10 Best Water Softeners Reviews, Tips & Guides
- 1 10 Best Water Softeners Reviews, Tips & Guides
- 2 Definition of Hard Water
- 3 Hard-water related problems
- 4 Top 10 Best Water Softeners system reviews
- 4.1 1. Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener system
- 4.2 2. RUNNER UP: Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener
- 4.3 3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: iSpring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler Water Conditioner
- 4.4 4. DuraWater 64k-56sxt-10al 64,000 grain water softener
- 4.5 5. Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole House Water Softener Systems
- 4.6 6. Watts OFPSYS Whole House OneFlow Plus Salt Free Scale Prevention and Water System
- 4.7 7. YARNA Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System
- 4.8 8. Springwell Water Softener System
- 4.9 9. Pelican Salt-Free Water Softener
- 4.10 10. AFW Filters Iron Pro 2 Water Softener
- 5 Buying guide: How to choose the best home water softener?
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
- 7 Conclusion
A water softener is probably one of the most effective appliances to handle with hard water. It is regarded as one of must-have items for most households in the modern world. However, before buying a water softener for home, it is necessary to spend a little time researching some important information. Let us explore the definition of hard water, how to tackle this problem and some effective solutions to hard-water related issues. Moreover, you should also review some best water softeners available on the market, followed by buying guides and some frequently asked questions (FAQs). Therefore, if you plan to purchase the best water softener, please keep reading this article because it may provide you with some useful buying instructions.
Definition of Hard Water
Hard water comprises of more calcium and magnesium compounds than soft one. The amount of calcium carbonate in hard water is often more than 7 grains per gallon.
Moreover, people also use parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per liter (mg/L) to measure the hardness level of water.
Although calcium does not cause serious health problems, which is proved by many studies from renowned universities, it can still have detrimental effects at a high percentage in the water.
1. Water pipes and equipment
Any household with hard water will come up against damage to water pipes and equipment. The residue in the water will damage the appearance of all water pipes and appliances such as stains or wreak havoc, which leads to some problems such as leakage or broken details. Moreover, you may have to face more issues in your water heater or pipes, where the water comes to a standstill for longer hours.
Hard water often has higher pH and some noxious mineral ingredients, which are the culprit of skin problems such as allergy, dryness or itchiness. Therefore, if your household is facing hard water, it is recommended that you use bottled water, instead of tap one, to wash your face. This can help you avoid the risk to be caught with serious skin issues.
Moreover, hard water is proved to exacerbate your contemporary skin problems such as eczema or dermatitis. Some harmful mineral content also results in itchy scalp or brittle hair.
3. Stains on water appliances
The mineral content will stick for a long time, so it causes stains on water appliances such as toilet bowls, tiles or bathtubs. They are often difficult to remove, so you need to use more soap to clean it.
Top 10 Best Water Softeners system reviews
1. Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener system
Although it is not so popular in cities today, there are some households, especially in the countryside or isolated areas, using water from a well. In addition to some problems related to hard water, those in these regions also have to deal with an extra nuisance which is iron. They need to buy a water softener to solve that issue, and this is why Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener System is the best water softener for well water.
A Large Capacity
This best water softener offers you 5 different options of capacity, ranging from 32,000 grains to 80,000 grains. This enables you to soften any amount of hard water, no matter the size of your well.
According to the definition, the hard water category includes water with more than 7 gpg or 120 ppm. This water softener is strong enough to deal with hard water with up to 85 gpg or 1456 ppm. Therefore, it is regarded as one of the best water softeners, which is worth an investment.
Designed to remove iron
Its name implies its main purpose. Via ion exchange, this water softener can remove iron and effectively eliminate those extra nuisances on your tiles and equipment. Therefore, it makes sure that there is no metallic taste in your drinking water, helping protect your health.
This Iron Pro Water Softener system is made of a fine resin, which enables it to remove iron of moderate concentration effectively. It can handle iron environments up to 8 ppm. Even you can use it if iron level reaches 10 ppm. However, to make sure your system operates smoothly and effectively, you should put an extra iron filter. This also helps lengthen the life expectancy of your water softener.
You can set auto-regeneration for this softener after a certain amount of water or time. Its digital touchpad controls are quite user-friendly, which means it is easy for beginners to follow. It takes you just about 2 minutes, and then you can leave the system to handle all.
- Designed to handle hard water
- Strong capacity
- Can remove iron completely and effectively
- Regenerates automatically
- If iron concentration is too high, you need to pre-filter
2. RUNNER UP: Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener
The next best water softener on our list is Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener which weighs 180 pounds, but it is a worthwhile piece of equipment to filter up to 64,000 gpg from your water. It can access the Pertain Scan and Service App to provide you with information about configuration, spare parts and technical figures.
Besides, you can also set auto-regeneration for this salt water softener system to soften your water daily or weekly. Using digital controls makes you free from worry about adding too much or too little salt to your system. Just programm it in 2 minutes and leave the rest to the unit. This water softener is an ideal option for a large home to remove calcium and magnesium from the water.
- Highly recommended in many water softener reviews
- Regenerates automatically
- Can handle up to 64,000 gpg
- So far there has be no negative feedback
3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: iSpring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler Water Conditioner
If you are looking for a water softener which is eco-friendly, this iSpring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler Water Conditioner is a perfect choice. Although it cannot remove heavy minerals from the water as effectively as other pieces of equipment, it is still regarded as the best whole house water softener.
It’s budget-friendly and convenient
One of the reasons why this iSpring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler Water Conditioner is so popular – it is ranked the best electronic water softener – is that its price is not as expensive as the cheapest salt water softener on the market.
In addition, this equipment is also very easy to install. You do not need to turn on and off the water supply or cut pipes. Instead, all you have to do is to wrap the two cables from softeners around your pipe and then plug it into a power outlet.
This water softener operates by electromagnetic force. Therefore, you can be protected from noise exposure during the process of generation. Moreover, you do not need to replace salt every couple of months, which helps save a considerable amount of money.
It tackles the problems of most households
According to many good housekeeping water softener reviews, seeing this device’s affordable price makes some people skeptical about its efficiency. They are afraid that it does not work effectively when removing nuisances from water.
On the contrary, this best water softener has received a lot of compliments from users. Most households have reported that there are noticeable improvements, including better soap or shampoo and more luscious feel of shower water. In addition, consumers have also noticed that there is a considerable reduction in serious health problems such as allergy or tangled hair.
iSpring is one the most illustrious water softener brands, so it is worth putting your trust in their equipment. It is an ideal option for those who do not have a fluid budget but want to possess an effective system that can remove hard substances from water.
Moreover, when buying a water softener from iSpring, you will be provided with a 1-year money-back guarantee in case of the worst scenario. Besides, whenever you encounter problems during operation, iSpring’s staff are always ready to support you.
- Can be installed easily
- Can remove chemical and salt effectively
- No need of maintenance
- Cannot remove hard substances from water
4. DuraWater 64k-56sxt-10al 64,000 grain water softener
Although this DuraWater 64k-56sxt-10al 64,000 grain water softener is not very affordable among the water softeners for sale, it is still worth an investment for your consideration. This water softener can remove magnesium, calcium and iron in the water to protect your pipes and prevent you from some health problems.
Moreover, you can program auto-regeneration through the use of digital touchpad controls. This means that you can set a regeneration system to make sure that it is suitable for your schedule. Besides, it also shows you error codes, which makes it easier for you to deal with technical problems. This equipment weighs 140 pounds and consists of a bypass valve and an installation tutorial.
- The regeneration operates automatically
- Helps remove unwanted substances, making sure users are well protected from health problems
- Not very affordable
5. Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole House Water Softener Systems
This Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole House System consists of a tank with float, a resin and a Fleck control system. It is regarded as one of the top rated water softeners on the market, which is worth an investment. However, its drawback lies in its limited grain options. There is only a choice with 48,000 grains in capacity for you to choose.
The product comes with a state-of-the-art regeneration process, meaning that the system operates only when the water capacity is needed. Therefore, those who are environmentally conscious should opt for this device. Besides, the valve is guaranteed for up to 5 years, which surely makes you feel assured. Not to mention, it has been tested and proved that the device can work for nearly 30 years. When it comes to the tank, it is promised to last for long, 10 years, to be exact.
With so many outstanding features, there is no reason why this water softener is on this list. To learn more about the product, please continue reading.
Like many other salt water softener systems, you can regenerate this Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole House System by using a preset time cycle. Moreover, it can rejuvenate based on the actual stage, which makes it far more noticeable than other products.
Besides, its mechanism is very simple and user-friendly. Measuring your household’s water with a meter, it can regenerate when reaching the maximum quantity or when you use a preset time cycle. This enables you to save a considerable amount of water, time and electricity. It also makes sure that your water is soft without an excessive amount of salt.
Easy to control
This appliance is equipped with an LCD screen to show you the current status of the system. Moreover, whenever there is a problem, this digital screen also displays error codes. This helps you define the roots of problems so that you can solve them more easily. At first, you can find it a little bit difficult, but for a longer time, you will actually find it more useful.
Certified by WQA
This water softener is a credited product. All of its components are certified by WQA, proving their efficiency of solving issues related to hard water.
- Certified efficiency
- Comes with advanced auto-generation system
- Easy to control
- Limited grain option (only one with 48,000 grains in capacity)
6. Watts OFPSYS Whole House OneFlow Plus Salt Free Scale Prevention and Water System
This water softener deals with hard water through a TAC system so that it can attract heavy minerals. After that, it neutralizes in the water by forming harmless, inactive crystal particles, reducing limescale buildup on fixtures. It also prevents the minerals from binding to anything else, which reduces future scale build-up.
This 15-pound water softener requires no electricity or salt to operate, but it does require a cartridge replacement every three years to keep working properly. While it costs more than similar salt-based alternatives, it is practically maintenance-free once installed, so you will not have to worry about salt levels.
- Applied OneFlow+ technology that can handle 30 grains per gallon
- Can be installed without difficulty whether it is on a floor or mounted on a wall
- One of the most compact water softeners
- The cartridge is not as strong as promised
7. YARNA Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System
Regarding what is the best water softener, this device from YARNA is surely worth consideration. Magnetic pulses are used by the water softener to neutralize heavy minerals, as they pass through the water pipe. The minerals become crystals and do not bond with anything else, avoiding and minimizing limescale build-up in your water system.
Magnetic water softeners are typically only suitable for small to medium-sized households. However, the Yarna Capacitive Magnetic Water Softener claims to be capable of treating hard water in any size household as well as small apartment buildings with up to 20 units. Wrap the impulse bands around any type of water pipe and plug the unit into the nearest power outlet for a simple installation. While it is more expensive than most magnetic water softeners, it is still less expensive than most salt-based or salt-free softeners, making it ideal for any hard water problem.
- A small water softener
- Comes with magnetic pulses that handle heavy minerals
- Can be installed with ease
- Rather costly
8. Springwell Water Softener System
When it comes to dealing with hard water, salt-based systems, which have proved to be successful on several occasions, are the best option. This salt water softener produced by Springwell has a 10% crosslink resin and grain ranging from 32K to 80K, making it a system worth considering if you have a variety of hard water issues at home.
Easy to control
Few, if any, other salt-based water softener systems provide the same level of control and convenience as the Springwell. Rather than configuring the system with three small buttons and a dull, lifeless LCD screen like you would with a regular water softener, you can now do so through Bluetooth connection from your phone or tablet.
You can input water hardness level, monitor current water pressure, see how much soft water you have left, and whether it’s time to schedule a new cleaning cycle using an app.
You will be able to customize the regeneration time. At the touch of a button, you can change the duration of backwash, rinse, brine refill, and valve settings. Maintaining a steady supply of soft water while preventing resource waste from premature or overdone backwashing has never been easier.
A complete solution
Springwell has grain options of up to 80K, so if you are a bachelor or a multigenerational family, you will have a softening option.
Everything you need is included in the system. A bypass valve, mounting bracket, and drain line are included in addition to the softener tank, head, and brine tank. Installation is simple—they recommend hiring professionals, but they also provide a step-by-step guide for DIYers.
A UV lamp is included as an add-on since a water softener does not filter or remove microorganisms. It can handle a wide range of bacteria and viruses, including E.coli, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia lamblia, ensuring that your water is safe.
The UV lamp, on the other hand, will set you back nearly a thousand dollars thanks to its own control head and clever design.
The 10 percent crosslink resin in the Springwell softener lasts years longer than the standard 8 percent resin in other systems.
Its efficacy is backed by a six-month money-back guarantee, during which time you can return the product for a full refund without questions.
A lifetime warranty against faults covers the system, its fittings, FutureSoft media, tanks, housings, bypasses, valves, and in/out heads. If your water comes from a private well, there are additional terms that need to be considered, so read the warranty details carefully and discuss it with their sales representative.
- Resin that is long-lasting
- Adaptable to a variety of household sizes
- App-based smart control
- Money-back guarantee for six months
- Guaranteed for life
- Components are NSF-certified, but the system is not.
9. Pelican Salt-Free Water Softener
If you are tired of mineral scale but do not want to add salt to your water, this Pelican Salt-Free Water Softener is a perfect option.
The Pelican NS3 does exactly what it says it will: it changes the forms of the minerals that cause hard water, making it harder for them to remain in your pipes.
The DVGW (Deutscher Verein des Gas und Wasserfaches, the German association for gas and water) has accredited the system to avoid 99.6% of scale. The WQA has also given it a gold seal of approval for structural integrity and material safety.
However, as is typical of a salt-free softener/conditioner, the NS3 is not especially useful with mineral spots. Therefore, if you want to cut down on the time you spend cleaning your glassware, mirrors, fixtures, and cars, you will be disappointed.
A complete solution
The NS3 includes a fine pre-filter that can remove sand, dust, rust, and other sediment down to 5 microns (1/20 the size of a human hair) to improve performance. The pre-filter helps to relieve some of the pressure on the resin while also improving the water quality. Besides, it also consists of a mounting and wrench, which means that there’s no need to run to the hardware store for extra tools.
A male npt, rings, and connection nuts are also included in the package, so you will have everything you need to get started. Installation is a simple do-it-yourself work, making it much less expensive than systems that require professional assistance.
A high initial cost
This saltless softener (descaler) system currently costs over $1600 at the time of publication. For a basic filter softener system, that’s a lot of money! Aquasana’s 5-stage filtration and softening system are readily available for the same price.
You get what you pay for in this case, though. It promises unrivaled water quality according to reports. Furthermore, the system does not require salt or electricity, and it does not waste water when in use. Except for the semi-annual pre-filter change, it doesn’t require any component substitutes. The BIFL is, without a doubt, an investment, but it is well worth it.
- Not complicated maintenance
- Certified by NSF and DVGW
- Guaranteed for life
- Not affordable for everyone
- Mineral stains are not reduced
10. AFW Filters Iron Pro 2 Water Softener
Another best water softener that should not be missed is AFW Filters Iron Pro 2 Water Softener. Iron, sulfur, manganese, sediment, sand, calcium, and magnesium are all removed by the AFW Filters Iron Pro 2 Water Softener, which combines an iron filter and a water softener. The metal is filtered through a mesh resin filter and comes with a device that tests your water for iron content.
The water softener has a grain capacity of 64,000 grains, making it suitable for large households with hard water. The bypass valve effectively isolates the water softener while gardening, and the metered regeneration system makes maintaining softened water production easy. However, keep in mind that it’s a salt-based water softener, and it is not small at 120 pounds.
- Can handle heavy substances including iron, sulfur, manganese and sand
- Comes with a mesh resin filter
- Capacity of 64,000 grains
- So far there has been no negative feedback
Buying guide: How to choose the best home water softener?
Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to choose the best home water softener system among many water filtration & softeners on the market.
Step 1: Determine the hardness of your water
So your home has all of the signs and symptoms of a hard water problem. However, how hard is the water you’re working with? You can find out in one of three ways.
- Estimation and Assumption
This water hardness scale integrated into the US map, adapted from the USGS’s concentration of hardness map, may give you a rough idea of how hard your water is.
Water hardness may not be an issue in areas marked white or blue on the map. TDS levels in the water in these regions are usually less than 7 gpg, which is considered soft or mildly hard. There’s no need to soften it because the health benefits of getting enough minerals outnumber the risks of limescale buildup.
However, if you live in one of the orange or red-colored zones, which covers more than half of the United States, you most likely have hard water that requires softening, though this varies by city or municipality. TDS equal to or greater than 7 can be problematic in areas with high enough mineral levels in the water.
- Using a device
Because it is based on a study conducted on large geographic regions four decades ago, the estimation method is not completely reliable. A testing kit, also known as a TDS (total dissolved solids) meter, can provide more accurate results.
These useful tools are very common in households with people who want more control over the different types of water used in their homes, whether it’s drinking water or water for a fish tank.
- Sending the water to a professional laboratory
It’s best to submit the water to a certified professional lab for a complete composition analysis for the most accurate results.
The lab test results will not only help you figure out how hard your water is, but they will also reveal the unique elements that contribute to it. It will also show you whether there are any other contaminants or microorganisms in the water that you should be aware of, such as lead or pathogenic bacteria.
Step 2: Choose the grain options
A water softener is most likely installed at the point of entry, which is where water enters your home for the first time. As a result, the size of the softener should be determined by your household’s daily water usage.
A salt-based water softening system’s capacity is usually expressed in grains, which indicates how many grains of hard water it can handle in a cycle. The capacity increases as the grain size increases.
Step 3: Consider your budget
When it comes to water softener price comparison, a water softener for a home can cost anywhere from $500 to $2500. Water softeners with a higher grain size are more expensive than those with a lower grain size.
Besides, a salt-based softening system is normally slightly more expensive than a descaler when installation and maintenance costs are factored in. The descaler may appear to be the better choice for those on a tight budget.
If you have extremely hard water that affects your appliances, a salt-based softener is the way to go. It isn’t necessarily the more costly option when you consider that it will extend the lifespan of your appliances.
Step 4: Check some other features
When purchasing a water softener, look for the following characteristics in addition to type, size, and price:
- Cross link resin
In the world of softeners, “cross link resin,” or S/DVB, refers to a styrene resin that has been cross-linked with divinylbenzene.
Most resins that soften in the US are 8% crosslink, while a few systems (some on our list) have a 10% cross link resin. Although the difference doesn’t appear to be very much, it can mean long-term resin life. This is particularly true when it comes to chlorinated water, which is known to damage crosslinks considerably.
A water softener is certified to remove certain elements, as the certificate indicates. Although this is not absolutely wrong, it means that the device has been tested thoroughly and effectively to industry standards.
Also, the softer has a gold seal from the water quality association is an indicator of high quality (WQA). This means that the softener has complied with strict industry standards and annual production plant audits. This should provide you with confidence in the product’s quality, durability and safety.
- Automatic features
Automatic features can make your water softener more convenient. Some modern salt-based soft drinks can either add salt themselves or inform you of low salt. This saves you from wondering if it is time for a bit of maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
1. What are some famous water softener brands?
Here are some brands worth considering when you plan to buy water softeners:
Fleck is a Pentair brand, which was founded in Minnesota over 50 years ago. It’s a leading water treatment brand in the US and it’s one of the oldest names in the game.
Fleck concentrates on one thing: making products which soften water and few brands can match their performance on that market if any. It makes salt water softening systems highly effective, which is affordable for most households as well. Its ability to soften varies greatly, making picking the right one for your home easy.
It’s not a new name for Whirlpool. The Michigan company has been using household and water equipment for over a hundred years. The company offers excellent customer service as well as high-quality water softening systems.
Whirlpool softeners are known for their integrated self-cleaning screens, perfect for water from a private well with sedimentary problems. You can also subscribe to a company reminder when the cleanser is changed.
As the name suggests, General Electric Company focuses mainly on electrical equipment, a category that does not usually include most water adjusters. Nevertheless, NSF & WQA, two of the most famous bodies responsible for water quality control in the United States, have tested and certified the few GE softeners produced.
All genetically modified softeners are salt-based. They come with GE SmartSoftTM technology, which makes it possible to replenish the water usage pattern based on a cycle preset by the user.
2. Is water from water softeners safe enough to drink?
If only the contaminants are hardening minerals, drinking water from a water softener is safe. The water softener removes or neutralizes the hardening minerals so that they do not bind. A water softener, however, is not a water filter and does not remove any other dangerous particles. As such, only soft water should be relied on, not cleansed.
3. How do I clean the water softener for the house?
To clean a water softener, dump and remove all water and salt from the tank. Draw the saum grid and set it aside from the base of the tank. Then use the warm, soapy water and a long-handled brush to rinse inside the tank and rinse it with clear water.
Use a 1/4 cup blanket mixture and 2 to 3 gallons of water to fill the tank once rinsed. This blend should be fitted to kill any microorganisms for at least 15 minutes. Replace the brine grid, refill with water, and fill with salt. Rinse the reservoir again.
Hard water is a serious issue that needs to be carefully considered. Or else, your family is more likely to be caught with some dangerous health problems. Therefore, it is necessary to invest in the best water softener system. However, before purchasing, you need to read detailed information to choose the best suitable one for your household.