You’ll agree with us when we say that with so many complex aspects and countless in-and-outs, a water softener can be a very confusing appliance to purchase.
Keeping this in mind, we put the most popular products out there to the test in order to determine which ones are the most effective for your home.
In our post today, we’ll be discussing what you should look for when purchasing a softener and why having one in your home is a good idea.
Best Water Softeners – Top 5 Reviews
1. Overall Best Water Softener – Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Review
Coming with an incredibly robust design and a high flow rate, the Fleck 5600SXT is guaranteed to provide your home with soft water for years to come.
It flawlessly filters the water that has up to 50 grains of minerals per gallon and it’s perfect for a household of up to 6 people.
You’ll find that it’s incredibly efficient and easy-to-use. The digital interface it provides makes it easy for you to program it and make necessary adjustments that you deem fit.
It also uses a meter-based regeneration process which means that it monitors how much water is used by your household every day and only regenerates when it needs to.
Features of Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Softener
- Dimensions: 27 inches by 17 inches by 62 inches
- Weight: 20.8 pounds
- Water flow rate: 12 GPM
- Meter-based Regeneration Process
- 48-hour Internal Backup
If you’re looking for an extremely well-made product that will last you a very long time, this is the product for you. It’s highly customisable, astoundingly efficient and comes almost completely assembled.
2. Best Programmable Softener – Iron Pro 2 Combination Review
The Iron Pro 2 Combination really goes above and beyond when it comes to combating water hardness. Not only does it remove sand, dust, manganese and other minerals from the water, it’s equipped with a fine mesh resin which helps it remove ferrous iron from the water as well.
You’ll find that it’s incredibly easy to set up because of the way it’s designed and the instructions it comes with are super easy to follow.
It has a built-in automated system that can be customised so you can choose between maximising capacity or minimising salt usage.
Features of Iron Pro 2 Combination
- Dimensions: 14 inches by 7 inches by 21 inches
- Weight: 119.5 pounds
- Almond Resin Tank
- Fine Mesh Resin
- Water flow rate up to 16 GPM
If you want a water softener that isn’t too complicated to set up, this product is ideal for you. It comes with a great instruction manual, it provides a very high flow rate and it’s made from long-lasting material.
3. Best Non-Salt Water Softener – Nuvo H2O Dphb-a Home System Review
In today’s day and age, we owe it to the world we live in to use products that promote an eco-friendly lifestyle. That’s where Nuvo H2O Softener comes in.
It uses a scientific process known as Chelation to eliminate calcium and magnesium particles within the water in order to combat hardness. You’ll find that it’s incredibly efficient and effective. It does a great job at removing water spots and soap scum along with preventing in the future.
Since it doesn’t use electricity or salt, you can imagine how much money this product would be saving you in the long run.
Features of Nuvo H2O Dphb-a System
- Dimensions: 5 inches by 5 inches by 24 inches
- Weight: 8 pounds
- Water flow rate: 12 – 15 GPM
- Removes existing hard water scale and also prevents it
- FDA & NSF approved
If you’re looking for an ecologically responsible solution for the water hardness in your home, this product is perfect for you. It’s reliable, economical and highly effective.
4. Best Affordable Softener – Eddy Electronic Water Descaler Review
Coming in at a price point hundreds of dollars lower than your average water softeners, the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is definitely a product you should look into if you’re on a budget.
It uses descaling technology to emulate softened water without actually changing the water’s hardness. What this means is that you will get the full effect of softened water and you will get this without the water losing any of its healthy nutrients (which are usually lost with traditional systems).
It does not utilise salt and thus, you’ll find it takes up much less space than most products.
Features of Eddy Electronic Water Descaler
- Dimensions: 6.7 inches by 1.6 inches by 3.5 inches
- Weight: 7.8 ounces
- Does not use salt
- Descales the entire water system
- Retains healthy minerals in your water
If you’re looking for an effective softener and don’t have a lot of money to spend, this product is definitely for you. Its compact size makes enables it to fit into any small space where it will inconspicuously do its job.
5. Best Low-Maintenance Product – Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System Review
Water softeners are often notorious for how they have to be well-kept in order to be effective. This is where the Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System stands out from the crowd. It features easily replaceable pre and post filters which you can change every 3 months in order to ensure it works effectively and outputs water at its maximum flow rate.
At 7 gallons per minute, it’s perfect for a household of 3 – 4 people.
The product comes packed with all tubing and valves you need in order to completely set it up (though these parts are shipped separately).
Features of Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System
- Dimensions: 9 inches by 46 inches by 27 inches
- Weight: 3.5 pounds
- Works up to 6 years or 600,000 gallons
- Removes up to 97% of chlorine, lead, mercury, pesticides, etc.
- Water flow rate: 7 GPM
If you don’t have a lot of time and resources to constantly be cleaning out and maintaining your product, this product is perfect for you. It features easily replaceable filters so it stays effective without you having to put in too much effort.
Best Water Softeners – Buyers’ Guide
Do I Really Need It?
You may think it isn’t really a necessary piece of equipment to have in your home. Considering the fact that they do cost a considerable amount of money, a lot of people tend to skip out on them as they feel the water their home is being supplied with is soft enough.
The truth of the matter is that the negative effects of hard water often take a long time to surface, which is why many people tend to think their water is okay and doesn’t need a softener.
What are Some Things to Look for when Buying?
Buying a softener for home can be a daunting experience if you’re not sure what to look for. Thinking about certain aspects of it and observing them ensure they’re up to your standards can help you out a lot in making the right decision. Some factors you should consider when purchasing it are:
While buying a salt-based system, the main thing you should focus on is its capacity. Deciding what capacity would be most suitable for your home depends on the number of people living in it. It’s a good idea to get a rough estimate of how much water your household uses in a day.
The higher the capacity of your water cleaning system, the less frequently would it need to regenerate.
Space Available in Your Home
We highly recommend that you observe the area where your intake pipes are. It’s a good idea to take measurements of the space so you have an accurate idea of how big of a softener would be appropriate. Most households do well with a mid-level in terms of size that usually features an iron tank and a brine tank.
Definitely ask the manufacturer for precise measurements and dimensions for every part of the product before ordering it. Ensure that it will be able to comfortably fit into space within your home so that it’s easy to maintain and clean.
The bypass valve is an important component of the softener. It’s a valve that allows water to bypass the whole operation of it. This can be very useful when you require water that does not need to be softened, e.g. while filling a pool or washing your driveway. Observe the water softener you’re getting and ensure that the bypass valve is simple and convenient to operate.
This goes without saying but you definitely need to be wary that you’re not getting an extravagant softener system that’s packed with features you don’t really need.
It’s all about striking the perfect balance between effectiveness and cost. However, we strongly advise that if you’re living in an area that has very hard water, you should spare no expense in getting it that can effectively deal with it. Hard water can have dire consequences if it isn’t handled properly.
What are some Benefits of Having a Water Softener?
It can benefit you and improve your daily life in ways you hadn’t even imagined. Some advantages of installing it in your home are:
- It will increase the lifespan of your household appliances. Hard water tends to erode and damage appliances over time. A water softener will make sure your appliances stay functional for an extended period of time.
- It will make your skin and hair softer. Soft water tends to treat your skin much more gently than hard water and as a result, it will feel a lot less dry and a lot cleaner.
- Clothes will be a lot cleaner. You will notice that your clothes have a much brighter color to them once you install a it.
- Walls, pipes and surfaces will be stain-free.
How do I know which Water System is Suitable for Me?
This highly depends on your home setup, your budget, the kind of water you’re getting in your home and the number of resources and space you have.
Salt-based softeners are the most popular type and it’s what most people usually go for.
Salt-free water softeners, as the name implies, do not make use of salt to soften water. They are, however, less effective than salt-based softeners. You can get this if you’re living in an area that has semi-hard water and you have a small household of 2 – 3 people.
Dual-tank softeners are huge in scale and are often used for long-term purposes. They are bulky, costly and require a lot of work to install. Get these if you’re having serious water issues and need soft water for heavy water consumption.
Magnetic water descalers are the last type and they are far less popular since their operation is unconventional. They are eco-friendly and hassle-free but also not as effective as salt-based softeners. You can get these if your needs aren’t very high and you want something small but reliable.
How do I Install it?
Here’s a step-by-step process on how to install a softener system for water:
- Shut off your main water supply and locate your inlet pipe.
- Cut the pipes just after your water meter before it enters your house.
- This is where you will want to install your piping. It should have 3 openings: one that stops water from entering the softener, one that prevents it from leaving it and one bypass valve.
- Ensure all the pipes are well-connected and sealed.
- Connect the media tank to the brine tank.
- Connect the drain line to the drain elbow.
- Connect the discharge piping to the wastewater drain.
Frequently Asked Questions About Water Softeners
1. Why is Hard Water so Undesirable?
Hard water has a number of long-term effects that can really affect the quality of life in your household. Some of the problems caused by hard water are:
Damage to Pipes and Appliances
A lot of homes tend to develop limescale buildup within their home’s piping as well as inside their household appliances. This can cause a number of problems; Not only can it ruin the appearance of your appliances, it can also render them useless due to clogging or leakage.
Skin Rashes and Irritation
The high pH of hard water can often result in skin-related problems such as itching, redness, dryness, acne and clogged pores. Hard water is also known to worsen existing skin conditions in people such as eczema.
Hard water isn’t good for hair either as it can cause your hair to become thin and brittle and also lead to scalp irritation.
Minerals found in hard water often tend to deposit and stick onto surfaces which leads to horrendous stains that can be very difficult to remove.
2. Can I Take it with me if I Move?
Yes. Most modern products come with the ability to be moved since most of the connections are usually quick-fitting which can be easily removed.
All you have to do is close up the outlet and inlet valves and let water flow into the house using the bypass valve. Once you do this, you have complete freedom to remove your softener and take it to your new home for it to be installed.
3. My Valve Seems like It’s Operational but the Salt is not Going Down. Why is this?
This could be due to a number of reasons:
- Regeneration isn’t taking place due to a mechanical failure.
- Some salt may have become solid above water that is at the bottom of the tank.
- There may be undissolved residue at the bottom of the tank that’s preventing water flow.
- The brine refill system could be clogged.
4. How can I Find out What my Flow Rate is?
All you need is a container that has a capacity of one gallon. Put it underneath a tap or faucet and turn it on to full capacity. As soon as you turn it on, start a timer and note how long it takes for the tap to completely fill up the one-gallon container. If, for example, it fills it up completely in 15 seconds, you will divide 60 by 15 and this will give you your flow rate. In this case, 60 divided by 15 is 4 so the flow rate would be 4 gallons per minute.
5. I have a Water Softener but I’m still getting Iron Staining. What could be causing this?
There are a number of reasons which could be causing this such as:
- Your system may have run out of salt for water softener.
- You might be using your softener during the time period of the day when it’s programmed to regenerate.
- Your resin tank is too small to handle the hardness of the water in your area.
- You are not using enough salt for each regeneration.
Softeners can add great value to your home but it’s important that you do your research and get one that’s properly suited towards your needs.
After months of research and testing, we have to crown the Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 is the best one available both online as well as in the market. Not only does it handle extremely hard water very well, but it also has a high level of customizability and is still very easy to use.
And with that, we’ve come to the conclusion of our post for the best water softeners.
Give us feedback and let us know what softener you’re using in your home.