Frequently Asked Questions


I already have a water quality test. Which treatment do I need?
Sample water test bottle

A small bottle can tell a lot of information.

Once you get the results from your water test, review the “Conditions for Operation” for the system you want to purchase to ensure your system will work for your situation. Every product has a TAB for it’s Conditions for Operation on its web page.

If you have any questions about the results and whether our system will meet your needs Contact Us.


Is PolyHalt® safe to drink?

NSF Certified PolyHalt

Yes, PolyHalt® is safe to drink and this health claim is independently 3rd party certified by NSF. PolyHalt® is certified to NSF/ANSI standard 60 Drinking Water Treatment Chemicals – Health Effects. The NSF/ANSI and product function is Corrosion & Scale Control.

PolyHalt® is also certified to NSF/ANSI standard 42 PolyHalt® Drinking Water Treatment Units – Aesthetic Effects.PolyHalt® is safe for human consumption. It is tasteless, odorless and colorless.

Click Here if you would like to know more about Cascadian’s PolyHalt® technology

What is Cascadian’s PolyCor™ technology?

Cascadian PolyCor Technology

Developed by Cascadian Water,  PolyCor™ technology is a major contributor to the eco-friendly nature of ICS water treatment systems. PolyCor™ technology provides a secure way to place PolyHalt® within the core of another filter. PolyCor™ reduces the total number of filters in a system while providing the same water quality.

For example; let’s say you have chlorinated city water that is also hard. Before PolyCor™ the treatment system was a double filter housing. One filter removed the chlorine. The second filter softened with PolyHalt®. With PolyCor™ technology treatment requires one less filter. Only one filter is required to do both, remove chlorine and soften the water.

Reducing the number of filters required to make complete treatment keeps the system cost down and reduces the size of the system too.

The first treatment systems were built using PolyCor™ technology in 2013. As a result, older Cascadian water treatment systems required an extra cartridge. With PolyCor™, treatment systems now require one less cartridge, meaning some 2- and 3-filter systems have one fewer filter and now use 1 or 2 filters respectively.

If you happen to have an older Cascadian system that has 2 or 3 housings you will have one empty housing with the new replacement filter kit. You can leave the empty housing empty without affecting treatment. Certainly, you may choose to add and additional filter for added treatment. Contact us with any questions.

Click Here to learn more about PolyHalt

What is the PolyHalt® salt free water softening system?

NSF Certified PolyHalt

PolyHalt® changes the water treatment industry

PolyHalt® is an effective replacement for salt-based ion exchange softening. The PolyHalt® salt free water softening system uses ion bonding to soften your water. In contrast to conventional salt-based ion exchange softeners ion bond softening does not use salt or produce waste water. Therefore a PolyHalt® softener is much better for our environment.

Compared to salt-based ion exchange softener everything is simpler with a PolyHalt® ion bond softener. No complicated system set up or control valve to program and consequently no need to be a water treatment specialist. Because ion bond softening does not produce waste water it does not need a drain. A result of not needing a drain is that installation is simple as it gets and much faster. Furthermore, you have more options as to where to locate your softener.

A PolyHalt® treatment system includes everything needed to treat your water. A system includes one or more filters, housings, wrenches, o-rings and lubricant. Optional installation kits, leg kits and bottom drains are also available.

PolyHalt® is based on naturally occurring  phosphorous. Other benefits of PolyHalt® include that it is tasteless, odorless and colorless. Cascadian Water manufactures PolyHalt® which is independently 3rd party certified by NSF safe for treating drinking water. As a result, PolyHalt® salt free water softening systems are approved for use where salt-based ion exchange systems are banned. If you live in California or other places where salt-based softeners are banned a PolyHalt® ion bond softener if for you.

Click Here if you would like to know more about Cascadian’s PolyHalt® technology

Select environmental benefits of PolyHalt®

Salt-based ion exchange water softening systems use around 30 bags of salt and about 10,000 gallons in water waste a year. Consider this; after 15 years of use a single salt-based ion exchange softener could use 450 bags of salt (7.5 pallets) and waste 150,000 gallons of water. In contrast ion bond salt-free water softening is far more economical and eco-friendly way to soften your water.

Which ICS water filtration and softening system do I need?
Water Inspector

Let’s get your water fixed!

To answer this you must identify your water treatment problem(s). Some problems are easy to identify, such as chlorine or rotten egg taste and odor, or iron staining. Other problems are more difficult to identify and will require a water test. We have a variety of water filtration systems designed to treat all the different problems you may be facing. You may need more than one treatment system to fix all the different problems with your water.  Water can be complex but you will get your water fixed.

If you are part of a city water program (you get a water bill each month), you probably don’t need to have your water tested.

If you know the water problem you are facing, please go to our Products page and filter by the water issues you are experiencing.

If your water is supplied by a well, then you need to have your water tested before you purchase one of our systems. You need to have your water tested because your water is not receiving any treatment to meet minimum water quality standards. No system will eliminate all impurities from your water.

Click Here for help with getting a water test and what to test for


Can I buy commercial high flow salt free softeners?

ICS-CT35P PolyHalt Light Commercial SoftenerYes we have we have high flow salt free softeners. Commercial installations include hotels, restaurants, casinos, schools and even dairy farms treating 100 or more gallons per minute. Other high flow customers include breweries, wineries and bakeries. Our commercial high flow salt free softeners treat flows starting at 35 gpm per system. Furthermore, our largest single system will treat 500 gallons per minute.

Finally, the easiest way to get higher flows in a a residential applications is to install multiple whole house salt less water softeners in parallel. Because of multiple softeners the flow rate that can be treated is equal to the combined rating of the individual PolyHalt® systems.

Interested in learning more?
Click Here to see Cascadian Clear Water Treatment Blog Posts

Can I install a saltless water softener system on a hot water circulating pump?

No. The proper application would be at the cold water inlet to your hot water or boiler. If installed on a hot water circulating pump, PolyHalt® will build up in the water and may cause concentrations that are too high and cause PolyHalt® deposits. Always install in the cold waster line to the hot water heater.

Can I install a saltless water softener system on my irrigation system?

Yes. Keep in mind though that high water volumes (like those needed for an irrigation system) decrease cartridge life and increase how often the PolyHalt® cartridge will need changing.

How do I install my whole house water treatment system?

For installation of your new whole house water treatment system, it is required that you know some basic plumbing knowledge and have the appropriate tools. Each water softener or water filtration system comes with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions. If you prefer, you can call a plumber or water treatment specialist to install it for you.


Do salt free water softeners work?

What is PolyHaltIon Bond Softening is Way Cool Science

Cascadian PolyHalt® Salt Free water softeners do soften your water.

PolyHalt® water softeners use Ion Bonding to soften the water whereas conventional salt-based softeners use Ion Exchange to soften.

One major difference between the PolyHalt® softener and conventional salt-based water softeners and is that PolyHalt® softens by forming a strong ionic bond with hardness minerals to change the way they behave. Once hardness minerals have bonded with PolyHalt® the treated water is soft. Hard water minerals have bonded and changed. Minerals are unable to cause hardness-related water quality problems.

With a PolyHalt® salt free softener hardness minerals remain in the water. The treated minerals are changed and no longer cause all the problems untreated hardness minerals do.

A second major difference between ion bond and ion exchange softening is the way the softened water feels when rinsing soaps away. Ion bond softened water does not make you feel slippery or slimy when rinsing like salt-based ion exchange softening does.

Click Here to learn more about PolyHalt

Do tannins affect the PolyHalt® water softening system?

Tannin stains in dishwasher The short answer is maybe. There is an untold number unique tannins and some do indeed prevent PolyHalt® from working as well as it should. If they are in your water you must run a trial to determine they are not a problem. When present performance is not guaranteed.

To be safe, as a rule we do not recommend using PolyHalt® treatment in waters containing tannins.

What are Tannins?

They are acids formed when vegetable matter rots and decays. They can cause water to be colored but may also be clear, can stain and they cause most types of water treatment to under perform or even fail. Tannic and fulvic acids can be found in surface or ground water and cause water treatment to fail because they stick to filtration media coating it so it can not work.

Testing for them is really important if your water comes from a private well or other rural sources. Most laboratories do not test for them as part of routine testing, you must ask for the separate test.

If your water is supplied by a well, then you need to have your water tested before you purchase one of our systems. You need to have your water tested because your water is not receiving any treatment to meet minimum water quality standards. No system will eliminate all impurities from your water.

Click Here for help with getting a water test and what to test for

Interested in learning more?
Click Here if you would like to know more about Cascadian’s PolyHalt® technology

Does hot water effect PolyHalt® softened water?

Appliance Protection

Heating PolyHalt® softened water:

Does hot water effect PolyHalt®? Once PolyHalt® has formed ion bonds with minerals to soften the water it will maintain all its features at temperatures up to a maximum of 200°F. It is because of this ability that PolyHalt® works so well to keep dishes clean and hot water tanks working efficiently. At temperatures above 200°F the complex formed between minerals and PolyHalt® begins to break down. PolyHalt® will continue to protect plumbing from low pH and aggressive water.

Using PolyHalt® to soften hot water:

Starting at 140 degrees F and as water temperature increases PolyHalt® ability to form ionic bonds with minerals begins to change. Fewer ion bonds will be formed as temperature increases.

PolyHalt® soft water is safe and recommended for all water heater types; tank or tankless, gas or electric.

Heating hard water

There are many variables to consider when deciding what temperature to heat water. The recommended temperature of hot water for use in the home is 120° – 125° Fahrenheit. Water above 125° at the point of use will scaled and may cause death.

Heating water with untreated hardness minerals causes the minerals to fall out of solution and form scale. If not treated these minerals will form scale inside the water heater and reduce heater efficiency. Reduced efficiency translates to increased energy costs to heat the water. Untreated hardness minerals will also build up inside the water heater and may even reduce water flow resulting in not having enough hot water for normal uses. These problems are especially significant when heating with tankless water heaters. Tankless water heaters require softened water as a condition of operation and to maintain factory warranty.

Click Here to learn more about PolyHalt

How long before my PolyHalt salt free water softener starts working?

The PolyHalt® salt free water softener system will begin working immediately upon installation. Turn on the tap and enjoy newly softened water.

How many grains (parts per million) hardness will my PolyHalt salt free water softener treat?


The hardness limit for successful treatment is 25 grains or 427 ppm (mg/L) grains hardness for one PolyHalt® salt free water softener system.

If the hardness level of the water is beyond this level, PolyHalt® will work to form ion bonds with as much of the hardness minerals as possible. Whatever grains of hardness remains untreated from this first cartridge would be “free” hardness or untreated hardness.

In order to treat higher hardness levels simply use additional filters. For higher flow rates consider using the high flow commercial water softening systems that we offer.

Click Here to find out what a “grain” of hardness really is

Is my Cascadian water treatment or softener system working?

As long you notice an improvement in your water, your water treatment or softener system is working. Our filters are designed to last an entire year and the vast majority of our customers get a full year of treated water from their filters.

What flow rate can I expect from my PolyHalt® water softener?

Cascadian PolyHalt® whole home salt free water softeners have a maximum peak flow rate of 15 gpm (gallons per minute). Of course you will get the best treatment at more moderate flow rate of 5-8 gpm or less.

How much water is 15 gpm?

Typical residential flow rates are as follows;

  • Bath Tub = 3 – 5 gpm
  • Bathroom sink faucet = 1-3 gpm
  • Kitchen sink faucet = 2-4 gpm
  • Shower head = 2-6 gpm
  • Outdoor hose bib = 2-6 gpm

Please refer to each product page for complete individual details. If you are interested in more flow details look at flow verses pressure drop charts in the “CHARTS” tab on product detail pages.

Do you have higher flow requirements ? The maximum flow rate of commercial high flow PolyHalt® softener systems is 500 gpm per unit.

Click Here to see all products

Why does my water look bad after PolyHalt® water softening?

The PolyHalt® water softening system is a powerful tool that will clean existing mineral build-up out of pipes and appliances.

While PolyHalt® does its job, you may temporarily experience poor water quality. This is temporary. It can last for 30 – 60 days, depending on the severity of build-up in your existing system. Following this clean-out period, your water will clear and your pipes and appliances will be free of mineral build-up.

Will chlorinated water affect the PolyHalt softener system?

No, chlorinated water does not affect nor is affected by the PolyHalt® water softening system.

Will I still have hard water spots after water softening?

Shower DoorWhen softening water for drinking or domestic purposes there is no true “spot-free” water softening solution. Technically the hard water spots we are talking about are “evaporative spots”. Evaporative spotting occurs when water containing minerals evaporates off a surface. When water containing minerals evaporates the minerals (harness, salt, iron etc.) concentrate and form a spot.

So, even after softening you may still experience “hard water” spots. The difference between softened and hard water is that the spots are much easier to clean when they do form. The best way to avoid hard water spots is to simply wipe up any standing water before it evaporates.

To be clear, there are treatment techniques and process for treating hard water that result in spot free water but the water is not suitable for drinking or domestic use.

Click Here to learn more about PolyHalt

Will PolyHalt® change the way my water tastes?

No, PolyHalt® is tasteless, odorless, and colorless, so there will be no changes in how your water tastes. If your water has bad taste you will need a treatment designed to fix the bad taste. It is possible to purchase a Cascadian PolyHalt® treatment system that will fix chlorine taste and odor at the same time it softens your water without adding an extra filter.

Check out these PolyHalt® ion bond softener systems with treatment for chlorine taste and odor;
ICS-TP – Chlorine Filter with Salt Free Water Softener System | Whole House
ICS-STP – Sediment Filter, Chlorine Filter and Salt Free Softener System | Whole House

Will PolyHalt® harm my RO (reverse osmosis) unit?

No, PolyHalt® will not harm the membrane in your reverse osmosis unit. PolyHalt® forms a very strong ion bond with minerals creating a new complex. Because the complex created when PolyHalt® bonds with minerals in water is so strong it is not broken during membrane filtration. Also, the mineral complex is physically larger than untreated minerals alone. This stronger and larger complex improves membrane treatment systems. Because the complex is rejected at the membrane surface minerals do not enter the membrane unable to foul.

We have dealers that use PolyHalt® upstream of every reverse osmosis system. This is because they have found PolyHalt® makes their membrane systems function better and longer. Membrane systems using PolyHalt® require less maintenance and pass more water between services or membrane and filter replacements.

PolyHalt® ion bond water softening prior improves membrane filtration of all types and sizes. It is important to verify the flow rate required by the membrane does not exceed that of the chosen PolyHalt® ion bond softener.


How do I change my PolyHalt salt free water softener filter?

It’s super easy! Enclosed with every saltless water softener replacement filter are step-by-step instructions, explaining exactly what to do. The filter change takes about 15 minutes and is simple to perform. Filters are designed to last a full year in most cases. You only need to change your filter about once a year.

How do I do the soap test to find if my salt free water softener is still working?

You can do this simple test to determine if there is still adequate PolyHalt® in your water treatment system. The soap test compares the amount of soap suds that form in the untreated water to the treated water.

To perform the soap test:

  1. Get two clean water bottles with lids (about 20 oz each).
  2. Fill one of the bottles half-full with untreated water and the other bottle half-full with PolyHalt® treated water.
  3. Add one small drop of liquid dish soap to each bottle and cap tightly.
  4. Vigorously shake both bottles then set side-by-side to compare the amount of soap suds.
  5. If the treated water forms much denser suds and fills or nearly fills the bottle with suds, your PolyHalt® cartridge system is working. Yay!
  6. If the two bottles have nearly the same amount of suds, it is time to replace your PolyHalt® system cartridge(s).
How long will my Cascadian PolyHalt salt free water softener filter last?

The short answer is; The filter in your salt free water softener is designed to last one full year.

Over 99% of our customers replace their filter once every year. Once in a while a customer uses enough water or the water is “bad enough” that they have to change their filter a little more often than once per year.

It may be time to change filters when:

    • You notice a significant pressure drop/reduced flow
    • Chlorine taste or odor returns
    • Deposits or stains return
    • Periodic water test results indicate your problem has returned
What is the warranty on the PolyHalt® salt free ion bond water softener?

In the unlikely event that you have trouble with your saltless water softener system, we will repair, modify, or replace it at no cost to you (depending on the circumstances).

To qualify for this warranty, replace your water softener cartridges at least once per year and use only replacement cartridge kits which are designed for the ICS (Integrated Cartridge Solutions) water treatment system.

Click Here for full warranty details.

Have a Question?

Pin It on Pinterest