While most homeowners don’t think about it, the reality is nearly 90% of homes in the United States have a hard water problem. That means millions of families are dealing with hard water and don’t even realize it. In this post, we’ll see which is the best water softener.
You can use water softeners to reduce the hardness(ie mineral content) of the water in your home.
Thankfully hard water isn’t necessarily harmful to your health. It can however have a negative effect on various aspects of your life.
Hard water can ruin all the pipes in your home. As a result the appliances in your home will no longer be able to work effectively. Having to replace pipes and appliances can prove to be extremely costly and something you would rather avoid.
Hard water can also have a negative effect on your skin and hair leaving them both very dry and dull. This can be a huge problem if you work in an environment where you always need to look your absolute best.
Just imagine having to give a presentation at work and your hair looks like you haven’t combed it in 3 months. That’s not a good feeling and it could completely ruin your presentation.
The good news is fixing your hard water problem isn’t as difficult as you may think. All it takes is a good water softener and you will be good to go with a supply of soft water for your home.
Once you have the right type of water softener your pipes will be protected and you will no longer have to worry about clogged pipes, scaling and unwanted water leaks.
Now before you can pick the right water softener you must first understand what hard water is and why using a water softener is so important.
And that’s what this guide is all about. After you finish reading it you will be armed with the knowledge needed to pick the best water softener for the hard water problems you are dealing with in your home.
Best Water Softener: Comparison table
Below, you’ll find a quick comparison of our favorite water softeners. We’ve actually reviewed 15 in this post, but we also selected some really special ones below.
15 Best Water Softeners(Our top picks for 2020)
Now that you understand what water softeners are, how they work and how to maintain them, let’s discuss some of the best whole house water softeners on the market.
1) USA Fleck 9100SXT Water Softener
If you are looking for a water softener with a great flow rate, you will absolutely love the USA Fleck 9100SXT Water Softener. With a flow rate of 20 gallons per minute you will never have to worry about not having enough soft water in your home.
The great thing about this water softener is the fact it comes in four different sizes. That means you have the ability the choose the one that provides your home with the best flow rate and hardness capacity.
This Fleck salt water softener comes with two separate tanks. One resin tank and one salt reservoir. Both tanks vary in size depending on the version of the system you choose to purchase. The salt reservoir for the smallest version of the system is 14 x 25 inches and 15 x 35 inches for the largest version of the system.
The smallest resin tank is 8 x 44 inches and the largest one is 12 x 52 inches. Mounted on top of the system is the controller unit which adds to the height of the system. This system also includes basic parts for the plumbing connections in your home.
Being that this system comes in 4 different sizes the flow rate will be different for each system. The smallest version has a normal flow rate of 5 gallons per minute. That goes up to 7 gallons per minute. The smallest version has a hardness capacity of 26,000 grains.
The largest version of the Fleck water softener has a normal flow rate of 17 gallons per minute with a peak flow rate of 20 gallons per minute. The largest version has a hardness capacity of 70,000 grains. And again, being that there are 4 different version available, finding the one that works best for your home should not be a problem.
Please note this system requires a drain for the used brine solution as there is no brine tank, and it also requires electrical power for the regeneration controller. The regeneration controller gives you the ability to control when the regeneration process takes place.
You can set the start time, time of day and the how severe the hard water problem is. Well water can be very hard, for example. This way when the unit reaches a certain capacity it will automatically start the regeneration cycle.
Depending on the size of the unit you choose to invest in, you can expect to use up 20 pounds of salt during each regeneration cycle. During periods of heavy use you will be able to manually initiate a regeneration cycle.
The USA Fleck 9100SXT Water Softener comes with a 5 year warranty on the valve and 10 yrs on the tanks. If the softener is used to remove iron or magnesium from the water the media warranty will become void.
It will also become void if you use the system with water sources that have a high concentration of chlorine.
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2) WaterBoss 700 22,000 Grain Capacity Water Softener
Like most other water softeners the WaterBoss 700 22,000 Grain Capacity Water Softener can remove both calcium and magnesium from your hard water. The one big difference however is that it can also remove clear water iron, which is commonly found in well water.
Since this is a salt water softener it uses the ion exchange process to trap the minerals that cause hard water. It can remove up to 10 parts per million of clear water iron and can treat water that has a hardness of up to 70 gpg. And thanks to its 22,000 grain capacity it can trap up to 22,000 grains of hardness before needing to go through a regeneration cycle.
Acting as an additional filter, the resin media will also trap sediment particles and prevent them from entering into your homes plumbing system. At its peak this system has a flow rate of 12 gallons per minute.
Like any salt water softener, this system must be connected to a wastewater drain and an electrical outlet in order for the regeneration cycle to function. The regeneration cycle is responsible for purging any calcium or magnesium that has been trapped in the system. It also flushes out any sediment that has accumulated over time.
Typically it will take around 19 minutes for the regeneration process to be complete. During the process the water softening system will use up to 16 gallons of water and just under 3 pounds of salt.
To help manage the regeneration process the system features an electronic control panel. The control panel gives you the ability to set the time of day you want the regeneration cycle to occur. This way you can avoid running the cycle during times when your family needs needs access to water.
If necessary there is also an option for you to start a regeneration cycle on demand. Additionally, the self cleaning cycle can also be initiated on demand.
The WaterBoss 700 comes with a built in whole house filtration system that can remove both sediment and dirt that makes it way into your water supply.
The great thing about this system is its single canister design. Because of the way the system is designed it has a very small footprint. It can hold up to 120 pounds of salt and comes with a three year parts warranty from the manufacturer. There is also a 10 year warranty on both tanks (including the brine tank) and the valve assemblies.
As far as installation goes this water softener comes with all the parts and valves needed. However, in some cases you may need to purchase additional fittings to finalize all the connections.
- A quiet, highly efficient water softener with built-in iron...
3) Whirlpool WHES30 30,000 Grain(best value water softener)
With the ability to remove up to 140 gpg, the Whirlpool WHES30 30,000 Grain softener has one of the highest hardness ratings of any softener on the market. Add that to a 9 gpm service flow rate and you see why this is one of the best systems for homes with extremely hard water and also the best value water softener.
The resin bed can handle up to 30,000 grains of hardness and can recover over grains per pound of salt during the regeneration cycle.
To help save space this system has a very simple design consisting of a one piece cabinet. The resin tank is located inside the salt reservoir which can hold up to 200 pounds of salt. When the system is running low on salt there is an indicator light that will turn on letting you know it’s time to add more in.
Everything needed to install this water softening system will be included in the box. However, depending on your set-up, you may need to purchase additional fittings to connect everything to your plumbing.
Unlike many other water softeners on the market, the Whirlpool WHES30 30,000 Grain softener does not come with water conditioning features that can make the water taste a bit better.
The control panel allows you to set water hardness settings, time of day and the start time for the regeneration cycle. The controls give you full control over when the regeneration cycle takes place and ensures its not during a time when your family is using a lot of water.
For your convenience the system comes with a built in sensor that will trigger the regeneration cycle when indicated by the water use signal. If you set the softener to maximum salt use the regeneration cycle will use around 43 gallons of water to cleanse the media.
Both electrical power and drain connections are required in order for this system to go through the regeneration process. Whenever the salt gets too low the indicator light will let you know. It will also let you know the active flow rate which will help you identify potential leaks in your home.
To help with the removal of iron build up, this system features an iron removal setting that triggers an additional backwash cycle during regeneration. This is very useful if you have a well that has hard water, as iron is quite common in well water.
Besides being able to remove up to 140 gpg from your water supply, the Whirlpool WHES30 30,000 Grain softener can also remove up to 12 parts per million of clear water iron. And with a service flow rate of 9 gpm this system can provide enough soft water for up to five people.
This system comes with several different warranties so you can be sure you are covered should something go wrong in the first few years of you owning the system, again reinforcing how it’s the best value.
- Whirlpool WHES30 is ideal for households of 1-4+ people and...
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4) Aquasana 1,000,000 Gallon Rhino Water Softening system
The Aquasana 1,000,000 Gallon Rhino is a water softener that is in a league of its own. It is a saltless water softener that features a mechanical prefilter and two chemical filters. This combination creates one of the best water conditioning solutions for your home. And the best part is no drains or electrical connections are needed for the base system to function.
The system uses various filters to remove things such as algae, bacteria and other unwanted minerals from your water supply. When the water enters the system it will go through a prefilter cartridge where rust and silt particles will be taken away.
Once the water passes through the prefilter cartridge it will then make its way through a catalytic media where calcium and magnesium will be transformed into inert crystals.
While water treated this way will retain its original hardness value, the crystallized minerals will not form scales which means you won’t have to worry about spots or stains on your dishes. This also means draining for wastewater will be a thing of the past.
Unfortunately Aquasana does not provide any guidelines when it comes to how much hard water you can treat with this system. You will basically have to figure it out through trial and error.
Once the hard water has been treated it will make its way through two additional chemical filters. The first chemical filter is a copper zinc media bed. This filter is responsible for removing anything that will inhibit the growth of bacteria and algae. The second filter is an activated carbon media filter that removes organic chemical compounds.
You have the option to add additional components such as a post filter and a UV filter. The post filter will help get rid of the smaller particles that come in at 0.35 microns. These are the particles that can easily get missed by other filters.
The UV filter can help eliminate a variety of bacteria and viruses. The UV filter requires electrical power to operate. Adding it will cause your monthly power bill increase. If you live in a home that uses well water, these two add-ons can prove to pay off big time.
All components of this system have a 7 gpm flow rate. If your home is less than 3,500 square feet and less than 3.5 bathrooms, this system will be perfect for your home.
With a six year lifespan for the water softener media, and a 10 year lifespan for the main chemical filter, you are sure to have a water softener that will last for many years to come. The pre-filter needs to be changed up to 4 times a year and the post filter, which again is optional, only needs to be changed 2 times per year maximum.
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5) Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener(Best Home Water Softener)
This salt free whole home water softener comes with a prefilter that will remove sediments in your water supply. The softener will then kick in and neutralize any minerals that cause your water to be hard.
That’s why it makes it our #1 pick for best home water softener.
This water softener comes in two different sizes making it perfect for both smaller and larger homes. The largest version of the system has a 15 gpm peak flow rate and the smallest version has a 12 gpm peak flow rate. Both systems include a pre-filter that needs to be changed every six to nine months.
When you change it will depend on how often you use the system. Both systems come with four replacement filters in the box.
Note this system was designed to be used with municipal water supplies. If your home uses well water you will need to test it for iron, hydrocarbons and hydrogen sulfide before allowing it to go through the water softener system.
If any of these compounds are present you will need to eliminate them by pretreating the water. Once the compounds have been removed you can send the water through the system as you normally would.
This particular system can treat up to 50 grains per gallon of hard water. That means it can handle some pretty hard water.
Keep in mind this particular system does not remove calcium or magnesium from the water supply. It works by crystallizing those two minerals and turning them into stable forms so they won’t bind to surfaces and cause soap to be ineffective.
When treated this way the water won’t leave a slippery feeling on your skin that you often get from softeners that use salt.
And while this system does indeed prevent the formation of scale deposits, it does not remove any chemicals that can have an impact on how the water tastes. The good news however is you can install the system almost anywhere since it doesn’t require an electrical connection or wastewater drain.
All valves and fittings needs to setup the system are including. In some cases you may need to invest in additional plumbing to complete the connection.
All Eddy water softeners come with a 90 day satisfaction guarantee. You will also get a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects on all parts including tanks and valves.
The Eddy salt free water softener is the best water softener for homes using very hard water from the city. Not only will it neutralize a ton of minerals, but it will also condition the hard water, filter out sediment, get rid of hard water stains, reduce scale buildup and help your cleaning products be much more effective.
- 12 month 100% "no quibble" Money-Back Guarantee + Lifetime...
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6) GE 30,400 Grain Water Softener
This salt based water softener uses a resin bed to eliminate the minerals that cause your water to be hard. It also gets rid of clear water iron and features a set of electronic controls that allow you to manage the entire regeneration cycle.
This system is perfect for homes with extremely hard water as it has the ability to remove up to 95 gpg and 7 parts per million of clear water iron. It has a service flow rate of 7.5 gpm and the resin bed can remove up to 30,400 grains of hardness before the system needs to go through a regeneration cycle.
Being that this is a salt based system and not a salt free water softener, it must go through a regeneration cycle a few times a year to ensure the resin beads can continue doing their job effectively. The resin bed is regenerated by flushing it out with a brine solution. The brine solution will remove calcium and magnesium from the resin bed.
For every pound of salt used, the regeneration cycle will remove 4,800 grains of hardness. The salt reservoir can hold up to 200 pounds of salt which means you don’t have to worry about constantly refilling it.
For every 1000 grains of hardness that gets removed during the regeneration cycle, 2.8 gallons of water is used. Generally speaking one regeneration cycle will use just over 35 gallons of water.
Being that this is a salt based system you will need a power connection and a wastewater drain. The power connection will give you the ability to control the unit by scheduling the regeneration cycle to take place at a specific time.
You will also be able to set the hardness level of the water which will allow the unit to calculate the resin capacity based on how much water is flowing through the system. Using these two features, the water softener will be able to easily determine how often the regeneration cycle should take place.
If needed, there are also additional controls that give you the power to force the system into an immediate regeneration cycle. You can also set a low salt warning alarm so you don’t forget to refill the salt reservoir.
This water softener comes with several warranties including a limited one year warranty on the system itself, a three year warranty on the electronic controller and a 10 year warranty on both tanks.
This softener does come with all the fittings needed for a basic installation. However, in some cases additional plumbing connections may be needed to complete the installation.
While the GE 34,000 Grain Water Softener does not come with additional filtration features, it does provide one of the highest softening capacities and can remove clear water iron.
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7) Discount Water Softeners Premier 48,000 Grain Water Softener
This whole house system is designed for medium sized families that consist of a maximum of 4 people. And though its hardness capacity is below average, this system is still about to provide a decent service flow rate of 15 gpm.
The Discount Water Softeners Premier 48,000 Grain Water Softener is a salt based system that uses a resin bed to remove magnesium and calcium from the water. It can handle up to 24,000 grains of hardness before needing to go through a regeneration cycle.
For every gallon of water that goes through the system, 35 grains of hardness gets removed. Make sure you use this value when determining whether or not this system is right for you home.
This system also has the ability to remove up to 3 parts per million of clear water iron. Other then that this system does not provide any other treatment or filtration.
This is a salt water system which means regular regeneration is required to ensure calcium and magnesium don’t continue to build up and render the system ineffective. The regeneration process does require an electrical connection and a drain line.
One regeneration cycle for this system will take about two hours and will use just under 30 gallons of water. For every pound of salt the system uses, 4,880 grains of hardness get removed. The unit can hold a maximum of 200 pounds of salt.
The regeneration cycle is controlled by a demand initiated system and a timer. The water flow is measured and anytime it reaches a certain capacity, a regeneration cycle will automatically be initiated.
The timer gives you the ability to set the start time of the regeneration cycle at the most convenient time. The best time is usually late at night when very little water is being used. You can also override the timer and force an immediate regeneration cycle.
This system comes with a 10-Year Control Head/Valve Warranty and Lifetime on Resin and Brine Tank.
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8) Iron Pro 2 64,000 Grain Water Softener
If you have a large household the Iron Pro 2 is the perfect water softener for your home. With a 64,000 grain capacity it has the ability to handle any level of water hardness. And thanks to a high flow rate of 16 gpm, this system is able to maintain adequate pressure even when multiple faucets are in use.
One of the many things that make this system so great is its all digital fully programmable head. This feature makes using and monitoring the system as easy as pushing a few buttons.
To save water the system uses a meter based regeneration process. Being that this is such a big system and it can use over 100 gallons of water for every regeneration cycle it goes through, having a feature that can help you save water is a huge benefit.
This is not the type of system you would want to install yourself. If you are new to dealing with water softeners it is best to call in a professional. Cutting pipes and installing fittings is not for amateurs.
If you do decide to set it up yourself, be sure to set aside several hours as this is a job that can take quite a bit of time to complete. You should also make sure you read over the manual thoroughly before you get started.
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9) Nuvo DPMB Manor Water Softener System
If you prefer a salt and chemical free water softener, the Nuvo DPMB Manor Salt Water Softener System is a great option. However, just be warned it is one of the most expensive systems on the market.
To prevent ions from forming scales, this systems uses a chelation process that binds the hard water-causing minerals together. It also reduces how often scaling takes place by reducing the pH levels in the water.
If you live in an area with very hard water, the Nuvo DPMB is not the best option for you. Because even after you install it you may still find yourself dealing with a significant amount of buildup.
Being that this system does not do any filtering, you should really give it some careful thought before purchasing it.
10) Krystal Pure Tier1 48,000 Grain High Efficiency Digital Water Softener
The Krystal Pure KS15HE Water Softener has a 17.5 gpm flow rate which is one of the highest on the market. Add that to its 48,000 grain hardness capacity and its easy to see why this is one of the best softeners for large homes that use a lot of water.
This is a salt based system which means it uses a resin bed to get rid of the calcium and magnesium that finds its way into your water supply.
It is designed to work with water sources that have a hardness of up to 60 gpg and up to 10 parts per million clear water iron.
The Krystal Pure water softener comes with two main components: a salt reservoir and a resin media tank. The way it’s set up, a simple two part layout, reduces the chances of brie flow being blocked by salt during the regeneration process.
The one big issue with the layout is how bulky it makes the system. The resin tank sits right next to the salt reservoir which means it will take up a bit more space.
With a peak flow rate of 17.5 gpm and a service flow rate of 12.8 gpm, this system can handle the demands of a large household. The system comes with all needed bypass valves and plumbing fittings. However, additional connectors may be needed to complete installation.
The Tier1 48,000 Grain High Efficiency Digital Water Softener is able to remove up to 48,000 grains of hardness before needing to go through a regeneration cycle. Please note the system does not provide any water conditioning as far as taste goes.
The salt reservoir can hold up to 150 pounds of salt. Each pound of salt has the ability to remove up to 50000 grains of hardness during the regeneration process. Depending on the hardness of the media in the resin bed, each regeneration cycle can last between 80 to 120 minutes.
Being that this is a salt based system you will need a wastewater drain and an electrical connection to properly operate the system. With the control unit you can manually set what time you want the regeneration cycle to take place. The best time is late at night when most people are sleep and water isn’t constantly in use.
Manually setting the hardness level of the water helps the machine know when it’s reached a certain capacity so the regeneration cycle can be scheduled accordingly. You can also manually set how much salt you want to be used during each regeneration cycle. And if need be you can manually override the system and force an immediate regeneration cycle.
All Tier1 systems come with a 100% TIER1 NO WORRIES GUARANTEE.
11) Morton 434,000 Grain Capacity Water Softener
If your home has very hard water this is the water softener for you. Not only does it have a 34,000 grain capacity, but it also filter out sediment and remove clear water iron from your water supply.
Unlike many other water softeners on the market, the Morton 34,000 uses a single tank design. And as with other softeners, it too can remove calcium and magnesium.
This system can process up 34,000 grains of hardness before needing to go through a regeneration cycle. It’s safe to say this system can handle extremely hard water thanks to its 120 grains of hardness per gallon.
The great thing about the sediment filter is that it is self cleaning. That means you never have to worry about changing it. And best of all, this system is able to work with both well water and municipal water supplies.
To remove calcium and magnesium from the water this system uses resin media. When the media is at full capacity, the brine solution will automatically kick in and get rid of any minerals that have accumulated. Any sediment that has been drawn out of the water in your home will also get removed during the regeneration cycle.
Note you will need a wastewater drain and an electrical connection for the unit to operate. For every pound of salt that goes through the regeneration cycle, 5,089 grains of hardness gets removed.
The control panel allows you to set the hardness of the source water, regeneration time and time of time. Contact your local water provider to find out what the hardness of your source water is. You can also use a home test kit to figure it out.
Morton uses a look ahead technology that is able to monitor water usage and automatically start a regeneration cycle when needed.
To save space Morton enclosed the resin tank inside of the salt reservoir. The reservoir can hold up to 210 pounds of salt and has a 18 gpm service flow rate. This flow rate is significant for households of just about any size.
The system comes with all needed valves and fittings for setup. Morton offers a one year in home service warranty, a three year warranty on electronic components an a 10 year warranty on both tanks.
The system is equipped to handle both well and municipal water sources.
12) Aquious AQFS220C Full House Water Softener and Filter System
If you would prefer to avoid having chemicals and salt in your water, the Aquious AQFS220C Full House Water Softener and Filter System is just what the doctor ordered. This salt free water system uses citric acid to change the properties of the minerals that cause the water to be hard.
By changing the properties of the hardness minerals scaling will no longer take place when water makes contact with certain surfaces.
With a flow rate of 12 GPM, the Aquious AQFS220C is a great option for both small and medium sized homes. You will be able to use multiple faucets at the same time without a noticeable loss in pressure.
The great thing about this system is how easy it is to install. Even if you don’t consider yourself a DIYer, you should still be able to get everything set up and running without needing to hire a professional.
One thing to keep in mind is that this is not a traditional water softener. While it does indeed change the behavior of the minerals that cause the water to be hard, it does not completely prevent scaling.
Also, if you have a large home with more than three faucets, this system will more than likely not be sufficient for your home.
As far as price goes the Aquious AQFS220C is a bit on the expensive side. However, being that it also comes with a very effective filtering system, the price can prove to be well worth it over the long run.
- System dimensions: 23.4" X 5.4" - Flow rate: 12 GPM
- Port size: 3/4" NPT, threaded brass
- Head design: In-head-valve with internal bypass and shut-off
13) Pelican Whole House Filtration system and Salt Free Water Softener
This three part filtration and water softening system is probably the most expensive on this list. But when you look under the hood you will see why it might be well worth the $2,300 price tag. Let’s start by discussing the three parts the system consists of.
First is the mechanical pre-filter that helps remove the smallest particles from your water supply. Next is the actual salt free water softener itself and third is a chemical filter which removes chemical compounds such as chlorine. The chemical filter can make the water taste a lot better.
The interesting thing about this water softener system is that it is available with two different output capacities. If you have a smaller home with three bedrooms or less opt for the system with a 10 gpm output capacity. If you have a larger home with four to six bedrooms, opt for the system with the 15 gpm output capacity.
Both systems come with all needed valves and connectors for setup. However, you may need additional fittings to properly connect the system to your water supply. The pre-filter requires no electrical power and no drain connection. This gives you the flexibility to install both indoors and outdoors.
There are a few things you will need to do with this system to keep it properly maintained. First you will need to make sure you replace the pre-filter media and O-ring seal once or twice a year depending on how often you are using the system.
The carbon filtration media will also need to be replaced every 5 years or so. It will need to be replaced based on how many gallons of water have been treated during a certain period of time.
Replacing the carbon filtration media can be a bit complicated and will require you to disconnect the filter tank and soak the new media for at least 48 hours. The good news is you will never need to replace the water softener media.
Keep in mind this is a saltless system and it does not remove minerals from the water. It simply converts calcium and magnesium into crystals that do not bind together and therefore do not interact with any surfaces.
If your water source has a hardness of 75 gpg, which is very high by the way, this would be the perfect system for your home. It will prevent the buildup of scale and make your cleaning products more effective.
For this system to work your water supply cannot contain any hydrogen sulfide, iron or manganese. If it does you will need to pretreat the water before sending it through the system. If you don’t the impurities could cause the system to malfunction.
All Pelican water softeners come with a 90 day satisfaction guarantee. There is also a 5 year performance guarantee on the softener and the filtration system, and a limited lifetime warranty on the parts and tanks.
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14) Watts RV Pro 1000
If you are looking for a compact water softener that is great for road use, the Watts RV Pro 1000 is a winner. While it’s not as big and powerful as a whole house water softener, it does indeed get the job done.
This system is specifically designed to be used in an RV where water usage tends to be low. And with a 10,000 grain capacity this compact system has the ability to handle even the hardest water.
Because the system is so compact, you can easily take it with when taking a cross country trip. It is very easy to use and light enough for you to carry it around with you. However, with such a compact system there does come a bit of sacrifice.
This system is pretty much void of any automation which means you will have to manually do all regenerations yourself. The regeneration process needs to take place every 2 to 4 weeks depending on how much water is being used.
Besides having no automation, this system is also very limited and can only be used with up to 2 outlets at a time. The flow is too slow to be used with multiple outlets which is why this system will not work for even the smallest of homes.
Either way, if you spend a lot of time on the road in your RV, the Watts RV Pro 1000 is exactly what you need. It’s small but extremely effective.
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Water Softener Brands
Water softeners are made by a variety of companies – some are well known, like Whirlpool and GE, and others are less known but more specialized, such as Morton, Tier 1, and Fleck. There are other brands too but these are the best known, which is why we’ve listed them here.
GE, or General Electric is a powerhouse corporation that makes everything from engines to light bulbs. From GE, you can expect the quality standards of GE’s reputation – but remember that this is just one product out of thousands that they make. So they’re not specialized in water softening.
The same goes for Whirlpool. They’re not as big as GE, but they still make a wide variety of products from refrigerators to washing machines to water filters. Most of their products however are aimed towards households, so they are indeed a bit more specialized.
Morton, the name we’re all familiar with in the salt industry also uses their salt to make water softeners and water filters. Morton water softeners are very good and since they’re in the salt business, they are specialized and know what they’re doing!
Morton also offers free technical support which is a huge plus point.
Tier 1 is a company specializing in making water filters and water softeners. They make really top quality stuff and their filters and water softeners are really easy to use and install.
Tier 1 has an unconditional satisfaction guarantee on their water filters and softeners.
Fleck is a USA based company that makes everything from home water softeners suitable for a small family to commercial water softeners in large operations.
Morton and Tier 1 are more focused on home systems, whereas Fleck makes both home systems and commercial systems(which can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars).
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How To Choose The Best Water Softener For Your Home
With hundreds of different water softeners on the market it can be quite challenging to find the one that is best for your home. After all, most people have no idea what to look for when it comes to shopping for a water softener.
To help make this process easier for you we have outlined 9 things you need to take into consideration when looking for a water softener.
What Is Your Budget for getting a water softener?
Before you start the process of looking for a water softener, the first thing you should do is iron out your budget. How much are you able to spend?
You need to decide if you want to save money by getting a low capacity system or spend more on a more powerful system. The option you choose will depend on the needs of your home. When making this decision keep in mind this is an investment in your family’s health.
What Type Of Technology Is Being Used?
In a previous section we discussed 5 different types of water softeners and the pros and cons of each. Each one uses a different technology to make soft water. The ion exchange system, which is by far the most common water softener used by homeowners, works by exchanging magnesium and calcium ions with sodium or potassium ions.
Salt free softeners on the other hand work by changing the behavior of the ions so they no longer stick to the surfaces they come in contact with.
For most homeowners a salt based system will be the best option. If however the extra salt is a problem, opt for the salt free system instead.
With ion exchangers you want a system that uses an all digital controller. This will allow you to control and monitor various aspects of the system.
When it comes to the type of technology each system uses, its very easy to get caught up in all the bells and whistles and spend more money than necessary. Keep in mind you don’t need every feature.
You only need features that will help you get the desired outcome. So take your time and make sure you understand what each technology does before you invest your money in it.
Do You Need a Portable Water Softening System or Traditional One?
Whether or not you need a portable water softener will depend on how you plan on using it. If you only plan on using the system to provide soft water to your home then portability is not of concern.
If on the other hand you want to have a supply of soft water when you are enjoying the great outdoors, having a portable system is an absolute must. While most portable systems have a single tank, they can still be quite heavy with some weighing as much as 40 pounds. This is something you should keep in mind before purchasing a portable water softener.
Single or Dual Tank water softener?
If you only want to make soft water when it’s required, a single tank system is all you need. If you want the water in your home to be softened 24 hours a day you will need to go with a dual tank system.
Dual tanks use block salt and require quite a bit of maintenance. Single tanks use granular salt and require little maintenance as they don’t have any many parts as a dual tank.
What Is The Flow Rate In Your Home?
When you set up a water softening system that means all the water in your home must go through the system before you are able to use it. Once the water goes through the system it will be distributed to the various lines throughout the home.
In some cases, if the softener is not able to produce soft water quick enough, the flow rate will drop. If you have more than one faucet running at the same time you may experience a significant drop in water pressure.
Low flow rate can have a negative impact on your everyday life. It can also lead to hard water bleeding through the system when there is too much demand.
Make sure your home has the right flow rate will ensure your family can use multiple faucets without the pressure significantly dropping.
While the flow rate will vary from home to home, the average home with 4 to 6 people should have a flow rate of at least 12 gallons per minute (GPM). Larger family homes should have 20 gallons per minute or more.
What Is The Water Softener’s Capacity?
As we discussed in a previous section, the capacity of a water softener refers to the amount of hard water minerals the system can handle before it has to go through the regeneration process. Ultimately the capacity will depend on the water demands of your home. Big homes will need large capacity systems while smaller homes will need smaller capacity systems.
Generally speaking the capacity of a water softener will be indicated in terms of grains of hardness. The four most common grain capacities are 12,000, 24,000, 32,000 and 64,000.
The average family will only need a capacity of between 10,000 and 20,000 grains. And while this type of system will require more regenerations, it will also save you money when it comes to operating and maintaining it.
Manual water softening or Timed Regeneration?
When all the salt has been drained from the resin a process known as regeneration will take place. During this process magnesium and calcium ions will be removed using a concentrated salt solution known as brine, which is stored in a brine tank.
When it comes to the process of regeneration there are two key factors you need to consider. First, is the regeneration process manual or timed? And secondly, how long does the process take?
If you opt for a portable water softener the regeneration process will be manual. You will need to manually add salt to the tank and wait for it displace any hard minerals. Timed regeneration means the process will be done automatically.
Some systems will automatically start the regeneration process based on water output while other will require you manually set the time. Once the time has been set the system will take care of the rest. The best time to set a timed regeneration is late at night when water is less likely to be in use.
Is There A Warranty?
Having a warranty might not be at the top of your priority list, but it is something you need to consider. A warranty will protect in the event that something goes wrong with your system in the first year or two. A good warranty will give you peace of mind.
How Much Maintenance Is Required for your water softener?
Salt based water softeners tend to require more work to maintain. If you want easy installation and easy maintenance opt for a salt free system.
5 Water Softener Frequently Asked Questions
Last but not least let’s answer a few of the most commonly asked questions about water softeners.
What Kind Of Salt Should Be Used?
You may be surprised at how many different options you have when it comes to salt. The key however is to get a salt that dissolves well. Salt that dissolves well is easier on the water softener system and will flush away without any problems.
Stay away from table and dicing salt as they tend to get stuck in the filter and cause all sorts of problems.
How Do You Turn Off A Water Softener?
This is a great question and one that gets asked quite a bit. The first thing you will need to do is identify which valves are directing the water into the system.Turn those valves so that water is no longer being diverted to the water softener.
Once you do this hard water will no longer pass through the water softener before entering your home. To completely shut down the system disconnect the power supply.
Do Water Softeners Make Water Safe To Drink?
Water softeners are designed to get rid of most of the impurities and chemicals found in your water supply. So technically, yes, a water softener does make your water safe to drink. However, that doesn’t mean it produces the best kind of water to drink.
While soft water from a ater softener is safe to drink, there will still be people who prefer to drink bottled water or distilled water. It’s all a matter of personal preference.
How Much Salt Do Water Softeners Add To Drinking Water?
The average water softener adds about 28 mg of sodium per 8 oz glass of water. When you look at the big picture, that is a very small amount of sodium. For most people this is nothing to be worried about as it is not harmful to one’s health.
Keep in mind the amount of salt that will be added will depend on how hard your water supply is. If the salt proves to be a problem you can always opt for a salt free water softener. Salt free water softeners do not add anything to the water.
They instead condition the water using various techniques. After the water has been conditioned it will no longer leave mineral residue on surfaces.
Do Water Softeners Remove Chlorine?
A conventional water softener is not equipped to remove chlorine from the water supply. If you are concerned about chlorine being in your water, invest in a water filtration system as they are designed to remove chlorine and a whole host of other chemicals.
Hopefully you have found this guide to be helpful. Every product review is based on research and customer feedback about the products. All products listed in this guide can be found on online at a great price.
When looking to buy a water softener always take the time to do your research. The last thing you want to do is install a system only to find out it doesn’t meet your needs. Make sure you know the water flow rate, what type of technology is being used, grains of hardness and what all is covered by the warranty.
Use the information shared in the guide to determine what size water softener you need for your home. This should be your number one priority when it comes to buying a water softener system.
While there are many different brands to choose from, some of the best water softener brands include Fleck, Waterboss, Culligan, Aquasana and Morton.
Always remember not all water softeners are created equal. The one you invest in should meet the needs of your household and fit within your budget. If you use the tips outlined in this guide we have no doubt you will find a great water softener that everyone in your family will love.