The Best Water Softeners Reviews – Buyer’s Guide 2016

Steps to Choose the Best Water Softener

Best Water Softener

When you step out of the shower does your hair frequently dry, breaking off, or hard to comb through? Does your skin feel dry and sometimes itch? Well, this happened to me too, and I could not take it anymore, I knew I needed to invest in a water softener for my home, but I had no idea on how to find the best water softeners for me.

The Soft Water Zone takes the guesswork out of choosing the best water softeners for hard water in your home as per your specific requirement. We provide water softener reviews with comparison and ratings so you can make the best choice for you and your family. Whether you’re installing a water softener for the first time or replacing an old one, we can help. Before we go further, check out top 10 water softeners comparison.

Top 10 Best Water Softeners 2016

​#1. Fleck 5600 SXT Water Softener 

Fleck 5600 Water Softener

Our Rating:

( 4.7/ 5 )

#2. Eddy Electronic Water Descaler Water Softener

Eddy Electronic Water Descaler

Our Rating:

( 3.8/ 5 )

#3. On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT Water Softener

On The Go® Portable Water Softener

Our Rating:

( 3.8/ 5 )

HARD WATER EFFECT IN EVERYDAY LIFE

By now we have come to know that hard water is nothing but amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in raw water with small quantity of other minerals. Water pick up these minerals when passes through ground rocks and soils. Due to the presence of these unwanted minerals in water, it has many effects on our everyday life. Here are some of the effects of hard water.

  • SPOTS ON DISHES Hard water has substantial effects on dishwashers and dishes. It causes the dishes not get cleaned properly and dishwashers also can not effectively clean your dishes properly. The while spot/ stain build up on dishes are not good for getting heated while cooking foods. The life span of dishwashers get short due to scale on its wall. The hard water in the dishwashers do not heat up to proper temperature to cleans dishes thereby increase amount of cleaning materials required while washing up. Scale that build up on water using appliances shorten the life span.
  • HEALTH PROBLEMS  Hard water has not adverse health effect as per the WHO statement in Geneva Conference. Read this potential health effects of hard water to know the health problems on account of using hard water.
  • SOAP SCUM  Soap scum build up on dishes is due to chemical reaction between fatty acid of soap and calcium of hard water. Not only it gives dirty look to the utensils but also the dishes with soap scum become less pron to temperature. 
  • PLUMBING PROBLEMS The fittings of plumbing systems due to continuous flow of hard water become more pron to deterioration and need frequent replacement.
  • FAILURE OF APPLIANCES Water using appliances are more likely to fail due to scale build up inside the parts of appliances like washing machines, electric motors etc.
  • DAMAGE OF CLOTHS Clothes do not properly clean due to presence of hard water. The soap with hard water is not able to work normally. The clothes also get damages on account of reaction between minerals of hard water and fatty acid of soap.

TYPES OF WATER SOFTENERS


1

SALT-BASED SYSTEMS

Salt-based systems are the most effective type of water softeners on the market. These remove the hard minerals from the water by replacing them with soft minerals – salt. These systems have a brine tank to which you will need to add sodium ions to over time in order for it to work. You need to regularly replace additive i.e salt to make these type of water softener operate.

These water softener systems are not suitable for drinking water because of the sodium content. These appliances, however, give you the option to leave one or two taps in your home with hard water so you can use this water for cooking and drinking purposes. Here are the PRO'S and CON'S of the salt based water softener systems.

Pros

  • Very effective for reducing hardness
  • Suitable for highly hard water
  • Increase the life of plumbing items
  • Improve the effectiveness of detergent

Cons

  • Not suitable for drinking purpose
  • Reduces the taste of water
  • Need more maintenance
  • Add periodic expenses
2

SALT-FREE SYSTEMS

Salt Free water softener systems are very complex and use nanotechnology to soften water. Not only do these systems soften your water after being installed, but they also work to remove scale and build-up in your pipes and appliances. These systems greatly reduce the hardness of water by altering the water’s atom structure. These additive free water softeners  are also called salt less or no salt water softeners.

These systems are advantageous if your water is not extremely hard. They are not suitable for water having hardness more than 75 gains per gallon. They are also quite large and take up more space than other types of water softeners. The salt free water softeners are environment friendly but they have some limitations also. Look at the  the PRO'S and CON'S of the salt free systems.

Pros

  • Salt like Additive Not Required
  • Descalers provide healthy water
  • No salt or chemicals added to water
  • Demand low maintenance
  • Mostly don't requires electricity
  • Ecologically better choice

Cons

  • Only works in running water
  • Not suitable for highly hard water
  • ​Not for hardness 75 grains per gallon
  • Comparatively slow process
3

THE REVERSE-OSMOSIS SYSTEMS

These systems work with a special membrane and are more of a water filters than an actual water softener, as they remove impurities from water.The water is pushed through the special semi-permeable membrane which will only allow water to go through. This unit shuts off automatically when the water tank is filled with softened water and will only start again when there is a need for more water. Due to how they work, these are often called water filters and not water softeners, but they do get the job done.

The best part about these appliances is they do not use additive so no salt is required to run them. If you are particularly need to convert hard water to soft one, this type of water softener are not advisable. They are good as water filter but NOT as water softener. Here are the PRO'S and CON'S of the reverse-osmosis system.

Pros

  • Salt like additive not required
  • Compact size
  • Very useful for photo & print shops
  • Effective at desalinating water

Cons

  • Not effective in hardness reducing
  • Reduces beneficial nutrients also
  • ​Wastes large amount of water
  • Comparatively slow process
4

MAGNETIC SYSTEMS

Magnetic systems are very small, inexpensive and easy to install, and very easy to maintain. As such, they are gaining popularity in the water softening market. This system works by placing wires or magnets around the pipes in your home. This creates a magnetic field that paralyzes the hardness of your water; however, this is not permanent, and only lasts up to 48 hours before the water goes back to being hard. As such, these systems are recommended for areas where water hardness is medium to low.

Pros

  • Small in size and inexpensive
  • No maintenance required
  • Installation is very easy

Cons

  • Effective for maximum upto 48 hrs
  • Suitable for medium or low hard water
  • ​Wastes large amount of water

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A WATER SOFTENER

There are different type of water softener systems available in the market from different reputed water softener manufacturers. You may be in confusion to choose the best water softener for your house. Here are some suggestions:

When choosing your water softener, a salt based system is always the best option, especially if you are in an area with extremely hard water. Here are some important aspects to look for in your water softener.

  • How Hard is Your Water? This is one of the first things you need to know so you can effectively choose the right water softener for your needs. Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon (GPG). In the US, GPG ranges from 3 to 20 typically, with 3 being relatively soft and 20 being extremely hard. On average, water hardness in the United States is around 10, but to get the GPG for your area you can purchase a water softening testing kit and then test for your GPG yourself. This is done very easily and so there is no need to get a professional to do the testing.
  • How Much Water Do You Use Per Day or Week? This is the next piece of information that you need to help you choose the right water softener. In the United States, the average household uses 80 to 100 gallons of water each day. To find out the average of your household, you simply need to multiply the average (90) by the amount of people in your household. You will use this number to determine the capacity of the ideal water softener for your household. You have water softeners with capacities from 15,000 to 100,000. Don’t choose one with just the capacity you need, it is always wise to go up in capacity a little more. A smaller tank than you need will cost you more with multiple regenerations per week.
  • How Many Grains of Hard Water Will You Need to Remove on a Weekly Basis? This will help you ensure that you the amount of water grains removed are not more than the capacity of your water softener. For this calculation you will multiple your household’s daily water usage by the GPG of your water. In this way, regeneration will not occur more than once per week, which will help you save on purchasing salt for your system. This goes hand in hand with the amount of water you use per day or per week. A larger system will cost more upfront but for maintenance and regeneration you will spend less over time.
  • What Maintenance Does it Require? Maintenance requirement of water softener systems depend upon type of water softener you select. While salt based softener requires replacement of salt at a certain interval depending upon how much water it filters, the salt free softener does not need so. Another requirement is consumption of electrify. The salt free softener need replacement of filter cartridge after a certain period. So you need to calculate ongoing cost and servicing requirement while selecting a water softener for you.

​Water softeners are useful in reducing unwanted salt and minerals from water thereby improve the effectiveness of detergent and increase the life of plumbing materials. The house hold utensils get free from staining. Select a suitable water softener based on good features and maintenance requirements that are justified to you.

TOP 5 WATER SOFTENER BRANDS

Water softeners are used to help soften water and remove harsh minerals before filtering into the home. Water is always wasted during this process, and turned to waste. Some minerals in city water are more harmful than others and this is what makes water softeners essential. There are several companies that make water softeners so it becomes hard to choose one or the other, here is a list of the top brands that will help you decide:

  • Kenmore- Grain Hybrid Water: This product is a water softener and a whole home filer in one. There is no filter to replace and it comes with LED light instructions while providing an extra layer of carbon to work out harsh chemicals found in water.
  • Aquasana Their water softeners are all salt free softeners which makes water softer, healthier, and better for the skin when compared to typical salt based softeners. Transforms larger materials into harmless microscopic minerals safe to consume.
  •  Fusion NLT:  Water Softeners- uses 75% less salt and saves over 65% of filtrated water, lasts longer than any previous product, wastes less water than any other softener.
  • Goedekers: Electrical light up controls that allow you to manually adjust how much iron, or minerals are taken out of the water, the filter maximizes the hard water count taken out of the water.
  • Water Inc: Offers a unique European design that is small and can compact into any space, easy detachable lid, salt based product, easy to install and uninstall for replacements.

​These are the top five brands that offer water softeners that provide clean, mineral free water. Some salt based, others salt free and are each chosen for the list based upon the variety of wants and needs all customers will look for when buying a water softener. Please choose one based on your preference.

best water softeners

As you probably know, a good water softener can help to get rid of the hard minerals in your home’s running water through something called an ion exchange process. The hard minerals that a water softener can remove include magnesium and calcium; minerals that are absorbed from the earth into your water at its source. These same minerals can cause problems like hair breakage and dry skin. A good quality water softener primarily works as a hard water to soft water converter.

By removing these unwanted/ extra minerals from your water, the water softener reduces the buildup of residuals in your pipes and home appliances as well as helps your detergents and soaps to lather well, thereby not leaving a buildup on your dishes and not leaving your clothes and hair looking dull.

Reading this page will help you know more on hard water issues as well as important points to consider before buying the best water softener for your home. This is obviously a comprehensive guide to take a perfect water softer buying decision.

Most of the water softening system will consist of a brine tank and a water tank. One of the tasks is comprised of resin beads which have an electrical charge, which is opposite to that of magnesium and calcium. Therefore as water flows through the tank, an exchange process takes place where the hard minerals are replaced with soft minerals, namely potassium chloride and sodium. These minerals must be added to your water softener to ensure that they are regenerated so your appliance can continue to work over time.

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