A water softener offers many benefits that you may not have known before. Here’s how you can find the best water softener for your needs. The search for a water softener implies that water can be hard in the first place. But how can this be? Just what is a water softener and how can water be hard? The tap water your home may receive can contain rather high levels of calcium and magnesium. If this is the kind of water you get, it’s called “hard water” due to the extra minerals.
Hard water can present a lot of problems, which justifies the need for a water softener. The water softener removes the extra minerals so the water can no longer be considered “hard” and problematic. By removing the minerals from the water, the water softener solves the problems caused by hard water. If you notice the problems caused by hard water in your home, you may want to get a free water test to confirm that you have hard water. You can then pick any of these excellent water softeners to suit your needs.
Top Water Softener Reviews 2020
DuraWater Fleck 5600sxt Metered On-demand 48,000 Grain Water Softener with brine tank, bypass and 1″ adapters (Editor’s Choice)
This is a complete water softening system, as you get:
- Fleck 5600 SXT Metered Softener Valve
- 1 inch Noryl plastic male threaded bypass
- USA Black Tanks
- Upgraded Paddlewheel Meter
- 1/2 inch Drain Barb
- Safety Float
- Overflow Elbow for brine tank
There’s even an app that goes with this set, so you basically get all that you need. The system uses an ion exchange process to get rid of the magnesium and calcium. It also works with a meter-based regeneration process, which means the system measures the water you use and regenerates only as needed. When you need more water, the system will just regenerate more often to keep up.
- This includes the Fleck 5600 SXT metered control valve and Pentair Structural tanks. They’re all made in the US to make sure they’re of premium quality.
- The Fleck 5600 SXT metered control valve included with the system is actually the most popular valve that DuraWater makes. This is the component that measures your water usage and then regenerates whenever you need. As it only regenerates as needed, you can save on water and salt usage.
- The standard square brine tank included with this system measures 14″ x 14″x 34″. It can hold about 250 lbs. of salt.
- The system also has a safety float to keep you from overfilling the tank.
- It also has an overflow drain that functions as a backup to prevent any water messes.
- The app gives you crucial information, such as the detailed configurations, the technical documentation, and the troubleshooting manual. It can even give you info on which spare parts you need.
- As you have all the components you need, you won’t have to buy extra parts to make this work. It works very effectively, and its quality ensures that it will last for quite a long while.
- Installing this will require some basic plumbing skills, and even then you will still need an hour or two to finish the work.
Eddy Electronic Water Descaler – Water Softener Alternative (Best Budget Pick)
By and large, water softening systems are rather pricey items. If you want to significantly reduce your initial investment, then you may want to opt for this system instead. It’s much more affordable, yet it’s quite good. It even offers a 12-month no-hassle guarantee, and the replace or repair warranty lasts for a lifetime.
- This works by not really altering the chemical “hardness” of the water. Instead, it uses a changing magnetic field to change the adhesion particles of the limescale. The limescale no longer sticks inside your appliances and faucets. It won’t get into your clothes and onto your skin.
- Its installation requires no plumbing changes.
- You don’t even need any salt to make it work.
- It’s extremely easy to install, and it works remarkably well. The minerals stay in the water, but it no longer should bother your water fixtures. The quality of the entire system is completely reliable, which is why it comes with a lifetime warranty.
- The minerals do stay in the water, and there will still be some scales attached to some of your fixtures. It’s just that they won’t be as firmly attached and they’ll be easier to clean.
Watts Water Quality/Condition M7002 Flow-Pur RV-Pro 10,000 Water Softener
This is also a very affordable water softener, and it uses common table salt for it to work. It stops the staining effects of hard water by removing the calcium and magnesium from the water, along with the trace amounts of iron.
- It enables a high flow rate with a very low-pressure drop.
- The built-in drain line flow restrictor gives you a more effective regeneration process. It increases the capacity by up to 55%.
- The flow valves are custom designed to allow for regeneration without having to connect and disconnect the system.
- It has a full cradle base that keeps the tank more secure.
- The price is great, and it’s also quite easy to use. It’s very effective as well in removing the minerals, and it doesn’t need too much salt. You only need 2 pounds for the regeneration.
- Installing this can be a bit problematic and it doesn’t help that the instructions you get are vague and incomplete. If your purchase doesn’t come with a back-flush adapter, you’ll have to buy one for this to work.
Aquasana 10-Year, 1,000,000 Gallon Whole House Water Filter with Salt-Free Descaler, UV Filtration, and Professional Installation Kit
This system gets rid of 97% of the chlorine in your water. It also reduces the levels of industrial solvents, heavy metals like mercury and lead, and organic chemicals like pesticides and VOCs. Basically, it does more than just a mere water softener.
- This employs salt-free technology to prevent formation of scale and protect your protect your pipes from corrosion.
- The brass fittings are easier to install and maintain over time.
- The 20-inch pre-filter lasts twice as long as the standard 10-inch pre-filter.
- The sub-micron post-filter gives you extra protection from microscopic cysts and organic particles.
- It also uses UV filtration that kill off 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, and cysts.
- This is a complete system that comes with just about everything you need to enjoy clean and problem-free water. It’s very reliable, and it comes with a 10-year warranty.
- You really should consider having a pro install this for you. To do it yourself, you will need basic plumbing and carpentry skills. Even then, it can take several hours. You may also need to get PEX tubing as that’s not part of the kit.
Nuvo H2O Dphb-a Home Water Softener System, 5 X 24″ – New Model
Reading all these reviews should make you realize that each system has its own way of treating the water you get for your home. This particular system uses a chelating agent to keep the minerals in the water soluble. So it doesn’t use salt, it doesn’t use electricity, and there’s no resulting waste water.
- Your purchase includes the softener housing and its cartridge, a mounting backplate, mounting bracket, several screws, and a housing wrench.
- This uses 2-inch by 20-inch cartridges, which you will need to replace every 20,000 gallons.
- Its compact design can fit anywhere.
- It’s approved by the FDA and NSF.
- With no need for salt it’s very easy to use, and you end up with clean water that you can wash with and even drink. It also doesn’t use electricity and result in waste water, which is great for the environment.
- This doesn’t work with a private well and not suited for closed-loop recirculation systems or wood-fired boiler applications. You also have to be careful about over-tightening the fitting as this can cause the system to fail prematurely. It also reputedly doesn’t work well in very hot climates (90+ degrees).
Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener iron filter Fleck 5600SXT digital metered valve 32,000 grain
This is a system that softens the water and filters out the iron. It uses the Fleck 5600SXT control head and a fine mesh resin for iron removal. It’s actually a complete system as it also includes the resin tank and the brine tank with safety float.
- This uses a flow meter that measures your water use so that it only regenerates as needed. This reduces the amount of salt you use and it minimizes waste water too. The paddlewheel style meter is stronger and it results in fewer leaks compared to the turbine style.
- The LCD display shows the current system status with just a glance. The touchpad controls are easy to use so you can quickly control various features and settings.
- It comes with a very detailed of installation instructions.
- This uses a stainless steel bypass valve with 1 inch connection so it’s easy to connect and service.
- The warranty is 5 years for the control head, and 10 years for the tank.
- It is extremely effective in removing iron, manganese, sediment, rust, and sand from your water. It’s easy to use, and you get all the parts you need for the installation. It can last for a good long while too.
- Even with the instructions, you’re better off having a plumber take the lead in installing this for your home. Take note that this is meant for smaller homes with 1 to 2 baths.
Morton System Saver 30,000 Grain Water Softener M30
- This uses electronic “look-ahead” technology that monitors and predicts your water usage. It will regenerate only when needed.
- It also uses 50% less salt than other water softeners.
- It’s compact enough to fit in a space measuring 1.3 sq. ft.
- It has an 8-hour power interruption protection and an immediate regeneration button.
- Its uses result in the very high water flow rate of up to 11 gallons per minute.
- This doesn’t take up much space, and it doesn’t use as much salt. The resulting quality of the water is terrific.
- You may find that buying replacement parts for the system can get rather expensive.
Triple Action Poly Salt Free Water Softener
This system is endorsed by the Israel Institute Of Chemistry/Technology, and it doesn’t use salt to treat the water. There are no expensive cartridges to replace, and it doesn’t even need electricity. You only need to get recharge kits and they’re very affordable.
- This is designed for city or well water that’s 25 grains hard.
- It results in an extremely high flow rate of 30 gallons per minute.
- You have a lifetime warranty for the catalytic core. The warranty for all the housing parts is 2 years. There’s also a 90-day complete satisfaction guarantee.
- It’s quite compact and shouldn’t be hard to install.
- It works very well for many people, though it probably depends on how well you install this. This can result in cleaner dishes and glassware, with cleaner interiors for your water appliances.
- The initial cost for the system can be rather high, and the recharge kit costs $30 each time.
Tier1 48,000 Grain High Efficiency Digital Water Softener for Hard Water
This is another complete system that includes a brine tank, a pre-filled mineral tank with 1.5 cubic feet of Cation Resin, a control valve with manual bypass valve, ¾-inch water line connections, brine tubing, and the necessary drain line and mechanical components.
- This uses a digital meter control valve that comes with an LCD display. Some say it’s even easier to use than a Fleck 5600SXT.
- The unique precision turbine meter is in the system bypass valve, saving you 4 feet of floor space.
- It can process up to 48,000 grains of hardness before another regeneration cycle is needed.
- It’s very easy to use, and it is extremely effective in treating water hardness.
- You’ll experience a disruption of your water services during regeneration, and this can last for 2 hours. That’s why most people who use this system schedule the regeneration to occur at about 2AM.
Fleck WS-96k-91SXT 9100SXT Dual Tank Water Softener 96k, 96,000 Grain with The Digital 9100 sxt Valve, Almond or Black
This is a complete system with 2 resin tanks, a larger round brine tank, and the Fleck 9100SXT Digital Control Head Polymer valve body and digital metered head. It’s probably one of the most effective water softener systems you can ever get for your home, and its price does reflect this too. It’s not exactly cheap, but you get what you pay for.
- This regenerates based on your water usage, and not based on time.
- It has a 96,000 grain capacity, which means it can process 96k grains of hardness in between regenerations.
- It treats a maximum flow rate of 20 gallons per minute.
- The brine tank can hold up to 350 pounds of salt.
- The warranty is 10 years for the tank and 5 years for the control head.
- This is extremely effective. It works flawlessly and you can notice the sheer improvements in the water. You should also get a plumber to have this installed, and that will take an hour or 2.
- It’s extremely expensive too, as it enters the 4-figure price level. You have to pay for perfection.
Why Do You Need a Water Softener in the First Place?
You need a water softener if you’ve been using hard water. The problems with using hard water can be both numerous and irritating, and a water softener can solve them all just by taking out the extra minerals causing the headaches.
Here are some of the problems you may have when you use hard water:
- Minerals in the water can build up around your water fixtures. This can then restrict the water flow, and it’s an ugly sight as well.
- You can also end up with soap scum on your bathroom doors, curtains, and bathtub. When the minerals in the water mix with the soap in your shower, you’ll have ugly filmy white soap scum residue. While you can clean this up, such measures will be too frequent since the hard water will just cause the return of the soap scum.
- The hard water buildup can also affect the heating element inside your water heater. The heater won’t last as long as the buildup will ultimately cause the heating element to fail.
- The hard water can also leave mineral and detergent residue on your clothes. Your clothes can then end up dull and scratchy.
- In addition, wearing the clothes you wash with hard water can end up causing you to have dry itchy skin.
- Using hard water to wash glasses, dishes, and utensils can also leave spots on these items. You’ll then end up with dirty dishes and utensils that can dismay your guests and leave you embarrassed.
Having any of these problems can be a sign of hard water, so you need to get a water softener to solve them.
The Benefits of Water Softening Systems
What happens when you do have hard water and you get a water softener? This will result in the following benefits:
- It reduces the damage done by the hard water to your utensils. They will then look much cleaner and they won’t cause your food to taste weird.
- It also prevents any skin damage that hard water can cause. These can include preventing acne and eczema.
- Your clothes and water fixtures can last much longer, and so can your water heater and your faucets.
- You won’t need to use as much shampoo to compensate for how hard water can cause hair to be dull and flat. It’s also been found that using soft water for bathing can result in using 75% less soap.
- You may be able to lower your electricity bill too. Hard water can force your water heater to work much harder to compensate for the mineral buildup in the pipes and water appliances.
It seems very evident that hard water can cause a lot of problems around the board. Instead of multiple solutions, you can solve the problem at the source simply by getting the best water softener to suit your needs. Having the right water softener takes care of your water appliances, pipes, utensils, and clothes and you can even improve your own health as well.