
  7. Best Spy. How Do I Know My Water Softener Is Working? 
  8. Rayne Water. How Does a Water Softener Work? 

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher

Do I Need a Water Softener?

Posted by Rayne Water

If you’re less than happy with your tap water, you might find yourself wondering, Do I need a water softener?

Water softeners are one of the most popular solutions for troubleshooting your spouts. In this short guide, we’ll discuss when and why you might need one.

What is Hard Water?

Before we dive in, it’s worth discussing the basics of hard water.1

How a Water Softener Can Help

Water softeners physically remove the minerals from your water. They work through a system of ionic exchange. Overall, soft water can cut energy costs, use less soap, and makes housework easier. 

In short, calcium and magnesium ions are exchanged for sodium (salt) ions. Since minerals are completely removed from the water, you’ll no longer have any potential negative effects. 

So, do you need a water softener? Below, we’ll look at several telltale signs that it’s time to soften your water.

How Do Water Softener Systems Work?

There are two tanks: the mineral tank (aka the resin tank) and the brine softener tank that facilitate the ion exchange process. The mineral tank does the majority of the water softening when sodium ions from brine solution swap places with the water hardness ions (mineral ions).

After this, the ion exchange resin beads combine with water, which attaches the hardness minerals to the beads. Following this step, the mineral tank is flushed with sodium chloride or potassium chloride, and the covered beads exit. 

The saltwater saturates the beads and removes any mineral ions and replaces them with a sodium ion. Finally,  the dissolved minerals are flushed and the system is ready to soften water again. 


#1 You (And Your Dishes) Just Don’t Get Clean

You use water to clean just about everything in your home, from your floors to your dishes to your body. If it feels like most things stay dirty, your hard water could be to blame.

Hard water can cause issues like the following:

Unfortunately, the minerals in hard water react with soap to create scum. Luckily, a water softener system can remove these minerals and, with them, the problem. 

Get started today! We specialize in providing the purest water possible!

#2 Your Laundry is Stiff as a Board

Do you find yourself shopping for dryer sheets every other week? No matter how many you include in your laundry, your clothing feels stiff and hard.

If even your coziest t-shirt chafes, the culprit is likely your hard water.

If you have hard water, minerals migrate from your water to your clothing. There’s nothing wool laundry balls can do. You need a water softener.

#3 Your Pipes Erode Quickly

Is your plumber constantly advising you to patch or replace your pipes?

It’s normal to be skeptical and prudent to get a second opinion. But hard water really can degrade pipes, especially older cast iron and copper pipes. Mineral deposits build up and eat away at the native metal over time, leading to leaks, rust, and eventually, plumbing problems. 

Of course, minerals aren’t necessarily the cause of your unpleasant water. 

However, water with a different bad taste and evidence of hardness (stiff laundry, etc.) often requires a more extensive treatment solution.

The Perfect Glass of Rayne Water

Want better water?

At Rayne Water, we make it our mission to purify your H2O. Whether you’re looking to improve the drinking water systems from a single faucet or upgrade your entire household to avoid the negative effects of hard water, we have a solution. 

If you have installed a water softener, you know the benefits of longer lasting appliances and softer hair. But you might need to know how often does a water softener regenerate? 

Get in touch today to learn more about the right water softener, water conditioner, or reverse osmosis system for your budget and needs.

We offer water treatment systems in different locations. Whether you are looking for water softener in Ventura or RO systems in Scottsdale, we can help. Contact us today!

Find a location near you!


  1. Water Research Center. Hard Water Hardness Calcium Magnesium Water Corrosion Mineral Scale.

How Do Salt Free Water Systems Work?

Posted by Rayne Water

Water is our most precious commodity. Aside from being essential to keeping us hydrated, our water supply makes it possible for us to cook our meals, clean our dishes, wash our clothes, and shower. 

That’s why what’s in your water affects more than just your health. If your water becomes over-encumbered with hard water minerals, you’re left with hard water—a frustrating and costly issue. Investing in a clean drinking water system can play a big role in your health over time.

In the past, the solution to hard water was installing a water softener to replace your water’s minerals with sodium. But that isn’t the only option anymore. With a salt free water system, this  system alternative can improve the quality of your water without adding salt to it. 

What is Hard Water?

When water travels underground to your home, it passes through mineral-rich stones and soil. During its journey, the water will dissolve small amounts of these minerals, which then cling to the water molecules and become part of the water itself. 

Like erosion, this water softener system process happens naturally over time. The water that comes into our homes most often collects calcium and magnesium—minerals that are commonly found in limestone and dolomite. Other substances, such as iron and aluminum, can also make their way into your water supply. 

As the amount of minerals and metals in your water increases, so does the hard water scale in your water. 

The Negative Impacts of Hard Water

Your hard water scale doesn’t actually affect the way the water feels. You may have hard water in your home and not even realize it. In fact, about 85% of American homes have problems with hard water.1 

Fortunately, hard water doesn’t pose a danger to your health. But that doesn’t mean it’s completely harmless. 

The soap you use to wash your hands, take a shower, clean your clothes, and run your dishwasher reacts to the excess amount of calcium within hard water. Instead of creating soapy suds, this reaction creates a solid build-up of minerals with hardness ions, resulting in stains, residue, and even skin irritation. If you’ve noticed that you’re constantly rewashing clothes, or using more soap than necessary to get your dishes clean, your water may be to blame. 

Hard water also affects your home’s plumbing. When your hot water heater warms up hard water in your home, the excess calcium forms solid deposits that attach to the inside of your water heater and your water pipes. Over time, these deposits clog your pipes and obstruct the flow of water. 

Not only does this lower your water efficiency, but it also shortens the life of your equipment. One study found that hot water heaters with hard-water calcium build-up perform 22% to 30% less effectively than water heaters without build-up.2 

Clogged pipes also decrease your water pressure, causing you to use more water. Aside from wasting resources, using more water also significantly raises the cost of your water bill. If hard water is left untreated, your pipes will eventually need to be completely replaced—a costly and time-consuming process. 

So how can you know if hard water is a problem for you and your home?

Common signs of hard water include: 

If you’ve noticed any of these issues, reach out to our experts at Rayne Water. Our professional readings can give you an accurate measure of your water’s hardness. 

Salt Based Water Softeners 

To combat hard water and its negative effects, sodium-based water softening systems were developed. These systems reduce levels of calcium and magnesium in hard water by replacing them with salt. Due to the demands of the system, salt based water softeners need to have access to electricity, as well as a drain. 

A whole house salt water softener is made up of two tanks—a resin tank and a brine tank. The resin tank is filled with negatively charged resin beads coated with positively charged sodium ions. When water travels through the resin tank, calcium and magnesium ions are attracted to the resin. The calcium and magnesium are drawn away from the water molecule, leaving room for the sodium ions to swoop in and take their place in the water. This process is known as ion-exchange. 

After mineral ions are drained from the system, the brine tank is used to refill the resin bed with sodium. Every few cycles, salt is added to the brine tank to ensure the system can operate properly.

Although salt water softeners effectively reduce the levels of calcium and magnesium in hard water, their use of sodium as a replacement can be a health concern. Salt water softeners also require maintenance. Not only do you have to add salt to your brine tank when it runs low, but you also need to regularly clean both the brine tank and the resin tank to prevent build-ups of iron, manganese, and salt bridges. 

Luckily, there’s an alternative solution that’s just as effective—a water softener without salt. Below include a few reasons to choose a water softener without salt

Water Softener Systems  starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

Salt Free Water Systems

As their name suggests, these water systems don’t require salt to reduce the levels of calcium and magnesium in hard water. In fact, they don’t reduce these minerals at all. 

So then how do salt free water systems work?

Rather than eliminating the minerals themselves, salt free water softeners eliminate the negative impact these minerals have by conditioning the water. 

Water Conditioning 

Water conditioning is achieved through a process called template-assisted crystallization (TAC). This process causes the minerals within the water to harden into microscopic crystals, sometimes known as seed crystals. 

These seed crystals work like powerful magnets, attracting the other minerals within your water. By binding to the crystals rather than to the pipes and surfaces in your home, minerals like calcium and magnesium can no longer cause build-up, filmy residue, or stains. Conditioned water can also make your clothes look brighter after washing them, and make your skin and hair feel hydrated and smooth after a shower. 

Some water conditioning systems can even reverse existing mineral build-up and damage within your pipes and equipment. This means you’ll experience an increase in water efficiency and pressure while lowering your water bill. 

Reverse Osmosis Filtration

Another way to soften your water without the use of salt is by installing a reverse osmosis filtration system. These systems physically filter your water by forcing it through a filtration membrane. The membrane contains microscopic pores that allow the water molecule to pass through, but not the minerals or metals within the water. 

Although whole house reverse osmosis systems are available, these filters are typically installed at a single tap. Because they also boast the removal of other contaminants, such as microbes, a reverse osmosis system can be a beneficial addition to the sink you rely on for your drinking and cooking water.

Benefits of Salt Free Water Systems

Both salt and salt free water systems are designed to prevent mineral build-up, eliminate skin irritation, and add years to the life of your water pipes and equipment. 

So what are the advantages of choosing a salt free water  system over a salt water softener?

How Much Does a Salt Free Water System Cost?

The cost of a salt free water system depends on the type and size of system you choose. Installing a whole house salt free water softener, for instance, will can cost more than installing a reverse osmosis system on a single faucet. 

Costs will also vary based on the size of your home, the amount of water you use, and the hardness of your water. 

Although it might be an initial investment up front, the amount of money you’ll save by increasing your water efficiency, extending the life of your equipment, and preventing plumbing issues, will more than make up for the cost. 

The Salt Free Solution to Hard Water  

Hard water is a common issue that can lead to costly damage down the line. If your dishware is spotty, your clothes are dull and stained, and your skin feels dry and irritated, your home’s water quality is likely to blame.

To get an accurate measure of your water’s hardness, or if you’re ready to install a salt free water softening system, contact Rayne Water today. We can give you a free in-home estimate and recommend the best system for your specific needs. Improve the condition of your water, reclaim your quality of life, and save money with Rayne Water. 

Find a location near you!


  1. USGS. Hardness of Water. 
  2. Water Research Center. Hard Water Hardness Calcium Magnesium Water Corrosion Mineral Scale. 
  3. NCBI. Potential Health Impacts of Hard Water.
  5. Home Tips. How to Buy a Water Softener System | Solve Hard Water Problems. 
  6. Healthline. Hard Water vs. Soft Water: Which One Is Healthier? 
  7. Scientific American. How do water softeners work?
  8. How Stuff Works. How to Clean a Water Softener Resin Tank.

How to Use a Water Softener

Posted by Rayne Water

If you’ve experienced the negative effects of hard water minerals buildup on plumbing and water fixtures—you know how beneficial a water softener system is. Or, if you’re looking to improve your water for drinking purposes, investing in a drinking water system can be key.

Fortunately, using a water softener is simple. And once the system is set up, it operates automatically outside of periodic recharging and regular maintenance. 

Whether you have or haven’t installed your system yet, you may be lost as to how the system works, or how it even operates. When setting up your system for the first time, it’s important to be aware of your environment so that the softening process can work with maximum efficiency. 

A Hard Water Refresher

Sometimes it’s easy to know that you have a hard water issue without knowing the specifics. If you’ve noticed mineral ions deposits on your pipes, dishes having stains after you wash them, or even coming out of the shower feeling itchy with dry skin—it’s likely hard water is to blame.

To what degree you have a hard water problem should be identified before choosing your water softener solution.

How Hard Water is Measured

Hard water is caused by hard minerals that get picked up as groundwater percolates through rocks underground. Often these minerals include calcium and magnesium, and as your pipes run, these are the minerals that will most often build up in and around them.1 

Water hardness is measured in Grains Per Gallon (GPG) of calcium carbonate:2

Once you know just how hard your water supply is, you can determine how to use a water softener system to minimize the mineral count in your water.


Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

Using Your Water Softener

Once a water-softening system is installed in your home, it runs fairly automatically. While a technician should be able to install your system and get it up and running, there are few things about your home and needs you should consider.

The Properties of Your Property

An important aspect of operating your water-softening system is knowing your home’s water usage on a daily basis. This will help determine the settings your system should operate at.

Recharging Your Soft Water System According to Your Needs

Briefly, a water-softening system works by pumping water loaded with calcium and magnesium into a chamber containing a plastic, porous, negatively-charged resin. As the positively-charged hard water enters the resin chamber, the calcium and magnesium particles stick to the resin, leaving the water much softer. 

Eventually, the resin will be too coated in minerals to function properly and will need to be recharged by pumping a super-salty water solution from the brine tank into the resin tank.3 The saltwater pulls the calcium and magnesium off the resin and is flushed away.

Because of this, you’ll need to set your system to recharge depending on how many gallons of water are used in your home. Usually you can determine this by how many people live in your home. 

The Right Place for Your System

Additionally, you’ll need to be aware of the best placement of your system in your home, especially if it’s a whole-house water softening system. With an installation from Rayne Water, your technician will be able to determine the optimal placement, whether it’s a whole house salt free water system or a reverse osmosis system for one or more faucets. 

Generally, you’ll want your system set up within a reasonable distance to a continuous power outlet and drain. If you have a hot water heater, it’s best to install the system before the water enters the heater. This will prolong the life of your heater and your water softening system, as hot water will cause it to wear out quicker. 

Unit Maintenance

In addition to running a recharge system, you’ll need to ensure that you’re maintaining your soft-water system to avoid a lapse inflow or buildup of minerals. 

Keeping Your Brine Tank Beautiful

Sometimes the salt level on the bottom of the tank will be used up before the salt on top. When this happens, a salt bridge is created. You’ll need to break it up and remove the larger chunks to get your tank running again.

Other times the salt might not properly dissolve and leave insoluble clumps on the bottom of the brine tank, which will also need to be cleaned out.

Resin Rejuvenation

Eventually, the resin in your resin tank will also need to be replaced, if not just cleaned out with a cleaning solution. You can buy special solutions for this, or carefully mix a diluted bleach solution, and then run a recharge cycle in order to return your resin back to full capacity.

Your Rayne Water System

Fortunately, with a Rayne Water system, the worries around installation will be taken care of by one of our professional technicians. Whether you’re looking for a  Salt free water system or another customized solution, we’ll advise you on the best system for your needs. We’ll also educate you on preventative maintenance and repairs along with how salt free water systems work, so you can operate your system with complete peace of mind.

Contact us today to get in touch with one of our water specialists to discuss your water softening needs. 

Find a location near you!


  1. Minnesota Department of Health. “Home Water Softening”
  2. Penn State Extension. “Water Softening”
  3. Popular Mechanics. Water Softener – What Is Hard Water and How Does a Softener Work?

A Guide to Whole House Salt-Free Water Systems

Posted by Rayne Water

The water in your home flows through almost every part of your life—it’s what you use to brush your teeth, fill your coffee pot, wash your hair, and clean your clothes. And the quality of that water can do incredible things for your day-to-day life.

From making it easier to wash dishes to extending the lifetime of your plumbing, softening the fresh water in your home is an essential upgrade. 

But once you’ve decided to make the change to a water softening system, you may be wondering about your options, including whole house saltless water softeners. In this guide, we’ll cover:

Hard Water vs. Soft Water

Understanding what makes water “hard” along with where your water falls under the hard water scale can help illuminate the methods that are used to “soften” it. Here’s what you need to know about a water softening system:

The fresh water you pour into a glass to drink or use to wash your hands before dinner takes a long journey before it reaches you. When groundwater percolates or passes through porous underground rock, it can pick up minerals and materials that are present there—most commonly calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate.

The mineral level in the water determines a water’s softness or hardness, meaning:

But does water’s softness really impact your day-to-day life? Here are just some of the negative impacts of hard water:

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

What is Water Softening?

Water softening is the process of removing the elements that make the water hard—calcium and magnesium—from your water supply. This works by drawing out the mineral hardness ions present in the hard water and replacing them with sodium ions—AKA salt.

However, there are ways to soften water that doesn’t involve the use of sodium of any kind while still softening the water.

But why go salt-free in the first place?

Why Choose A Whole House  Salt Free Water System?

How you choose to soften your water may make a big difference in your home and your entire region. Here are just a few reasons to choose a Salt Free Water System:

Whole House Salt-Free Water System Options

Whether you’re choosing a   Salt Free water system to support your health or to support nearby agricultural development, you can still enjoy all the benefits of softened water without the use of a salt based water softener. In fact, a salt free water system can have the same impact as one that utilizes salt.

Companies like Rayne Water offer a few different sodium-free methods for softening your water. 

So how do salt free water softeners work? In the following section, we’ll go a little deeper into each method and weigh its pros and cons.

Potassium-Based Softeners

Potassium-based systems work almost the exact same way that sodium-based systems do, except instead of leaving trace amounts of sodium in the treated water, it leaves trace amounts of potassium. 

This product is commonly chosen because potassium brine, a byproduct of this softening method, is reputed to have a better effect when it comes to agriculture.3

However, it costs much more to purchase potassium chloride than sodium chloride for use in a water softener. This high cost is something to consider when deciding which salt-free water softening method you’re interested in. 

Water Conditioners

Water conditioners don’t actually “soften” water—however, they can significantly help eliminate the effects of hard water on the home. 

Water conditioners use a special kind of resin known as Template-Assisted Crystallization—or TAC—media in order to encourage the minerals to bond together. Minerals in the water passing through a conditioner form tiny crystals instead of ending up as scaling in pipes. These crystals are undetectable; they’re small enough that they can’t be felt while drinking or washing, but the water will have the same taste as before. 

Water treated through a water conditioner will still have the same levels of minerals in it, but with a significant decrease in scaling.

Conditioners also function as filters and can remove things like chlorine, chloramines, and even organic contaminants. 

If you want the best of both worlds, it’s possible to purchase hybrid softeners and conditioners, which will remove calcium and magnesium from your water supply while also filtering out these contaminants.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is more of a filtration method than a water softening or even conditioning method. Reverse osmosis purifies water by forcing it through a semipermeable membrane that only allows water molecules through. This leaves behind the minerals that cause water’s hardness.

For this reason, many people consider reverse osmosis a very efficient system that results in the purest-tasting water.

Most reverse osmosis systems are a Point Of Use or POU system. This means they’re installed near faucets and in places where the water is needed and don’t filter the rest of the home. These systems are usually pretty small and can be installed right under the sink if need be. 

However, there are Point of Entry or POE systems. These install at the point of entry for water in the home and filter the water for the entire location. Rayne Water offers POE reverse osmosis systems that can be installed in these locations. 

Find the Right Softener for You with Rayne Water

The water in your home is essential to your day-to-day life. And choosing the right water softener for you requires extensive expertise and the best in water technology. That’s why you should trust Rayne Water with your softening needs. 

Rayne Water will put you in contact with a water professional who will help you make the best decision for your home, whether you want your water softened with potassium, conditioned to prevent scale buildup, or completely filtered altogether. 

We also provide commercial water treatment systems including Salt-Free Water Systems, RO systems, and whole house water filter and softener combos, etc.

Experience better, softer water with Rayne Water today!

Find a location near you!


  1. City of Dixon. Brine Discharging Water Softener Removal Program.
  2. Minnesota Department of Health. Home Water Softening: Frequently Asked Questions.
  3. Center for Watershed Science and Education, University of Wisconsin. ​An Alternative to Softening with Sodium. 

5 Reasons to Choose a Salt Free Water System

Posted by Rayne Water

Water is key to all life; more than 70% of Earth and our own bodies are made of water. We use water every day for drinking, cleaning, cooking, and bathing. Unfortunately, many home filtration systems use hard water, which comes with a host of problems. To fix this, you need to treat your water supply using a salt-based or salt free water softener. If you’re concerned about your drinking water, consider investing in a drinking water system that will keep poor water quality at bay.

To understand how salt free systems work, let’s first explain what hard water is and why people choose to soften it in the first place.

What is Hard Water?

Because water is a liquid, hearing it described as “hard” might sound counterintuitive. The term actually describes the quality, not the state, of water.

Hard water refers to the number of minerals naturally occurring in water. 

Rain contains little mineral content, but when it hits the ground, it absorbs various minerals from the local area—which you then use in your home. Different cities have different scales of hard water, “scale” meaning the number of grains-per-gallon (GPG) of hardness minerals in the water.

Why Soften Hard Water?

Compounds like calcium, magnesium, and silica are responsible for the “hardness” in water. These minerals may seem innocuous, but hard water is responsible for many problems, including:

The two popular methods of treating the hard water are: 

  1. Salt based water softener systems 
  2. Salt free water conditioner system 

The question is, which one is right for your household?

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

Salt Softener vs Salt Free Conditioner: Choosing the Right System for your Home

Water softeners and water conditioners both reduce the GPG of minerals found in hard water, but they operate in different ways. Water softeners use salt to remove hard minerals, while water conditioners employ a physical process to minimize the damage from those particles.

Water Softener—The Salt-based Solution

Using salt—another mineral—to soften already-hard water sounds backward. Wouldn’t that just increase the water’s hardness? 

The short answer is no; the long answer involves a process known as ion exchange.

To draw out the hard minerals from water, ion exchange uses a salt solution of positively charged sodium ions. The positive sodium ions replace (or exchange places with) the positive hard mineral ions in the water. The hard minerals then attach to negatively charged resin beads in a resin tank, leaving the water supply with a smaller number of sodium ions and a greatly reduced mineral count. 

Water Conditioning—The Salt Free Solution

Water conditioners physically treat water. Instead of removing hard minerals via ion exchange, water conditioners reshape the minerals’ structure, changing the way the minerals travel through pipes.

This method causes a small amount of the hard minerals to crystalize. These small crystals attract other loose particles since their preferred state is this crystalline structure. Therefore, the hard minerals will bond with each other rather than attaching to surfaces around your home.

Now that we’ve discussed these two systems, why should you choose the salt free system?

5 Reasons to Choose a Salt Free Water System

You may be wondering how to use a water softener and the reasons behind choosing  a salt free system . There are many reasons to choose a water softener without salt, including:

  1. Easy drain system – With a salt free water system, you won’t have to worry about periodically flushing and replenishing your brine solution (as you would have to with salt based water softeners).
  2. Sodium content – If you want to avoid adding more sodium to your diet, the salt free water system crystallizes hard minerals without the use of salt.
  3. Power – Unlike salt softeners, many salt free conditioners do not require electricity to operate. This makes installation easier.
  4. Space – Being salt-free, these systems don’t require the use of a secondary brine tank. This is a great solution if space is a limiting factor in your home.
  5. Added filtration – Salt-free water conditioners also incorporate other types of filtration, allowing them to reduce disinfectants used to treat tap water such as chlorine, chloramines, suspended solids, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

How Much Does a Salt Free Water System Cost?

A water softener system, salt or saltless, can cost anywhere between $300–$4,000.

This wide range is due to the fact that there is no one size fits all model; variances in location, the hardness of the water, and systems all lead to different prices.

While water softener and conditioner systems can be an upfront investment, Rayne Water makes it easy to get started. They offer a variety of options including rentals, purchase, and financing.

With Rayne Water systems, it has never been easier to invest in your home and your livelihood. 

Water is the key to life, and Rayne Water is the key to softer water.


  1. Water Quality Association. Scale Deposits.
  2. World Health Organization. Nutrients in Drinking Water.