Our guides are backed by data and real world testing.
- 1 Expert Water Softener Reviews
- 2 Traditional Water Softeners
- 3 Here Is The List Of The Best Water Softener SystemWith Our Expert Review:
- 3.1 Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener with a Digital Meter
- 3.2 Whirlpool Water Softener WHESFC Pro Series
- 3.3 iSpring ED2000 Water Softener-Electronic Descaler
- 3.4 Aquasure AS-SE1500A Water Treatment System
- 3.5 Nuvo H2O Dphb-a Water Softener System
- 3.6 AFWFilters WS-96k-91SXT Fleck 9100SXT Water Softener
- 3.7 Watts M7002 Flow-Pur RV-Pro Water Softener
- 3.8 Tier1 Essential Digital Water Softener
- 3.9 EcoPure EPHS Hybrid Water Softener with Filtration System
- 4 Benefits of using a water softener
- 5 What is hard water?
- 6 The Best Water Softener: What You Should Know Before You Make A Purchase
- 7 How To Install A Water Softener
- 8 How Often Should You Add Salt To Your System?
- 9 How Does A Water Softener Work?
- 10 Maintenance Tips For Your Water Softener
- 11 FAQ About Best Water Softener System
- 11.1 Q. How can I determine the capacity of the water softener for my needs?
- 11.2 Q. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of a salt-based water softener and a salt-free one?
- 11.3 Q. What are some of the benefits of using a water softener?
- 11.4 Q. What would be the ideal cost of a water softener?
- 11.5 Q. Will a water softener affect odor or taste?
- 12 Final Words
Finding the best water softener for your home is a critical investment. Softeners increase the lifespan of your entire plumbing system, your appliances and makes your skin and hair feel better after a shower.
In this ultimate buyer’s guide, we’ve analyzed over 30 products to produce our list of expert water softener reviews.
Expert Water Softener Reviews
We have hands-on experience with many of these softeners on our list as well as conducted hours of research and comparison to produce our list.
Traditional Water Softeners
A traditional water softener uses a brine tank and resin to soften water. Traditional water softeners require salt for optimal performance.
|Rank||Product Image||Product Name||Score||Product Price|
|1||Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener with a Digital Meter By AFWFilters||
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|2||Whirlpool Water Softener WHESFC Pro Series By Whirlpool||
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|3||iSpring ED2000 Water Softener-Electronic Descaler By iSpring||
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|4||Aquasure AS-SE1500A Water Treatment System By Aquasure||
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|5||Nuvo H2O Dphb-a Water Softener System By Nuvo H2O||
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|6||AFWFilters WS-96k-91SXT Fleck 9100SXT Water Softener By AFWFilters||
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|7||Watts M7002 Flow-Pur RV-Pro Water Softener By Watts Water Technologies||
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|8||Tier1 Essential Digital Water Softener By Tier1||
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|9||EcoPure EPHS Hybrid Water Softener with Filtration System By EcoPure||
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Here Is The List Of The Best Water Softener SystemWith Our Expert Review:
Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener with a Digital Meter
The Fleck 5600SXT model has all the benefits you will look for in a water softener. It has a digital meter that measures the amount of water consumed. A special valve attached to the system ensures the regeneration of water on demand.
When you unpack the appliance on arrival, you will find that the contents include the Fleck 5600 SXT softener valve, the 1-inch threaded bypass ‘Noryl’make, two tanks, a 10-inch x 54-inch resin tank and a 14-inch x 14-inch x 34-inch brine tank made by USA Black, a water meter, the ½-inch drain barb, the safety float to prevent overfilling and the elbow for the brine tank to stop the overflow.
The basic function of this water softener is to remove the hardness in the water you are using. This gives you water that is free of salts like magnesium and calcium. Any issue you may have had, of the water causing scales on the pipelines will be eliminated. You will also be able to improve the usage of soap across your home. Hard water does not allow the soap to lather well.
The highlight of this Fleck 5600SXT water softener is the efficiency of the resin that does the softening by working on the ion exchange principle. The brine tank included in the setup has a capacity of around 250lbs. There is the safety float that prevents the tank from getting filled beyond its capacity. There is additional support in the form of an overflow drain.
If you can handle regular plumbing work around your home, you should be able to fix the Fleck 5600SXT water softener yourself. It may take a maximum of 2 hours for the work to be completed and you can start drawing soft water through the taps in the kitchen or the bathrooms.
The manufacturer has developed a mobile app for this water softener. The Scan and Service app enables you to scan your softener from the app and it provides all the information you would want, including the details of spares and help with troubleshooting.
An efficient way of softening water with the least amount of wastage
The Scan and Service app is a huge plus; saves time and effort in maintaining the softener
All components used in the appliance are of reliable top brands
No indicator to warn of low salt levels; you have to keep adding on your own
Space needed to accommodate the whole arrangement in your home can be an issue
Whirlpool Water Softener WHESFC Pro Series
The WHESFC Pro series water softener from Whirlpool could be the ideal choice for treating the hard water for your complete home. It does the twin job of removing the hardness from the water and also purifying it to remove any contaminants that are harmful for human consumption. The appliance is rated at 31,000-grain capacity and can remove hardness at 120 grains per gallon. The rate at which iron particles are removed with this system is 3ppm. The additional benefit you get is that the water treated with this water softener will be free from odor and no chlorine taste can be felt.
The WHESFC Pro series Whirlpool water softener is designed to regenerate water when needed thereby conserving on the consumption of salt. Another unique feature of this appliance is that there is no need to replace the filters in the system. There is an internal provision to keep the filters cleaned periodically.
Whirlpool has improved upon its earlier models of water softeners by making this the on-demand type. In the earlier designs, it would keep doing the regeneration after a timed interval whether you are using the water or not. The new models save on costs due to a reduction in salt consumption and your water charges. Whirlpool has deployed what it calls 6th sense technology, something similar to artificial intelligence. This is aimed at the accurate mixing of salt and water, based on your usage pattern.
The installation process is quite simple and you should be able to handle it yourself. The pack will arrive with a single tank, a bypass valve, drain hose, 2 clips, 2 installation adaptors, 2 hose clamps, an adaptor elbow, a grommet, and 4 O-rings. These are beside the main softener cum filtration unit. Whirlpool offers a full warranty that includes parts and labor for 2 years while the tank carries a 10-year warranty.
It’s a 2-in-1 appliance, softening the hard water and purifying it as well
No need to replace filters; cleans itself
It’s a compact unit that is easy to install
Cannot be installed outdoors
Though it purifies the water, it still may not be good enough to drink; further treatment needed
iSpring ED2000 Water Softener-Electronic Descaler
The iSpring ED2000 works on the principle of using electronic waves to prevent the formation of scales on the internal walls of the water pipes. It can remove any existing scales in the pipes as well. This electronic water descaler doubles up as a water softener bringing down the hardness in the source water that is carried into your home. The system is unique in the sense that there is no need for salt or chemicals or filters. You don’t have tanks to install and it saves space. If there are minerals in the water, they may remain there but won’t be allowed to form limescale deposits on the pipes.
The maintenance required to be done on this iSpring ED2000 descaler is next to nothing. You don’t have to be constantly watching the level of the resin and there’s no need to replace the filter cartridges as there is none included in the system.
In terms of the design, you will find that the ED2000 has two antenna cables wrapped around the main water pipe forming a coil. An electromagnetic waveform gets created which is frequency modulated, and a little complex in its nature. This results in the creation of an oscillating electric field in the water.
The water molecules are then agitated thereby triggering the release of carbon dioxide. The unwanted calcium salts in the water combine with the carbon dioxide released and calcium carbonate gets precipitated. There is no deposit and with the flow of water, the scaling is prevented. After a few days of regular use, the scale already deposited will also be dissolved and your pipes will be cleaned automatically.
The quality of water you get at the other end of the pipe protects your washing machine, dishwasher, and showerheads, and so on.
You can add a traditional water softener if you are not happy with the removal of hardness by the iSpring ED2000 descaler. The coverage distance is 50 feet of piping.
It’s a simple device with no elaborate installation requirements
It does both descaling and water softening
It’s easy to maintain
You may need to add more equipment to get potable water
Scope of application limited as a water softener
Aquasure AS-SE1500A Water Treatment System
The Aquasure AS-SE1500A is part of the Signature Series comprehensive water treatment system from Aquasure. It includes a pre-filter for purifying the water, a water softener, and a RO system that further purifies the water to give you a steady flow of clean water. It can serve your entire home.
In terms of the capacities of the different functions, the sediment filter has a capacity of 100,000 gallons, the water conditioner has a rating of 1,500,000 gallons, the water softener is rated at 64,000 grains and the RO system can produce 75 gallons of pure water per day. The capacities indicated here for the filtrating and water softening equipment represent the figures after which you will have to change out the filters and resin. The filter fitted is a 20-inch pleated type element all dust particles present in the water. The filter element can be washed and reused.
In the second stage, the water filtration system has a Fortitude AS-FP1500 GAC media that can remove heavy metals, chlorine and any harmful chemicals and deliver pure water. At stage 3 of this water treatment system is the water softener that takes care of the harness. It helps with protecting all your appliances using water. There will be no scaling and clogging of your pipes or other plumbing fixtures.
In the fourth and final stage is the reverse osmosis unit that can be fitted below the sink. The RO unit will eliminate any impurity in the water, including metals like lead and arsenic, and fluoride, apart from any virus or bacteria present.
You can directly consume this water for all purposes. The standard connection supplied along with the system is 1-inch except the RO which has a ¼ -inch.
With some minimum knowledge of household plumbing, you should not find it difficult to install the Aquasure AS-SE1500A water treatment system.
It is virtually a 4-in-1 system giving pure drinking water, not just a softener
Salt consumption is fairly low compared to other models
Easy to install and use
May end up occupying a large space; unless you have the place to accommodate, it can pose a challenge
Can be tough taking care of the maintenance aspect of the system
Nuvo H2O Dphb-a Water Softener System
The Nuvo H2O Dphb-a water softener system uses some of the traditional methods of removing hardness in the water. Hardness in water is caused by the presence of elements like calcium and magnesium. The manufacturers of this softener system have developed a proprietary chemical that is a chelating agent. This chemical chelates the magnesium and calcium present in the water by lowering the pH level and the result is the delivery of soft water through the system. The minerals become soluble and the water turns soft. Using this soft water in your home makes sure the water heater and other appliances stay protected from scaling and damage.
With the Nuvo H2O Dphb-a water softener system, there is no need for electricity nor is there salt to be filled. The overall consumption of water is brought down due to less wastage of water in this system.
This particular model is good enough for a small household with just two members. If your family is large, you may have to fit one or two of the same softener or go in for a different higher capacity model. The Nuvo H2O Dphb-a water softener system includes a filter (2-inch x 20-inch size) that needs to be replaced after you have used the system for 20,000 gallons. Replacement cartridges are available freely. You can add one or two to your order for the water softener and keep in storage.
The pack comes with the NuvoH2O softener housing and the filter cartridge. Besides these, there will be the instruction manual, the bracket and backplate for mounting, screws, and a housing wrench.
The installation of this water softener system is easy if you follow the instructions. There is one word of caution from the manufacturers; this Nuvo H2O Dphb-a water softener system is not suitable for well water. Avoid circulating the water from this softener through copper pipes as well.
The softener does not need any salt for its functioning
Don’t need a plumber to install it
Free availability of replacement cartridges
Limited by the size; can only be good for a family of 2
Have to keep an eye on the cartridge all the time
AFWFilters WS-96k-91SXT Fleck 9100SXT Water Softener
The AFWFilters WS-96k-91SXT Fleck 9100SXT water softener has a dual tank design and is rated at 96,000 grains. This means the softener is capable of removing harness in the source water to a very high level. The two resin tanks together can hold up to 6 cubic feet of resin. The tanks have dimensions of 14-inches x 65-inches. The Fleck 9100SXT digital meter control softener is at the heart of the treatment system. It has an alternating control head to suit the dual tank arrangement.
The brine tank is of a suitable size to handle the system’s capacity with dimensions of 18-inches x 40-inches. It can hold around 350lbs of salt. The valve body is constructed out of fiber-reinforced polymer for strength and has a long life. The SXT controller comes with an LCD display and a touchpad to make changes to the settings and this makes it easy to operate this water softener. The flow rate is 20 gallons per minute which is substantial for a moderately sized family of 5 or 6.
The AFWFilters WS-96k-91SXT Fleck 9100SXT water softener system keeps delivering pure water for use throughout your home. You need not have any worries about your appliances developing scaling inside. Items like water heaters are quite safe with the soft water from this softener. The on-demand metered flow of water offers multiple benefits. The system will only regenerate when required and based on your regular water usage pattern. This will ensure the salt and resin yield more water per loading. The faucets and pipelines and other connections will remain safe from any type of scale or corrosion due to the hardness in the water. You can also save on water usage in high-consumption areas like dishwashing, laundry, and bathing. You can even save on soap consumption with the soft water in use.
The detailed instructions for installation will answer all your questions and make it easy for you to handle it. 5-year warranty on control head and 10-year for tanks are available.
Large and highly efficient water softener
Dual tank makes you won’t run out of the water and it is available 24/7
Sufficient for large families too
No bypass provided; you will have to create it separately
Not suitable for water with high iron particles present
Watts M7002 Flow-Pur RV-Pro Water Softener
The Watts M7002 Flow-Pur RV-Pro water softener is targeted at customers with a light requirement for soft water. The RV-Pro in the model name must have given you the hint that it is quite useful for those using RVs frequently. Your source water could be hard and the Watts M7002 Flow-Pur RV-Pro water softener is very handy to have. Users even wash clothes with the soft water generated from this simple and compact machine apart from the shower.
This water softener comes in one single piece like a fire extinguisher. It has the fittings on top that comprise a port to fill the salt, the inlet on one side for the source water to enter, and the ‘Y’ valve on the other side. The valve splits into one for the outlet for softened water and the other for draining. These can be closed and opened with the individual levers provided on them.
The Watts M7002 Flow-Pur RV-Pro water softener comes with detailed instructions on how to make it functional. You will have to go through these and follow the instructions. The initial work on clearing up the insides and then rinsing the brine solution has to be carried out on the outside before you can fix the softener inside the RV. The brine solution in this softener can be made with the ordinary table salt you use at home. You require 2lbs of salt per regeneration.
The softener unit comes along with a test strip to measure the hardness. If the hardness exceeds 3 grains per gallon then regeneration has to be performed. This RV-Pro softener is rated at 10,000 grains per gallon. The regeneration time is 20 minutes. The manufacturer expects you to get a life of around 5 years with this water softener. It may also depend on how often you take your RV out on trips and put the softener to use. You must clean up the device after every use to prolong its life.
Compact and handy water softener for RV users
Very little technology is involved. Simply filling regular table salt will do
Easy to install and use
No garden hose included; you will have to buy them separately
The ‘Y’ valve can be brittle and if it is damaged you may have a problem using it in the middle of a trip outside the city
Tier1 Essential Digital Water Softener
The Tier 1 Essential series water softener is an advanced equipment, a must for your home if the source water you have is hard. The water softener is rated at 48,000 grains and it’s decent enough to give you soft pure water. The system promises to deliver soft water free from sand, sediment, silt, turbidity, and the taste of chlorine. The water will be free from odor as well. The filters are designed to deliver on these.
In terms of the specifications, the Tier 1 Essential series water softener has a mineral tank that is 10-inches x 54-inches in size and 1.5 cubic feet of resin pre-loaded in the resin tank. The brine tank can hold 130 liters of the salt solution and is square in shape. It takes 2 hours for regeneration.
The valve head on top of the unit has all the controls in it with an LCD display. The regeneration cycle can be fixed with the buttons on the panel. The regeneration process has been designed as an ‘upflow’ system. This results in the saving of salt consumption as well as extending the life of the resin before refilling the tank. It’s a digitally metered water softener. This means it switches to regenerate only the required quantity of water.
The resin used in Tier 1 Essential series water softener is the high capacity gel polystyrene cation exchange resin. The unit is shipped with all the components needed for the installation of the water softener. You may hardly need to visit the hardware store to buy materials to complete the installation unless there are special plumbing arrangements in your home.
The ultimate objective is to obtain soft water that goes easy on your soap consumption and doesn’t harm your skin or hair or your clothes. The appliances in your home get protected too with the harness in the water removed.
Economical and efficient water softener
Has a healthy mix of traditional process and the latest technology for controls and monitoring
Adjustable regeneration cycle times
The unit is large and requires space to install; can be a constraint if you live in a small house
Consistent performance over long periods not assured
No automatic bypass provided
EcoPure EPHS Hybrid Water Softener with Filtration System
The EcoPure EPHS water softener cum filtration system is rated at 31,000 grain capacity. The treated water from this softener is free from chlorine. This is significant since chlorine not only has a bad taste and odor but can cause undesirable effects on your skin and hair. One of the unique features of the EcoPure EPHS water softener cum filtration system is that it has an internal cleansing system for the filter cartridges thereby eliminating the need to keep replacing them.
This is an on-demand water softener and can serve a family of around 6 to 7 persons. The system will function economically and save on the water consumed and the salt used in the process. There is an electronic indicator if the salt level goes low. You can fit this water softener in your home irrespective of whether you use the water supplied by the local body or the well water in your property.
The process employed in this EcoPure EPHS water softener cum filtration system removes chlorine, lead, sediments, magnesium, calcium, and iron. In the case of iron, the removal efficiency is 3ppm. If you have got your source water tested and the level of iron particles is more than 3ppm, you may have to add some other device to take care of that.
If you have been using a Kenmore water softener earlier and you are looking to replace it, this EcoPure EPHS water softener cum filtration system is considered ideal since all its dimensions match with the Kenmore softener. You may not have to do any extra installation activity.
The description of the system as a hybrid one is because it can be adapted for use within the cities as well as in rural households where the water source may be from the well.
Has better technology for regeneration; does the calculations automatically
Dual-purpose softening and filtering processes in one device
Savings on water and salt usage through better designing
Not fit to be fitted outside if the ambient temperature drops too low in winters
Some of the plastic components appear brittle
Benefits of using a water softener
Before we look at the factors to consider when shopping for the best water softener, here are some of the benefits you’ll derive from using a water softener.
If you’re curious to know the benefits of using a water softener, then this section of this review will interest you.
Prolonged appliance life
It’s no news that hard water can sometimes reduce the lifespan of water-based appliances in the home. It gradually builds up rust and discoloration in these appliances due to the presence of the minerals in the water.
This directly leads to a reduction in the efficiency of the appliance. And next thing you know, you’re taking out your credit card to buy another replacement and the cycle continues.
Save on energy
Hard water takes a lot more time to boil than soft water. This causes the appliance to stay on for long and thus uses more energy. Having a water softener installed in your home can slightly reduce your energy charges.
Save on detergents and soaps
Hard water doesn’t lather easily. Thus, we are tempted to keep rubbing soap on our body and adding detergent to the washing machine. This ensures the soap and detergent don’t last long. Did we even mention that you save a great deal of time wasting?
Your Plumbing System will be cleaner
Imagine filtering water to remove impurities only for the water to clog the plumbing system in your home. Install a water softener alongside the whole house water filter and you’ll have up to 98% clean drinking water in your home. Adding a UV water filter or a reverse osmosis system will surely make the water 100% fit for drinking.
White Fabrics Stay White
Hard water is one of the chief culprits responsible for discoloration of white clothes. When a water softener is installed, the minerals in the water responsible for the discoloration are removed. This leaves your white clothes looking whiter.
Before you decide to buy one, you should look at a few key aspects to ensure that your needs will be met. There are many different types of water softeners and they come in a wide range of prices. Some might be more helpful in solving your specific issue than others. To make an informed decision, here are some of the various aspects to keep in mind.
- Type – Water softener systems come in different types such as the salt-based ion-exchange ones, salt-free ones, dual tank ones and magnetic ones. The salt-based ion exchange water softener cycles the water through two tanks to eliminate the mineral residue but won’t be very compact. The salt-free one uses potassium chloride salt substitute instead and is suitable for those who are concerned about excessive salt intake. Dual tank ones may cost more but will be helpful when one tank is recharging. Magnetic water softener systems work very differently from the rest. It changes the properties of the minerals by creating a magnetic field.
- Capacity and Flow Rate – This determines the number of unwanted minerals the water softener can remove before it needs to recharge. Some systems can only remove 8000 grains of hardness whereas more expensive ones can remove up to 80,000 grains. The capacity also influences the flow rate which in turn determines how many soft water outlets you can use at the same time. Capacity is incredibly important to determine before buying one. If you buy one that is too small for your needs, you will get a slower flow rate and less amount of soft water at a time. If you buy one that is too big, the infrequent regeneration cycles will start damaging the system.
- Meter or Timer – Water softener systems today come mostly with metered regeneration which utilizes an electronic sensor or a meter to keep track of your water consumption rate. This allows the system to regenerate only when it’s time to do so, thereby saving you a significant amount of money in the long term. Timer-based water softener systems start the regeneration cycle only after a preset amount of time regardless of how much water you may consume. This, however, makes it quite tricky if you don’t provide the correct time. So why would anyone go for timer based water softeners? The main reason is almost always cost. They are considerably lighter on the wallet than metered ones.
- Technology – You might see various products claiming that they use “x” technology and “most innovative water softening technique” but always confirm its efficiency through customer reviews. Some work better on paper than in practice and some products may use very old technology that might not be as efficient as you want it to be. When you do go through customer reviews, try to find more from different sources to get an accurate idea of how efficient the water softener is. This might take some time and effort but it will save you a lot of money in the long run.
- Certification – No matter how expensive the product might be, always prefer ones that come with official certifications over those that don’t. This also applies when it comes to more affordable water softener systems. This can never guarantee a certain level of quality or efficiency (as some might be defective) but the chances of it working more efficiently will be significantly higher. Certification also ensures that the system can remove a certain amount of hardness grains and doesn’t inefficiently waste water.
What is hard water?
Wikipedia gives us the definition of hard water as “water that has high mineral content as a result of the water coming in contact with deposits of minerals like limestone and magnesium carbonates”.
This clearly indicates that water softeners were developed in other to eliminate water hardness. In the knowledge-based section towards the end of this review, we delved deeper into identifying hard water.
The Best Water Softener: What You Should Know Before You Make A Purchase
It’s obvious you’re about to buy a water softener. You wouldn’t be reading this article if you were not interested in buying one. In this section of the article, we will share with you a handful of things you must know while you pick shop for the best hard water softener for your home.
The first thing you should do is to test the water in your home for hardness.
Test Water For Hardness
This is important because it will help you determine how hard the water is and what type of water softener you need. There are several ways to test for water for hardness, the chief method being a lab test. Below, we’ve shared two different ways to test water for hardness.
Testing Using Soap Suds:
This is a quick way of detecting if water is hard or not. However, it doesn’t provide 100% accuracy as compared with a test kit. For testing using this method, follow the steps below.
- Get a clear and transparent bottle. An empty plastic water bottle can suffice.
- Pour some of your home’s water into the water bottle.
- Get liquid soap and squeeze a little bit of the soap into the water bottle.
- Next, cover the water bottle and shake it thoroughly for about 10 – 15 seconds.
- Place the container on a table and examine for suds. Suds refer to the lather produced by a soap. If the water looks cloudy with fewer suds, it’s most likely to be hard water. Again, if the water is clear and has much suds, then it’s most likely to be soft water.
Using a Test Strip
This method involves dipping a material into the water you are testing. Any color changes on the strip are checked against the color palette provided with the strip. This method of testing water for hardness will give 99% accuracy.
See the video below to understand how it works.
Which Type of Water Softener
There are 3 different types of water softeners. They differ slightly in how they work. Ensure that you use a water softener that has an NSF/ANSI 44 certification. This certification is a clear indicator that the water softener is an efficient one.
- Salt-based softeners.
- Salt-free softeners.
- Magnetic water softener otherwise called a descaler.
A salt-based water softener makes use of salt ions to remove the minerals in water that cause hardness. This is done by passing the hard water through two tanks. One of the tanks is filled with brine and the other is filled with special resin beads/grains. It is necessary to add salt into a salt tank provided on the machine. The hard water that goes into it comes out as soft water.
A salt-free water softener uses a salt substitute like potassium chloride. The added substitute prohibits minerals from accumulating in the water by acting as a scaler.
Magnetic Water Softeners
Magnetic water softeners otherwise called a descaler works using magnetic principles. It creates a magnetic field which changes the electromagnetic properties of the minerals in the water.
NB: There are dual-tank water softeners. A dual tank water softener falls under either a salt-free or a salt based water softener. They are often categorized as a separate type of water softener whereas they are clearly not.
The main focus of a dual tank water softener is to keep providing you with soft water even when the unit is regenerating. One tank is regenerating while the other provides its water.
What Size Would You Prefer?
Water softeners are available in various sizes. When we say sizes, we don’t mean physical size. In other words, we are referring to an internal size rating. While you read the review above, you must have come across numbers like 48,000 and 64,000 grains. Well, that’s what we mean.
To determine the size of water softener to buy, you should first consider the size of your home. Any largely sized water softener is your best option.
The average grain rating of a water softener for a home of 3 stands at 33,000 grains. Opting for a unit with a 48,000 or 64,000-grain rating will definitely make room for more people.
Don’t just plan for yourself. An extra room for Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas visitors won’t hurt.
DIY enthusiasts shouldn’t find it difficult installing the unit. Make sure that there is an installation guide that comes with your unit. Take note of the accessories you’ll need for installation, in addition to the price for installation except you are getting a professional installation.
Furthermore, take note of the space available for installation. There should be ample space around the unit before and after installation.
Water softeners don’t always come with a lot of bells and whistles. We’ve made mention of some of the important features a water softener should have. They include the following.
- A timer control: The timer can help you automatically regulate your water softener’s regeneration cycle. Remember to set the timer accordingly based on your water usage speeds in the house.
- DIR controls: DIR refers to a type of control feature on water softeners that indicate the need to recharge the resin. With the DIR controls, a water softener can enter the regeneration mode easily and help you save on both salt and water. Fairly large households with fluctuating water usage needs will like it.
- A bypass valve: Activities like filling the pool, watering the flowers, and washing the car, don’t have a preference for a type of water. Hence, a bypass valve can come handy when you want to do any of these things.
- Regeneration setting: The regeneration setting is an important aspect that you shouldn’t overlook. Buy a water softener that has a metered regeneration system. The resin in the system regenerates when the water drops to a certain level.
How To Install A Water Softener
This is one of the most asked questions aside from “which water softener should I buy?”. It clearly indicates that a lot of people are keen on saving some bucks by doing the installation themselves.
We don’t encourage DIY installation of some of the units above especially if you don’t have a basic plumbing knowledge although all the units come with an installation manual.
We’ve shared a video showing the process of installing a water softener.
In this video, a professional can be seen digging a trench for the installation. The trench is necessary since they installed the water softener in the garage which is a bit far from the main water pipe into the home.
A water softener can be installed outside the house but a few things are taken into consideration. These include a drain for the water, an electricity source, and of course, environmental factors.
The installation process in the video appears easy, literally. However, he’s a professional so it’s really an easy thing for him to do.
Here, no trench is dug since the water source and the place where the water softener is installed are close to one another.
Take note of all the steps and items used. A single mistake can ruin your unit. This is why we always advise that you get a professional to run the installation for you.
How Often Should You Add Salt To Your System?
Most of the water softener systems on the market are designed to use one bag of salt every month.
You should mark off a month from the date of installation and then check the salt level on the tank. Always keep a bag of salt at home.
And please make sure the salt level has gone down significantly before topping it up again.
To add salt to your water softener, simply remove the lid on the unit and pour in your salt. Turn it off before topping the salt. Then turn it on back again after topping up the salt.
How Does A Water Softener Work?
Here’s an explainer video that shows how your water softener works. The first video shows how traditional water softener works.
The next video below shows how a water descaler like the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler – Water Softener Alternative works.
Maintenance Tips For Your Water Softener
Proper maintenance of your water softener will surely elongate the life of your unit. In this unit, you’ll find a step by step process of cleaning your brine tank and keep your water softener working fine.
FAQ About Best Water Softener System
Q. How can I determine the capacity of the water softener for my needs?
A. To determine the capacity of the system that would be most efficient for your needs, you need to first determine the hardness level of your water. Then you have to calculate the amount of water that is being consumed in your household daily. These two steps will help you to calculate the total grain capacity required. The entire process is a bit complicated so to know more, you can make use of the various calculators online to help you in this regard.
Q. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of a salt-based water softener and a salt-free one?
A. The salt-based ion exchange water softener prevents scale from accumulating and helps to extend the longevity of any appliance that uses water daily. It also efficiently removes undesirable minerals from the water and eliminates any skin irritation issues. On the downside, if you use it for drinking water, it will also increase your sodium intake in the long term which may cause health consequences. Salt-free systems on the other hand require little to no maintenance and won’t lead to an increase in your daily sodium intake. However, they won’t be as efficient in preventing spotting and stains in glassware and appliances.
Q. What are some of the benefits of using a water softener?
A. Using a good quality water softener can prevent all the consequences of hard water such as skin irritations, increased hair fall, reduced longevity of appliances and more. It’s especially better for your hair as it allows your shampoos to last longer and work more efficiently. You also won’t have to worry about your hair sticking together in clumps and getting tangled more frequently. When it comes to cutting costs, having soft water will also reduce your energy bills as it takes less time to heat it. You will also save money when it comes to buying washing powders, shampoos and soaps too. When you have hard water, you will need to use more of these products but soft water works better with them.
Q. What would be the ideal cost of a water softener?
A. The cost of a water softener system will vary based on the type, size and features. Therefore, it’s not possible to define an ideal price point. In most cases, you will get back the money’s worth within two to four years depending on its cost and efficiency. As a general rule, the ones that provide the best cost/efficiency ratio will allow you to get back the money in the least amount of time. Value can be gauged mostly by going through various customer reviews across multiple websites.
Q. Will a water softener affect odor or taste?
A. To a certain degree, it will, but for the better. It depends mostly on the water in the area though. Water in some places is filled with chemicals and undesirable elements and it may even come with a terrible taste and bad odors. If you don’t notice any substantial change in taste or odor, you might want to consider using a carbon block filter with the softener system. Then the softener will help to remove the iron taste whereas the filter will get rid of hydrogen sulfide and eliminate the rotten egg smell. It would be wise to get in touch with a plumber if you are unsure about the installation.
Buying a water softener system is not an easy task as it requires you to spend a good amount of time in research, especially in determining its capacity.
Keep your family safe and healthy by installing the best water softener system in your home. Install a water filtration system before the water softener.
Stay safe drinking clean soft water.