The Best Water Softeners of 2019
To put it simply, a water softener is a device that converts “hard water into a soft one. When we say “hard water”, it means that the water contains impurities like minerals and other substances. What a water softener does is it dilutes or removes minerals like calcium and magnesium salt from the water completely. This article will be about anything and everything about water softeners. We’ll be talking about why you need one and which water softeners to go for when you go shopping.
Now the question is, why do you need a water softener? Is the water flowing out from your pipes not good enough? Is this just additional expenses that you don’t need? The simple answer to “hard water” can be unfit for use depending on where you use it. Even though the water that comes out of that faucet is generally considered safe for use, it can cause harmful effects on appliances and humans alike. There are reports that people who used hard water to bathe had severe scratching and sticky hair. Hard water can also affect the efficiency of appliances such as water heaters. Aside from that, since hard water contains impurities, it takes longer to boil which can lead to more energy consumed by the heater.
To put it plainly, soft water has no disadvantages. In fact, it provides a lot of benefits for the user. To give you an overview of its benefits, we’ve taken the liberty of listing them for your perusal. Here they are:
Preserves Life Span of Appliances
Impurities in water like calcium, manganese, magnesium carbonate and other minerals can accumulate inside home appliances which can reduce their efficiency. When this happens, the appliance needs to work harder to achieve the desired results, which can shorten its lifespan. Since a water softener produces water free of those impurities, water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines, will have an extended lifespan when soft water is used. So even though it costs extra up front to use water softeners, you will wind up saving more because you will spend less on repairs and replacements.
Heats Water Faster
As mentioned above, water that has impurities takes longer to boil compared to softened water. With a water softener, you can boost the efficiency of water heaters whether they are electric or gas-powered. The logic is simple, the faster you boil the water, the lesser energy you consume. The lesser energy you consume, the lower your utility bills.
Improves Water Flow
Since hard water contains impurities, it will deposit minerals and scales in your pipes which will pile up over time. This can corrode and cause blockages in your pipes which can cause a reduction in water pressure and flow. Soft water on the other hand, can dilute or dissolve these mineral deposits which will then improve the flow of water.
You Can Clean With Ease
Cleaning your dishes or clothes with hard water leads to more soap residue. The opposite happens with softened water. It leaves little to no soap curd behind. Plus, when you wash dishes and clothes with softened water, it just looks and feels a lot cleaner because there aren’t any minerals trapped in them. It also cuts down on the amount of soap you use.
Before you are able to enjoy these benefits though, you have to find and install the right type of water softener. In this part of the article, we will take a look at the types of water softening systems. and provide you the information you need to help you decide on which one is the right water softener for your home.
Types of Water Softeners
There are basically 2 types of water softeners that you can find on the market today, the salt-based water softeners and the salt-free ones. Let’s find out the difference of the two types.
Salt-based water softeners work by removing the impurities in the water in a process called “ion exchange”. The process involves removing water minerals and replacing it with salt. It does however, leave a different taste in your mouth. If you don’t like how it tastes, you can remedy that by adding a water filter to the tap in your house where you take drinking water from. Another way is to have a by-pass valve installed. That way, you can control the softener as you please.
- They are more effective than salt-free water softeners when the level of impurities in the water source are very high.
- They cost more to maintain than salt-free water softeners because the salt has to be replenished on a regular basis.
- The sodium content of the resulting water can cause reactions with some people.
Salt-free water softeners otherwise called water conditioners, don’t really remove hard water minerals from the water. What they do is they prevent these impurities from sticking to the surfaces of materials. Salt-free water softeners crystallizes the hard water minerals so that it won’t stick to different surfaces.
- Doesn’t cost a lot to maintain compared to salt-based water softeners because you don’t have to replenish anything.
- More environmentally friendly and are more suitable for people with heart disease and high blood pressure.
- Doesn’t require salt, electricity or chemicals to function.
- Not as effective as salt-based water softeners when the impurities in the water are at a high level.
So before you purchase a water softener system, there are a few factors you need to consider. Knowing what to look for when shopping around for a water softener system can make the experience a lot easier. To help your buying process, we’ve put together a list of factors you need to consider.
Type of Technology Used
The type of technology used in a water softener system will influence greatly how effective it can do the work. A water softener that is using an ion-exchange system is the most recommended. The reason is it can remove impurities from your water while also regenerating useful content for your use. Plus, this type of system doesn’t cost a lot to maintain and are much cheaper than types.
Another important factor when choosing the best water softener is its capacity and size. There are different sizes of water softeners, so just choose the one that can handle your needs. Therefore, before you one, you have to know the daily quantity of water that your household uses. To determine they daily quantity of water consumption, just multiply the number of people in your household by the number of gallons they use each day. Then multiply this number to the number of grains per gallon of the hardness minerals in your water. This will give you a general idea of the daily amount of hard water that the system needs to soften. You can then base your choice on the figure you came up with.
Maintenance and Installation Costs
These are called hidden costs. So in general, we recommend you go for a water softener with low costs on both. Do your diligence and if possible, ask for the opinion of a professional regarding the costs of maintenance and repair of different water softener types. Making sure that you buy a water softener with low maintenance costs is your best choice.
Certification is also another important factor in choosing water softeners. A water softener system has to be certified by NSF International, an organization that tests and certifies all categories of water-treatment products. Another thing you need to check is if the water softener system has the WQA gold seal. WQA is the bigwig of the water industry for your information.
Company services is an added bonus when purchasing a water softener system. The more repair and maintenance services they offer, the better. So as much as possible, request for information on the kind of service they offer and what are the costs. This is for your own convenience.
Now that we’ve gotten the preliminaries out of the way, let’s get to the juiciest part of the article. We figured it would be easier for you to shop for a water softener system if you have a list of the best water softeners of 2018. So without further ado, these are the most recommended water softeners. You can never go wrong with any of these water softeners. By the way, this list is based on assessment on what a great water softener should have and is in accordance to what we’ve mentioned above.
ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt 48,000 Black Water Softener
ABCwaters considers this water softener as their masterpiece. True to their word, this water softener incorporates a unique custom made Fleck 5600sxt digital valve that lives up to expectations. The Fleck 5600sxt water softener is unique from all other water softeners because it has an upgraded 10% cross-linked resin system. If you are wondering why it is more recommended, the reason is that the cross-linked resin system is better is it extends the lifespan of the water softener.
Plus, the ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt 48,000 Black Water Softener also includes an installation kit upon purchase. The kit contains a sanitizer packet, a small parts kit, a 4ft. 3/8- inch brine line and a silicone lube, as well as an installation guide and a hardness test strips.
- Installation kit with a hardness test strip
- Black 10-inch mineral tank pre-loaded with resin
- Black 36-inch brine
- Upgraded 10% cross-linked resin system
- Fleck 5600SXT digital valve with 5-year warranty
- 48,000-grain maximum capacity
- Two tanks with a 10-year warranty
- Very convenient because it already comes with an installation kit
- The 10% cross-linked resin system extends the water softener’s life.
- WQ Certified
- A bit expensive
Tier1 Digital Water Softener
The Tier1 Digital Water Softener is considered as the best electronic water softener on the market today. Known for its efficiency, this water softener has user-friendly electronic features. It is fitted with an LCD display that displays the time, regeneration mode and gallons left. It bears the WQA gold seal which is an indication of its quality. The Tier1 Digital Water Softener great for homeowners who want a water softener 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 a mineral tank, brine tank, adapter and a bypass valve.
- Brine safety valve
- Easy to operate because the LCD display can access the many features
- It lets you regulate the softener operation based on your water needs using a digital metered valve
- Attaching the adapter is quite difficult
Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener
The Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener is a much more advanced water softener because it goes a step further by integrating an iron filter which allows it to remove the hardness minerals from the water, while also eradicating ferrous iron. Plus, it is fitted with a digital metered valve that allows you to regulate the regeneration process which means you can regenerate water only when there is a need for it. If your water usage increases, the system will regenerate more to keep up with the demand and decreases it if the demand decreases so you can save water.
The Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener also has a sleek design that sports an LCD display, and a couple of touchpad controls. It comes with a 1-inch stainless steel bypass valve that can be easily removed and reconnected during installation and maintenance. It truly is an effective and versatile water softener.
- Complete brine tank that includes brine well and a float assembly
- LCD display with touchpad control
- 1-inch stainless steel bypass valve
- Digital metered valve
- 64,000 maximum grain capacity
- 5-year warranty on control head
- 10-year warranty on tank
- It softens the water and removes iron impurities
- The digital metered valve regulates regeneration
- Easy to operate
- Easy removal and replacement of the stainless steel bypass valve
- A bit hard to understand the installation manual is a little hard to grasp
Triple Action Poly Salt-Free Water Softener
Thge Triple Action Poly water softener can do 3 functions. It can serve as a water conditioner, a water softener as well as a water filtration appliance. To help you understand the capabilities of this water softener, let’s take a closer look at the 3 functions:
The Triple Action Poly does water filtration first through it fittedstainless steel 50-micron filter. It removes impurities when it passes through this filter. Then the water moves to the second stage.
The Triple Poly Action conditions the water using an electro-mechanical water conditioning core. This core breaks down the calcium in the water to form aragonite crystals, a milder form of calcium that won’t accumulate in your pipes or cause corrosion.
Lastly, the Triple Poly Action contains 10.5 ounces of Polyphosphate Siliphos crystals that complete the water purification and softening process by rounding up all the aragonite crystals in the water and keeping them in a perpetual suspension state
So if you are looking for the perfect water softener that can filter and soften your water, this is it.
- Permanent stainless steel filter
- 5 oz. of polyphosphate siliphos crystals
- Salt-free water softener
- High impact rust-resistant poly filter housing
- It eliminates the need to buy separate systems for filtration and softening
- It has a permanent stainless steel filter that you don’t have to keep replacing and can be easily removed and cleaned
- A bit hard to put the pieces together because all the fixtures are close together
Fleck 7000 SXT (94FL-7000S) Water Softener
The Fleck 7000 SXT (94FL-7000S) Water Softener is designed for use in residential and light commercial contexts where you need a lot of water. It is designed to cater to the high water needs of large households with no significant pressure loss. Plus, it comes equipped with advanced electronic features that include optical positioning, flexible programming, double backwash, and a soft water brine tank refill. This water softener also connects clips on the valve body, which makes it easy to maintain.
- Mineral tank comes pre-loaded with resin
- Digital metered valve
- High flow water softener
- 48,000 capacity
- Double backwash
- Soft water brine tank refill
- 5-year warranty on the valve
- 10-year warranty on the tank
- Great for households with high water needs
- Homeowners can soften their water with no fear of pressure loss
- Easy to install
- Easy maintenance, removal and replacement of the connect clips on the valve
Aquasana Whole House Water Filter With Salt-Free Softener
The Aquasana Whole House Water Filter With Salt-Free Softener is a combo product that has both a filtration system and salt-free water softener system. The great thing about this water softener is it is able to prevent the build-up of scale in your pipes through natural means. While softening, it leaves behind all the important minerals and doesn’t require salt or any other chemical additive, which makes your water salt-free.
The Aquasana Whole House Water Filter With Salt-Free Softener has filtration system that uses a UV Sterilight filtration that kills off all bacteria and viruses like giardia, E.coli, and cryptosporidium, in your water. It is particularly recommended for homeowners with large households who prefer naturally purified and salt-free water.
- Uv Sterilight filtration system
- Pre-grade installation kit with filtration tank, SimplySoft tank, brass fittings, 20-inch pre-filter and bend supports
- Installation kit includes the sub-micron post filter and shut-off valves that fit a 0.75-inch pipe
- High-performance filtration and softening for 1 million gallons or 10 years
- It demineralizes your water without eliminating the important minerals
- It takes care of all your water filtration and softening needs simultaneously
- Very expensive
Morton System Saver 30,000 Grain Water Softener M30
Morton System Saver 30,000 Grain Water Softener M30 has a compact design but promises all the functionalities of a conventional water softener but with a small difference. Most softeners come with a two-tank system but the Morton’s softener, on the other hand, comes with just a single tank.
Morton guarantees though that the single tank system won’t affect the efficiency of the system. Evidenced by a flow rate of over 11 gallons per minute, this baby is quite efficient for its size. It also uses 50% less salt than other salt-based softeners. So if you have a small household and a compact house, this softener is perfect for you.
- Compact design that only 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 only takes up just 1.3 square feet floor space
- The softener uses 50% less salt than other systems
- Has a limited handling capacity
- Replacement parts are expensive
Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener
The Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener is a unique water softener that isn’t like the traditional salt-based and salt-less softening systems. What makes it unique is that it doesn’t use any additive at all but instead, it emits an electromagnetic wave to soften water. These waves are applied using two cords attached to your home’s incoming water supply pipe. The water that passes through the pipe gets subjected to a dynamic magnetic field that changes the adhesion structure of lime scale so that they don’t stick to your pipes or other fixtures. Best of all, it works on all types of water pipes except those made of lead and iron.
- No salt, or any other chemical additive
- Life time repair and replace warranty
- Standard cables for pipes with 1.5-inch diameters
- Very inexpensive
- Low maintenance since it doesn’t require any kind of additive
- Compact and easy to install
- Stops being effective after about 6 months
EcoPure EP7130 Water Softener
EcoPure EP7130 is one of the best softeners and is NSF-certified. Its uniqueness is because of its initiated regeneration system that regenerates your water based on its hardness and your need for soft water. Water regeneration will take place only when you initiate it, which saves water and salt. It comes equipped with simple electronic features like a low salt indicator light that tells you when you need to replenish the salt in your softener. This water softener is recommended for a household that has around 1-5 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-year warranty on electronic parts
- 10-year warranty on the tanks.
- NSF certified
- Helps you save on maintenance and energy costs and helps you conserve water
- The low salt indicator reminds you every time you need to replenish the salt in the system
- Manual is a little hard to understand
Aquios FS-220 Salt-Free Water Softener and Filtration System
Last but certainly not the least, the Aquios FS-220 Salt-Free Water Softener and Filtration System is great for a household that needs both a softening and filtration system. This water softener combines these two characteristics effectively by removing such impurities like chlorine and sediment from the water and preventing hardness causing minerals like manganese and calcium from sticking to pipes and other surfaces.
It is also able to prevent the build-up of scale in pipes using an additive known as Siliphos that can impede mineral build-up in pipes. With the use of Siliphos, these minerals will just flow through your fixtures instead of sticking to them. The Aquios FS-220 Salt-Free Water Softener and Filtration System also guarantees that you won’t experience pressure loss or decline in flow rate.
- 5 micron carbon block filtration system
- Non-salt additive (Siliphos)
- A cartridge with 40,000 gallon usage
- 20- Year warranty on both valve and housing
- Aquios FS-220 is both a filtration and softening system
- Uses a non-salt additive
- It has the longest warranty among all water softeners
- Not very effective for large households
What makes water “hard”?
Now that we’ve taken a look at the 10 best water softeners of 2018, let’s take a deep-dive on what makes water “hard” so that you can really understand why you need a water softener. What causes water to be “hard”? The main cause of water becoming “hard” is because it is contaminated with minerals like calcium, magnesium, and manganese. Aside from reacting with soap to form curd, these minerals also have some other negative effects like magnesium and calcium accumulating in your pipes, which causes clogging. To make it “soft”, you have to remove these minerals.
Now the most effective way to remove these minerals is to use water softeners because they can dilute or completely remove the minerals in your water. Since water is the most important resource in life be it for drinking or as a tool for washing dishes, laundry and for bathing, you will want only soft water. You ask why? That’s because if you are using “hard” water, your dishes will be stained with spots after washing. And if your pipes are clogged, the most likely cause is you have “hard” water.
Hard water will make washing and cleaning very difficult because it makes soap and detergents less effective. The reason is that soap reacts with the minerals to form soap curd. This insoluble material leaves spots on your dishes and on every other surface you wash and also traps dirt in fabrics, that can make it stiff.
How do you test if the water is “hard”?
In order to determine if the water you use at home is hard water, you have to test it. These methods will help you determine if your water has hard qualities.
Probably one of the easiest ways to test for hardness in your water, conducting a soapsuds test can be done by following these steps:
- Look for a plastic bottle or clean glass with a cap and fill a third of the container with water from your faucet. Make sure it weighs between 8 to 10 oz.
- Next, add in 10 drops of liquid soap (make sure it isn’t detergent). Shake it for about 10 seconds.
- Check to see if the mixture lathers quickly and the water beneath the lather is clear. If it is, then your water is soft.
- If it doesn’t lather quickly and the water beneath is cloudy, your water is hard.
DIY Test Kit
If you want to get a more accurate result, just buy a kit for water quality test. This kit usually includes a number of test strips and a color chart. First, get a strip and follow the instructions on the pack. Or you can just follow these steps:
- Fill a glass with water from a faucet in your house and make sure not place the strip under running water.
- Put the test strip in the water and hold it for a few seconds.
- The color of the strip will change after a while. Then compare the strip’s color to the chart provided to determine the level of hardness. Remember that the results are usually measured in Grains per Gallon (GPG).
Just remember to buy the kit from a certified manufacturer.
Check Your Numbers
The easiest way to find out if the water coming in to your house is hard is to simply request for their water quality report. Although this report might not show exactly the quality of water flowing directly from your taps, it does give you a general idea of the level of water hardness in your area. Take not though that you can only do this if your house is connected to the city water supply.
How does a water softener work?
Now that we’ve established how to test if the water coming out of your faucet is hard, let’s move on to the next most important question. How does a water softener work exactly? Think of a water softener as an appliance that you can install in your home. You may have noticed that there are several types of water softeners, but basically, they all do one thing. They remove hardness minerals or impurities in water and replace them with something else. This process is called “ion exchange”.
Basically, a water softener will always have a mineral tank that is filled with resin or zeolite beads, that carry negative charges. Since calcium and magnesium and other minerals in hard water carry positive charges, the positively charged minerals will cling to the resin beads when the water flows into the mineral tank. Another positively charged mineral is Sodium but it is not as strong as calcium and magnesium. Water softeners also have a brine tank that creates a strong brine solution. The brine solution will go through the mineral tank and displace the magnesium and calcium ions on the resin using sodium ions.
To simplify the ion exchange process to soften water, let’s divide it in three phases:
Backwash phase – When the hard water enters the mineral tank, the calcium and magnesium ions in it stick to resin beads. Afterward, the backwash reverses the water flow in order to remove dirt.
Recharge phase – The recharge phase starts once the resin in the mineral tank is already saturated with magnesium and calcium ions. During this phase, the brine tank releases the brine solution to the mineral tank and what happens is that the sodium ions displace the calcium and magnesium ions on the resin beads.
Rinse/flush phase – During the 3rd phase, the excess brine is flushed from the mineral tank and the brine tank is also refilled.
What factors do you need to consider before you install a water softener?
If you are one of those people who like to do things themselves instead of letting a plumber or an electrician do the work, then keep reading. Before you install the water softener though, you have to consider a few things first.
Location of water softener – If you are just replacing an old water softener with a new one, then you can just place it in the same spot as the old one. If it’s a new installation and not a replacement, you should make sure that the water softener must be placed out of the way. Look for a spot that’s close to your plumbing system to make it easier for you to link the water softener. Usually, you can place it in the basement, garage or utility room. One thing to note is that you have to avoid placing the water softener where freezing is likely and avoid placing it outside under direct sunlight. Make sure that you place the water softener in a location where there’s enough room for repair and maintenance.
Water softener requirement – First, a water softener will require a utility sink or a floor drain. It will also require a close electrical receptacle unit that can handle the energy needs. Usually, it is installed close to a water heater.
Connection point to the water supply system – It is recommended to install the water softener just before the water heater. By doing so, it helps to prevent the accumulation of dirt in the water heater. If your house is where sodium counts as a health risk, it’s a different story. You may need to bypass the faucets that bring their drinking water, or you can just opt for a salt-free water softener.
After considering these factors, you should be able to find a nice spot for your water softener. So let’s now talk about how to install it.
How do you install a water softener?
To make sure that you properly install the water softener, follow these steps:
Read the installation manual – The manual is there for a reason. It is a guide on how to install the water softener properly. Keep in mind that water softeners have different installation methods. So read the manual to avoid any mistakes during installation.
Keep the location clean – Before you install the water softener, make sure to sweep and clean the location. Positioning is important because most water softeners use a dual-tank system. So make sure that the tanks are set properly.
Make sure to turn the water supply first – You need to be careful when you install the softener. The best way to do it is to ensure that the water supply is shut off first. Also, you need to turn off the electricity supply to your heater.
Drain any leftover water – After you shut off the water supply, you have to drain all the water left in the pipes. To do this, simply open the faucets in your house.
Us a pipe cutter to cut into your waterline and fix in the elbow fittings – By doing so, it will allow you to run lines to the inlet and outlet openings of the softener’s bypass valve. Again, make sure to position the tanks properly. This is where the hard water will flow into the softener’s tank. Then the softened water will flow out through the outlet to the fixtures and faucets in your home.
Connect the pipes leading to the bypass valve – By the way, installing a water softener will require soldering work. So if you don’t know how to solder, ask a professional to do it instead. Remember that the bypass valve is made of plastic, so it is advisable to solder the fittings separately before you attach them to the valve. It will come with compression fittings that you can use to attach the pipes to the valve.
Attach the drain hose to the softener – Clamp the drain hose securely to the water softener and run it to a draining sink. Take extra precautions when doing this because if you do something wrong, the drain hose won’t work properly.
Install the overflow tube – After attaching the drain hose, you can now fit the overflow tube to the side of the brine tank. Make sure you don’t deviate with the instructions that the manual provided.
Set the bypass valve to “bypass” mode – If you’ve finished the previous step, you can now turn on the water supply. Remove the dirt and the air trapped in the pipes by letting the water flow through the pipes. Also, this is the time that you can turn the water heater back on.
Plug the water softener in – Plug in the water softener and make sure to set the bypass valve to “backwash”. Press the “regenerate” button valve until it reaches backwash. Then unplug the unit to prevent it from going beyond backwash.
Open the bypass valve’s inlet control halfway – Once you open it halfway, you can let the water flow in slowly. Don’t worry about the sputtering, it’s air trapped in the pipes. After the sputtering stops, you can now open the inlet and outlet controls fully. Add the salt and water as instructed in the manual.
Plug the water softener back in again – After you plug it in, push “regenerate” and wait for the water softener to enter the next stage. Keep repeating this until the water reaches “service” setting. Check for leaks. If you spot any, turn the water softener off and re-solder the leaking area. If there are no leaks, you can now start programming the water softener to your desired settings.
Again, following the instruction manual to the dot is crucial when installing the water softener system. If you are having a hard time installing it, don’t push yourself. You might just end up ruining the water softener. Call a professional for help instead.
How do you do proper maintenance on your water softener?
Now that you know how to install the water softener system, it’s time to learn the next thing about water softeners. Knowing how to properly do maintenance procedures can make sure that your water softener lasts longer.
The best thing about water softeners is that they do not generally need as much care as other appliances in your home. But that doesn’t mean that you can just leave it lying around without doing anything. There are certain things you can do to make sure the water softener won’t break down. Here are some Do-It-Yourself things you can do to maintain your water softener.
Replenish salt once a month – It is recommended not to wait for the salt level to be depleted before you add more salt. Make it a habit to regularly check the brine tank. You can do this every month. If you need to, you can set a reminder in your mobile phone to make sure you won’t forget it. It is advisable to keep the salt level half full, so you can easily tell when it drops down.
Do monthly inspections – While you’re at it, you can schedule the monthly inspection the same time you replenish the salt. That way, you won’t have to keep going back to check your water softener. This is crucial in preventing bridging. Bridging is what happens when salt builds up in the brine tank. When bridging happens, the flow of salt to the mineral tank will become restricted. And if there is no salt, the resin beads won’t be cleaned and your water won’t be softened.
Make sure to get the right salt type – Water softeners use their own kind of salt(not the ones you use in the kitchen). There are two types, the crystal and the cube. Check the user manual to see which one is the right type for your water softener.
Use a pre-filter – Using a pre-filter can extend the life of your equipment. That’s because the water flowing from the city supply to your home may cause sediment and particle accumulation along the way. These impurities may get into ports or seals of your softener and will cause damage to the system. By doing this, you can be sure that the water in your home will be purified and softened.
Remove bridges – As explained above, bridging happens when salt in your softener’s brine tank builds up. When you see a bridge, just use a stick to break it up, but make sure you should know once a bridge forms because there’s a high chance that the bridge will keep showing up from time to time.
Clean the brine tank – Check the product manual to find the safest and best way to clean the brine tank. You can do this at least once a year and a maximum of two times a year.
Even if you do the proper maintenance, there are still unforseen things that might happen that will cause problems to your water softener. When that happens, you will need the help of a professional. So, it is recommended to call an expert to do a regular check on your water softener every few months.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where do I install a water softener?
The simple answer is to install it near your home’s water supply line. If you are confident about your knowledge of the installation procedure and have the right tools, you can just do the installation yourself. But if there’s at least a doubt in your mind, call in a professional. If there’s a member in the household who can’t tolerate sodium, you can set up different lines for cooking and drinking.
Will my water bill increase if I use a water softener?
To put it simply, yes. A water softener will require about 55 to 400 liters of water every time it regenerates. But in this case, the monthly costs will be offset by the benefits that soft water will provide. To reduce your water bill, make sure that the unit you buy is the exact type for your water needs. Aside from that, there also water softeners that are relatively more water-efficient.
How much sodium is added to the water by a salt-based water softener?
The amount of sodium a softener requires will be determined by the hardness level of the water. In general, the harder the water, the more salt is needed. If sodium is a health concern, choose a salt-free water softener instead. The only problem is, if your water is really hard, salt-free systems won’t be as efficient in softening the water compared to salt-based systems.
When should I not use softened water?
Don’t use softened water when you are watering plants and grasses because the high sodium content may be unhealthy for the plants. Aside from that, increased use of softened water will lead to frequent regeneration which will, in turn, lead to more water consumption and higher water bills.
Will a water softener make my water safe for drinking?
This is a general misconception. The simple answer is no, it won’t. The water must be clean and safe to drink before it is softened. If you are worried that your water has impurities in it, the solution to that is to buy a filtration system. Since there are products that combine both filtration and softening, you can opt for that instead. If that doesn’t satisfy your concern, then contact your area’s local health department. To put your mind at ease, you can have your water tested in a laboratory.
Can softeners also use potassium chloride in place of salt?
The answer is yes. Any softener can use a potassium chloride as a substitute, but you should note that potassium chloride is more expensive than salt and it tends to melt when wet which will result in a bridge in the brine tank. That is why it is advisable that you only fill the salt tank halfway with potassium chloride so you can keep track of its level easily.
As was mentioned at the start of this article, hard water is safe for general use, but it still has some slightly negative effects both on people and appliances. To avoid these effects, you will need a water softener to soften the water. We’ve covered everything you need to know about water softening systems in this article and we’ve explored everything that you will need if you are planning on getting one. Aside from that, the DIY steps for installing a water softener and FAQs about water softeners should also help you a lot once you are able to get one for your needs. Having read this article, by now, you should be able to find best water softener for your water softening needs.