Water contains essential minerals like calcium and magnesium within it. These minerals, when in large quantities, make the water hard. This means several things: deposits in your water pipes clog up your plumbing system causing rust and leaks. It also means Irritation on your sensitive skin and those dark stains on your glasses and cutlery after continuous washing. Hard water makes it especially hard for soap to form lather too. Luckily, there’s a solution in the name of WATER SOFTENERS.
Water softeners are made with the sole intention of countering this problem for you. These cool machines will effortlessly rid you of all your home problems. Featuring their intuitively engineered parts, they easily filter out all the excess minerals to give an overall output of clean, soft water.
The best of their kind have especially been modified to enhance the speed of which the water is softened, they are more efficient, have a lower cost of maintenance and most importantly, they have a long life expectancy. Admittedly, some of these minerals are good for us; calcium, in particular, is beneficial to our bodies in many ways. This is why some of the quality water filters include a step, namely remineralization, in which the calcium would be added back to your water.
Due to the influx of manufacturers in the market, finding a quality water softener may be tricky. To lessen this burden, we have rounded up some of the ones we evaluated to be the best out there in the list below.
Best 10 Water Softeners of 2019 Reviewed
1. iSpring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler
- Efficient at descaling
- Small and compact
- High quality and durable
- Won’t really remove the minerals from the water
- Might take time to observe its impact
- The older deposits may take longer to break down
Best Salt Free Water Conditioner/Softener
Our first contender is the iSpring Whole House Descaler. This machine’s whole purpose of existence is to keep your water pipes pure, without the need for salts, chemicals or further maintenance like your typical water softeners. How so? Well, iSpring’s technology is engineered to prevent the formation of any scale deposits in pipes; this, in turn, forces the existing deposits to break down. So if you are living in a really hard water area, the iSpring will easily cover the entire water system of your house, leaving all your pipes to deposit free.
The iSpring is perfectly suited for tankless heaters as well. Much as it will not remove the minerals from your water, the functionality of this electronic descaler allows it to eliminate all the bad effects those hard minerals actually pose on your pipes. What this means is that you can still enjoy all the health benefits of all those good minerals in your water without having to worry about your appliances breaking down.
Are you worried about where you’ll position this machine? Well, the unit is designed to be small and compact; it can comfortably be installed and fit inside a really small enclosure, like under your sink or in your home basement. So if the buildup of scale has been affecting you, as it does most other tax paying citizens, you can stop waiting on the government to heed your cries because this baby will clear that scale in no time.
2. Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole House System
- Very easy to set up
- Comes with connections and brine tubing
- 10-year warranty
- You have to buy drainage tubing
- A bit hard reloading resin into the tank
Best Grain Water Softener
Every human being deserves the right to clean soft water. What better to bring this to you than this sleek futuristic looking digital piece of modern-day technology? The Fleck 5600 is one of the best systems out there. It comprises of all the fundamental top features of your average water softener. This includes the fact that it is salt-based, meaning it does need the additional process of regeneration.
With this unit, Fleck went the extra step of automating the whole process of water-softening. Featuring an internal capacitor, you can set your time for up to 48 hours in case a power outage occurs. This means, once you set it up, you can forget about the constant reprogramming and resetting of time. It also has within it a nonvolatile memory that will always keep your settings.
Featuring is a sleek design, this unit will blend well in any section of the house you put it in. it comes with a brine tank with the USA made safety float to prevent overflow, and a Fleck bypass valve, a 1-inch threaded yoke connection and will treat as much as 12 GPM flow rates. This gives you all you need to install the machine and get it running. The Fleck 5600sxt ideal for a mid-large home of up to 6 people, and would comfortably handle medium to really hard water.
3. Tier1 Everyday Series 48,000 Grain High-Efficiency Digital Water Softener
- Good quality and durable
- Easy to install
- Digital display for easy monitoring
- The manual is a bit hard to interpret
- The display is liable for breaking
- Manufacturers won’t help with return costs if need be
Best Grain Digital Water Softener
If space is one of your concerns when it comes to purchasing a water softener, then you should definitely consider the Tier1. The Tier1 is not only a good system for filtration; it’s a softening system too. What you get when you purchase one unit of this is a well-designed machine that will leave your completely mineral-free. The device features an electronic control valve that is NSF satisfied, it has both a piston and a seal, made with spacer technology, tweaked over years of engineering experience, to optimize its ease of operation.
The valve is made very user-friendly as well, with an LCD and a digital meter that you can use to know the regeneration made, time of day, and the remaining amount within the gallon. This in collaboration with a fiberglass pressure tank, is what works to make the water soft. The tank is made in a design that specifically prevents overflow. This includes preset features like a safety valve. In addition, each system comes with a mineral tank pre-filled with 1.5 cubic feet worth of Cation Resin.
The package comes inclusive of other vital connections including, a brine tubing, 2/4 inches of water line connections, a drain line, among other mechanical components that are required for standard installation. To further enhance your experience, the design of this machine’s tubing meter is made so precise; it will save over 4 feet of your precious floor space. If your home is plumbed with CPC or PEX supply, you may need additional compression fittings like the shark bite, which comes separately. The tier will make your everyday water use a smooth experience.
4. ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt 48,000 Black WATER SOFTENER
- Takes up little space
- Quality make, hence extremely durable
- Fairly easy to install
- A bit more costly than other softeners
- The tanks are relatively bulky
- Drain line not included with install kit
Best High Grain Capacity Water Softener
The ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt is yet another water softener that is really popular in households today. Bringing you a promise of ABC’s experienced engineering, this unit features the most reliable and modern technical capabilities of a water softener. In fact, the guys at ABC back this up with a whopping 5-year warranty to prove it. The flow rate on this machine is as much as 12 gallons per minute, with a total of 2 tanks constituting its unit; that is, a brine tank and a mineral tank both made from high quality and durable material.
ABC has your best interests as a user to heart. The machine comes to you with a free installation kit that will facilitate the ease of installation and testing of your water’s hardness and pH. Other features included in the package are an instruction manual, sanitizer packet, Brine line, small parts kit, a silicon tube, and a hardness test strip, making it all you could possibly require to get the system up and running.
The ABC fleck 5600sxt will comfortably handle five members in the household; it has a particularly narrow shape, that is intuitively designed to fit in small spaces. The device also features a digital display, made to be easy to navigate through and program. Also included is a digital meter that you can use to check your water usage. With the customer support from ABC, you can rest assured that you’ll always be taken care of should anything happen. So forget all about that extra cost of constantly replacing your water heater or showerhead and get one today.
5. DuraWater 64k-56SXT-10 10% 64k softener
- Preloaded resin for easy installation
- Quality and durable
- Narrow design occupies little space
- Difficult to program the meter initially
- The resin and salt tanks ship separately
Best Premium Water Softener
Coming in fifth is the Durawater 64k-56SXT-10 10% 64k softener. A prime water-softening machine by any standards, and here’s why. The model features the most advanced features out there today. Its simple design makes programming as easy as ABC. Meaning you can set it up in a matter of seconds, sit back and relax as it softens your water. Simply put, just set and forget.
The unit is made of quality material making it extremely durable. It comes pre-loaded with resin, which makes its installation extremely easy. An install kit by AFWFilters is also included in the package, just to enhance your user experience. Simply install it, put the salt inside the brine tank and enjoy the softest water for the rest of your years.
Another thing you get when you purchase this unit is a 1’’ male threaded bypass. DuraWater also set up controlled valves in place to keep the system secure from any overload. With the machine’s turbine meter already preset, your readings will always remain accurate. Also worth mentioning is the narrow design of its tank. This is meant to save your space as it will take up very little of it.
6. Aquasure Harmony Series Whole House Water Softener
- Generous 5-year warranty
- Quality, hardcore, brine tank
- Good tech support during installation
- Requires the initial programming of (8 settings)
- Resin tank may seem a bit heavy
Best Whole House Water Softener
When it comes to the durability of water softeners, the quality of its control head is very important. Well, you won’t have to worry about that when it comes to this unit. Featuring an advanced model control head by Aquatol, the Aquasure harmony has all the possible quality components you can ever need. Its advanced digital interface features three levels of programmability and is especially intuitively designed to make your user experience as easy as possible.
When it comes to productivity, the harmony leaves little to chance, treating as much as 32, 000 grains of hard water. It optimizes your salt usage to the smallest detail, meaning you would save on time and cost. The Aquasure Harmony also features a rugged, corrosion-resistant polyethylene brine tank, lined with fiberglass and expertly made and to be as tough as nails. The tank is exceptionally large, with a durable bypass valve and a wide mouth that makes the process of adding salt extremely easy.
The installation process of the machine is relatively easy. Since it comes prefilled with premium-grade resin, you’ll only need to fix it once and forget about the hustle of any additional installments. The electronics on this beast are perfectly engineered and are bound to keep the machine running for as long as possible. Also notable is how handsome the machine simply looks, and if anything goes wrong, the 5-year warranty has you covered.
7. Whirlpool WHES33 Water Softener, White
- Standalone hence saves space
- Great quality and durable
- Easy to install
- New bypass valve needs additional unions in inlet and outlet
- The manual may be difficult to interpret at first
Best Durable Water Softener
The first thing worth noticing about this machine is its overall design and how it stands out among its competitors. Whirlpool water softener is a thing of beauty. It comes to you as a standalone unit, completely eliminating the need for that extra salt tank that most softeners have. This, in turn, saves you a ton of space in your garage or basement. It comes with detailed setup instructions as well, meaning you can easily install it yourself.
Rated to be among the best buys for value and performance by a top consumer magazine, this 33,000-grain water softener uses its 6th sense technology to automatically calculate the exact quantity of salt and water you’d need to regenerate. The Whirlpool features its multipurpose system that will remove as much as 105 grains in each gallon of hard water and 9 ppm when it comes to ferrous iron. This makes it suitable in a household of up to 5 people.
The unit is NSF certified, coming with its own system monitor that automatically indicates the performance of the softener and if the salt is low. It has an installation kit that connects PEX, CPVC 1-in copper, among other major plumbing, and a high flow valve easily delivers a flow rate of up to 15.3 gallons each minute.
8. Ecopure EPHS007 EPHS Conditioner-Water Softener & Filter System
- The sleek design saves on space
- Comes multipurpose, filters and softens
- Looks visually appealing
- Plastic make may come out as a bit cheap and inadequate
Best Water Softener and Filter System
Featuring it’s undeniably sleek design, the Ecopure is yet another standalone unit of its kind on the list. This unit comes to your doorstep ready to perform more than your average softener, as it is both a water filter and softener. Using its auto-sense technology, the unit detects on its own exactly how much water and salt to regenerate the system, it then deploys only what is necessary to save both your salt and water ultimately. The 31,000 grain capacity on this machine makes it ideal for a family of 5.
Ecopure is intuitively pre-programmed to use demand initiated regeneration. This basically means that its system will only regenerate in accordance with your hardness level and the kind of water you actually use. This means, unlike its competitors, this machine is smart enough to control the water flow. Its additional programmable requirements are also relatively easy to operate, with features such as an indicator light, conveniently set in place to tell you when salt is low.
Seeing as it’s just one unit, Ecopure is really easy to set up, it comes with its own installation kit, a bypass valve and will come ready to be connected to a 1-inch male pipe thread. So save yourself from having to endure that unpleasant taste of chlorine and get this hybrid water filter for your homestead.
9. On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable 16,000 Grain RV Water Softener
- Small and portable
- Long-lasting for its size
- Maintains RV appliances for longer
- Not adjustable to regulate softening
- Plastic hose fitting not very strong
- Size may not make it for a large setting
Best Grain RV Water Softener
Designed and brought to you by RV enthusiasts is the On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable 16,000 Grain RV Water Softener. With this portable device, whether you are an RV owner out in the wilderness or you’re sailing a boat out in the sea, you can still get to enjoy the privileges of soft water. Despite its small size, the unit uses table salt for regeneration, like other home softeners. Its size also makes it easy to install and store. Simply connect it to the water source, turn the water on to flush any resin dust out, then connect the outlet and value! You’re all ready to go.
The On The Go has a unique design that includes an inlet shut-off valve, a backflush adapter, inlet/outlet caps, as well as, a hardness test strips, a dull cradle base for extra stability and a 1.2-meter drinking hose. Each of these features is made for optimal compactness and portability. It also has a carry handle at its top for easier movement with an extra-large opening for pouring in salt.
The unit has a 16000 grains capacity and will provide up to 40 days’ worth of soft water depending on water volumes and hardness. All this makes The On The Go a must-have for anyone with a habitable locomotive. It will help increase the lifespan of your entire car appliances while still improving the quality of your water while you are ‘on the go.’ Investing in this device will be a wise decision for any RV or boat owner; because due to the promise of good maintenance, it will improve your vehicle’s resale value, should you want to trade it in some time.
10. Nuvo H2O Dphb-a Home Water Softener System
- Cartridges are very easy to change
- Moving parts won’t freeze up as with salt-based softeners
- Very easy to install
- Doesn’t work as a filter
- Cartridges need often changing
- Can’t be used on its own with well water
Best Compact Mini Water Softener
Most of the water softening systems out there require the use of salt, which means those frequent salt refills and constant maintenance that may take up a lot of time and cost. What makes the Nuvo H2O Dphb-a Home Water Softener System different stand out from the other systems in the list is that it actually doesn’t need salt. The system, instead, uses Nuvo’s patented chelation technology, which utilizes citric acid to make the minerals soluble. The chelating agent is administered to the system by inserting conveniently packed cartridges, which can last for up to 4-6 months.
Once it’s over, you simply need to swap the old cartridge with another and continue enjoying your soft water experience. The cartridge type can be adjusted as well, depending on the size of your home, its inhabitants and the amount of water you use each month. The system is small and compact, requiring very little storage space. It is extremely easy to install and needs very few additional parts; In fact, you can easily do it by yourself in a matter of minutes.
The Nuvo water softener also comes with its very own testing kit. With this, you can get to obtain custom readings of your water’s Ph and hardness beforehand. With the Nova, the softening of water becomes a walk in the park. The system will work perfectly to extend the life of all your home appliances including water heaters and plumbing fixtures. The fact that it doesn’t use salt also makes it extremely eco-friendly, for all you environmental enthusiasts out there.
How to Choose The Best Water Softeners – The Ultimate Buying Guide
A water softener is a great system to have for any modern home. They help to remove a lot of the minerals that come in water supply from municipal authorities. Known as hard water, it contains a lot of calcium, iron, magnesium, and other minerals.
The water usually leaves scaly deposits inside the taps, whitish traces on faucets and dishes, and dry up the skin. Because of the hardness of the water, your shampoos will not foam that easily. Hard water also stiffens washed clothes when they dry. It is for these and other reasons that you need to soften water. That leads us to the primary reason for investing in a water softener.
However, buying the best water softener is not that straightforward. There are several things you must consider before making your decision, and yet, these aren’t very clear to most people. That is why we have come up with this buying guide. In it, we provide expert tips that can be used by virtually anyone who wants to buy the best water softener. Read on.
Common Types Of Water Softeners
There are several types of water softeners that you may want to consider. By having knowledge of these types of softeners, you will be better placed to choose the best. They include the following:
Due to their commonality, you are likely to find a salt-based water softener more than any other type. In this industry, they are considered “classic”. As such, several manufacturers have produced varied types of models meant to filter water in different situations.
The other name for salt-based softeners is the ion-exchange softeners. Basically, they work by exchanging the ions in the water with others. The metal particles are removed from the water when it is run through a tank containing small ionic beads. Once the water is returned to the supply system, it will be soft and ready to use.
Salt-Free Water Softeners
As the name suggests, this kind of water softener doesn’t make use of any kind of salt. However, compared to salt-based softeners, they may not be very effective. Instead of removing the minerals, the only condition the water. In short, hard water minerals remain in place. The only thing they do is to make it impossible for the hard water minerals to form buildup inside the pipes. That way, they make it easier to maintain the plumbing systems in the home. It reduces lime scales, which is welcome.
Dual-Tank Water Softeners
If you are looking for a massive water softener, you should consider buying this type, which basically comes in pairs. They exist in the form of two, massive iron tanks as well as a brined one. This heavy-duty system is great for large households with large water consumption. The system is more dedicated, given that it produces soft water around the clock. It works better than the salt-based softener.
Here is the reason. During the night when the water isn’t being used, the resin in a salt-based system has to regenerate in readiness for the following day. When regeneration is taking place, only hard water will come out of the system. After that, you can get all the hard water you need. Not so for a dual-tank softener which leaves one tank to regenerate as the other produces soft water. Only that you have to pay more to bet a dual-tank water softener.
Magnetic Water Descalers
Even though the last, this is hardly the least when it comes to the types of water softeners. It doesn’t work like any of the other softeners. That could be the reason for the lack of popularity. However, it comes with a lot of disadvantages. They are electric in nature and hardly interfere with your home’s piping system. It doesn’t require any kind of installation.
As such, there will be no disruption in the piping system nor installation of bypass valves. It only requires you to coil a few wires around the water inlet pipes. The magnetic field generated by the device around the pipe helps reconstitute the mineral properties of the water. Like the non-salt softener, it doesn’t remove the minerals from the water but ensures that no scales are formed inside the pipes.
What Factors Should You Consider Before Buying A Water Softener?
Apart from the type of softener, there are several factors that will determine whether you buy a particular system or not. They include the following:
The Uniqueness Of Your Needs
The first thing that will dictate the type of water softener you should buy is your needs. That is because not all of the types of water softeners in the market will meet your needs. For example, if you want to make the water less harsh to your skin, you should use a salt-based softener. However, you should be prepared to pay more for a water softener. The unit also requires frequent maintenance.
If the hardness in the water is moderate, a salt-free softener will do just fine. These units are more affordable and can neutralize the water for long periods of time. But if you use a lot of water in your home, then you will be better off with a dual-tank water softener. This kind of softener works around the clock and never stops producing soft water. By figuring out your needs, you will be able to know the type of water softener you should buy.
What Is The Capacity Of The Water Softener?
The capacity of a water softener should go hand in hand with the amount of water you need in your home. If you use a lot of water in a day, you will need a water softener with a large capacity. The most important factor in this is the number of people in your family.
The good thing with large-capacity softener needs to regenerate less often. The softeners may have a grain capacity of between 16,000 and 96,000. In that case, the size of the water softener will also determine its size.
Size Of The Water Softener
The size of the water softener is important in the sense that it will determine the amount of space you require to install it. In that light, you should buy a large water softener only if you have enough space. If not, then a smaller softener will do just fine.
Conversely, if you have a large space in which you want to install a water softener, then you can buy a massive one. You may want to try the dual-tank water softener, which has two tanks and would require to be installed in a big area. To be sure that you are making the right choice, get the right measurements from the manufacturer of the system. If you check online, you should be able to find this information.
How Often The Water Softener Needs To Maintain
There are certain types of water softeners that require very little maintenance. If you buy one that needs regular maintenance, you will be forced to make do without soft water for some time. For example, salt-based water softeners require regular maintenance of more than dual-tank softeners.
At the time of maintenance, the salt-based system will not be operational. So, if you want a water softener with minimal or no maintenance, buy the dual-tank variety. As one of the tanks regenerates, the other will be working to supply soft water into your home.
What Is Your Budget?
For you to be able to buy a water softener, you have to pay special attention to your budget. How much money are you willing to spend on a single unit? If you want a standard water softener, you should be able to pay anything between $200 and $500.
Thus, you should set aside an amount of money that is enough to meet that cost. For a premium water softener, you will need $1,500 or more. So, that you are not caught off-guard, you should prepare yourself.
What are you looking for in a water softener? If it is a system that truly gets rid of the minerals in your water, then you should buy a salt-based water purifier. However, if all you want is a system that prevents scaling in your pipes, you can go for a salt-less purifier. Other factors such as size and capacity also matter. Pay attention to your budget to ensure that you are able to get a water purifier that best meets your needs.