BETTER WATER, BETTER HEALTH
If you have dry hair, breakage, or itchy skin after showering, you may require a water softener for your home. Our comprehensive guide can assist you in finding the right one. We provide reviews and comparisons to simplify your decision-making process. Water softeners utilize ion exchange to eliminate hard minerals such as magnesium and calcium from your water, which can lead to hair and skin issues. This reduces residue buildup in your pipes and appliances, enhances soap lathering, and maintains the freshness of your dishes and clothing. A typical water softener consists of a brine tank with resin beads that exchange hard minerals for soft ones like potassium chloride and sodium, requiring periodic replenishment to maintain effectiveness.
TYPES OF WATER SOFTENERS
There are four major types of water softeners that you can choose from. They are different based on the ways that they actually soften the water.
Salt-based systems are the most effective type of water softeners on the market. These remove the hard minerals from the water by replacing them with soft minerals – salt. These systems have a brine tank to which you will need to add sodium ions to over time in order for it to work. These systems are not suitable for drinking water because of the sodium content. These appliances, however, give you the option to leave one or two taps in your home with hard water so you can use this water for cooking and drinking purposes.
These salt-free water systems are very complex and use nanotechnology to soften water.Upon installation, these systems not only soften your water but also actively remove scale and buildup in your pipes and appliances. These softeners greatly reduce the hardness of water by altering the water’s atom structure. These systems are advantageous if your water is not extremely hard. They are also quite large and take up more space than other types of water softeners.
These systems use a special membrane and primarily serve as water filters since they eliminate impurities from the water. The unique semi-permeable membrane permits only water to pass through. This unit automatically activates a shutdown when the water tank is filled with softened water and restarts operation only when additional water is needed. Despite primarily being labeled as water filters due to their functionality, they effectively achieve the task of water softening. The notable feature of these appliances is that they operate without the need for additives, eliminating the necessity for salt.
Magnetic systems are very small, inexpensive and easy to install, and very easy to maintain. As such, they are gaining popularity in the water softening market. This system works by placing wires or magnets around the pipes in your home. This creates a magnetic field that paralyzes the hardness of your water; however, this is not permanent, and only lasts up to 48 hours before the water goes back to being hard. As such, these systems are recommended for areas where water hardness is medium to low.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A WATER SOFTENER
When choosing your water softener, a salt based system is always the best option, especially if you are in an area with extremely hard water. Here are some things to look for in your water softener.
How Hard is Your Water?
This is one of the first things you need to know so you can effectively choose the right water softener for your needs. Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon (GPG). In the US, GPG ranges from 3 to 20 typically, with 3 being relatively soft and 20 being extremely hard. On average, water hardness in the United States is around 10, but to get the GPG for your area you can purchase a water softening testing kit and then test for your GPG yourself. This is done very easily and so there is no need to get a professional to do the testing.
How Much Water Do You Use Per Day or Week?
This is the next piece of information that you need to help you choose the right water softener. In the United States, the average household uses 80 to 100 gallons of water each day. To find out the average of your household, you simply need to multiply the average (90) by the amount of people in your household. You will use this number to determine the capacity of the ideal water softener for your household. You have water softeners with capacities from 15,000 to 100,000. Don’t choose one with just the capacity you need, it is always wise to go up in capacity a little more. A smaller tank than you need will cost you more with multiple regenerations per week.
How Many Grains of Hard Water
Will You Need to Remove on a Weekly Basis? This will help you ensure that you the amount of water grains removed are not more than the capacity of your water softener. For this calculation you will multiple your household’s daily water usage by the GPG of your water. In this way, regeneration will not occur more than once per week, which will help you save on purchasing salt for your system. This goes hand in hand with the amount of water you use per day or per week. A larger system will cost more upfront but for maintenance and regeneration you will spend less over time.
Top 5 Best Water Softeners Reviewed
Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener
Features of the Fleck 5600SXT
The Fleck 5600 SXT is a digital whole house model featuring an on demand valve and fully programmable cycles. This system is suitable for a household containing between 3 and 6 individuals in an area that has moderate to very hard water.
- Digital On-Demand Control Valve. This 5600SXT valve comes with a 5 year warranty and has been tested and proven to provide results for up to 27 years of continuous usage. The appliance also features a bypass valve with a 1” threaded plumbing adapter.
- Meter Based Regeneration. This feature allows the system to regenerate only when necessary based on the amount of water you use. This is an ongoing monitoring that is automatically done by the system and if your water needs increase and your regeneration rates need to increase, the process is taken care of by itself.
- Interface. This is very user friendly featuring a backlit LCD display, 48 hour internal power backup and touchpad controls. These allow for the user to easily install, adjust and otherwise work with the 5600SXT with little plumbing knowledge thanks to its fully programmable cycles.
- Output. This system is suitable in homes with three to six individuals. It is most suitable for areas with a water supply that is considered moderate to very hard. It provides adequate treatment with a flow rate of up to 12 gpm.
Advantages of the Fleck 5600SXT
- No Overfilling or Overflow. With an included safety float, the Fleck 5600SXT will not overfill. In addition, there is also an overflow drain that allows for water drainage in the unlikely event that the system malfunctions and starts to overfill the tank. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about water messes with this system in place.
- Suitable for Larger Households. This system provides adequate amounts of softened water with a good flow rate to service a household consisting of up to 6 people. It is an ideal choice if you don’t have a regularly large household but if you entertain guests often throughout the year as well.
- Warranty Backed. The 5600SXT valve is backed by a 5 year warranty and the brine tank is separately backed by a 10 year warranty. This protects your purchase and gives you the opportunity to save money down the line if your system malfunctions.
- Installation is a Breeze. With just a little bit of plumbing knowledge and some help from the internet, the average homeowner can install this system on their own. This helps you to save a buck from not having to get a plumber.
Things to be Aware of
If you are using potassium in the brine tank, you won’t want to fill it up all the way, as potassium will form a mass at the bottom of the tank and won’t dissolve well.
The Fleck 5600SXT is a good choice when you need a water softener; it has a high capacity, is easy to install and is backed by multiple warranties. It’s one of the best water softeners on the market.
Eddy Electronic Water Descaler
Features of the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler
The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is a no salt system which provides an alternative to salt based water softener systems. This is a magnetic system which maintains the healthy minerals such as calcium particulates in water which is beneficial for human beings.
- The Electro-Magnetic Wave System operates by installing coils around the pipe where your home’s water supply enters. These coils generate an electro-magnetic wave, creating a magnetic field. This magnetic field modifies the adhesion properties of lime scale without changing the chemical hardness of the water, allowing beneficial particles to be retained.
- Buyer’s Protection is assured with the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler, which includes a 1-year 100% Money Back Guarantee and a Lifetime Repair or Replace Warranty. These guarantees provide multiple layers of protection, ensuring a risk-free purchase experience that allows you to buy with confidence.
- The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is compatible with a wide range of pipe types, with the exception of iron and lead pipes, making it a versatile choice for water treatment.
Advantages of the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler
- Easy to Install. This electronic water descaler can be easily installed by the customer on all metal and plastic pipes, with iron and lead pipes being the only exception for installation.
- Keeps Beneficial Minerals. This water descaler removes the minerals that cause limescale while preserving beneficial minerals such as calcium, which is beneficial to the human body in a variety of ways.
- Guarantees. The Eddy comes with money back guarantee and repair and replace warranties which protect your purchase, while providing you with the confidence to make your purchase. For items purchased on Amazon there is a $30 restock fee if the item is returned.
- Salt Free System. This system does not use salt to remove hard minerals. This means you don’t have to contend with added sodium in your drinking and cooking water.
Things to be Aware of
The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler uses a static magnetic field and as such its efficiency is determined by the velocity of the water. This means that when the water flow is low these are not as efficient in provide descaling properties.
The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is a cost effective unit which is easy to install by the customer. Remember that this is a descaler and not a water softener so your expectations should be gauged by this. For lines with a lot of previous build up you will have to wait a bit longer to start seeing a difference as the appliance works to get rid of the excess buildup.
On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT
Features of the On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT
The On The Go OTG4 is a high capacity, high efficiency and high output system. It does all of this while being portable and operates with minimal maintenance. It is built just for RV/Marine owners who need a 16,000 grain unit.
- High Output. The OTG4 produces two times the amount of softened water than the largest standard model RV portable water softener on the market. It does all of this providing water for up to 40 days in the amount of 1600 gallon. Regeneration is quick in less than 30 minutes and inexpensive with just 2 boxes of table salt.
- Design. The design of the OTG4 helps it to provide space savings so that it can be installed in the smallest place in your RV/Marine. With its small size, the manufacturer ensured they gave it a large mouth so that it could be easy to add salt. With 360 degree swivel capabilities the inlet hose can be easily connected. Made with a cap & plug to prevent leakage the OTG4 is definitely travel friendly.
- Connections. The OTG4 uses a standard hose connection, which allows the user to connect it to a park faucet and to your RV or Marine motor. This can all be done without the use of tools and electricity, and with its small size it can be stored easily in a dock side locker or in a storage bay.
Advantages of the On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT
- Easy to Install. This water softener needs no tools or electricity for installation and use. It can be connected to an outdoor faucet with a standard hose connection and then connected to your RV just the same. With a compact design it can be stored anywhere; in a storage bay or in a dock side locker based on your vehicle.
- Easy Maintenance. The OTG4 regenerates in just 30 minutes with two boxes of common table salt. With just these two boxes and 30 minutes of regeneration, the system is ready to produce an output of 1600 gallons of softened water, which can last you for 40 days. It features a large mouth which makes addition of salt a breeze.
- Portable. This portable model comes with a carry handle on the top which makes it very easy to move around. Its small size at just 22 inches in height and 9.5 inches in diameter makes it easy to carry even for your younger passengers.
Things to be Aware of
As this works with plastic hose fittings, which are not the strongest, you should ensure that it is in a fixed position with no chance of tipping over.
The OTG4 is definitely what you need if you are looking for a portable water softener for your RV, as it will provide you with high efficiency and capacity while being easy to install and easy to maintain.
The Clearwave CW125 is a great choice if you are looking for a water conditioner that runs on a salt-less system. Remove lime scale and hard water buildup without adding sodium to your water supply, and benefit from easier cleaning of your surfaces whether they are metal, plastic, glass or ceramic while reducing the stains and scaly crust buildup from your faucets, toilets, pipes and appliances. This revolutionary product works to condition your water without having to use the chemicals required in other types of water softening systems with the use of electromagnetic waves.
Features of the Clearwave CW-125
The CW 125 uses electro-magnetic waves which attack the unwanted particles in hard water. The system works on the entire water system and helps to reduce your problems caused by hard water.
- Electro-Magnetic Waves. This is the technology that conditions your water. Scale and buildup is caused when magnesium and calcium particles stick to each other and to the surface of anything that your water touches. The electro-magnetic waves prevent the minerals from sticking together and so they flow along with water and do not stick thus not causing any buildup on your surfaces.
- Hot & Cold Water Friendly. The technology used in this water conditioner makes it suitable for use all throughout your house on both your cold water and hot water systems and appliances.
- Salt-Free System. This system has a salt free design which is good if you are concerned about sodium levels in your water.
Advantages of the Clearwave CW-125
- Makes Cleaning Easier. With no hard water, cleaning becomes easier whether you are cleaning metal surfaces, glass surfaces, plastic surfaces or ceramic surfaces. It increases the efficiency of your dishwasher and other cleaning appliances that use water, as well as other kitchen cooking appliances.
- Easy Installation. Set up is easy and any householder can manage to do it themselves. Just follow the included instructions, plug it in and you will have improved water flowing through your pipes.
- Removes Build-Up. After running for a week you will be able to see an improvement in water flow and all connected appliances, and you will also be able to see improvement in temperature in your heating system. This can improve the condition of your filters leading to less maintenance of your plumbing system.
- Helps Save You Money. With this system installed you will get more out of your cleaning soaps and detergents. This implies that your clothes will undergo a more efficient cleaning process, allowing you to use less detergent and ultimately save money. The same principle applies to a dishwasher and the resulting quality of the items after each wash cycle.
Things to be Aware of
The only time you should have problems with this system is if it not properly installed, so just make sure your installation is on-point.
The Clearwater CW 125 salt free water conditioner provides you with all the conditioning you need for your home. Not only will it provide you with good water quality going forward but will also help to remove any buildup that is already there.
Features of the ScaleBlaster SB-75
The ScaleBlaster SB-75 is ideal for households as large as 4000 square feet. It provides water softening for levels of hard water up to 19 grains at a rate of 325ppm. This is suitable for indoor installation only but requires a small space for installation.
- Computerized Operation. The ScaleBlaster SB-75 is an innovative, state of the art water conditioning system that uses no salt or chemicals and requires no manual maintenance. This makes it a healthy alternative for persons on a low sodium or salt restricted diet.
- This unit is specifically designed for indoor installation. Fortunately, its compact size means it requires minimal space for proper installation. Additionally, the installation process does not involve any plumbing, further enhancing the ease with which it can be placed indoors.
- Maintenance. No maintenance is required for this unit due to the technology which it utilizes to condition water. Since it requires no plumbing, this greatly reduces the need for maintenance so you will never need to manually regenerate this unit once installed.
Advantages of the ScaleBlaster SB-75
- Water Conditioning. This water softener conditions water at the higher end of the hardness scale, up to 19 grains which is on the end closest to being extremely hard.
- Installation is a breeze. Since no plumbing is necessary, you can easily set it up on your own. All you need is a small indoor space and the provided instructions to have this water softener functioning in no time.
- Great for Larger Homes. This high capacity unit provides all your water softening needs if you have a bigger home. What’s even better with no maintenance necessary it provides unlimited supply of soft water once installed.
Things to be Aware of
As previously mentioned, it’s important to note that ScaleBlaster is exclusively designed for indoor installation, which could pose limitations for certain applications. Therefore, this unit is suitable only for use within a residential setting.
The ScaleBrlaster SB-75 is ideal for larger households and provides the advantages of easy installation, no plumbing and no maintenance while providing top quality soft water. What else could you cask for in a water softener? This is definitely a good pick so you can go ahead and make your purchase with confidence.
You cannot overemphasize the importance of equipping your home with the right water softener. Depending on your specific needs, budget and lifestyle, there are plenty of excellent models and brands to choose from. It’s always wise to check reviews online before making a purchase decision. With the water filtration technology advancing each year, you can now enjoy hard-free showers and say goodbye to those bothersome limescale build-ups in no time at all!