Reviews of the Best Water Softeners of 2019
Reviews of the Best Water Softeners of 2019
- 10 Best Water Softener Reviews of 2019
- 1. ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600 sxt 48,000 Resin Water Softener
- 2. Tier1 48,000 Grain High Efficiency Digital Water Softener
- 3. Fleck Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener Iron Filter with Digital Metered Valve
- 4. Bullet Poly Triple Action Salt-Free Water Softener
- 5. Fleck 7000 SXT (94FL-7000S) Meter 48,000 Grain Water Softener
- 6. Aquasana Whole House Water Filter & Softener System w/ Salt-Free Descaler
- 7. Morton® System Saver® 30,000 Grain Water Softener M30
- 8. Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener
- 9. EcoPure EP7130 Water Softener
- 10. Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt Free Water Softener & Water Filter System
- The Importance of Softening Your Water
- Effects of Hard Water
- How it Works: Water Softener Tanks
- The Benefits of Buying a Water Softener
- How To Test For Hardness In Your Water
- Installing Your Water Softener
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Water Softeners
- Final Words: Water Softening Systems
The harsh truth is that not all water is equal — and you’ll know this if you live in an area where hard water is common. If you live in an area with this water (water with various minerals and other contaminants), chances are that you will want to invest in a water softener system to treat it. After all, by definition, a water softener removes minerals like calcium and magnesium ions from hard water.
That said, identifying the best water softener and system for your family can be a daunting task. This is not a device you want to make a rash decision over, as it has a serious impact on the running water in your home.
There are countless softening systems on the market, but at the end of the day, it’s about finding the one that will suit you, your family and your home’s unique needs. Fortunately, our best water softener reviews and buying guide will help make an educated decision.
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10 Best Water Softener Reviews of 2019
ABCwaters has credited the Fleck 5600 sxt water softener as their best product — and this isn’t a marketing ploy. There is a lot to love about this model that includes a unique custom made Fleck 5600 sxt digital valve. In simple terms, the Fleck 5600 sxt lives up to expectation.
Typical softeners with resin have the standard 8% resin system — resin being the bed through which water flows through to soften. The popular Fleck 5600 sxt model, however, is in a league of its own. In place of the standard 8% resin system, this softener instead comes with an upgraded 10% cross-linked resin system. This extends the lifespan of the water softener, making it that much more of a worthy investment.
ABCwaters adds further value to the model by including an installation kit in the Fleck 5600 sxt product package! This kit contains a variety of useful items like a sanitizer packet, a small parts kit, a 4ft. 3/8- inch brine line and silicone lube. It also comes with a guide and hardness test strips.
If you are looking for a softener that comes with its own kit, then the Fleck 5600 sxt is perfect for you.
- An installation kit containing a hardness test strip, amongst other items
- A black 10-inch mineral tank pre-loaded with resin
- A black 36-inch brine tank
- Upgraded 10% cross-linked resin system
- Fleck 5600 SXT digital valve with a 5-year warranty
- 48,000 grain maximum capacity
- 12 GPM flow rate
- The two tanks have a 10-year warranty
- It comes with an installation kit so you don’t have to make a trip to the store to get one.
- The upgraded 10% cross-linked resin system extends the softener’s life.
- The Fleck 5600 SXT is WQA certified
The Tier1 Digital Water Softener is touted as the best electronic water softener and system largely because of how efficiently it softens water. The popular Tier1 is fitted with user-friendly electronic features including an LCD display that shows time, regeneration mode and how many gallons of water are left.
Tier1’s digital water softener also comes with a WQA gold seal – this means that it’s been tested and certified to industry standards by the Water Quality Association .
Thanks to its easy-to-use electronic features, this product is ideal for homeowners who want an electronic water softener system that can be easily operated
- High-density polyethylene salt tank
- 48,000 grain capacity
- WQA gold seal
- User-friendly LCD display
- Digital meter control valve
- Adjustable cycle times
- Installation kit comes with two tanks, an adapter and a bypass valve.
- Brine safety valve
- The LCD display and its many features makes this softener very easy to operate.
- It comes with a digital metered valve. This lets you regulate the softener operation based on your water needs.
The Fleck Iron Pro 2 combination water softener iron filter does more than soften water — it’s the best water softener iron removal system on the market. Fleck, the manufacturers of Iron Pro 2, integrated an iron filter into this product to make it that much more efficient and helpful in softening and filtering water. Thanks to its water filter, the softener Iron Pro2 is able to remove hardness minerals, while also eradicating ferrous iron.
This softener removes sediments, rust and sulfur up to 2ppm, with the exception of iron, calcium and magnesium. It is the perfect solution for any household with hardness contaminants and iron impurities in their water.
Additionally, this Fleck model is fitted with a digital metered valve, which helps to regulate the regeneration process. In other words, it regenerates water only when it needs to.
If a household’s water usage increases, the product regenerates more to keep up. In the same way, if water usage decreases, it regenerates less to save it. This not only conserves energy but will help you cut down your utility bills!
The Fleck Iron Pro 2 performs two functions at the same time, and looks great while doing so! In addition to its incredible capabilities, it is also sleek in design.
It sports an LCD display coupled with touchpad controls and comes with a 1-inch stainless steel bypass valve. This means that it can be easily removed and reconnected during installation and maintenance. This combination water softener iron is an efficient package deal that is a win-win solution for your family.
- Complete brine tank, including brine well and a float assembly
- LCD display plus touchpad control
- 1-inch stainless steel bypass valve
- Digital metered valve
- 64,000 maximum grain capacity
- 5-year warranty on control head and a 10-year warranty on tank
- Iron Pro 2 softens your water, while also removing iron impurities.
- Regulates regeneration so get just as much water as you need whenever you need it.
- LCD display and touchpads make the Iron Pro2 easy to operate.
- Plumbers can easily remove and replace the stainless steel bypass valve.
- The installation manual is a little hard to grasp. Homeowners who like to get hands-on may have some difficulty.
Read the full in-depth review: Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener
As the name implies, the Bullet Triple Action Poly water softener performs three functions. It acts as a water conditioner, a water softener and a water filtering appliance. The Triple Action Poly first filters water, and then breaks down the calcium in it to form aragonite crystals. The third and last step occurs when siliphos poly-phosphates crystals are added to the water. Siliphos helps to keep the aragonite crystals suspended.
This model goes through a specific three-way process for filtering, softening and conditioning your water:
- Water Filtering: The Bullet Triple Action Poly is fitted with a stainless steel 50-micron filter. When your water passes through this filter, it removes the impurities. After the water filtering stage, it moves on to the second stage.
- Water Conditioner: The Bullet Triple Poly Action’sn electro-mechanical water conditioning core breaks down the calcium in your water to form aragonite crystals. Aragonite is a much milder form of calcium which won’t accumulate in your pipes or cause corrosion. Now, your conditioned water is ready for softening.
- Water Softening: The Triple Poly Action contains 10.5 ounces of Polyphosphate Siliphos crystals. These siliphos crystals complete the purification and softening process by suspending the aragonite crystals in the conditioned water. Put simply, siliphos rounds up all the aragonite crystals in your water, and keeps them in perpetual suspension. Now, your water has been filtered, conditioned and softened.
The Triple Poly Action is perfect for homeowners with water filtering and softening needs.
- Permanent stainless steel filter
- 5 oz. of polyphosphate siliphos crystals
- Salt-free water softener
- High impact rust-resistant poly filter housing
- 30 GPM flow rate
- The Bullet Triple Poly Action takes care of all your water filtration and softening needs. It eliminates the need to buy separate products.
- The Permanent stainless steel filter is, well, permanent. This means you don’t have to keep buying filters. The stainless steel filter can also be removed at any time for cleaning.
- You might experience a bit of a struggle while putting the pieces together. This happens because all the fixtures are close together.
You don’t want mineral build up in your water to impact your family. If your house has hard water, you need a device that can service your entire home. The Fleck 7000 SXT whole house water softener is ideal if you have a full house of people who need access to a large amount of water.’
This model comes with a comprehensive kit so that you have everything you need for installation. It also helps that its parts are readily available and fairly priced if they are needed.
The best part? The model is poly-lined and reinforced with fibreglass for durability — this model may be on the pricier side, but you can rest easy knowing it’s expected to last anywhere between 20 to 30 years if maintained properly.
This isn’t like other water softeners, as it comes complete with unique functionalities that many others don’t have. For example, this Fleck model is demand initiated — this means that you get to control when water is regenerated. Most regeneration programs are timed and scheduled, but with this model, you can choose when you want to refill the water — which will mean only good things for your bill.
This Fleck grain water softener is easy to set up and maintain and boasts features that leave you in control. It may be on the pricier side, but its capabilities to soften all the water in your house makes it worth the investment!
- Four separate regeneration modes (Day of the Week, meter delayed, meter Immediate, time clock delayed)
- Control to trigger regeneration when full grains capacity is reached.
- Double backwashing capabilities so saltwater rinses the resin twice.
- Backup Power Capacitor maintains the regeneration cycle and your settings
- Mineral tank comes pre-loaded with resin
- Digital metered valve
- High flow rate water softener
- poly-lined and reinforced with fibreglass for durability
- Fleck Robust warranty
- Users may encounter a minor difficulty while attaching the adapter.
Read the full in-depth review: Fleck 7000 SXT (94FL-7000S) Water Softener
There’s a lot to love about this combo product from Aquasana. Aquasana combines both a filtration system and a salt free water softener system with their whole house water softener and water filter. This model is able to prevent the build-up of scale through purely natural means., Aquasana leaves behind all the important minerals.
Aquasana’s water filter system uses a UV Sterilight filtration which kills off all bacteria and viruses in your water. The UV Sterilight filtration system kills off bacteria like giardia, E.coli, and cryptosporidium.
The product also comes with the option of an upgrade to an Aquasana SimplySoft water descaler. The Aquasana SimplySoft utilizes SCM technology to avoid the formation of scale and corrosion.
This combination water filtering and water softener system is particularly ideal for homeowners with large households and a preference for naturally purified and salt-free water.
- UV Sterilight filtration system
- Pre-grade installation kit with items like the filtration tank, Aquasana SimplySoft, brass fittings, 20-inch pre-filter and bend supports
- Installation kit including the sub-micron post filter and shut-off valves fit a 0.75-inch pipe
- High-performance filtering and softening for 1 million gallons or 10 years
- Aquasana demineralizes your water without eliminating the important minerals.
- Since it’s sodium-free, anyone can consume the water.
- Easy access to upgrade parts like the Aquasana SimplySoft
- It takes care of all your water filtration and softening needs simultaneously.
- Aquasana is the most expensive product on our list. This is due to the fact that it also acts as a filtration system.
Read the full in-depth review: Aquasana Whole House Water Filter With Salt-Free Softener
This Morton model stands out particularly because of its compact design. This grain water softener promises all the functionalities of a conventional softening product but is a little different. Most softeners come with two tanks, whereas Morton’s comes with one.
Morton, the producers of this model, assures users that this doesn’t impact efficiency. In fact, this unit reports a flow rate of over 11 gallons per minute. Morton’s water softener system also uses 50% less salt than other salt-based softeners.
This softener is perfect for homeowners with small and compact-sized houses.
- Compact design; takes up 1.3 sq. ft. floor space
- Deluxe single disk rotary valve
- Installation kits include washers, copper connectors and bypass valve step down conversion nuts
- Installation items fit ¾-inch copper plumbing pipes
- Immediate regeneration button
- Electronic “look-see” technology to monitor water usage
- It takes up just 1.3 square feet of floor space. It is the best option for homeowners with small houses.
- Due to its compact size, this softener uses 50% less salt than others. This means you don’t have to worry about excessive salt in your water!
- Morton has a limited handling capacity.
- Replacement parts are expensive.
Read the full in-depth review: Morton® System Saver® 30,000 Grain Water Softener M30
Water Softeners are on the expensive side, which is why it’s important to us to have a more affordable option on our list. If you are considering a water softener but are apprehensive about the price, try the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler.
While a water softener changes your water’s chemical composition by removing its ferrous materials, a descaler like the Eddy Electronic Descaler chargers water and instead reduces the impacts of these minerals. A descaler won’t remove these materials but will make them easier to deal with.
Unlike other devices like it, this water descaler doesn’t use any additives at all — salt or otherwise. Instead, it emits electromagnetic waves to soften your water.
The waves are applied by way of two cords attached to your incoming water supply pipe. The water that passes through the pipe gets subjected to a dynamic magnetic field. This field changes the adhesion structure of limescale so that they don’t stick to your fixtures.
Eddy works on all types of water pipes except those crafted from lead and iron.
- No salt, or any other chemical additive
- Lifetime repair and replace warranty
- Standard cables for pipes with 1.5-inch diameters
- Eddy is extremely cheap compared to alike products. In fact, it might well be the cheapest available on the market
- It’s quite low maintenance since it doesn’t require any kind of additive
- It is compact and easy to install.
- Eddy stops being effective after about 6 months. After 6 months, the limescale starts to build up again but becomes easier to remove.
Read the full in-depth review: Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener
EcoPure EP7130 is another stand-out item on our list of best water softeners — particularly because it is NSF-certified.
This grain water softener system is unique because of its initiated regeneration system. According to EcoPure, this product will regenerate your water based on its hardness and when you need it to be softened. Water regeneration will take place only when you initiate it, thereby leading to considerable water and salt savings.
EcoPure also comes equipped with simple electronic features like its low salt indicator light which tells you when you need to replenish your softener.
This model is ideal for households that contain between 1 and 5 members.
- Installation kit
- Bypass valve which fits a 1-inch male pipe thread
- Auto sense technology
- Low salt indicator light
- 30,000-grain capacity
- 1-year warranty on manufacturer’s parts, 3 years on electronic parts, and 10 years on the tanks.
- NSF certified
- EcoPure water softener is certified by NSF
- The initiated regeneration system helps you save on maintenance and energy costs.
- Helps you conserve.
- The low salt indicator reminds you every time you need to add more.
- Homeowners may find the manual a little challenging to understand.
Read the full in-depth review: EcoPure EP7130 Water Softener
The Aquios FS220 Water Softener is the perfect product for homeowners who need a product that acts both as a water softener system and a water filter. Aquios’s new salt free water softener effectively combines these two functionalities.
This model will both remove impurities like chlorine and sediment from your water and prevent hardness. After all, this causes minerals like manganese and calcium to cause limescale build up and stick to pipes and other surfaces.
Salt-free water softeners may not remove these contaminants, but they do prevent them from accumulating in your pipes and other plumbing fixtures.
Aquios is able to prevent the build-up of scale using an additive known as Siliphos, which impedes mineral build-up in pipes.
Over time, these will simply flow through your fixtures instead of sticking to them. In addition to softening your water, the model also acts as a filtering device.
Aquios also assures users that they won’t experience pressure loss or decline in flow rate with the addition of this water softener system.
- A carbon block filtration system (which is rated at 5 microns)
- Non-salt additive (Siliphos)
- A cartridge with 40,000 gallon usage
- 20- Year warranty on both valve and housing
- Flow rate of 12 GPM
- Aquios FS-220 is both a filtration and softening tool
- Uses Siliphos
- It has the best warranty (20 years!!) we have seen on any product.
- It isn’t so effective for large households.
Read the full in-depth review: Aquios FS-220 Salt-Free Water Softener and Filtration System
Hard water is the main reason for investing in water softener systems— and it’s more common than you think. In fact, 85 percent of American households — including homes that utilize well or city water — have hard water .
This is water that is high in minerals that can damage appliances, affect your laundry and clothes, wreak havoc on your hair and, of course, impact the taste of your water.
Water softener systems are engineered to remove the contaminants and leave with you crisp, clean water that won’t leave your laundry with stains and your hair feeling brittle — it will also leave you with drinking water that tastes refreshing.
If you are dealing with hard water, you will need a tool to soften it — but you can’t just buy any softening device. Here is everything you need to know about the state of your house’s water, and how to find and maintain the best water softener that will provide you with the water quality that you deserve:
The Importance of Softening Your Water
It’s essential to understand the implications of hard water — because if you don’t, what’s pushing you to soften your water? Because it isn’t detrimental to one’s health, many people suffer from this water for all of their life — when they don’t have to.
To soften your water, it’s important to invest in the best water softener system for your house. These appliances dilute or completely get rid of the contaminants in your water.
Just because hard water doesn’t have health effects, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have negative impacts. Water is important for day to day living; you use it to clean dishes, wash clothing, and of course bathing – so a tool that will free it of ferrous materials is well worth the investment
What’s In Hard Water?
Hard water is contaminated with minerals like calcium, magnesium, and manganese that have various negative effects. For instance, magnesium and calcium can accumulate in your pipes and clog them — but more on that later. These are the contaminants you’ll find in your hard water:
Mineral Ions: Hard water primarily contains calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+). These are water-soluble metals like bicarbonates, chlorides and sulfates that dissolve and create scum when they come into contact with soap. This scum also makes it challenging to lather soap .
Iron: The EPA classifies iron in drinking water as a secondary contaminant, this is because it contains bacteria that can be harmful . It can also negatively affect your skin, which is why it’s not healthy to shower in hard water. The iron in it can damage your healthy skin cells, and cause wrinkles.
Aluminum: The presence of aluminum is particularly concerning due to the connection between aluminum and Alzheimers. While this correlation has never been proven, in past years it was found that the risk of Alzheimer’s was 1.5 times higher in districts where the mean aluminum concentration exceeded 0.11 mg/l than in districts with a concentration under 0.01 mg/l .
Effects of Hard Water
What exactly do these minerals mean for you? A lot of things, unfortunately. Hard water makes washing and cleaning very activities; it leaves spots on every surface you wash and traps dirt in fabrics. Fortunately, however, there are ways to get rid of hard water stains around your home.
If you start to see the signs of hard water, it’s time to take action and check out water softener reviews — because it wreaks havoc in various ways:
Laundry: When doing laundry with hard water, the ingredients in yoru detergent attach themselves to the aforementioned harmful minerals, instead of cleaning your clothing. This results in stains like white or gray streaks, stiff material, soil build up, dinginess, and other less than desirable spots.
Dishes: The calcium and magnesium ions in this water tends to result in scum that stains your dishes and makes them a lot more challenging to clean — and render your dishwasher useless .
Hair: Hard water makes hair challenging to style because the mineral build-up makes it less pliable. It also fades coloured hair and leaves hair feeling rougher altogether .
Skin: Can the quality of the h2o in your house impact your skin? Unfortunately, yes. The calcium in hard water may be good for your bones, but it’s not great for your skin. In fact, paired with the other minerals, it can cause redness, dry skin, larger pores, acne, rashes, itching and even rosacea in extreme cases .
Rotten Egg Smell (Sulfur Water): This water isn’t toxic, but it sure smells like it. It actually smells like rotten eggs, or “sulfur water” as sometimes it contains hydrogen sulfide.
Limescale: Hard water is also responsible for the build up of limescale on your appliances — i.e. that white chalky substance that builds up on surfaces like the bottom of your bathtub or even the inside of your kettle.
Limescale is a result of the soluble calcium bicarbonate found in hard water . For this reason, limescale will buildup an any surface that comes into contact with this water.
In addition to just being unpleasant to look at, it can seriously harm your appliances. When limescale builds up in areas you can’t see and clogs appliances, it makes them less energy efficient, and subsequently more expensive to maintain.
Fortunately, when you used softened water, you can greatly reduce this limescale. Additionally, softened water will help remove any existing limescale on your pipes.
How it Works: Water Softener Tanks
To the naked eye, whole water softener systems look like a couple of big tanks in your laundry room.
These units may not look like much from the outside, but what they achieve due to their inside components is almost magical! They improve your drinking water, protect your appliances and help you say goodbye to stains.
A water softener is installed into your water supply source.
Although there are different types, all water softeners do basically one thing – they take out the minerals in the water, and replace them with other things. This process of removing and replacing these materials with other substances is known as “ion exchange .”
At the core of every water softening system is a mineral tank. This is filled with resin or zeolite beads, which carry negative charges. Calcium and magnesium, for example, both carry positive charges. So, when water flows through, the positively charged minerals will cling to the resin beads – this is the ion exchange process.
When the beads reach their maximum capacity and can’t attract any more of these ions, they are regenerated or flushed clean to go through the process again — this is done using the brine tank.
Sodium ions are positively charged too, though not as strongly as calcium and magnesium. The brine tank creates a strong brine solution that goes through the mineral tank, so that the sodium ions can displace the magnesium and calcium ions on the resin.
A water softener uses this ion exchange process to soften water in three phases:
1: The backwash phase
As hard water passes through a mineral tank, the calcium and magnesium ions in it stick to resin beads. Once this happens, the backwash reverses the flow rate of water to remove dirt.
2: The recharge phase:
The recharge phase is initiated when the resin in the mineral tank becomes saturated with magnesium and calcium ions. The brine tank then releases the brine solution to the mineral tank, which allows the sodium ions to displace the calcium and magnesium ions on the resin beads.
3: The rinse/flush phase:
Once the recharge phase is done, excess brine is flushed and refilled.
The Benefits of Buying a Water Softener
There’s no reason to stick with the hard water running through your tap if it is harmful — although it is considered safe for general use, it has various negative effects on both humans and appliances.
A water softener is not only good for reversing the negative effects of this water on your laundry, skin and nails. In fact, soft water packs a lot of benefits for homeowners including the following:
1. Longer Lasting Appliances
Calcium, manganese, magnesium carbonate and other minerals in this water tend to accumulate on the insides of appliances. This reduces their efficiency and leads to shorter overall lifespans. Water softeners, on the other hand, produce soft and generally harmless water.
When you use soft water, you extend the lifespan of your appliances like tankless water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines. This extended lifespan means that you’ll spend less money repairing or replacing faulty appliances! It’s a win all around.
2. Faster Water-Heating Times
Hard water takes a relatively long time to boil. Water heaters are able to heat softened water much quicker than hard water. With a water softener, you can access hot water quicker wherever you need it. Water softening systems have been found to boost the efficiency of both electric and gas-powered electric water heaters.
In fact, The Virginia Cooperative Extension estimates that water softening systems increases the energy efficiency of electric water heaters by 22 percent and gas-powered units by 29 percent .
Faster water-heating times mean lower energy consumption, and by extension, lower utility bills. So not only is your hard water harming you physically, it’s also burning a hole in your pocket!
3. Better Water Flow
Hard water deposits minerals and scales in your pipes. These deposits accumulate over time and cause blockages and corrosion, which ultimately leads to reduced water pressure and flow. Conversely, soft water dilutes or dissolves mineral deposits in your pipes, which improves the GPM flow rate.
4. Stress-free Cleaning
When you use hard water to wash your dishes or clothes, you may end up with soap residue or stains — which is the opposite of what is intended.
Softened water leaves less soap curd behind, and leaves dishes, clothes and other washed items look and feel cleaner. Clothes rinsed with soft water feel soft because there are no minerals trapped in them.
With soft water, you can also cut down on the quantity of soap you use for cleaning and washing, considering that hard water makes lathering close to impossible.
What Type of Water Softener Should You Buy?
Homeowners must install the right water softening unit to enjoy the benefits of softened water. If you are not sure what is the best water softener for you, don’t fret — our water softener reviews and buying guide will make the experience a lot easier for you.
Homeowners who are on the market for a water softening device should know that they typically fall into two categories:
1: Traditional salt-based water softeners
Salt-based systems soften water by removing hard minerals in a process known as “ion exchange.” This is when these are removed and replaced with sodium.
Some individuals may not like the taste of their water after using a salt-based system. If you are one of these people, you can do a few things to fix this.
You can add a water filter to the particular tap in your house you take drinking water from or install a by-pass valve installed so that you can control the device yourself. This makes filtering water easy!
- Salt-based softeners are more effective than salt free systems when hard water levels are really high.
- They are more high maintenance than salt free systems since they have to be replenished regularly.
- The high sodium content might cause different reactions with certain people.
2: Salt-free water softeners
Salt-free water softeners are also called “water conditioners.” These softening systems don’t actually eliminate hard minerals from your water, but instead, stop them from sticking to the surfaces of materials.
In salt free water softeners, these materials go through a process of crystallization which causes them to lose their ability to stick to different surfaces.
- They are more low maint