What’s the big deal if your home has a soft water loop?
It’s really not a “end of the world” kind of big deal, you will still have water to your kitchen sink, dishwasher, ice maker and so on. The problem comes in when you expect high quality treated water in your kitchen.
You see, a soft water loop was conceived decades ago when the only real option for soft water in the home was a salt-based water softener. Builders began plumbing homes with a soft water loop to provide soft water to specific areas of the home.
There are variations of plumbing a soft water loop. The simplest is to separate the inside and outside of the home so only the inside gets soft water. Perhaps the most common variation is where the outside and kitchen cold water are separate from the rest of the home and do not get soft water.
Why a soft water loop?
The reasons are many but the primary one is because water softened with a salt-based softener comes with problems. To address the problems a home is often plumbed to provide untreated water to certain areas of the home.
One reason often cited as to why it is smart to plumb a home with a soft water loop is to separate the inside and outside of the home. The reason for the separation is to save money by not softening water used outside the home. The idea is the homeowner will save money on salt and waste water created to regenerate the salt-based softener if they only treat the inside water.
But, saving money is not the only reason. There are many problems with water softened through a salt-based softener that are often overlooked but they are none the less every bit as important.
Common Problems caused by a salt-based softener:
- It is harmful to many plants, gardens, trees and lawns. Many will die and others will never reach their full potential.
2. It may be harmful to individuals on a salt restricted diet.
3. Many pets can’t tolerate the increased salt or simply will not drink the water.
4. It changes the taste of water and beverages such as coffee and tea.
It is common to install a point of use RO (reverse osmosis) system under the kitchen sink to strip out the hardness minerals and chlorine to produce water for drinking and cooking and watering plants and pets. The RO water is typically delivered through a separate faucet near the sink. With this configuration your kitchen sink is still untreated. Sometimes your refrigerator is connected to the RO for drinking and ice water.
If your home has a soft water loop you can treat the water at your main kitchen faucet with our ICS-TPU and you will not have to install an expensive and environmentally wasteful RO.
The ICS-TPU is simply a smaller version of our very popular whole house ICS-TP salt free softener. It will remove bad chlorine taste and odor and soften the water for your drinking and cooking and, if connected, to your dishwasher and ice maker all very simply and effectively.
If you have a RO with a separate faucet you can upgrade by replacing it with the ICS-TPU and you can even keep the separate faucet if you desire.
How can you tell if your home has a soft water loop?
Here are some things to check;
1. If your home has a POU RO this is a sign your home may have a soft water loop
2. Your plumbing at your softener may be labeled as such
3. The electrical circuit providing power to your salt-based softener may be labeled as such
4. If you turn off the water at your softener you will still have water flowing in your kitchen and/or outside faucets.
Salt free softeners make soft water loops a thing of the past
Salt free water softeners make a soft water loop totally unnecessary. Every reason for having a loop is eliminated and salt free water softeners don’t cause any of the problems salt-based softeners do.
Tips for finding a salt free water softener
- Buy your softener from a reputable manufacturer.
- Look for independent 3rd party certifications to back up claims being made.
- Verify there are clear operating conditions that spell out water quality and flow rate limits. Verify your water quality is within the operating conditions.
- Check the manufacturer’s satisfaction policy.
- Don’t buy anything before you get clarity on questions. Call the manufacturer if their website doesn’t answer all questions.