There are typically four different types of water softeners. The four types of water softeners are Ion exchange, salt free, reverse osmosis and magnetic.
The Different Types of Water Softeners:
Salt free water softeners are the preferred type by consumers. Salt free water softeners uses a filter so no chemicals, potassium or salt is required. This means that the minerals in the water are not effected. The only disadvantage is that they are not recommended for very hard water.
Ion exchange softeners exchange the ions in the water with sodium or potassium ions. This removes the ions that cause the hardness in water and can prolong the use of washing machines and dish washers. This type is not recommended for drinking water due to the high sodium levels.
Magnetic softeners use magnets in or around water pipes so that the magnetic field will alter the water. The disadvantage is that water will return to a hard stage within 48 hours after leaving the magnetic field.
Reverse osmosis softeners use pressure to remove impurities through a semi-permeable membrane. This does remove up to 98% of impurities.