Is a Water Softener Really Necessary?

Do you like water that makes your skin dry, flaky, sometimes itchy and possibly cause acne, dermatitis or eczema? How do you feel about water leaving a film and dull look on your dishes, pots and pans, glasses, or silverware? Do you like laundry that feels rough, color dims quickly and loses its flair long before its time? What about soap that doesn’t really lather in your hands as easily, doesn’t clean as well and has lost its effectiveness because of your water… is this alright with you? Well, we’re not done…

What about water that leaves a ring around the tub and soap scum film on the shower walls, does it make you want to take a bath? How do you feel about a loss in water pressure when turning on the shower because of scale buildup in your pipes? And the appliances, how does your water affect them?

Hard water, the culprit of all the forementioned turmoil, also reduces the lifespan and effectiveness of major and minor appliances, like the coffee maker, the dishwasher and the hot water tank. Plumbing fixtures may dull and have a shell scale buildup on the outside of them.

If you wrinkled your brow or raised your eyelids while reading any of the above, then keep reading to find out why a water softener is necessary and may be right for you.

Hard Water Times

In the US 85% of homes have hard water. Water is considered “hard” if it contains high levels of calcium and magnesium. Ground water passes over rocks underground where it picks up these mineral and other sediments before it is pumped into your home via a private well or a municipality. It is the hardness of water that causes the trouble times mentioned above. Don’t fret, there is good news… a water softener can be installed!!

Role of a Water Softener

A water softener is a whole house filtration system that softens hard water supplies coming into homes and businesses. The goal of water softening is to remove magnesium, calcium, iron and other undesirable minerals from your hard water supply through a process called ion exchange. The process turns your water from hard to soft by replacing the unwanted minerals with a small amount of sodium. A water softener goes through a process of regeneration where the softener flushes out the minerals it catches from the hard water so it can continue to soften new water as it comes through. Now all you have to do is choose — electric or non-electric water softener.

Electric vs. Non-Electric Systems

The Electric Water Softener

The original water softening system is the Electric Water Softener. It uses an electric timer to determine when the resin bed (what washes the water) inside the tank needs to be regenerated. As a result, the timer activates the water softening process by flushing the resin bed with water and salt at the same predetermined time each day to start the softening process. Please note… unexpected changes, such as high-water demand or power outages, may also cause a change in your available conditioned water.

Non-Electric Water Softener

Kinetico Water Systems is credited with developing the first non-electric twin tank, automatic water softener system. This non-electric system is made up of two tanks joined by a single module that automatically regulates the water softening process by shifting the water from one tank to the other only as water is used. This system utilizes a meter that spins as water runs through it to measure and monitor the amount of water demand – determining when water cleaning needs to happen. By using two tanks, the non-electric system keeps pace with the household – while decreasing the amount of salt and water used in the process – assuring there is no lapse in your availability of conditioned water — even when the electric goes out. Learn more about the Kinetico Non-Electric Water Softener here

What’s Really in the Difference?

Both Electric and Non-Electric Water Softeners will get the job done. Water softeners, both electric and non-electric, produce softened water that minimizes costly accumulation on water-using appliances, eliminates white scale buildup on sinks, fixtures, and glassware, is gentler on skin, hair, and clothes, and they provide overall clean, fresh water. There are obviously still some differences when choosing the right system for your home or business. 

A Comparison in a Nutshell


  • Uses programmed – timed regulation.
  • More salt and water may be used due to unnecessary programmed timing.
  • Insensitive to increased water usage, possibly leaving you with hard water at times.
  • An electric surge from a storm may affect this system.
  • May need to disconnect, bypass, reset or reprogram if going on vacation or from a storm.

*Updated systems have improvements to concerns listed.


  • No time. It uses automatic regulation based on real-time demand.
  • 24/7 soft water as needed.
  • No worries about a power outage because the system is non-electric.
  • No worries about leaving this one while on vacation. Not reset or re-programming needed.
  • Reduced amount of water and salt needed – ultimately saves money.
  • Substantially longer life expectancy, 3-4 times longer, with less maintenance required.

Choosing the Right System for You

The first step in choosing the right system for your needs and your location is to schedule a professional water analysis. Gordon Bros will come to you and perform a free water analysis. Once we know the condition of your water, we can discuss the Electric and Non-electric Water Softener Systems in detail with you. We have multiple options to choose from including our Kinetico Premier XP Series and Kinetico Signature Series Water Softeners. Give us a call today at (800) 331-7611 or visit us online at to schedule your free, in-home analysis! We would love to have you join our Gordon Bros family.

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