Best Water Softener Reviews 2015

A User’s Guide in Choosing Water Softeners – Comprehensive Guide

Water softeners are tools that help in removing substances and minerals in the water. As it name suggests, hard water is softened by these water filtration systems. When one talks about hard water, it basically pertains to groundwater which contains calcium, magnesium and other minerals. These minerals are incorporated into the soil and rocks surrounding the water source and could be easily dissolved into the stored water. Aside from chemicals, when water is still underground, it could also be contaminated of dissolved particles and chemicals that could also be found around the water source.

Determining whether or not you have hard or soft water, there are simple tests that could be done. One can get a test kit for these or simply use the unscientific home test. All one needs is a 5 to 6 drops of liquid soap, and a plastic bottle half-filled with tap water. After screwing back the bottle cap on, give the bottle a couple of good shakes. When you remove the cap and the water didn’t foam up that only shows that you have hard water.

Water hardness actually could be measured. Some online sites give method on how to measure such. However, such are a little too complicated for someone who is not really into numbers. It would be easier and more convenient to enlist the help of an expert on this matter.

 BrandGrain UnitTypeRating
(Out of 5)
Reviews

& Price
nuvoH2O Manor Complete Salt-Free Water Softening System60,000Salt Free3.2Check on Amazon
Watts RV PRO-1000 OR M7002 Portable Water Softener10,000 Portable4.4Check on Amazon
APEC Water Salt-Free Anti-Scale Water Softener-Salt Freen/aCheck on Amazon
Fleck 5600SXT water softenerFleck 5600SXT metered whole house system48,000meter based regeneration4.7Check on Amazon
WaterBoss 220 Water Softener22,000regeneration with filter dirt and sediment4.5Check on Amazon
Eddy Electronic Water Descaler - Water Softener Alternative-electro-magnetic wave 3.9Check on Amazon
602abcWATER Metered Water Softener with 1.25" Fleck 7000 Control64,000metered regeneration3.8Check on Amazon
Morton Salt Company 34M Wtr Softener Unit Msd34c Water Conditioner34,000Demand Regeneration3.3Check on Amazon
Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener iron filter Fleck 5600SXT digital metered64,000Meter Based Regeneration3.4Check on Amazon
GE GXSH40V Water Softener40,000 Meter Based Regeneration4.5Check on Amazon

One of the disadvantages of hard water is the calcium and magnesium scale that would build up over time in your household’s pipeline and other machines being used at home. Not only will the scale slows down the flow of water through the pipes, its build up over time could eventually clog the pipes. Another disadvantage of having hard water is the reality that it is harder to dissolve soaps and detergents in it. For people who do their own laundry at home, this is a nightmare. However, thanks to experts, water softener filtration systems were finally invented.

There are different modes to make water softer.

•Lime softening. One method is to add calcium hydroxide or lime water.

•Reverse osmosis. Another method is reverse osmosis, which entails the filtration by using a semipermeable membrane that filters out hard ionic substances such as calcium and magnesium. However, such membranes only had a certain capacity and should be replaced every once in a while.

•Ion-exchange. This process involves the removal of calcium and magnesium from water through exchange of calcium ion to sodium ions. Such would allow soap and detergents to work more effectively.

•Distillation. This method of purification which uses heat to turn water into gas. With such process, water is separated from its contaminants, minerals and other particles that it previously contained when it was still in liquid form. It’s very effective in removing bacteria, microorganisms, dissolved minerals and metals.

•Template Induced Crystallization (TIC). This process of forming sub-micron sized crystal with the help of the template. Such helps reduce the formation of scale and also in the reduction of existing deposits. However, this method produces water spotting.

Nowadays, there are a number of water softeners that are out in the market. However, not all of them give the same results. Although some test results showed that hard water is not that harmful to one’s health, one still has to think about its long term effects. So below are some of the top-rated water softeners that one could consider. Please note that the product included in the list is not ranked, but only serve as your guide of which of the ten systems is more suitable for one’s household.

NuvoH20 Manor Complete Water Softening System

The NuvoH2O uses the Manor system technology that uses the process of chelation. Chelation is the method of inducing molecules that binds the metallic ions contained in the water. As a result, the pH level of the water is lowered and the hard minerals that remain does not cling to areas where water passes through. Such a method produces eco-friendly and healthy water that could be used by the whole household. This salt-free system has a capacity of 60, 000 gallons yet is very compact and could be easily installed. It has a built in bypass and pressure release valves.

The product have received mixed reviews from its users. One of the reasons such a product is well-loved by users everywhere is the fact that it removes existing scale and prevents from forming again. Another aspect is that the water produced by the system is great for drinking. It uses citric acid instead of salt makes the water tastes better. Some reviewers, on the other hand, believed that the 60,000-gallon capacity before the filter is replaced is not really being cost effective. For a household of more than 6 people, that would mean for replacement of the filters once or even twice a year. A filter cartridge costs around $50 – $100. Furthermore, it is not suitable for well water or for those that water hardness measures over 10 GPG. According to those who have tried it, the product is a little disappointing. Not only was it hard to set-up, the 90-day money-back guarantee is difficult to acquire.

Watts RV PRO-1000 OR M7002 Portable Water Softener

The Watts RV PRO-1000 is best suited for those who live in a motor home or those who travel a lot in their motor homes. Also known as the M7002, designed especially for your RV or motor home or even for small households, it is the most convenient solution to have potable and drinkable water.

One special feature that have received rave reviews from its avid users is its portability. Measuring about 8 x 22 inches and weighs approximately 24 pounds, it could be brought anywhere and everywhere. Another special feature of this system is that no need for special salt to make it run, table salt is sufficient. Furthermore, the whole system is very easy to install and set up. Once set up, the regeneration process would take about 15 to 20 minutes that would need about two pounds of table salt. Since it has a custom-designed flow valve, allows regeneration without uninstalling the whole system.

It has a built-in drain line vortex flow restrictor which enables a more efficient regeneration which increases it capacity significantly. Although the system is very compact, it could accommodate water flowing at a rate about four gallons per minute. Very cost-effective because the system lasts for about five years and more. To add to that is its 10-year warranty.

However, such a compact unit is only suitable for smaller homes or families. Another disadvantage is that the fact that it could only be regenerated manually. This is due to fact that it’s only a portable system and an automated generation is not possible. Lastly, the hose fitting in the system could not be rotated.

Fleck 5600SXT Metered Whole House System

One of the top systems due to its affordability, reliability and cost-effectiveness. Being around for more than 59 years in the industry, it was one of the brands that pioneered the use of advanced technologies in control valves, water softeners and filtration applications.

Fleck 5600SXT system uses the ion exchange process. Just like the other filtration systems, it has basic system specifications such as a 48,000 gallons and standard 8% resin. The 8% crosslink resin has been tested to last longer since it is more resistant against chlorine. Installation and assembly is quick and easy, it is already assembled when it arrives upon delivery, plumb it in with the use of a set of stainless steel flex lines and attach the brine tank. The brine tank could hold up to 250 pounds of pellet-sized salt. It also has a safety float which would prevent overfilling and overflowing.

As it name suggests, it has a meter that measures water flow. Such is significant since it has an automatic regeneration feature which would only regenerate when needed.

This compact system is sufficient for a household of about 4-5 people. Moreover, its manufacturers offer a more comprehensive guarantee. For the structural wound resin and brine tanks, a ten year warranty is givem. As for the fleck valve, users have 5 years. It also provides a lifetime warranty for any technical support needed.

WaterBoss 220 Water Softener

Has been one of the top rated due to its design, efficiency and user-friendliness. Another one of those brands that has been around for years, such experience and background enables this company to develop innovative products. One of its goals is to reduce water wastage, which ais a special feature found in its products. One of its special features is the fact that it uses less water than the other similar products that could be found in the market today. Furthermore, users have been raving of its patented dirt and sediment filter which is also maintenance-free.

Purchasers have three options to choose from. WaterBoss water softeners have specific filters for a certain level of harness – namely 35 GPG, 70 GPG and 90 GPG.

One downside to this product is its limited warranty which is only up to 3 years from purchase. Such could be extended by availing a Service Protection Plan (SPP). This SSP includes a for accidental damages, a replacement plan for a year. While for other damages such as drops, falls, spills and collisions, up to 4 years.

Morton Salt MSD34C System Saver Water Softener

Although the brand has been known for producing salts, over the years, it also developed a line of water softeners. Not only is it efficient, it comes with an installation kit which makes it very easy to assemble and use. It uses a technology called “Look Ahead,” that monitors and calculates the water usage of a household. It automatically regenerates when necessary.

With its compact and space-saving design, it could easily fit any household. It also has a relatively low costing as compared to the other brands that carry the same product. It is also cost-effective since such a system need minimum maintenance.

It also received mixed reviews from people who have used the system especially from those who have bigger families or used such for their business establishments. The system could only cater to smaller households.

Aquasana EQ-SS20 SimplySoft Water Softener

Aquasana has been known for its systems that produces clean water while being eco-friendly. Its water filtration systems have been developed with a minimum amount of wastage and mostly with reusable parts.

The Aquasana EQ-SS20 uses technology called SLOW PHOS gradually-soluble polyphosphate instead of salt. This adjusts the charge of hard mineral particles that could be found in groundwater. Based on reviews, the system is very simple that could be easily be installed by any person. Another special feature of the system is that it does not need any electricity for it to work. Aside from producing better tasting water, the system could also remove any toxins or bacteria that could harm one’s health.

Although it is well-loved by the users, one of its disadvantages is the fact that the system is a bit pricey as compared to the others. Furthermore, over exposure to harsh environment could affect its operation.

Iron Pro 2 Water Softener

It has been proven to have improved water quality up to 75 GPG and has a capacity of 64, 00 gallons. It removes sediments, chemicals, and other contaminants that could be found from ground water. This salt-based system also contains a mesh resin that filters out iron.

A special feature of this system is a digital meter valve, which is good for monitoring and maintenance purposes. The system also comes with an installation kit that makes assembly easier and more user-friendly.

One downside of this system is its price – considered as one of the more expensive brands in the market today.

APEC Water Salt-Free Anti-Scale Water Softener

The APEC Water Salt-Free Anti-Scale Water Softener has been designed and develop to reduce the scale that could be found in water pipes, heaters and other household machines. Further, this salt-free softener increases the life of appliances at one’s house. It uses an advanced ceramic media technology which neutralizes hard water properties.

Unlike most of the items that have been reviewed in this page, the system does not make use of electricity, backwashing and regeneration. It does not use any chemical or salt that would affect the taste and odor of water. The ceramic media serves as a magnet of agents such as calcium and magnesium.

The water flow rate is about 10 gallons per minute. Could be easily installed and is matenace-free. However, it has one disadvantage. The system was built and designed to support smaller households with only one to three bathrooms.

Eddy Electronic Water Descaler

Don’t be confused, this is not a water softener but a descaler. It costs lower and more eco-friendly than water softener filtration system. It uses electromagnetic waves to reduce calcium, magnesium and other contaminants without affecting the chemical properties of water.

Could be easily installed since no plumbing is needed. It works for any type of metal pipes except those of iron or lead. It’s also maintenance free! It has a lifetime warranty and a satisfaction guarantee for a year.

However, like I said earlier, it is not a water softener. Based on reviews, it does not perform as well as the real thing. Moreover, the waves only delay the hard water, it does not eliminate hard water at all. Would only work for households that has water hardness below 10 GPG. Lastly, the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler system could only be installed inside the house and not to any area outdoors.

US Water Systems Green Wave Cascade 12 GPM Water Softener Alternative

Here is another alternative to water softeners. The Green Wave Cascade halts the scale build up in the pipes. This salt-free system uses technology of Nucleation Assisted Crystallization (NAC) by changing the dissolved minerals into micro-crystals. As compared to similar products, it has a high treatment rate of 12 gallons of water per minute. To remove particles and other water contaminants, it’s a 2 stages of carbon pre-filtering. Its compact and slim design enable assembly and installation much faster.

The system is very cost-effective since it does not need any maintenance at all. However, critics still believed that it is a bit expensive as compared to other alternative water softeners. Furthermore, some reviewers attested that it could eliminate lime scale formations but does not result to 100% elimination of hard water. Reviewers also caution people about the system’s compatibility with systems already installed in one’s household. One has to check first with plumber before purchasing one.

How can water be soften?

Water softeners are tools that help in removing substances and minerals in the water. As it name suggests, hard water is softened by these water filtration systems.

There are different modes to make water softer.

Lime softening. One method is to add calcium hydroxide or lime water.

Reverse osmosis. Another method is reverse osmosis, which entails the filtration by using a semipermeable membrane that filters out hard ionic substances such as calcium and magnesium. However, such membranes only had a certain capacity and should be replaced every once in a while.

Ion-exchange. This process involves the removal of calcium and magnesium from water through exchange of calcium ion to sodium ions. Such would allow soap and detergents to work more effectively.

Distillation. This method of purification which uses heat to turn water into gas. With such process, water is separated from its contaminants, minerals and other particles that it previously contained when it was still in liquid form. It’s very effective in removing bacteria, microorganisms, dissolved minerals and metals.

Template Induced Crystallization (TIC). This process of forming sub-micron sized crystal with the help of the template. Such helps reduce the formation of scale and also in the reduction of existing deposits. However, this method produces water spotting.

What is hard water?

Determining whether or not you have hard or soft water, there are simple tests that could be done. One can get a test kit for these or simply use the unscientific home test. All one needs is a 5 to 6 drops of liquid soap, and a plastic bottle half-filled with tap water. After screwing back the bottle cap on, give the bottle a couple of good shakes. When you remove the cap and the water didn’t foam up that only shows that you have hard water.

Water hardness actually could be measured. Some online sites give method on how to measure such. However, such are a little too complicated for someone who is not really into numbers. It would be easier and more convenient to enlist the help of an expert on this matter.

One of the disadvantages of hard water is the calcium and magnesium scale that would build up over time in your household’s pipeline and other machines being used at home. Not only will the scale slows down the flow of water through the pipes, its build up over time could eventually clog the pipes. Another disadvantage of having hard water is the reality that it is harder to dissolve soaps and detergents in it. For people who do their own laundry at home, this is a nightmare. However, thanks to experts, water softener filtration systems were finally invented.

Guideline: Choosing a Water Softener

But before one goes out and purchase any water softer device, there are still some points that need consideration.

First, gauge the need of your household. This could save you a lot of money and effort. Since there a specific filtration system designed for a certain family size.

Second, ask your friendly neighbourhood plumber as to what type or grade of water within your area. Some water softeners are only effective for hardness below 10 GPG. Such inquiry also has another purpose, and that is to determine as to the most effective brand for the type for households. Some of the most trusted brands when it comes to water softener and filtrations systems are Culligen, Fleck, Waterboss, Morton and Aquasana. However, it is better to inquire first with your planner for any other brands that he might suggest.

Lastly, when you are already in the store, go straight to the area or aisle where the brand that have been suggested by your plumber could be found. Try not to be lured by what the salespeople are saying. Most of the time, they might just as well say those words to make sale and not to help you out with your dilemma.

Conclusion

Access to clean water is very essential for a family. However, due to the condition of the the environment surrounding a water source, water can be contaminated or some would contain dissolved minerals that could be harmful to your family or the household itself. Thanks to experts, there are a number of solutions readily available. All one has to do is to determine their household’s needs.

As one can imply form the article, households that have hard water should acquire water. As mentioned earlier, hard water affects the water pipelines in the kitchen or in the shower due to scale buildup. Some also suggests to purchase inline water filters to declog the pipelines and protect certain appliances in your home.

To get clean drinkable water, one could also get reverse osmosis water filters. Such filters guarantee the improvement of the cleanliness, taste and odor of the water that your family will be drinking.

As to water softners, aside from the ones that has been reviewed by this article, one could also try checking out the portable types such as On the Go water softeners. Best suited for RVs and smaller sized households since it could be easily installed and could be brought even to the remotest of areas.

There are other types of filtration systems available in the market. Some have special features or add-ons, while some, simply does the job that they are designed to do which is to produce clean and purified water. These filters range from pitcher, faucet, or countertop filters for certain types of households up to the industrial types.

Last piece of advise before your purchase your very own water filtration system. Don’t be enticed with the advertisements or the fact that such system is on sale or has a lower price as compared to the other brands. What is at risk in this case is the welfare of your whole household. It is better to have purchased a brand than to be sorry in the end. The more expensive brands, although costs more than the others, have been trusted and top-rated for years for one reason – that is, they really work!