Have you ever imagined a day without water? Of course, for some hours you can survive but after some time it is completely unbearable. You can survive without food for weeks but without water. A big NO.
Hard water is a problem in so many areas and most of us know its hard effects on household stuff and on our health too.
Simply put, Water is life.
If your water contains 60mg of dissolved calcium and magnesium, it will be classified as Hard water. In some areas, it is high as 180mg too. There is a clear difference when we evaluate hard water vs soft water
You will be needing only one cool device and all those problems with ashy skin, stained dishes and spotty laundry will be gone. Once you get your hands on the best water softener on the market, you will surely have an easier time consuming your municipal water.
A water softener is an ion exchange system. It is not a water filter, as many people believe. They are often called water softeners since they are used to remove lime from the water, which is the leading cause of tartar.
Tartar, apart from being harmful to health, produces scale in pipes and electrical appliances that require water to function.
It also produces a particular color that stains sanitary accessories and impairs the cleaning of floors, glass, and mirrors.
10 Best Water Softeners for Home and Commercial Use
|Product Name||Item Weight||Dimensions||Manufacturer||Price Range|
|iSpring ED2000 Whole House||2 pounds||7 x 3.5 x 2 inches||ISpring Water Systems, LLC|
|Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener||180 pounds||48 x 12 x 12 inches||PENTAIR|
|Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener||119.2 pounds||14 x 7 x 21 inches||Abundant Flow Water Systems|
|Eddy Electronic Water Descaler||7.8 ounces||6.69 x 1.57 x 3.54 inches||Eddy Water Descalers|
|Aquasana Whole House||77.5 pounds||9 x 46 x 54 inches||Aquasana Inc.|
|Nuvo H2O Dpmb-a Manor Water Softener||20.3 pounds||10.5 x 10.5 x 28.4 inches||Nuvo H2O|
|AFWFilters WS-96k-91SXT Fleck 9100SXT||53 pounds||14 x 14 x 65 inches||Fleck|
|Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener||20.7 pounds||27 x 17 x 62 inches||Fleck Structural|
|Watts Water Quality/Condition M7002||9 pounds||22 x 10 x 10 inches||Watts|
|WATER BOSS 74011 Waterboss Water Softener||88 pounds||15 x 26 x 19 inches||15 x 26 x 19 inches|
The iSpring ED2000 is fantastic value for money. It is neither the cheapest nor the most expensive on our list, but it is quite interesting. This product uses a computer chip that sends electromagnetic waves through the pipes and thus reduces the chances of minerals and lime building up in them.
What this means is that it does not “soften” the water. It does not remove the good minerals – calcium and magnesium – from it.
The water softener is lightweight and compact and fits comfortably in tight and difficult spaces around the house. There is no point in rearranging things or installing a different plumbing system to accommodate it. In fact, the iSpring is so compact that you can use it underneath the sink cabinets.
It is easy to install in the main water line of the house. It can be installed in different materials – PEX, copper, even CPVC. And another good thing is that it can be installed vertically and horizontally.
Furthermore, it is relatively easy to use. The iSpring brand gives you all the help you need in the form of technical, written and visual support. These three can guide you meticulously through the installation procedure so that in the end, you have a smoothly running system.
The iSpring ED2000 Electronic Whole House Water Softener is an innovative computerized water conditioning system that solves hard water problems without the need for chemicals, salt or filter cartridges leaving minerals in the water and preventing them from forming lime deposits.
It requires little maintenance since it does not need the constant additions of salt or cartridge substitutions that traditional water softener systems require.
2. Fleck 5600SXT 64000 grain capacity - Best Salt Based Water Softener
Compact, efficient, and affordable, this entire home water softening system will serve you well using the ion exchange process to remove calcium and magnesium and extend the life of your pipes and appliances.
- The Fleck 5600sxt digital metered, on demand valve. The newest 5600 model with fully programmable cycles
- Fleck 5600SXT Digital Control Head with bypass valve and 1 “threaded plumbing adapter (yoke)
- 12 “x 48” tank, standard brine tank with safety float system, (color may vary)
- Easy to install DYI instructions comes with AFW Filters kit including USB drive, lubricant, sanitizer pack and test strip
- 64,000 grain capacity for larger homes or high hardness levels
What we like?
The Fleck 5600SXT – Made in the USA – is the first suitable ion-exchange water softener for the whole house that we found in our Opinions. It is the perfect choice for small and medium houses (2 to 6 people). The softener has a flow rate of 12 gpm and can handle medium to very hard water.
Setting up and monitoring the Fleck is a breeze thanks to the easy to operate, fully digital head unit. The system also comes with metered regeneration. This means that regeneration is automatically activated as soon as a certain amount of water has passed through the valve. This prevents waste of salt and water and ensures that you have a softened water supply basically all the time.
What we don’t like?
On the one hand, some pieces are cheap. We would have preferred stainless steel over plastic. We would also have preferred an acoustic alarm instead of the flashing warning light when the water softener runs out of salt. However, this is not a big problem. The average family should be well checking the salt level every two months.
Also, some customers did not receive any instruction booklets with their shipment.
Our Verdict on this:
As we mentioned at the beginning of this section, very large households (7 people and more) can opt for a system with even greater capacity. For small and medium-sized homes, we recommend the Fleck 5600SXT as your best option to counter medium to high water hardness levels. 5 stars!
3. Iron Pro 2 64,000 Grain Water Softener + Water Filter
It is perfect for softening the hardest water intended for use by the largest houses and other commercial establishments around the world. It comes with an impressive 64,000 grain capacity to adequately serve all members of the household.
The smoothest water prowess by removing iron from your water without clogging it really meets homes that need simple and uncomplicated operation.
The manufacturer claims that it is capable of removing up to 75 grains per gallon of water hardness, thus leaving its water soft and easy to use for everyday household tasks such as washing and cleaning.
The beauty of the water dispenser is that it is not only a water softener that removes hardness from iron and water but also removes other harmful minerals such as manganese, sediment, and even rust.
What we like?
This combination of a whole house water softener with a fine mesh resin for high iron removal is ideal for large families in private wells.
The Iron Pro 2 with its 64,000-grain capacity can handle all levels of hardness and the high water flow rate ensures adequate pressure even with your dishwasher, washing machine, and multiple showers running simultaneously.
A fully digital and fully programmable head makes the system easy to use and monitor. Meter-based regeneration helps save water. This feature is particularly important for such a large system considering that 100 or more gallons of water can be used per regeneration cycle –
What we don’t like?
The installation is not for amateurs. You have to cut tubes and make accessories. Does it sound scary? Then we advise you to call a plumber.
If you decide to do the installation yourself to save a dollar, wait at least several hours before everything is in place. Of course, the unit comes with a user manual to help you navigate the many bits and pieces you have to combine.
We really like the Iron Pro 2 softener. It has infinite capabilities (at least that’s what it feels like) and is pretty easy to use once installed. For large houses that have a super high demand for softened water, this unit is worth it.
4. Eddy Electronic Water Softener - Alternative to Salt Water Softener
Why alternative? Because instead of sodium, the softener uses electromagnetic waves to reduce the scaling effects of calcium, magnesium, and manganese salts in hard water.
These minerals are known to adhere to the interior of pipes, forming calcareous deposits.
As a result, water flow decreases and the life of plumbing systems, as well as water heaters, washers, and other appliances is reduced.
Eddy Electronic provides a viable solution to this problem, preventing scale formation and dissolving existing deposits.
Electromagnetic waves applied through two coils placed around your water supply line alter the adhesion properties of the minerals in your water. Therefore, they are less likely to adhere to surfaces and can be removed more easily.
However, nothing is added or removed from the water. This has the advantage that all healthy minerals are preserved. It is also the reason why you will not see a drop in the TDS.
In case you are wondering: The Eddy softener works in both tap and well water and is effective on all types of pipes, except iron and galvanized. The maximum allowed diameter is 1.5 ″. Overall, you can expect great results at hardness levels of up to 20 gpg and above.
It works by emitting an electromagnetic wave that descales the water as it passes through the supply pipes. It does this by using two cables that the homeowner must connect to the incoming water supply line in their home. Subsequently, the water softener submits all the water that passes into a dynamic magnetic field, which in turn works by changing the adhesive structure of the properties of the lime scale.
The result is healthy water that does not deposit on the walls of water pipes and other equipment. Note that the system works exceptionally well with all other water pipes, with the notable exception of those made of lead and iron.
What we like
What we like most about Eddy is the fact that it is environmentally friendly. No salt is added to your water that will then enter our supply systems and eventually end up in our freshwater sources.
The absence of salt also means that the system is highly economical, as you don’t have to continually buy new bags of salt – it also saves you a lot of time. Speaking of money, this electronic softener comes at a fraction of the price you pay for a conventional salt-based softener.
Other benefits are the manufacturer’s provided lifetime repair and replacement warranty and the 12-month money-back guarantee for a full refund if you’re not satisfied with the product.
What we don’t like
As with most conditioners, the Eddy Electronic does not seem to work for all users. Some reported that it did nothing for them in terms of reducing hard stains or fouling on faucets and pipes.
What these customers appreciated, however, was that the company adhered to its return policy and returned the full purchase price.
While the Eddy Electronic Water Softener is a straightforward product for most customers because of its affordability, some remain skeptical.
Overall, it’s a solid choice for homeowners who need an inexpensive but effective softener to protect their appliances from lime build-up, but lack the knowledge to install the system. Unlike traditional water softening systems, the water softener does not use salts or chemicals, but it manages to prevent minerals such as calcium, magnesium and manganese from adhering to different surfaces. Also, the installation process is very simple. If you need an affordable but high-performance softener without salt, feel free to buy it.
We recommend this softener for doing exactly what it promises: Reduce scale. It may not be a true fabric softener, but it does more or less the same at a fraction of the cost.
Excellent price, easy installation. Thus: 4.5 stars!
5. Aquasana SimplySoft salt-free water softener - Aquasana water softener reviews
Are you looking for a salt-free water softener, also known as a conditioner, that prevents fouling in your piping system and appliances that use water in an effective and environmentally friendly way?
Then Aquasana SimplySoft may be the right choice for you.
It is a whole-house softener with a dual tank system design that uses Nucleation Assisted Crystallization ( NAC ) technology to naturally condition water and reduce its flaking effects, thus prolonging the life of your water heater, dishwasher, washing machine and much more.
By the way, it naturally means that nothing is being added or removed from the water. How is it possible?
Well, SimplySoft uses a special type of media to alter the structure of hard minerals. This prevents them from sticking and forming deposits, a method that has been proven to reduce fouling by up to 99.6%, Aquasana says.
Because calcium, magnesium, and all other ions are not replaced by salt, the TDS reading for your water will remain the same.
What we like
As a result, you are provided with unsalted drinking water suitable for people with a salt-restricted diet, you do not have to carry heavy bags of salt, the water is safe for the environment as well as for your garden and septic system.
Other benefits are that SimplySoft does not require cleaning and preserves all healthy minerals.
And before we forget, Aquasana offers a 90-day total satisfaction guarantee on this product (only when purchased directly from the manufacturer). In other words, if you don’t like fabric softener, you can return it for a full refund of the purchase price – no questions asked. However, you are responsible for the return shipping costs.
Plus, you get a 6-year limited warranty.
What we don’t like
The first problem we have with this product is that your warranty is void if you install it yourself. This obviously means that you have to spend even more money than you already have – the system is not exactly cheap – to hire a licensed plumber.
What’s more, a handful of customers saw no difference in water quality. They said that SimplySoft is a waste of money and that a salt-based water softener works best for them.
Also, changing the pre-filter can be a bit tricky if you have Reverse Osmosis with water everywhere.
While for some customers the Aquasana SimplySoft didn’t seem to work, most are content with reducing scale without more hard water deposits on surfaces like bathroom fixtures. For them, the system works exactly as advertised – you can’t ask for more than that!
We wanted it to be a little more affordable because you also have to calculate the installation costs. If money is not an issue and you are looking for a salt-free water softener, you really can’t go wrong with this unit.
Our Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars.
6. NuvoH2O - Best Salt Free Water Softener
According to the company, this is sufficient for houses over 2,000 square feet, however, this statement does not make much sense. Because what is more important than the square footage and the number of bathrooms in your home is how many people actually live under your roof.
The greater the number of people, the greater the daily water consumption and the more water the system will have to process in a given period of time. Makes sense? Brilliant!
Also, we wanted to clarify that we are not talking about a traditional salt-based water softener. Rather, the Nuvo Mansion is a conditioner that alters the way hard minerals behave in water through chelation.
Firstly, the system does not remove either calcium or magnesium. Instead, a chelating agent, in this case citric acid, is added to bind those minerals.
This is what prevents deposits from forming in your pipes and appliances that use water.
And that is not the end of the story. Even existing inlays can dissolve over time. But there is a catch – actually, there are two:
The manufacturer discourages the use of this system if you are in a private well.
For this to be effective, the pH level of the water must be at least 7.2. As far as we know, the higher the better.
What we like
Probably one of the greatest benefits of NuvoH2O is its respect for the environment. Compared to a real softener, it doesn’t release tons of sodium or potassium into our water supply systems and no water is wasted for regeneration or backwashing.
Another positive aspect is that this unit is much more compact. It has a single tank design since it does not require a second tank to mix the brine.
What we don’t like
The biggest problem is that too many people don’t see any improvement or difference in their water after using NuvoH2O for a month or more. They use the same amount of soap. They have hard water that collects in shower heads and dishwashers. Basically everything is exactly as it was before.
We believe this is because your water is already too acidic and the chelating agent has no scale reducing effect at that time. Nuvo as a company definitely has to better educate its potential customers in this matter, so that they do not waste their money on a useless device. In general, customer service seems to have a hard time answering technical questions anyway.
Another problem we see is that replacement cartridges are quite expensive. Compared to the softening salt that can be purchased at $ 2 or $ 3 a bag at Costco, more than 30 bags can be purchased for the same price, which tells us that the cartridges simply cost too much.
And lastly, the water may turn bluish for a couple of days after installing the conditioner if it has copper pipes. It is not harmful to health, but nevertheless it seems strange.
Let’s recap: The NuvoH2O System is easy to install and does a decent job on a reduced scale, as long as your water is alkaline. You can even remove existing hardness deposits, think about it for a second.
In short, it is the right choice for you if you don’t like salt water. Just be aware that it is not a real fabric softener.
Considering the high price and rising maintenance costs, our rating is 4 stars.
7. AFW Filters Fleck 9100 SXT - 96,000 Grain- Best Dual Tank Water Softener
What is special about this system is that it provides soft water continuously and without interruptions. How? It’s actually quite simple: The 9100 SXT features a dual tank system.
As soon as the active tank has exhausted its softening capacity and regenerates, the reserve tank fills up and can immediately provide more soft water. While one tank is in service, the other has time to refill its resin, making the system ideal for large homes and for light commercial softening.
The valve is made in the USA. and is designed for a maximum of 50 grains of hardness per gallon. That according to the standards of the Water Quality Association is considered very hard water. ( Source )
Additionally, the unit can handle iron up to 2 ppm.
Flow rate? Between 12 and 15 gallons per minute.
Incidentally, each resin tank that is part of the agreement has a capacity of 32,000 grains.
If you do the math, you get a total capacity of 96,000 grains – there is no reason to worry more about calcium, magnesium, and other hard minerals.
What we like
As you may already know, a salt-based water softener uses salt and water for backwashing to recharge its resin beads that are used for the ion exchange process.
How much salt and water is needed depends on individual and system conditions, but expect that at least 50 gallons of water will probably go down the drain. Also, an average softener with about 30,000 grains as in our case uses about 6 to 8 pounds of salt per regeneration cycle.
So it is important that you opt for a device with a meter. Measured means that the system actually measures water usage and, based on the level of hardness, calculates how much salt and water is needed for recharging. As a result, resource consumption is minimized, a measure that benefits the environment and your pocket.
Fortunately, the Fleck 9100 SXT is metered. In fact, you can choose between a paddlewheel gauge and a turbine gauge.
Although the paddlewheel gauge is already connected to the valve and has the advantage that it is more durable, it is also larger than the compact turbine gauge. The turbine meter, in turn, has the disadvantage that it is less durable and requires additional programming before use.
What we don’t like
Our only complaint is that we have heard from customers that they received a package that was missing the installation manual and that the instructions are generally difficult to follow.
As a dual tank system, the Fleck 9100 SXT provides an endless supply of softened water 24 hours a day.
Users have praised it as a great unit of work that can compete with the big names in the industry. The low price is the icing on the cake. Double thumb up!
8. Fleck 5600SXT 48000 grains - Best Softener for house holds
Another worthy consideration for homeowners looking for a water softener that offers impeccable performance and remarkable durability is the Pentair Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain 10% Improved High Capacity Resin.
The main difference between the softest water model and other models on the market is that it doesn’t compromise on critical features like performance, usability, and durability just to keep its price low. It offers the user the best of all worlds, balancing all the features and specifications for the best hassle-free experience.
A highlight is the addition of a convenient LCD screen and an intelligent on-demand flow system that minimizes the use of water and salt. However, surprisingly,
With a capacity of 48,000 grains, it is more than capable of handling all the water needs of a large multi-occupant home. The water softener comes with a 10 percent crosslinking resin, the special design, and formulation of which allow it to continue to operate effectively for a long time. As a result, the entire system will also be able to last the same time, even with minimal maintenance. Other components or accessories that make up the entire system include a tank, a control head, a brine tank, and afloat.
As industry dozen, the Fleck 5600Xt 48,000 Grain Water Softener continues to lead the pack in performance and durability, and even in ease of use. The water softener also comes with a number of exceptional features that, together with its large capacity, easily make it the ideal product for the vast majority of households with high water demands. The package comes with all the components and accessories you need to start softening the water right away. It obviously has a tank, a control head, resin, and a brine tank.
The unique design and operation set it apart from its closest competitors in a field that is always fiercely competitive.
For example, it comes with a flow meter whose engineering provides efficient management of household water consumption and invariably regenerates according to the ever-increasing water needs of the household. The system goes overboard by reducing the percentage of salt concentration in the water, in addition to avoiding excessive waste.
Another facet you will find attractive is its durable and strong construction. While most water softener manufacturers have an unwavering preference for the turbine style, this model, however, features the meter’s paddle wheel design. The result is increased durability and reliability over soft water dispensing, which means you will have the system for years to come. By implication, it is best to give you the value of your money in the long run.
The design aims to improve usability so that each and every member of the house can use it effortlessly. To this end, it has a convenient, time-saving LCD screen to help the user track the condition of the softener.
9. Watts Water quality/condition M7002 - Watts Company
The Watts M7002 water softener is designed for outdoor enthusiasts who can’t tolerate the thought of forgoing the health benefits of pure water while on the road. Like all other water softeners, the main function of the machine is to remove all hard minerals like lime from the water, leaving it healthy and usable.
For users who plan to hit the road or do it frequently and have had to put up with hard water, the Watts RV-Pro will be a great help. It quickly and effectively handles all the hard substances in the water, like magnesium, calcium and iron, while the regeneration process will take care of any build-up.
It’s safe to say that the performance of the water softener is on par, if not better, than some more expensive brands out there. And the installation process is quite simple, as it has everything you need. The only downside is the absence of automatic regeneration.
So there you have it, outdoor enthusiasts. If you plan to go out in the RV this weekend, just grab this softener. Its portability and ability to work with common table salt make it a solid choice.
Plus, it effortlessly accommodates a 4 GPM water flow without a drastic drop in pressure. It is an efficient option, in terms of performance, considering that it has a capacity of 10,000 grains and a corresponding 1/3 of cubic feet of resin. With all these features, the Watts RV-Pro is guaranteed to be an instant hit with RV owners and outdoor enthusiasts.
10. WATER BOSS 74011 City Boss Water Softener - WaterBoss Review
The WaterBoss brand has gradually but steadily built a name for itself in the water softening niche on the strength of its expertise and experience. Its products are remarkably high-quality and long-lasting since the manufacturer uses nothing but high-end materials for their construction, resulting in an outstanding performance that homeowners have grown accustomed to.
They are as reliable as they are dependable. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that one of their flagship products, the WaterBoss 74011 Water Softener, is the subject of this in-depth review.
- Another unique selling point is its expertise at quickly regenerating in roughly 18 minutes at a setting of 2.5 pounds. The water softener is so good at regenerating that it uses a fraction of the water standard water softener use to achieve the same results. People committed to preserving the environment by using the least possible amount of water will find it to be a desirable alternative.
- Other attractive features include a 36-month warranty that also covers the electronics. There is also a 120-month warranty that covers the media tank and the outer cabinet. Such long warranties should give the user peace of mind and the confidence to use the water softer as much as they can safe in the knowledge that all defects and malfunctions resulting from manufacturer’s use of low quality products or a shoddy manufacturing process will be taken care of .
- With a 36,400 grain capacity and a factory-installed 20-micron water filter, it does an astounding job keeping you and your appliances from destructive and harmful water contaminants. Its meter based regeneration system uses the least amount of water. In spite of being compact, it remarkably softens water up to 90 grains per gallons, meaning that it’s quite efficient. Couple that with the fact that it’s affordable and has a 10-year warranty on the tanks and cabinet and another 36-month warranty on the electrical system and you have yourself one of the best water softeners on the market.
A Comprehensive Guide To Buying The Right Water Softener
A more excellent economy and less environmental damage will occur if the softener is supplied with a smaller dose of salt and allowed to regenerate more frequently.
While it is true that this saves salt, it is equally true that it uses more water. The same amount of water is needed to regenerate a lower dose of salt than a higher dose.
Regeneration requires approximately 250 liters of water, depending on the size and configuration of the softener.
Iron and manganese removal
Water softeners are often used to remove small amounts of iron from well water, and they are very good at this if conditions are right.
The primary condition is that the iron must be in its ferrous state, that is, that the water must be clear when it enters the softener.
If a softener is used to remove iron, it must be regenerated more frequently. No more than three days should elapse between regenerations if the iron load is significant.
What this means is that having a meter-style softener is pointless if you are removing the iron.
It is much more practical to use a less expensive timer model and simply set it to regenerate every three days. Sometimes it causes hard water etching on glass shower doors
Next, let’s see what are the advantages and disadvantages of removing iron and manganese from the water with a softener :
- The softening resin can be recycled and reused.
- Ion exchange can systematically remove dissolved iron and manganese from water to extremely low levels.
- Softeners have lower backwash water requirements than oxidizing filters.
- The removal of iron and manganese is not appreciably affected by the pH of the water or other factors.
- Softening will not work satisfactorily if there are iron bacteria or rusty colored water, if only occasionally. If particles are present, a sediment pre-filter is often placed before the resin tank.
- A water softener will not remove the smell of hydrogen sulfide.
- Water softeners produce brine that must be discarded. If you don’t have a sewer to pour it into, the removal of the waste brine is likely to be done directly into the ground. This can contaminate the groundwater and, subsequently, your well or your neighbors’ downhill wells.
Why buy a water softener?
Any appliance that heats the water, be it a dishwasher, hot water tanks, washing machines, or kettles, will have a reduced useful life if used with water with excessive lime. Therefore, ultimately, it may be more cost-effective to install a water softener than to have to replace expensive household appliances at home as often.
Also, limestone-rich water tends to damage household pipes over time. This results in decreased water flow, sometimes we see clogged pipes, and you have to call a plumber.
Also, note that clothes washed in hard water tend to get damaged much more quickly. This is also the case for white tableware; these are marked by limestone over time. Water softener operation will solve all possible effects of hard water.
Finally, soap and shampoo are also more effective in the shower or bath when the water is not that hard. Buying a water softener solves all these problems.
How do you know if the water is very hard?
First of all, it is best to ask yourself if we are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, for example, problems with pipes.
But it is better to cure than to prevent, and a very simple test is to fill a bottle, half tap water and add a few drops of dish detergent. Then shake the bottle and watch the reaction unfold.
If the mixture is not perfectly homogeneous or a thin layer of soap is present on the surface of the water, this is a sign that you need a water softener. Additionally, you may have signs of hard water on hair
To check for sure, you can test the water hardness with a water quality tester, better known as TDS, which will give you an accurate value. Otherwise, simply consult the map of the areas with hard and soft waters.
How to install and maintain a water softener?
The latest models of water softeners can be installed by yourself, thanks to the instructions provided with the appliance.
However, in some cases, the connection can be made by a professional plumber to ensure optimal operation.
Maintenance can also be carried out by an individual, and you just have to make sure to add salt once a month in the tray provided for this purpose.
Depending on the model, the filter should also be changed approximately every three months.
Finally, it is necessary to check the correct operation of the appliance regularly. To do so, a water quality tester can be used to define the efficiency of the softener.
What are the advantages of a water softener?
The benefits are many. First, we can talk about dermatological problems that will be solved with the installation of a softener. This is particularly interesting for young children whose skin is naturally more fragile than that of adults. The latter can also have sensitive skin, due to conditions such as atopic dermatitis, for example, or psoriasis. Daily exposure to calcareous water can aggravate symptoms (itching, redness …)
Limestone will gradually surround the resistance of washing machines, dishwashers. Not only will the appliances deteriorate, but you will have higher electricity consumption because they are struggling to do their job. If you don’t get a good washing result, you will be tempted to add clothes. The addition of detergent products will generate (in addition to an additional financial expense per month) more significant contamination of the wastewater, the possible formation of plugs, etc.
Finally, the pipes are also eaten with tartar and limestone and will require the intervention of a plumber …
It’s worth noting that cold water can also be a victim of limestone – it doesn’t just attack systems that heat water! But a softener must be plugged in, only to operate the circuit that produces hot water. Beware. However, this generality has its exceptions. Look carefully at the product sheet of the softener to be sure!
How do we choose?
A water softener has the function of converting hard water into more drinking water containing less harmful substances. Is drinking hard water bad for you? Not really but it has some effects too. Also, healthier water with low limestone load will not harm your appliances, such as or. However, choosing a suitable model for your needs is not easy.
Before buying, you should consider two main criteria: the hardness of the water in your area and the number of people in your home.
Different types of water softeners:
- Resin water softener: It passes water through two tanks (one containing resin beads and the other filled with salt). The sodium ions will replace the ions responsible for the hardness of the water (calcium and magnesium). These are the most common and most recommended if you have severe problems with hard water. However, this system is often bulky and must be installed alongside an evacuation to discharge the salt container.
- Water softener: It removes contaminants and dissolved minerals from the water by forcing them through a filter. You will benefit from tasteless, odorless, and colorless water without chemicals. This system is slightly less efficient than a resin appliance, and the performance is a bit low because the device only produces 5 to 15% of the filtered water.
- Magnetic Water Softener: Connected to the water inlet pipe, it creates a magnetic field that deteriorates the water molecules, making the water softer. They are not only the most compact but also the most ecological. They require no installation or tanks, are virtually maintenance-free, and are relatively easy to install. However, if you have water with a hardness of more than 171 mg / l, this system will not be sufficient.
- Salt-free water softener: uses nanotechnology to alter the molecular structure of water and soften it. It is intended for moderately hard water. Effective in removing lime deposits from your pipes, it also ensures that dissolved minerals do not harden the water again, making the situation worse. Maintenance is easy, and you don’t need to install it near the pipes. This system is also more environmentally friendly than a resin softener, but slightly less efficient.
There are different types of valves:
- The chronometric valve: it performs regeneration of the resin at fixed intervals, regardless of the amount of water used in the chimney. These are the first models that have been put on the market.
- The volumetric valve: It allows regeneration once all the water that can be softened is consumed. This system constantly estimates the volume of water left to soften thanks to the mechanical meter. In addition to the characteristics that we have just mentioned, these are the ones we take into account to choose:
- The effectiveness of the water softener: In addition to taking into account the size of the tank, the amount of salt it contains, you must take into account the time it takes for each supply of salt before having to replenish it. Also remember to see what people who have already used the device you plan to buy say, especially those who live in the same area as you.
- Dimensions: The actual size of the device is only an issue if it is restricted in space. But what matters most is the unit’s ability to make the water less limestone without having to go through frequent regenerations. In the case of a resin water softener, Romain recommends that you opt for a device that lasts at least 3 days before recharging.
- Controls and features: Most water softeners have automatic controls that regulate basic functions such as regeneration cycles or the amount of water to be treated. However, there are some models with user-adjustable controls on the market, like the timer.
- Regeneration of a softener: When the water softener is operating, hardness particles will accumulate in the resin bed of the unit. When this accumulation reaches a certain level, the water softener begins mixing the salt in the tank with several tens of liters of water to remove the fixed particles from the resin. This process (which takes about 30 minutes) will then rinse the tank so that the unit can soften the water again.
Based on these features, brand reliability, and user feedback, we have chosen the 10 devices as the best available on the market today.
The number of home users
The criterion of the number of users refers to the capacity of the softener. In fact, the volume of resin depends on certain parameters, including hardness and the number of people.
Finally, it is crucial to know the rooms in the house that require softened water.
Since the softener will connect to your water meter, all pipes and appliances will benefit from the softened water.
When purchasing a softener, pay attention to the time allotted for checking the water quality.
Naturally, people who don’t have enough time to tackle this task will choose an automatic model, while more willing ones may opt for a manual.
Prefer models equipped with floor coils and filters, these items will be a useful aid in case of device failure.
Water softener: manual or automatic?
Softeners intended for domestic use exist in two categories: manual and automatic.
It is preferable to opt for an automatic softener that makes it easy to use because manual softeners are sometimes restrictive. In the automatic category, the volumetry of a single body is highly recommended.
This type of softener proves to be advantageous. Firstly, the hardness of the water is verified by the volumetric regeneration of the resins according to their water consumption.
In addition to that, it has a warning light and a low salt alarm. In this context, it is advisable to use a quality salt, preferably a higher purity refined salt in accordance with the French standard NF 406 or the European standard EN 973 type A.
In all cases, with an automatic softener, your user will not have to control the water used.
What is the Maintenance of a domestic softener?
Like any other device, the softener needs regular maintenance to guarantee its correct operation.
The first thing to do is supply salt, because this element participates in the regeneration of the resin.
Therefore, it is necessary to regularly check the level of salt in the tank.
Regarding the TH of the water, check every 6 months with a TH test.
Otherwise, you must change the pre-filter cartridge when it shows an ocher color.
This change should be done every 3 months on average.
Disinfection would be appreciated, especially in the case of a long absence. Finally, don’t forget to clean the salt container of your softener when it is dirty or clogged.
Of all the devices that are installed in your home, the water softener is without a doubt the one that works the most. In order to guarantee you running water suitable for consumption, it must work 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, without interruption! Therefore, it is also the device that is most exposed to wear.
This is why it is essential to maintain your water softener regularly. This not only ensures that it works properly and therefore avoids any health risks, but also ensures its longevity.
Maintaining the water softener is not rocket science. The business basically consists of supplying you with salt, changing your filter, cleaning it and replacing certain defective components.
To ensure that your water is treated properly, you should systematically check that the level of salt in your softener is sufficient. In fact, the salt guarantees the production of resin, an essential element to remove the magnesium and calcium present in the water and replace them with sodium.
You must add salt:
- When there is no more water at the bottom of the tank
- When the salt level reaches a point that you have previously marked or marked.
- In both cases, be careful not to put too much.
The pre-filter cartridge is an important component of your softener. In fact, it is the one that will retain all the harmful and undesirable elements contained in the water. The quality of the latter, therefore, essentially depends on the reliability of the cartridge.
This is why, approximately every six months, or every year for certain devices, the condition of the pre-filter cartridge should be checked. If it’s ocher, it means it’s worn out and needs to be replaced!
Cleaning and disinfection of the softener
Once a year, check the condition of your softener: if you notice that it is dirty or full of salt, remember to clean it simply using clean water. Remember to clean the salt container and remove the crusts that have settled there, always with water.
Also plan for complete disinfection every two years to prevent or stop the growth of bacteria on the device. To do this, use bleach or opt for commercially available prepared solutions specifically designed for resin cleaning. This disinfection should also be done if you have not used your device for a considerable period of time.
Water hardness analysis
Every six months, systematically test the hardness of tap water. If you see a 10% minor or greater variance, it could mean there is an abnormality somewhere, so please adjust your device to get things back in order.
Is there a maintenance contract or not?
The water softener is not difficult to maintain and hardly requires any specific or strenuous maintenance, especially if you have opted for quality equipment. Once installed, it works just like any appliance that should work without interruption – your refrigerator, for example! Does the latter need a maintenance contract? Of course not! The same goes for your household water softener.
The maintenance contract is only necessary for water softeners for industrial use, and whose arrest or any possible breakdown cannot be allowed.
How to install your water softener
The good thing about all filtration systems throughout the house is that their installation is more or less the same. Learning how to install a water softener correctly, however, can be a challenging task and if you’re not sure about it, it’s best to hire a professional for the job. Regardless, we will guide you through the main steps of the process to achieve maximum clarity.
- Turn off the main water supply, and then locate the inlet pipe inside your garage or basement.
- Cut the pipes after your water meter just before the pipe enters the home.
- This is where you want to connect your tubing connection – it must have 3 valves: 1 to prevent water from entering the softener, 1 to prevent water from leaving the softener, and 1 bypass valve.
- Make sure the connectors are properly seated and do some soldering if necessary.
- Connect the media tank to the brine tank using a 3/8 inch plastic tube (normally supplied).
- Connect the drain line to the drain elbow using a hose clamp.
- Connect the discharge pipe to the sewage drain
All good things come to an end and the same can be said of our extensive guide to the best softeners on the market. Our team is dedicated to providing you with only up-to-date information along with expert advice. We hope our feedback on water softeners has helped you choose the product you like best. If you liked the article, show it to your friends or share it online. Let us know if anything can be changed or improved. Thanks for reading and as always.