10 Best Water Softener Reviews 2018 Buying Guide (UPDATED)

Living in hard water infested areas?

If yes, then you’ll need to install a highly functional water softener system in your home ASAP.

I’ll tell you why;

For years, hard water has built its reputation for mercilessly corroding and damaging your home pipes as well as all the appliances that use water- e.g., dishwasher, coffee maker, etc.

Even worse, it goes ahead and damages your skin. Not to forget that it also ruins your hair and makes it look drab.

Luckily;

There’s a way to kill the menace for good. Installing the best water softener at your home results in- no more clogged pipes and the related leaking cases, an extended lifespan of your appliances, softer, shiny hair, and better health.

That said, my main aim of putting up this post it to help you pick the right water softening system for your home for the best results.

I have been working on the water purification system for 8 years and from my experience I have created a list of the best water softener that will give you the right value.

Need a quick decision? Here's my top five water softener picks:

Take a look at my complete guide below…

What Is Water Softener and Benefits Of Using water Softener

A water softener is a system (or machine) specially designed to convert hard water into soft water.

And this brings us to our next important question- just what is hard water (or what makes water hard)?

Hard water contains minerals such as magnesium and calcium which are responsible for its hardness.

NOW…to remove the hardness in your home water, a water softener ought to remove these hardness minerals and replace them with softer ones- such as sodium and potassium.

“Why the hell do I have to install a water softening system in my home?”

A good question…

Knowingly or unknowingly, you might be suffering from the hard water and all the disadvantages it comes with at your home.

If you install a water softening system in your home today, I can assure you that you’ll wave goodbye to all the hard water problems and start enjoying the following benefits:

  • No more lime scales- a water softener puts an end to the formation of limescale- the white, chalky residue you see on your dishes, glasses, etc.- making all your home appliances look cleaner and shinier than ever before.
  • Trust me, your skin and hair will get a softer look and feel once you start showering with soft water, courtesy of a water softening system.
  • Did you know that your home appliances can last longer if you install a water softener in your home? Well, they’ll not only stay for longer but will also perform better when fed with soft water.

    And oh! Keep in mind that your appliances will also perform efficiently with soft water- resulting in reduced energy consumption rates (and reduced power bills).

  • you’ll also use less soap to produce huge amounts of lather to wash your clothes quickly or when showering.

    Isn’t this a great way to cut your spending on the soap?

  • because soft water puts an end to soap curds formation, cleaning with detergents will become more efficient and faster.
  • Using chemical-free soaps becomes possible with soft water. And this translates to better laundry experience.
  • Above all, soft water will make your clothes feel softer, smoother, and last longer. How? Well, hard water causes hard minerals to get trapped in your fabrics threads and affect their lifespan.

Soft water eliminates this issue for good.

DON’T forget that white clothes will also maintain their ‘whiteness’ when washed with soft water- unlike the hard water which ruins them with its greying minerals.

Bottom Line: A  top quality water softener acts as the ultimate solution to ALL your home hard water problems.

Next, we take a closer look at the 15 best-performing water softeners systems on the market today that enjoy extended usage across many, many homes around the globe…

Our Best Water Softener Reviews 2018

1. iSpring RCC7 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System Review:

Our top list of the best water softening devices starts with this reverse osmosis system from iSpring. It comes with the Water Quality Association (WQA) gold seal which means it meets all the required standard for water treatment appliances.

And yes, it will efficiently soften all your household water and bring to an end all the scary threats associated with hard water.

Now, this machine works differently than other models to soften your home water. It takes your water through a 5-stage process for complete softening.

In stages 1, 2, and 3 (collectively referred to as the pre-filter stage), all the large contaminants in your home water are removed to prevent damages to the system filtering membrane.

Afterward, the water enters a special membrane- a semipermeable membrane- whose extremely tiny, 0.0001 micron-sized holes and a filter which allows only water to pass through while blocking all the other elements responsible for hard water. The end result is exceptionally soft water!

Rated at 75 gallons/day, this model will ensure that all homes with a high number of users can always get soft water on demand. The installation is pretty straightforward, with a detailed DID guide with included.

The unit comes with a 1-year limited warranty, 1-year money back guarantee, and lifetime technical support.

Highlighted Features:

  • filters over 1000 water pollutants with thin permeable membrane
  • 3.2-gallon pressurized tank
  • WQA gold seal certification
  • one year warranty; FREE one-year money back guarantee
  • encourages water consumption while reducing spending and the need to transport and dispose of bottled water

2. APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System Review:

If you’re looking for a system that can soften well water as well as tap water, say hello to this APEC water filter system. Just like our previous model, this unit relies on the reverse osmosis technology to remove up to 99% water contaminants, and pollutants present n your home water- making it safe and healthy for consumption.

Here, water is also taken through a 5-stage filtering process, including passing it through premium, long-lasting filters and semi-permeable membrane to remove 99.9% of all the hard minerals and contaminants - including barium, arsenic, copper, lead, chromium, cadmium, and so much more.

Installing and maintaining this system is pretty easy, thanks to a detailed user manual and online video guides. It’s also important to note that this model comes with high-quality leak fittings for leak-proof installation.

The machine is WQA certified, and their experienced team stands dedicated to offering you professional support in case your system develops any issues.

Highlighted Features:

  • Designed and assembled in the USA using highest-quality materials
  • Removes up to 99% water pollutants and contaminants
  • Premium, long-lasting filters for treating tap and well water
  • WQA certified system
  • 1-year satisfaction guarantee
  • 100% lead-free chrome faucet
  • Top-quality quick connect fittings

3. Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener Review:

Fleck is one of the trusted brands in the water softening industry. All their water treatment devices and appliances are made of quality materials and for optimal performance.

The Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener is one of their most popular products for its efficient, permanent transformation of large volumes of hard water into soft water in both homes and commercial settings.

100% designed and assembled in the USA using premium quality materials, there’s no doubt that this system comes ready to save you from the hard water hell without the consistent failures associated with other models out there.

Being a salt-based model, it comes with a brine tank as well as resin tank and all the components needed for successful removal of the hard minerals in water.

Interestingly, this system comes with a flow meter which lets you easily control water usage and regeneration. This is a great way to prevent water and salt wastage.

Unlike other salt-based models, this Fleck meter comes with digital LCD with touchpad controls which make it 100% easy to operate and use. Thanks to the detailed installation instructions included in the package, you’ll have an easy time installing your new system.

The 5-year control head and 10-year tank warranty should mean that this is a risk-free investment for all homeowners.

Highlighted Features:

  • Polygalas tank
  • Made in the USA.
  • Fleck 5600sxt digital metered, on-demand valve
  • 48,000 maximum grain capacity
  • Easy to use: digital LCD and touchpad controls.
  • 5-year control head warranty; 10 years tank warranty.

Below Here I Add An Installation Video Guide For Fleck 5600sxt Water Softener

4. Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener Review:

For the homeowners undergoing hard economic times, you’ll be pleased to note that the Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener comes with a pocket-friendly cost.From my 8 years experience in the water purification area i think this is one of  the best water softener for home.

But don’t get me wrong…the low pricing doesn’t make it a non-performer when it comes in softening your water. In fact, it enjoys a high popularity than the higher priced models for its excellent water softening properties and reliability.

To soften your water, this Eddy model produces an electromagnetic wave that circles your incoming home water. This way, the adhesion properties of limescale in hard water are altered, making it unable to stick to the surfaces of your pipes, appliances, etc.

Keep in mind that this system doesn’t change the TDS (chemical hardness) of your water- ensuring that the softened water retains all the health benefits

It’s also worth noting that this water softening device from Eddy is straightforward to install and maintain. It doesn’t require any plumbing jobs. It doesn’t require regular addition of salt.

And again, it costs way less than most of the models out there. The 12-month money back guarantee and lifetime repair make this water softener an irresistible deal for you.

Highlighted Features:

  • reduces formation of limescale in home and businesses
  • extremely easy to install
  • softens water without removing the healthy nutrients
  • 12-month 100% money-back guarantee; lifetime repair
  • The design provides this product longevity; it won’t tear up anytime soon.

5. Aquasana 10-Year, 1,000,000 Gallon Whole House Water Filter Review:

Aquasana ranks among the few brand with a worldwide reputation for manufacturing top-rated water treatment products. And at this point, I’d like to introduce you to their10-Year, 1,000,000 Gallon Whole House Water Filter whose mind-blowing performance and a never-ending popularity grabbed my attention.

One thing you’ll like about this Aquasana is its smarter design; it’s intelligently engineered for optimal water filtering and softening performance. It employs a dual tank design that increases the duration of water contact with the contaminants and hard minerals grabbing media- ensuring maximum performance.

This makes it one of the few models that exceed the set NSF standard with its ability to remove up to 97% of chlorine for large volumes of water- up to 1 million gallons!!

Moreover, this system comes with activated carbon filters whose prowess in reducing pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals present in your water is unmatched.

The end result of this machine is a great tasting, healthy water for your home. Thanks to the professional installation kit, the installation process is easy, fast, and hassle-free.

Highlighted Features:

  • Exceeds the NSF standards for water treating appliances
  • Active carbon filter for removal of all pollutants
  • Enjoy great tasting, healthy water at your home
  • Professional installation kit included

6. Watts RV PRO-1000 OR M7002 10000 Grains Portable Water Softener Review:

Looking for a best portable water softener?

Great!

This is your part. The Watts Water Technology provides you with their RV PRO-1000 OR M7002 10000 Grains Portable Water Softener at a crazily low cost. It’s designed for portable applications- e.g., on camping trips, with RV’s and on small apartments.

Given its portability (or compact design), you expect this model to lack some of the features associated with your whole house water softener, like the salt auto-recharge.

Nevertheless, it comes with an intelligent design that allows it to handle your water softening needs while on the go efficiently. This model revolves around a custom-designed flow valve that lets the softener get easily regenerated without necessarily disconnecting and reconnecting the system.

Other notable features in this model include a full cradle base for increased stability, inbuilt drain line flow resistor for more efficient regeneration, high flow rates, and high capacity resins.

Above all, it comes with a huge warranty of up to 10 years to clear your worries and doubts about its reliability, dependability, and durability.

Highlighted Features:

  • Portable, salt-based water softener
  • 10,000 grains capacity
  • Suitable for small apartments/condos or RVs
  • 10-year warranty

7. Aquios FS-220 Salt Free Water Softener and Filtration System Review:

For those who don’t fancy the salt-based model, here’s a salt-free model that filters and softens your household water at the same time. The Aquios FS-220 system comes with a sleek, compact design that makes it ideal for use in all homes, including small apartments.

Now that this system does not use salt to soften your water, how does it do the softening? Well, it relies on the commercial strength technology to execute its job- where the water hardness does not get permanently removed.

Instead, its adhesive properties are altered to ensure that the hard minerals do not buildups on the surfaces of your appliances, faucets, pipes, etc. It also uses the carbon block filtration system to remove all the impurities present in water, making it safe for consumption.

The best thing about this unique system is that it doesn’t require any maintenance, doesn’t use electricity, and no programming is needed for it to perform its job.

Operating it is also quite easy. Its cartridge can handle up to 40,000 gallons of water before replacement. Above all, it comes with 20-year manufacturer warranty on the valve and housing.

Highlighted Features:

  • Salt-free water softening and filtration system.
  • Compact design
  • No maintenance needed
  • No programming or electricity required
  • 40k gallons cartridge included
  • 20-year warranty

8. 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Water Filtration System Review:

The 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Water Filtration System also hangs on the lower price end. It comes with a relatively high flow rate of 20 gallons per minute, which makes it an excellent choice not only for homes but also for commercial applications. It comes complete with all the components required to make it run efficiently.

This high-capacity system works differently to soften your water. It embarks on reducing all the sediment as well as hard minerals, to provide you with clean, soft water.

It’s also pleasing to note that the carbon filter media integrated into this system excellently reduces the chlorine taste and odor, making your home water even more appealing for drinking.

Regarding design, this unit comes with a heavy-duty stainless steel head that’s corrosion resistant and allow for “sweat in place” installation. All the other materials used in the design of this system are compliant with FDA CFR-21 standards. And the cartridges only require a simple twist off for replacement- with no tools needed for the process.

  • Non-corrosive stainless steel w/locking latch.
  • Carbon filter media for reduced chlorine taste, odor
  • All the unit materials are compliant with FDA CFR-21
  • High flow rate of over 20 gallons of water per minute
  • Easy to replace cartridges

9. PENTAIR Fleck 5600sxt 48,000 grain Commercial Grade Water Softener Review:

If you’re looking for a salt-based water softener for a commercial setting or home with a large number of users, I’d recommend you to invest in the PENTAIR Commercial Grade Water Softener.

This is a mid-priced model that comes complete with all the components required for operation, so you’ll just need to install it and start using it.

Being a salt-based model, you can fully trust it to remove all the hardness in your water for good. Like the Fleck model we reviewed earlier on, this system comes with a flow meter that allows you to measure your water usage and the regeneration needed.

In my view, this is a great way to cut down water and salt wastage. I also love the fact that it comes with upgraded, 100% crosslink resins which translate to increased lifespan.

A complete installation guide with easy to follow steps pictures and tips makes the whole installation process a breeze. The LCD digital display and touchpads make the system easy to control and use.

Not to forget that the package comes with a bypass and 1” yoke for hassle-free in/out plumbing. Above all, you’ll enjoy up to 5years control head warranty and up to 10 years tank warranty.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fleck 5600Sxt digital metered control head
  • High-capacity, upgraded 10% crosslink resin
  • Complete system; with all the components included
  • LCD and touch-pads for easy control and use
  • Bypass valve and 1-inch yoke included
  • 5-year control head warranty; 10-year tank warranty

10. On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable 16,000 Grain RV Water Softener Review:

Remember the portable water softener we discussed previously? Well, here’s another model from the On The Go manufacturers. This one comes with a slightly higher price than the previous.

As a double standard water conditioner and softener, it’s capable of producing twice the number of gallons delivered by most standard models- making it the largest portable water softener on the market today.

Ideal for RV/marine applications, this system has a 16,000-grain capacity which makes it capable of meeting your large volumes of soft water needs while out there.

For an efficient softening process, the model regenerates with two boxes of common salt in under 30 minutes to provide you with a total of about 1600 gallons of soft water or about 40 days.

It comes with a compact, space-saving design, which allows you to install it on tight space areas. It comes with an easy to carry handle for easy transportation; wide mouth opening for easy salt refilling; high-grade resin for extended lifespan; 360 degrees swivel design for inlet hose connection, among other convenient features.

Highlighted Features:

  • Double standard water conditioner and softener
  • Compact, space-efficient design
  • Provides more 40% softer water than its rivals
  • Easy to carry handle
  • High-grade, premium resins
  • Portable model
  • Easy installations, with no tools required
  • Doesn’t require electricity to run

11. Iron Pro 48K Combination Water Softener & Iron Filter Review:

Sometimes you’d want to purchase a system that works as an iron filter as well as a water softener. And in such cases, I couldn’t find a better product than the Iron Pro 48K Combination Water Softener & Iron Filter.

It removes all the hardness in your home water and at the same time filtering of the tiniest iron traces in your water- making it healthy for use. This model is ideal for homes with 2-3 users and 2-3 baths.

This model comes with the Fleck 5600Sxt digital metered valve which allows you to set our water usage and regeneration- minimizing water and salt wastage.

Keep in mind that you’ll be doing all these settings on a digital LCD with touchpads, which makes the process quite easy and straightforward. Thanks to the high mesh resin beads with extended lifespan, removing ion from your water becomes easy and quick.

This salt based softener (and iron filter) also comes complete- with all the components required to run it. Also, it comes with a 1” stainless steel bypass valve for easy in/out plumbing connections. A set of DIY instruction is also included for easy, quick installation.

Highlighted Features:

  • Iron water, water softener, all in one
  • 48k grain capacity
  • High-mesh resin for efficient ion removal and extended lifespan
  • Comes with the Fleck 5600Sxt digital metered valve with a 5-year warranty
  • Permanently remove all the hardness in water.
  • Ideal for home switch 2-5 users, 2-3 baths
  • DIY instructions included
  • Bypass valve included for easy installation
  • 10-year tank warranty

12. ClearlyC Shower Filter & Hard Water Softener Review:

You don’t only need to soften the water you drink and cook with. You should as well as use the water you shower with since hard water has terrible effects on your skin and hair.

To soften the water coming out of your shower, consider fitting it with this ClearlyC Shower Filter & Hard Water Softener which comes at an affordable cost.

As you’d expect, this device is specially designed to purify your shower water. It does this by removing chlorine by up to 99%. It also eliminates the heavy metals present in your water (e.g., mercury, nickel, lead, etc.), impurities, and harmful minerals.

Showering with water treated with this ClearlyC shower filter/softener truly protects your skin and hair from the damages and health risks caused by all these impurities. Not only that, you’ll enjoy improved respiratory health with no cases of bronchitis, asthma, and cancer.

To make your life easier, the manufacturer ships this product with an extra cartridge so that you can enjoy up to 12 months (or up to 20,000 gallons) of pure shower water.

If you have your doubts about the efficiency of this product, the FREE 45-day money back guarantee (no questions asked) should clear all of them.

Highlighted Features:

  • Purifies shower water.
  • Protects your hair and skin.
  • Double lifetime
  • Improved respiratory health
  • FREE 45-day money-back guarantee

13. Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener iron filter Review:

The Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener iron filter is also a two-in-one model that integrates a water softener and an iron filter. It supplies your home with large volumes of soft and filtered water… It has a softening capacity of up to 64,000 grains of hard water (or water with hardness level of 75 GPG) and can remove iron up to 6-8 ppm range.

Apart from supplying you with soft and filtered water, this model will also eliminate all the white build ups in all your faucets, bathtubs, dishes, pipes, etc. It’ll even go the extra step and remove the reddish-brown stains on your appliances that are caused by the iron.

Like all the other Fleck systems, this one also has a digital metered valve to promote automatic regeneration (set according to your water consumption needs).

Other notable factors in this system include a complete set of instruction for easy installation, a1-inch stainless steel bypass valve for even easier installation, and manufacturer warranty on the head (5 years) and tank (10 years).

Highlighted Features:

  • Iron filter, water softener, all in one
  • 64,000-grain capacity
  • Fine mesh resin for extended lifespan and efficient iron removal
  • Fleck 5600SXT digital metered valve with 5-year warranty
  • Permanently removes water hardness of up to 75 GPG
  • Removes iron up to 6-8 ppm range
  • DIY instructions and bypass valve included

14. WaterBoss Water Softener - 22,000 Grain Capacity

WaterBoss is a popular name in the water softening industry. All its water softening systems are made of quality materials and are known to output a remarkable performance, with unmatched reliability and dependability. 

In this post, we’ll feature one of their most loved water softeners- the WaterBoss 220 22000 Grain Water Softener.

The model can efficiently soften up to 70 GPG of water hardness. Not only that, it can reduce up to 10mm iron, and filter all the dirt and sediment in your water for up to 20 microns. This ensures that the water output from this system meets your health and safety expectations.

The system also comes with a patented compact design which makes it extremely easy to install in tight spaces. Because of its design, this system can easily regenerate in around 18 minutes at 2.5lbs salt setting. This enables it to use way less amount of water than other units out there.

Proudly made in the USA, it comes with a 3-year warranty that’s inclusive of the electronics. The outer cabinet together with the media tank enjoys a warranty of up to 10 years. So, in case you get any problems with your new system, feel free to contact the manufacturer ASAP to get things back to normal.

Highlighted Features:

  • Compact size.
  • Built-in 20-micron filter.
  • On-demand regeneration operation.
  • Whisper quiet operation
  • Easy to clean and maintain.

15. ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt 48,000 Black WATER SOFTENER Review:

This is our last candidate of top water softener reviews.Last, but not the least,

we have the ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt 48,000 Black WATER SOFTENER. This is another complete household water softening system that comes with a softening capacity of 48,000 grains and upgraded 10% crosslink resins for efficient ion exchange process and longer lifespan. This model is perfect for homes with 2-5 people.

Interestingly, this model is also powered by the Fleck digital meter valve which allows for automatic regeneration, ensuring that soft water is always available on demand. And because it’s a digital valve- with LCD display and touchpads- it’s incredibly easy to operate for you.

Installation is probably the fun part of this system- with the installation kit included in the package. The kit comprises silicone lubricants for the O-rings, hardness test strips, and sanitizer packets for flushing your new system. A simplified installation guide is also included for hassle-free installation.

Highlighted Features:

  • Digital valve meter with a 5-year warranty
  • 48,000-grain capacity
  • Ideal for homes with 2-5 people
  • Installation kit included
  • Upgraded 10% resin for extended lifespan and efficient softening
  • DIY installation guide
  • Hardness test kit included

Things To Consider Before Buying A Water softener:

Type of Softener

The first step involves determining what type of water softener you’d want to invest in for your water softening needs.

You’ll find different softeners on the market right now. These can be put into two broad categories- namely salt-based and salt-free water systems.

The salt-based are more popular across many homes and involves using salt for successful water softening.

Salt-free models depend on other methods and technologies apart from salt to soften your water. They’re less popular among homeowners.

Both models execute their intended job perfectly well. So, I think the best model to buy depends on your personal preferences.

Size

After you’ve identified what type of softener you want to buy, the next thing you should focus on is the size or softening capacity of that model.

This is important as it ensures you end up with a system that meets your daily home water softening needs.

Check the water softener sizing/capacity section below for more details on how to pick the right size of softener for your home.

Water Softener Certifications

You’d also want to ensure that the water softening system you’re planning to buy has met all the required standards for water treatment equipment.

This will help ensure that your new unit is safe for home use and works as the manufacturer claims.

The most notable certifications to look for include- the WQA (Water Quality Association) and NSF International.

Does your model come with any certification?

Portable or Standard Model?

If you plan to use a water softener outdoors, e.g., while camping, I’d advise you to look for a portable model. These models are remarkably easy to transport to any location. They’re also incredibly affordable. And they soften your water excellently well.

The standard model, on the other hand, is ideal for installing into your existing home water system. They’re more expensive than the portable models and can handle higher volumes of water efficiently and quickly compared to the portable models.

Regeneration Process

Before we dig deeper…what’s the regeneration process?

Right, this is crucial process in the water softening system that involves rinsing the resin beads off the hard minerals (after removing them from hard water) to prepare them for more water softening cycles.

The most important thing to look for here is the length of the regeneration process- the shorter the duration, the better. A regeneration that takes two hours or less is highly recommended as it ensures soft water is always available for your home.

Good news- some of the latest models feature auto-regeneration technique which makes soft water available on demand.

Brand

Right now, there are a hundred and one water softener brands out there. But not all of them manufacture quality, efficient systems that will match your water softening needs and expectations.

It’s therefore essential that you limit your purchase to the reputable brands only. And these include Aquasana, Culligan, Fleck, Morton, and Waterboss (we’ll discuss more details about these names later in this post).

Price

The fact that water softening devices come at varying prices means that you have a chance to find one that falls within your budget.

Usually, a good quality water softener will go for between $400 and $2500, depending on its features and functions.

So, if you set your budget within this range, I can assure you that you’ll get the perfect unit for your home.

Warranty

Let’s face the truth;

Water softeners are just like your home appliances or machinery, meaning that they’re prone to fail at times.

Look for a softener with manufacturer warranty to ensure you’re making a risk-free investment (just in case your system decides to behave weirdly).

I suggest that you go for units with a warranty of 12 months (1 years) or more. This is more than enough to confirm that your system will serve your needs for long.

How To Find Out How Hard Water Is?

Wanna know how to test the hardness of the water you’re using at your home right now?

Well, there are two primary methods to do that. The unscientific/unofficial test and the store bought test kit method.

Let me explains these methods to you separately:

We start with the unofficial method:

  • Grab a clean and clear bottle and fill it with your household water about half-full
  • Next, add around five drops of liquid dish soap
  • Secure the bottle’s opening with a cap and give it several shakes.
  • Now remove the cap and observe the results. You’ll get two possible results:

Here Your Water Possible Result

1. If you see lots of suds, then you might not be having hard water.

2. But if you can only see some soap film or few light suds, then odds are you got hard water.

After establishing if your home water is hard, then you can go ahead and use the official test to ascertain the amount of hardness in it…

For this test, you’ll need you to buy a DIY water testing kit from your from your local hardware store or online stores such as Amazon.

The kit comprises some test strips/tables that change color when they come in contact with the hard water sample. This will help indicate the level of hardness in your water.

How Does a Water Softener Work?

If you have never used a water softener before, you might be interested in knowing exactly how it works.

We’ll focus on the most popular water softener- the salt-based water softener:

As I told you earlier, the system works through an ion exchange process- where the hard minerals are traded with softer minerals to make your water soft.

How the ion exchange occurs?

Well, this softening system comes with two tanks- a brine tank and a water tank. When installing the softener, you ought to do it in such a way that all your household water passes through the tank filled with resins.

Why?

These resins are charged with sodium ions- considered the most effective treatment for hard water- or potassium ions which enable the system to efficiently strip the hard water all the minerals responsible for its hardness, such as magnesium, calcium, iron, etc.

On releasing the sodium/potassium ions into the water, the resin beads attracts the magnesium and calcium ions to complete the ion exchange process.

Types Of Water Softener Systems

The water softeners can be divided into FOUR main groups deepening on the method they use to soften your water. These types are:

  1. Salt Based Water Softeners
  2. Salt Free Water Softeners
  3. Magnetic Water Softeners
  4. Reverse Osmosis Water Softeners

Let’s take a closer look at each of these softeners…

1. Salt Based Water Softeners

A salt-based water softening system utilizes the ion exchange process to soften your water. That is, the ions in the hard water are traded for softer ions- a process known as ion exchange.

This system usually comes with two tanks- a resin bed and the brine tank. The brine tank contains a brine solution that removes out the hard ions (calcium and magnesium) from water and replaces them soft ions (like sodium and potassium).

Note that this is the most common type of softener in use across many homes right now.

Unfortunately, the high concentrations of salt (sodium) in water treated using this system might not be healthy for most people- e.g., those having kidney issues.

This model also requires regular refilling of salt which you’ve to buy.

2. Salt Free Water Softeners

Salt-free systems are also slowly gaining popularity among homeowners…but their effectiveness cannot be compared to that of the salt based models.

To soften your water, these models utilize a complex nano-technology process that involves:

-The scale build-up in your pipes is removed. This is an excellent step since this buildup increases the hardness of water flowing through these pipes

-next, the hard water atomic structure is altered such that it becomes soft.

The entire process is 100% environmental friendly and doesn’t involve any additives.

However, this method design removes all the hardness in your water. Plus it can’t soften waters with a hardness rating of over 8 GPG.

3. Magnetic Water Softeners

In the simplest terms possible, these systems work by using magnetism to alter the liquid structure of hard water. The magnets (magnetic fields) are placed around the pipe carrying hard water to temporarily soften hard water for around 48 hours.

This system is elementary to install and maintain and doesn’t require any additives.

The magnetic systems are relatively cheap.

Unluckily, it doesn’t offer a permanent water softening solution and is limited to waters with a hardness of below 8 GPG. Its hardening efficiency is also questionable.

4. Reverse Osmosis Water Softeners

A reverse osmosis system relies on pressure to successfully push your hard water through a semi-permeable membrane, thereby removing any impurities present.

All the impurities, including the hard minerals, do not make it through this membrane, so you’re left with 100% pure water for home use.

The best part of this system is that it also doesn’t involve any additives, it’s cheap, easy to maintain, and is space-efficient.

But it also has a few downsides... it ends up stripping your water the essential nutrients in water, and it’s not 100% effective at reducing the hardness.

Portable Water Softeners VS Standard Water Softeners: Which One To Choose?

The water softening softeners can further be divided into two broad categories- namely portable and standard water softeners…

What are the differences between the two models?

First, it’s important to note that both are designed to help you combat hard water problems at your home by converting hard water into soft water.

The difference:

A portable unit is just what the names says- portable. And that means that it’s easy to move from one place to another, without any problems. Without a single doubt, this is the most suitable choice for people who are always on the go.

So, if you want to enjoy soft water outdoors, you’ll need to buy a portable softener.

However, the portability and ease of handling that comes with these units don't come without sacrifice…they usually come with a limited list of features – unlike the standard models.

For instance;

Nearly all of them lack the regeneration feature. They also consume less amount of power compared to the standard models. With this in mind, you don’t expect these units to soften as much water as the standard units will do.

A standard water softener, on the other hand, refers to the typical size model that is common in nearly all homes. Unlike the portable model, it comes packed with all the features, and it’s capable of softening huge volumes of water in a single day, in any given household.

For this reason, it will consume a slightly higher amount of power than the portable water softener.

Sadly, a standard water softener cannot be easily moved from one place to another. So, homeowners who are always on the move would want to avoid it at all costs.

In my honest opinion, the right water softener for you- either portable or standard- will heavily depend on your living style.

Water Softeners Size/Capacity Charts

Water softeners come in varying sizes.

And one of the top factors that will help you easily land on the ideal water softener for your needs involves checking the softener size or capacity.

This will help you determine if it will meet your home water softening needs per day.

So, how do you decide the right size of water softener to buy?

The following steps will guide you through:

Step 1: Determines the level of hardness in your water

We’ve already discussed how to determine the hardness of your water using the test kit. The hardness is usually measured in terms of GPG (grains per gallon) and ranges from 3 to 20 grains- with 3 being relatively soft and 20 being incredibly soft.

Step II: calculate your home weekly water consumption

The average person will consume around 75 gallons of water a day. Multiply this average number with the number of people in your home to obtain the total daily water usage.

Then multiply the answer by 7 to get the total usage per week.

Step III: Determine the number of grains you need to strip off the hard water weekly

To do this, simply multiply the daily water usage at your home by the hardness level you obtained in step one.

Step IV: Get the right water softening system size/capacity

Water softeners come in these ranges of capacities: 15 000—24 000—32 000—40 000—48 000—64 000—80 000—100 000.

Your job here is to pick a water softener whose capacity is above the total number of grains you’ll need to remove from your water per week (i.e., the result you obtained in step III).

This ensures that the regeneration process doesn’t occur more than once in any given week (saving you some good cash in the long run).

Installation Guide of Water Softener?

Unlike most of the appliances or devices that require you to hire a skilled person to do the installation for you, installing a water softener is quite easy for everyone, including the beginners.

Below, we take a look at a complete, easy-to-follow guide on how to install a water softener at your home:

1. Start by reading and fully understanding the user manual that comes with your unit. As you’ll note most manufacturers will offer you full installation instructions and even give you video links- making the installation pretty easy.

2. Next, you’ll have to put off the main supply of your household water. Afterward turn on all the faucets in your home as well as garden to drain all the water in remaining in the lines.

3. Next, decide the most suitable location for your new investment. Ideally, it should be placed on a dry, flat level surface, and near a drain. And if you’re using two-tank softening system, be sure to put the brine and resin tank close together (side by side). It should be near an electric outlet.

4. Time to connect your unit to the water system, but before doing that, you’ll need to obtain some measurements- the distance from the cold water tank and the bypass ports on your unit.

Once you get this measurement, cut a copper tubing of the same length and use it to connect the two. Be sure to solder fittings or use connectors to prevent leakages.

5. You’ll also need to install a discharge tube to your softener head. This might differ from one system to another depending on your model, so you should refer to the manufacturer instructions on how to do it.

6. It is also recommended that you install an overflow tube. This one simply attaches to your water conditioner tank. You should also connect it (and the discharge tube too) to the drain.

7. At this point, you’ll need to install a bypass valve by placing it on the top part of your conditioner head valve. Don’t forget to tighten the clamps using a screwdriver.

After that, connect the tubing that delivers water to this valve.

8. Now connect your new unit to the water supply, and confirm that no leakages occur.

9. You can also scrub all the fittings (as well as soldering them) to ensure that everything fits perfectly well.

10. Finally, turn the main water supply back on. You have done a great job; your softener is now fully installed and ready to execute the first softening cycle.

Revisit your user manual on how to start it and get ready for soft water from now onwards.

How To Take Care and Maintenance Water Softener?

One thing you’ll like about your new water softening system is that it requires very little maintenance. However, I’d highly recommend you to do regular checkups for your system to ensure it’s always at its best and gives you the best services over an extended period of time.

Below, I’ll share with you some expert tips on how to take care of your water softening system:

Regular Refilling of Salt

Salt, one of the essential factors in the efficient operation of your water softening machine, ought to be checked and refilled regularly. This is because as your system continues executing its task, the salt added to the brine tank will get consumed. Adding more salt will mean a smooth operation process.

With that said, always ensure you refill salt only when the current amount is consumed (or when your brine tank becomes visible).

Be sure to add the salt up to 2/3 full.

Be Selective Over the Kind of Salt to Use

Being careful on the type of salt to use is essential as it helps keep off damage and extend the lifespan of your system as well as keep it running efficiently.

Luckily, the manufacturer will tell you what type of salt to use for your system.

Besides, keep in mind that using the purest of salts is highly recommended. This will help prevent the formation of the notorious salt mushing and bridging which might affect your unit performance.

Pure salt in pellet or nugget form is even better as it minimizes the formation of salt bridges.

Inspect Your Unit for Salt Bridges or Salt Mushing Regularly

These two cases are known to cause havoc in all the salt-based water softening systems by causing blockages that in turn affect the regeneration process.

If you find a salt bridge or mushing in you softener system, you can break it with the help of a broom handle. Adding hot water to the brine tank helps dissolves the blockages too.

Clean The Resin Bed and Brine Tank Regularly

It doesn’t hurt to clean your entire water softening site once in a while- say once or twice every year.

This will help you easily remove any impurities inside the two tanks that might affect the functionality and performance of your water softener.

What Is The Best Water Softener Brands In the market? Let's Find Out

Some people prefer shopping their products by brand. This is a smart method, given that each industry has a list of brands which if you buy from them, you’re always assured of getting a quality product.

In this section, I’ll provide you with a list of the top-rated brands in the water softening industry, whose products never disappoint and enjoy high popularity the world over.

These brands include:

Aquasana

Aquasana is one of the respected names in the water softening industry. They’re unlike the other brands in that they manufacture great products that are not only performance oriented but also environmental friendly.

That is, all their products are made using minimal waste and more of reusable parts.

In addition to top-quality water softening systems, the company also manufactures faucet filters and shower head filters.

Culligan

Having been on the market for decades (for more than 75 years), Culligan has also built a reputation with its high-performance water softening systems.

You can rest assured that any product you buy from these manufacturers, you’ll get a system that sufficiently fights off hard water in your household water.

Just like the previous brand, Culligan also manufacturer other top-rated water treatment products for homeowners across the globe.

Fleck

Fleck is one of the oldest water treatment product manufacturers. They’ve been in existence for 50plus years and has been on the frontline in the implementation of advanced technology in water softeners, filtering applications, and water softening systems.

If you don’t have an idea which water softener to buy, I highly recommend you to buy the Fleck units. They’ve celebrated customer reviews and loads of positive feedbacks from satisfied customers.

Morton

Morton also has a spot on our top brands' list. It has been producing salt for 60plus years…and it’s still the most reliable provider in the whole of North America region

In addition to different types of quality salt, the company also has a line of water softeners that are widely used all over the states for their efficient performance and efficiency.

WaterBoss

Lastly, we have Waterboss, who have also build a reputation over the years for providing homeowners with the best-quality water softeners.

And unlike their competitors, they embark on making systems that consume less, making them ideal for housefuls who want to reduce their water usage as much as possible.

Just like all the other brands above, Waterboss products also enjoy high ratings from their customers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Water Softeners

1. What is the regeneration process in water softeners?

The regeneration process is the process in which your water softening system removes all the hard minerals (calcium and magnesium) that get attached to the resin beads after a successful water softening cycle. This is a crucial step as it washes and cleans the resins to prepare them for more softening cycles.

2. What kind of salt should I add to the brine tank?

Usually, the manufacturer will recommend you the best type of salt to use with your unit. However, experienced homeowners will tell you that the best kind of salt to use is the clean pellet/ nugget style salt. The common salt has shown to cause damages and blockages to these devices.

3. How often should I add salt to my water softening system?

There’s no set duration after which you should refill your water softening unit. Instead, the frequency is dependent on the size and capacity of your model, the regeneration process, water consumption at your home (or the number of users), hardness of your water, and size of the brine tank.

4. How can I tell if my water is hard?

To tell if your water is hard, you’ll need to do a simple test that involves putting the water in a clear bottle (halfway), adding 3-5 drops of soap and shaking it severally. If it forms a lot of bubbles, then it’s not hard. Otherwise, you’re using hard water, and you need to act ASAP.

5. How can I determine the right type of water softener for my home?

This is usually a tricky part that involves taking into account many considerations to ensure the product you choose matches your personal needs and expectations. Take a look at our full buying guide to get an idea of what things to look for when buying your first water softening system.

6. How do I determine the amount of water usage at my home?

This is pretty easy and straightforward. Take the number of water users in your home and multiply it by 75 to get your home daily water use (btw, 75 is the standard number of gallons an average household would consume daily).

7. Can I install a water softener on my own?

Absolutely! Although there are people out there offering to install your softening system for a fee, you don’t have to spend your cash on this. You can install the new unit on your own if you follow the manufacturer’s guide plus the installation guide we discussed earlier in this post.

8. Are All the Water softening systems salt-based?

NO. While most of the homeowners are used to salt based models, there are also salt-free softening systems that rely on other softening technologies and methods such as magnetic, reverse osmosis, etc.

9. How Much Power Does a Softening System Consume?

If you thought a waster softer relies on huge amounts of power to run efficiently, you’re absolutely wrong. The system uses a very low amount of power- comparable to the amount used by your digital clock- to efficiently turn the hard water into soft state.

10. What’s The Cost of a Water Softening System?

The price of a good quality water softener usually ranges from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand. This depends on a handful of factors- like size, features, brand, and so much more.

Finally…

We’ve come to the end of our long post about water softeners. Hopefully, you’ve gained some helpful information about these quite useful systems. They’re genuinely a real asset for all the families living in hard water areas.

They help run hard water into soft water, thus eliminating the damages caused by hard water to your appliances, water pipes, clothes, skin, and hair. They help cut life costs and reduce unnecessary expenditures, making life easier for you and your family.

Don’t suffer in silence again. Select -top-best water softeners for well water and Don’t give the hard water a chance to ruin your life again. Take our complete buying guide above and let it help you easily pick the right softener for your home today.

Alternatively;

Go through my 15 best water softening picks above and identify and order one that meets your specific needs and expectations.

Remember: Soft water equals soft, smooth, and cost-effective life!

mikebeebe
 

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: