As you may already know, most of the water softeners units (including the most popular ones) work using a technology known as Ion exchange, which is considered the classical method of treating hard water. Other newer methods have appeared, namely water conditioners using magnetic fields and salt-free softeners using Template Assisted Crystallization or TAC, both with their advantages and disadvantages, and while electric water conditioners have never proved efficient and popular enough to capture a significant share of the market. However, the newer Template Assisted Crystallization water softeners have proved more effective in reducing the negative effects of water hardness.
Magnetic water conditioners and TAC softeners do not really remove the salts that cause hardness in water; worse yet, magnetic water conditioners render these salts harmless for 48 hours at most, while TAC softeners disable them permanently. TAC softeners change the hardness molecules from salts to crystals which are completely harmless.
The Green Wave Cascade from US Water Systems is one of such softeners, which means that, while it does not directly removes the salts that cause hardness in water, it effectively reduces the harmful effects such salts have when dissolved in water and increase its hardness.
Some of the advantages of TAC softeners is that they do not require salt or any other additives to work, while Ion exchange softeners require a constant supply of common salt (sodium chloride), and because they do not remove anything they do not create any waste water as Ion exchange softeners do, which means TAC devices are smaller and less complex, so they require less maintenance, are easier to install or uninstall and there are less things that can go wrong so they break down more rarely than regular Ion exchange softeners.
As you might know, the size and capacity of a water softener is measured in Grains per gallon or GPG, which gives you the amount of grains of salts the softener can remove for every gallon of water it treats. The Green Wave Cascade comes in three different capacities: 10 GPG, 15 GPG and 20 GPG, so there is a model available capable of covering whatever may be the needs of your household.
Some of the advantages of the US Water Systems Green Wave Cascade 12 GPM are:
- It requires no salt or other additives to work, unlike regular Ion exchange water softeners
- It requires much less maintenance than regular Ion exchange water softeners, you will only have to replace the filter every now and then
- It creates no waste; since it does not remove anything from the water, it does not creates any waste it has to dispose of
- It does not need any electricity to work, it even does not has any moving parts
- This model comes in 3 different sizes: 10 GPG, 15 GPG and 20 GPG
- This model can be physically small and has a compact fit (the pre-filter hasa diameter of 4 ½” and 20” of length)
Some of the disadvantages of the US Water Systems Green Wave Cascade 12 GPM are:
- It can be quite expensive, especially when compared to regular Ion exchange models; however, this is somewhat offset by the fact that it will only require filter replacements every now and then
- But… The filter cartridges can be expensive themselves
- Being a TAC softener, it will not eliminate the salts that cause hard water, it will just neutralize the salts and leave them there but in the form of crystals
- It has a warranty for 3 years and the individual pieces have lifetime warranty, which is ok, but most other softeners have a much longer warranty and some Ion-exchange models have a lifetime warranty
While I may not like Salt-free softeners very much, I accept that they can be very effective and very convenient with their elegant and simple mechanism which requires very little maintenance and has a very small size.
If you are one of those who prefer Salt-free systems, then this model is definitely for you: it has a model for the needs of each household and has a very high quality. If you have the budget for this and you like Salt-free softeners, then this is definitely the (almost) perfect system for you.