Best Water Softeners in 2020 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Hard water is a common problem in numerous households – around 85% of households in the United States have hard water.  This is significant because, while you may not be aware, hard water can cause serious issues, such as affecting your skin and hair and clogging your drains and pipes.

Thankfully, there are water softeners that can reverse the effects of hard water. Water softeners neutralize calcium and magnesium in your water supply, effectively eliminating hard water problems at home.

But are all water softeners created equal, or are some better than others? We’ve collected water softener reviews to help us answer these questions (and more) in this article. But first, let’s learn about the 12 best water softeners of 2020.

How We Tested the Water Softeners:

The following list of best water softeners was prepared by our team of evaluators after trying a number of products from different brands to see which offered outstanding performance as per the need and purpose.

You can follow the method that we employed using a simple test at home.

First, take a glass of unsoftened water and try working a lather with soap or detergent.

Second, take a glass of softened water and do the same.

If it’s much easier to lather up soap bubbles with the second glass, then your water softener is working.

30 Seconds Summary - Best Water Softener

The water softeners mentioned in this review not only represent a wide range of brands but also depict their unique and useful features. All 11 products are best in their own areas but we recommend the ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt Water Softener as the best water softener of 2020. Equipped with a Fleck 5600sxt valve digital meter, this water softening system features two powerful tanks to maximize how much water can be softened.

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Quick Summary of 11 Best Water Softeners of 2020

Image Water Softeners
Water Softener with Massive Capacity
Fleck 9100SXT Dual Tank Water Softener

This water softener comes with a massive capacity of removing 96,000 grains of hardness and softens your hard water with a dual-tank technology.

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Best Water Softener for Well Water with Iron
Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener

Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener is an all-in-one water softener and iron filter that removes hardness, iron, and manganese from your water.

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Best Water Softener for Ease of Use
Whirlpool WHES30 30,000 Grain Water Softener

As this softener features a single-tank design, it can be used in small offices or shops for economic softening.

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Top Pick for Excellent Performance
Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener

This is an efficient and compact product that uses an ion-exchange process for removing calcium and magnesium to make the water soft.

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Affordable Digital Water Softener
Tier1 Everyday Series 48,000 Grain High-Efficiency Digital Water Softener

The Tier1 Everyday Series 48,000 Grain High-Efficiency Digital Water Softener is a complete traditional system that contains mechanical components necessary for the standard installation of pre-installed water softener connections.

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Best Value-for-Money Water Softener
Nuvo H20 DPHB Home Salt-Free Water System

It is the best value-for-money softener that purifies water which remains unaffected from any adulterants or salt.

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Quality Water Softener With Intelligent Regeneration
GE GXSF30V Water Softener

This water softener is engineered to handle extreme hardness like any high-tech water softener you can find in the market.

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Top Pick for High Hardness and Iron Removal
Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000 Grain Water Softener

Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000 Grain Water Softener removes the sticky mineral stains and processes with an ultra-high flow valve.

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Quality Pick for Removing Hard Water Grains
Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System

This cost-effective water softener crystallizes hard water grains so that they flow harmlessly through the pipes and drainage system.

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Affordable and Easy-to-Setup Water Softener
Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener

Besides being affordable and easy to operate, Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener comes with a lifetime guarantee.

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Salt-Free Water Softener for Well Water
Triple Action Poly Salt-Free Water Softener

It is a salt-free water softener designed for handling the hardness of well water.

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Best Water Softener for Tap Water
ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt Water Softener

The best way to treat your tap water, this water softener comes with two powerful American-made tanks that help in the proper softening process.

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Best Water Softeners in 2020 - Reviewed

ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt Water Softener

Quality Water Softener for Tap Water

Features Highlights

  • Fleck 5600sxt valve digital meter
  • Preloaded water softener resin media
  • Black brine with well and float valve
  • Finer resin mesh
  • Preloaded two American-made tanks
  • Upflow carbon and Reverse Osmosis (RO)
  • Easy magnesium and calcium removable
  • Easy installation guide
This premium water softener operates using the most trusted digital valve meters with high efficiency. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    10 X 10 X 54 inches

  • Weight:

    148 pounds

  • Flow Rate:

    12 gallons per minute

  • Capacity:

    48,000 grain

Pros

  • High-end technology
  • Easy installation kit
  • Features a bypass valve
  • 10% more cross-link

Cons

  • Two drain lines need to be purchased separately
  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t remove iron

Our Verdict

Besides the mentioned features, you shouldn’t underestimate the quality of customer support you get with this ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt Water Softener. You can also seek free help regarding the installation, operation, and maintenance of your water softener.

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Fleck 9100SXT Dual Tank Water Softener

Water Softener with Massive Capacity

Features Highlights

  • Enormous capacity (96,000 grain!)
  • Dual alternating tanks
  • An efficient system for saving salt and water
  • Easy installation
  • Alternating digital metered control
  • High capacity resin
  • 24-volt electrical system
This water softener features excellent capacity and softens water like a pro with a dual-tank system. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    14 X 14 X 65 inches

  • Weight:

    53 pounds

  • Flow Rate:

    20 gallons per minute

  • Capacity:

    96,000 grain

Pros

  • Massive capacity
  • Strong flow rate
  • Easy scalp buildup removal
  • Heavy-duty product

Cons

  • Very bulky
  • Resin is extremely heavy
  • Resin replacement costs more

Verdict

What more do you want from the water softener that has grain capacity above 90k and comes with a strong flow rate plus excellent durability? Fleck 9100SXT Dual Tank Water Softener should definitely make it into your purchase list if you live in a large family or plan on using a significant amount of water each month.

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Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener

Best Water Softener for Well Water with Iron

Features Highlights

  • All-in-one water softener and iron filter
  • Fleck 5600SXT digital metered valve
  • Removes hardness up to 75 gpg, Iron up to 6-8 ppm range, Manganese up to 6 ppm
  • Almond resin tank
  • Round almond brine tank with safety float
  • Fine mesh resin
  • Large capacity
  • Auto-regeneration
If you’re having trouble dealing with the hardness in well water, your issue ends with this excellent water softening product. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    14 X 7 X 21 inches

  • Weight:

    119.5 pounds

  • Flow Rate:

    15 gallons per minute

  • Capacity:

    64,000 grain

Pros

  • Proven valve brand
  • Filters iron well
  • Huge capacity
  • Auto-regeneration
  • Resin lasts for at least 5 years

Cons

  • Installation instructions aren’t clear
  • Needs pre-filter if the iron content is high

Verdict

Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener should definitely make into your list as it is the product that removes iron for making your water fresh and pure. However, the installation instructions can be a bit confusing, so make sure to seek professional help (like a plumber) or call for technical support.

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Whirlpool WHES30 30,000 Grain Water Softener

Best Water Softener for Ease of Use

Features Highlights

  • ‘Sixth-sense’ technology
  • System monitoring
  • Demand-initiated regeneration
  • Excellent fitting
  • Bypass valve
  • Installation kit and manual for ease of use
The ‘sixth sense’ technology of this water softener allows you to use only the required amount of salt for water softening. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    19 X 18 X 43.5 inches

  • Weight:

    102 pounds

  • Flow Rate:

    7 gallons per minute

  • Capacity:

    30,000 grain

Pros

  • Sixth-sense and demand-initiated regeneration technology
  • Low-salt light
  • Ideal for families of 1 to 4
  • Space-saving design
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not ideal for a large family
  • The bypass valve is somewhat leaky

Verdict

Whirlpool WHES30 30,000 Grain Water Softener has the right features at an affordable price point. The main features you will love this softener are the low-salt light and the smart salt-using technology. This should be your choice if your family consists of 1 to 4 people.

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Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener

Top Pick for Excellent Performance

Features Highlights

  • High quality and convenient
  • Easy to operate
  • Comes with pre-loaded resin
  • Top-class technology
  • Standard black brine tank with safety float
  • Metered control head
  • An LCD display with system information
  • Ultra-efficient digital on-demand water softener valve
Your search for the top-performing water softener should end here with this well-rounded product that operates based on the on-demand metered system. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    48 X 12 X 12 inches

  • Weight:

    180 pounds

  • Flow Rate:

    12 gallons per minute

  • Capacity:

    64,000 grain

Pros

  • Great durability
  • Superior technology
  • Easy to use features
  • Great capacity

Cons

  • Resin is not the best
  • Removes just a low level of iron
  • Somewhat pricey

Verdict

This compact and effective water softener comes equipped with all the components needed for operation: the tank, resin, control head, and brine tank with safety float. Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener is the right choice for you thanks to its durable design, convenient flow rate, and easy installation.

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Tier1 Everyday Series 48,000 Grain High-Efficiency Digital Water Softener

Affordable Digital Water Softener

Features Highlights

  • LCD display along with the Fleck valve
  • Digital meter control valve
  • Space-saving and effective
  • Easy calcium phosphate and magnesium removal
  • Energy efficient
  • Smart design
  • Complete package
Energy-efficient and excellent performance – these qualities make this water softener a most-wanted product for your household use. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    15.5 X 15.5 X 66.5 inches

  • Weight:

    10.4 ounces

  • Flow Rate:

    11.2 gallons per minute

  • Capacity:

    48,000 grain

Pros

  • Space-saving
  • Effective
  • Can be installed outside
  • Full control over regeneration cycles
  • The set comes with everything needed for installation

Cons

  • Capacity could have been better
  • Not great value for money

Verdict

A proper flow rate suggests Tier1 Everyday Series 48,000 Grain High-Efficiency Digital Water Softener is a product to look out for if you have a large family. Plus, we like how the model comes with all the handy equipment needed for the initial installation.

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Nuvo H20 DPHB Home Salt-Free Water Softener System

Best Value-for-Money Water Softener

Features Highlights

  • FDA & NSF approved
  • Eco-friendly: no salt, no waste water, no electricity
  • Prevents scale buildup and removes existing hard water scale
  • Compact design
  • Extends the life of your water heater and appliances
This water softener provides you with the purified water unaffected by any adulterants or salt. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    5 X 5 X 24 inches

  • Weight:

    8 pounds

  • Flow Rate:

    15 gallons per minute

  • Capacity:

    NA

Pros

  • Offers great value-for-money
  • Improves water quality
  • Eco-friendly with no salt
  • The set comes with all the necessary tools
  • Good flow rate
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Cartridges need to be changed after a certain time
  • Inlets might require connectors with the proper diameter
  • Can’t be used on its own when processing well water

Verdict

Nuvo H20 DPHB Home Salt-Free Water Softener System is a competitive product on this list as it comes with a good flow rate and also improves the quality of water. Since you do not have any salt or resin, you need to change cartridges regularly if you buy this water softener.

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GE GXSF30V Water Softener

Quality Water Softener With Intelligent Regeneration

Features Highlights

  • Digital control head
  • Metered-based regeneration
  • NSF certified
  • Digital display
  • Easy Installation
Beat it if you can! This water softener features a meter-based intelligent regeneration that can handle extreme water hardness. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    22.5 X 14.4 X 43.2 inches

  • Weight:

    80 pounds

  • Flow Rate:

    7.5 gallons per minute

  • Capacity:

    30,000 grain

Pros

  • The digital control head allows quick and easy setup
  • Metered- based regeneration
  • Easy installation steps
  • Low maintenance cost
  • NSF certified
  • Removes 7ppm of the iron particle from the water

Cons

  • Not suitable for bigger households
  • Has a limitation in use with a maximum of 1-inch pipe

Verdict

If you are from a small household that consists of around three people, then GE GXSF30V Water Softener is the best water softener option for you. With an affordable price, this model delivers optimum performance. Plus, a long-term warranty hints towards the durability of the product.

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Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000 Grain Water Softener

Top Pick for High Hardness and Iron Removal

Features Highlights

  • Demand-Initiated regeneration
  • Salt-Saving technology
  • High-hardness removal
  • Iron removal
  • Low-salt light
  • Ultra-high flow valve
  • Tank light
  • Easy installation kit
If you are looking for the product with demand-initiated regeneration that also removes iron from your water, then this is the best choice for you. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    19 X 18 X 48 inches

  • Weight:

    112 pounds

  • Flow Rate:

    8.5 gallons per minute

  • Capacity:

    40,000 grain

Pros

  • Refilling less often
  • Saves energy and time
  • A super-high flow valve
  • Low salt indicator
  • Easy program set

Cons

  • Not suitable for a small family

Verdict

Demand-initiated regeneration is one feature that makes this water softener popular among users. With a one-year manufacturer’s part and labor warranty, a three-year limited electronics warranty, and a 10-year limited warranty on tanks, this is one water softener we definitely recommend considering.

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Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System

Quality Pick for Removing Hard Water Grains

Features Highlights

  • UV Sterilight filtration system
  • Engineered filtration media
  • Unique upflow and dual-tank design
  • High-performance filter system
  • Cost-effective and long-lasting
  • Easy maintenance
  • Top-grade installation kit and components
Taking the tenth position in our list, the Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System crystallizes the hard water grains, protecting your pipes and drainage system. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    9 X 46 X 54 inches

  • Weight:

    77.7 pounds

  • Flow Rate:

    7 gallons per minute

  • Capacity:

    Crystalizes Grains

Pros

  • Good flow rate for a small-sized family
  • Minimizes use of salt and water
  • Contains genuine parts
  • Durable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Pex Crimper is needed for installation

Verdict

If you have a small-sized family, then Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System is the right product to go after. Despite its high price, this system is effective at removing hard water grains and filtering sediment from pumps. However, if you’re looking specifically for iron and sulfur control, consider another product.

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Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener

Affordable and Easy-to-Setup Water Softener

Features Highlights

  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Easy installation
  • Lifetime repair or replacement warranty
  • Protection from scale sticking to the pipes
This Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener is not only economical to maintain, it also comes with a lifetime guarantee. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    6.7 X 1.6 X 3.5 inches

  • Weight:

    7.8 ounces

  • Flow Rate:

    NA

  • Capacity:

    NA

Pros

  • Lifetime guarantee
  • All minerals of water are retained
  • Helps defeat the scale buildup
  • No plumbing required
  • Cheap to maintain
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Doesn’t make water fit for drinking
  • Not waterproof

Verdict

One thing you should keep in mind is that this water softener is not designed to remove or add anything to your water. It makes sure that nothing builds up inside your faucets and pipes. The sole reason to buy this product is the inclusion of a magnetic field that helps defeat all the nasty buildup.

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Triple Action Poly Salt-Free Water Softener

Salt-Free Water Softener for Well Water

Features Highlights

  • Compact design
  • No need for cartridges
  • No backwashing
  • No need for electricity
  • Comes ready to be installed
  • Salt-free type
  • Uses Polyphosphates
  • Extremely lightweight
Designed for softening well water, Triple Action Poly Salt-Free Water Softener serves well for you without the need for electricity and backwashing. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    4.5 X 4.5 X 10 inches

  • Weight:

    4 pounds

  • Flow Rate:

    30 gallons per minute

  • Capacity:

    Uses Polyphosphates

Pros

  • Works with salt-free technology
  • You can install it inside or outside your house
  • Made with BPA-free plastic
  • Accessories are replaceable
  • Outstanding warranty

Cons

  • Doesn’t remove chloramine and iron
  • You may need connectors as the inlets are one-inch in diameter

Verdict

An exceptionally fast flow rate, effective water softening, and small size make this water softener one of the top picks for well water.

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Best Water Softeners Comparison Chart

SNProduct NameWeightFlow RateCapacity
1ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt Water Softener148 pounds12 GPM48,000 grains
2Fleck 9100SXT Dual Tank Water Softener53 pounds20 GPM96,000 grains
3Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener119.5 pounds15 GPM64,000 grains
4Whirlpool WHES30 30,000 Grain Water Softener102 pounds7 GPM30,000 grains
5Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener180 pounds12 GPM64,000 grains
6Tier1 Everyday Series 48,000 Grain High-Efficiency Digital Water Softener10.4 ounces11.2 GPM48,000 grains
7Nuvo H20 DPHB Home Salt-Free Water Softener System8 pounds15 GPMNA
8GE GXSF30V Water Softener80 pounds7.5 GPM30,000 grains
9Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000 Grain Water Softener112 pounds8.5 GPM40,000 grains
10Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System77.7 pounds7 GPMCrystallizes grains
11Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener7.8 ouncesNANA
12Triple Action Poly Salt-Free Water Softener4 pounds30 GPMUses Polyphosphates

How to Choose the Right Water Softener?

Before you decide to purchase a water softener, you should consider a few key important things.

Know your budget

It is important to know how much your water softener costs before you decide to purchase one. Water softeners are available at different price ranges. A residential water softener can cost anywhere between $500 and $2500. Higher-grain water softeners tend to be more expensive than low-grain ones (we will explain about the grains later). Evaluate your budget and make a purchase accordingly.  

Also, don’t forget to add installation and maintenance costs when you plan to make a purchase. A typical homeowner can pay as low as $400 for DIY installation, while professional installations can cost upwards of $4000.

Determine the capacity

The capacity of the water softener is directly related to the amount of water hardness it can remove before the regeneration cycle. The hardness of water is measured in grains per gallon (GPG). The capacity can range from 8,000 to 80,000 grains or even higher.  

Let’s look at how that works in an example:

If your meter reads 20 grains per gallon and your family uses 500 gallons of water per day on average, then your water softener has to remove 20 X 500 = 10,000 hardness grains each day. 

Now if you want to limit regeneration to one cycle per week, your water softener has to have a minimum capacity of 7 X 10,000 = 70,000 grains.

Water Flow Rate

Another crucial thing to consider before buying a water softener is the water flow rate. The water flow rate is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). It helps to determine how many water outlets you can use at the same time without losing pressure. If you live in a larger household, you should buy a softener with a higher water flow rate. 

The following is the typical water use of modern outlets:

  • Faucets: 1.0 GPM
  • Toilet: 3.0 GPF (gallons per flush)
  • Shower: 2.0 - 2.5 GPM
  • Dishwater: 6.0 - 16.0 GPL (gallons per load)
  • Washing Machine: 25.0 GPL

If you live in a medium-to-large family with two or more bathrooms, we recommend a water softener with a minimum flow rate of 12 gallons per minute. Single households should be fine with below 7 GPM. 

Here is a more precise instruction for you:

  • 2 people = 5 GPM
  • 3 people= 6 GPM
  • 4 people = 7 GPM

Water softener regeneration

Water regeneration is a process when the minerals attached to the resin bed via an ion exchange are washed off leaving some space for new salt to start softening the water again. This process should occur no more than once every three days and no less than every fortnight

There are usually three different methods for water regeneration:

  1. Metered: Metered (also known as demand-initiated) regeneration is used by digital systems to trigger their regen process based on the previous water output. This is one of the most common regeneration methods because it is cost-effective, environment-friendly. This system only uses excess salt and water when absolutely necessary.
  2. Timed: In this method, you set a specific regeneration time yourself - ideally at night when everyone is sleeping. The softening system then backwashes, recharges and rinses at specific time intervals. It always uses the same amount of salt and water regardless of your prior water consumption. 
  3. Manual: This method is convenient but only common with portable water softeners. All you need to do is add salt directly into the media tank and give it time to displace the hard minerals stuck to the resin.

Certifications and warranty

When purchasing a water softener, you should also look for NSF/ANSI or World Quality Association (WQA) certifications that substantiate a manufacturer’s performance claims. Products with these certifications are considered to be of high-quality. These certifications guarantee:

  • Material safety
  • Structural integrity
  • Salt efficiency
  • Water efficiency
  • Reduction of hardness

Likewise, you should also look for warranties just to make sure that you don’t need to pay again to repair or replace your water softener in case something goes wrong.

Note: Pay attention to the warranties as some companies provide separate warranties for different system components.    

Why Do You Need Water Softeners?

The main purpose of water softeners is to make the water more suitable for use in your home. This is achieved by removing hard minerals such as calcium and magnesium ions and replacing them with sodium and potassium ions

Here are the top four reasons that justify the need for water softeners:

1. Water Tastes Better

For many, the taste of hard water isn’t the best. As a result, they consume less amount of water which is not good for your health (and is especially bad for growing children). With water softeners, you can reduce or eliminate the minerals that cause water to taste bad in the first place

2. Safety From Scaling

Scaling is the least desirable side effect of hard water. It can stain anything it touches, even your skin. The good news is that a good water softener can either reduce or eliminate the amount of scale build-up you have to deal with

Note: For eliminating scaling, you can use salt-based water softeners. Besides, salt-free softener would also work for the short-term.   

3. Protection of Plumbing

Over time, hard water can affect your plumbing. Hard water leads to scale build-up in pipes resulting in congested water flow and weakened pipes over the course of several months. Thankfully, a good water softener assists in prolonging the life of your plumbing and draining the clog build-up. 

4. Easy Washing

Hard water requires more water and soap for laundry or cleaning. A good softener removes the hard minerals from the water or changes the way they behave. As a result, washing becomes easier and you will also save money on your utility, water and soap bills.

Benefits of Water Softening Systems

You can find many benefits of water softening systems. Some of them are:

  • Softer skin and hair: Hard water can cause skin irritation and dry hair. Water softeners minimize these effects. The same goes for your clothes as well. Since soft water treats your skin gently, it will also protect the fabric of your clothing and maintain the overall softness.
  • Prolongs appliances’ life: The lack of scale buildup ensures better functionality of the appliances and devices that use water at home.
  • Energy efficiency improvements: As your appliances function properly, they use less energy for operation. This way, your heating bills should reduce to some extent. 
  • Reduction in the use of soap and detergent: Soaps are less efficient when used with hard water. Soft water ensures your detergents perform well thus reducing the amount that you require for washing your clothes, or utensils. 
  • Surfaces remain stain-free: Water softeners either remove or alter the structure of the minerals causing hardness, thus preventing them from sticking to the surface. As a result, you will no longer see a calcium film on your glasses and mirrors after a wash. 

The Most Popular Types of Water Softeners

Generally, there are four types of water softeners common in households around the world. They are:

1. Salt-Based Water Softeners

These water softeners are the most popular, so much so they are termed as the standard. In these softeners, water is softened using salt ions. The hard ions get replaced with soft ions like sodium or salt ions. Additionally, the machine has a compartment known as a brine tank. In order to make the softener perform efficiently, you need to top up the brine chamber regularly. 

Regular regeneration is important for this system to work smoothly. This requires you to flush as soon as the chamber gets filled with ions. The system also includes a metered, timed, or manual regeneration. 

2. Salt-Free Water Softeners

Though the name sounds interesting due to the absence of salt, the effectiveness of this type of water softener goes nowhere near that of the salt-based softener. The major feature of this Salt-Free Water Softeners is nanotechnology. These softeners are actually water conditioners that make it hard for the existing minerals to form a buildup inside your pipes. This way, a smooth flow of water is ensured.  

The salt-free water softeners do not soften the hard water but they condition the water. The minerals get transformed and still remain in the water. 

3. Dual Tank Water Softeners

These types are considered to be the big boys of water softening as they come in a pair –- you get two large iron tanks and a brined one. This system is suitable for a household with lots of water consumption.  

The working process of Dual Tank Water Softeners is also simple. When one of the tanks regenerates, the other one becomes fully functional and provides soft, processed water. Although the investment for a dual tank water softener is higher, you will most likely enjoy cost-savings in the long-run. 

4. Magnetic Water Softeners

The magnetic water softeners are small in size and not too expensive. However, they aren’t as efficient as other softeners. In magnetic water softeners, the softening of water is carried out with the help of magnetic wires or bars that do not interfere with your piping system. Besides, no installation is required and there are no bypass valves. The magnetic field produced by the system changes the atomic structure of water. 

In this process, the softening is carried for a specific period of time. After the time limit, the water becomes hard again.   

How To Install a Water Softener

While it may sound complicated, installing a water softener system is usually pretty easy. A good thing about house filtration systems is that their installation is more or less the same. As long as you follow the steps mentioned below, you should have no problem getting your softener up and running in a couple of hours. 

1. Secure All Needed Tools

Make sure you have all the necessary tools in your hand. The tools include:

  • Water softening system
  • System manual
  • Resin beads
  • Sandpaper
  • Drain
  • Masking tape
  • Funnel
  • Lubricant
  • Gravel
  • Flexible tubing

2. Read the Manual Properly

After you gather the necessary equipment, go through the manual carefully. Make sure you understand each step clearly before you begin the installation process. 

3. Turn Main Water Supply Off

Find the main switch valve and turn off the main water supply. You should then unplug the water heater and turn on all the faucets in your home so that you can easily drain the remaining water in the pipes. Make sure that there is no trace of liquid inside the pipes as it can interfere with the softener installation process. 

4. Determine Best Place for Water Softener

You should keep the water softener in an area that is dry and near a drain. Plus, there should be enough room for two tanks. 

5. Measure and Connect

Measure the distance between the bypass ports and the cold water line before connecting the water softener tanks. Once you determine the distance, cut a piece of copper tubing to fit it. 

6. Install Discharge Tube

For this method, refer to the manual as the process depends on the type of water softener you are installing.

7. Attach Overflow Tube

The overflow tube needs to be attached to the water conditioner tank. Both the discharge tube and the overflow tube should be connected to the drain.

8. Install Bypass Valve

To complete this step, you need a screwdriver. The bypass valve should be placed on top of the conditioner’s head valve. After that, it needs to be secured into place using the clamps. Once you complete this step, connect it to the tubing that supplies the water to the valve. At last, connect the water conditioner to the water lines and you are all set.

9. Ensure Everything Fits Properly

Before using the water softener, make sure everything fits properly. Check the connections properly and ensure there are no leaks. You should scrub and solder the fittings. If you solder the fittings, apply flux and use a propane torch to melt it. If you are uncomfortable with a propane torch, you can use Shark Bite connectors instead.  

10. Turn the Water Back On and Start-Up the System

This is the final step. To complete the water softener installation, turn the water back on and start the system. Refer to the manual for steps to turn on the water softener system if you face any difficulties. 

Water Softener Size

It is crucial that you get the right size when you buy a water softener. Here are a few key points to look for when choosing an appropriate water softener size:

  • Determine how hard your water is: The hardness of water is measured in grains per gallon (GPG). It usually ranges from 3 to 20 grains. You can check the hardness level with the help of a water softener test kit. If the result is 3, it means the water is relatively soft. Similarly, 20 means the water is extremely hard. 
  • Determine daily and weekly water usage: A normal person roughly uses 80 to 100 gallons of water daily. Now multiply this with the number of members of the family in your home to find the daily water usage. You can multiply this result by 7 to find out the average weekly usage of water. 
  • Determine hard water grains to be removed weekly: Multiply the daily water usage of your household by the number of grains in hard water. 

For example, if you consume 3,000 gallons of water per week and the number of grains in hard water is 10, the number of hard water grains to be removed is: 

3,000 gallons X 10 grains = 30,000 grains a week.  

  • Determine the right water softener capacity for your household: You can find water softeners with a capacity of 8,000 to 80,000 grains. After you measure the weekly liquid grains to be removed, make sure that the number is lower than the water softener capacity you buy. 

Note: If you buy a water softener that is too small in size, it regenerates more frequently and will cost more. Likewise, if the size is larger, the initial cost will be higher but it will regenerate less frequently, helping in saving money after the initial expenditure.  

FAQs About Water Softeners

Some of the most popular water softener manufacturers are:

Fleck
Whirlpool
GE
Pelican
Aquasana
Culligan
Kinetico

Typically, water softeners are designed to last 10 to 15 years. Like any other appliances, they will last longer if you maintain them properly. Your initial installation can also influence the durability of your softener, so work through the process carefully for long-run use.

The installation cost can vary depending on the contractor and the type of water softener you use. You may have to pay around $400 for a Do-It-Yourself installation while a professional installation cost can go as high as $4,000.

You should always use a salt that dissolves well. The ones that dissolve well are easier on the water softener system and will flush away without any problems.

First, identify what valves direct the water into the system. Turn those valves off so that the water no longer passes to the water softener. The hard water will no longer flow through the water softener before entering your home. To completely shut down the softener, disconnect the power supply.

Water softeners get rid of most of the impurities and chemicals found in the water supply. Therefore, it makes your water safe to drink. However, it doesn’t mean that it produces the best kind of drinking water.

A conventional water softener is not designed to remove chlorine from the water supply. If you are concerned about chlorine, you can look for a water filtration system that is designed to remove chlorine and other chemicals.

Yes! Though they can be expensive, water softeners help to soften the water that does offer some significant benefits. Soft water is easier to manage and it also takes good care of your hair and skin. So why not go for it?