If you’re a newcomer in the world of salt free water softener, worry not for you’re in the right place. Water softeners have been around for too long, but it may seem overwhelming if you never lived in an area where hard municipal water is too common.
Although it may seem difficult to understand, this article will help you know more about the best water softener system as well as review ten of the best models that will prove helpful to you and your family.
The Damaging effects of Hard Water
Many people might question why combating hard water and working towards treating it is a necessity? The truth is, if you have never been exposed to the problems of hard water, you might never realize how problematic it can be. Before we go on to discuss the best water softeners to combat hard water, here are some of the most common damaging effects of hard water:
Hard water damages almost everything that it comes in a consistent contact with. Because it is high in pH and has a lot of mineral content, hard water has very harsh effects on human skin. Washing your body with hard water may get you rashes, redness, and itches on your skin.
God forbid if you are already facing any skin allergy or skin problem, a single contact with hard water can have very damaging and long lasting effects on your skin. Not just skin, but your eyes and scalp can also be very badly affected by hard water. In most of the cases, such issues can lead to persistent allergies and marks on your skin that are hard to get rid of.
Poor cleaning quality
Hard water itself is contaminated by a lot of stuff. This makes it almost ineffective when it comes to cleaning anything. The clothes you wash with hard water are not cleaned properly. What’s more is that the excessive mineral in hard water gets stuck in the clothes, making them look pale and reducing their strength.
The dishes you wash using hard water are usually stained with the mineral residue in water and become weaker over time. The floors washed by hard water cannot retain their shine and start looking old even when new.
Scaled geysers, pipes, and containers
The contents of hard water usually build up and stick to the sides of pipes and bases of containers in which the water is kept. This built up, often called the lime-scale buildup, keeps on increasing gradually.
This leads to the complete blockage of the pipes and very thick lining of hard, stone-like substance in your appliances and containers. Over time, this buildup completely destroys whatever item it is formed in, causing you a lot of loss.
Hence, the presence of hard water in your homes is a huge headache in itself. Not only it disturbs you day to day life but can also be a cause of great expenditure if you don’t get rid of it once and for all.
Signs that the water you are using is hard
Shifting to a new place can bring about a lot of new changes in everything around. It can be hard to know what kind of water is being supplied to your new home and this is a huge problem in itself. You can wait enough to let the water at your place destroy your pipes and damage your skin so that you can be sure about its hardness.
We suggest you to immediately get a water test or ask around to know the kind of water that is being supplied to you. In case you are still not sure about the kind of water you are using, here are some signs to look out for.
If you notice any of these things with your home and yourself, there is a high chance that the water you are using is hard. Take these signs as an alarm and consider investing in a water softener as soon as you can.
- Your drains and shower heads are clogged
- Your skin has a layer of white, powdery substance over it after you take a bath
- The taps show slower water discharge with irregular pressure
- The laundry does not clean well and develops paleness over time
- The colored clothes lose their color too soon
- The utensils feel rough to touch – as if the soap has not been removed properly
- The pipes at your home need maintenance every other week
- Your kettles and coffee makers are stained from the bottom
- The water smells weird
- Sometimes, consuming this water through food or directly can get you stomach issues too
What does a water softener do?
A water softening system is the best counteract to hard water issues. It has been made to purify the hard water and remove its excessive minerals. Lesser minerals in water mean lesser lime scaling. So, there is no more buildup in your pipes.
A water softener also cleanses the water enough for it to be a good cleanser. This purified water acts better in terms of cleaning your items and your skin too.
A water softener also keeps your shower and taps’ caps from clogging and eliminates the bad smell from water. The water feels softer in touch and has overall better effects.
Different types of water softeners
Given below are the four most common types of water softening systems that you can put your trust in:
Salt based water softeners
Salt based water softeners are the ones that most of the people suggest using. Whether you live in a palace or in a small van-like home, these softeners are going to solve your problems equally well. The best part about any salt based softener is its price that lies between the most expensive and the most economical water softening systems.
The working of these softeners is very easy to understand. There is an ion exchange system in these softeners. This ion exchange system takes away the minerals and impurities from your water by drawing them into a resin like solution that is already there in the softener.
There inside, the resin exchanges the water’s minerals with sodium ions or salt. In this way, the water is purified altogether without any such damage to the water quality too. The only bad part about having these softeners is that the resin usually runs out of salt. This makes it important for you to keep on adding salt to the resin depending upon the water usage in your home.
Magnetic Water Softeners
If you are looking for a simpler water softener that won’t cost you an arm or a leg and won’t take up too much space in your home, then going for a simple magnetic softener is a great idea. Magnetic water softeners, also sometimes known as electric softeners are small sized systems that you can easily place on your water pipes.
Most of the magnetic water softeners don’t even need to be wired inside the water pipes too and setting these up is a cup of tea. However, this ease comes with some compromise on performance too.
These softeners don’t really do an excellent job when it comes to purifying the water from very heavy minerals. All they do is strip ions from minerals and neutralize them. This makes the mineral soluble in water and they don’t make the water hard. We only suggest going for this softener if the water is not really full of impurities or when you want an urgent solution in a tight budget.
Salt-Free Water Softeners
As you can see by the name, these softeners don’t use any ion or salts to remove the impurities from hard water. Their working mechanism is a bit complex. These softeners have a system known as Template Assisted Crystallization. A TAC has beads made of polymer that have nucleation sites on them.
When the minerals from hard water are trapped by these sites, they are turned into crystals as a result of neutralization. These crystals become unable to react with anything at all. Thus, they don’t bond or get dissolved in anything at all. This removes them from the water which no longer remains hard water then and freely flows into your pipes.
These softeners are great for households where hard water is a regular problem. They are far more efficient in their working as compared to any other softener and are therefore a bit expensive too. However, their life span is quite longer and their effective function makes them worth every penny you spend on them.
Dual-Tank Water Softeners
A dual tank water softening system is simply an upgraded and bigger version of salt based softeners. These are bigger than the salt based systems but work in the same fashion as the latter except that these have 2 resin tanks.
So, when one tank is under regeneration, the other one does its job. This makes a dual-tank softener ideal for offices and bigger households where a lot of water cleaning is required on a regular basis.
From what we’ve seen, it’s obvious that the best whole house water filter will be the ultimate answer when it comes to dealing with hard water. In this guide, we will not only review some of the best water softeners, but we will also share some useful tips on how to choose the product for your family’s health.
1. Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000 Grain Water Softener
If the iron in your water is ruining your skin and clothes equally, then this water softening system is going to be a great solution for you and your family. Perfect for 5-6 people’s households, this single salt-based tank is big enough to clean the water in no time. It is capable of removing around 125 gpg of hardness and comes with some innovative features that make it a great water cleaner in all aspects.
What’s so special about it?
The Whirlpool WHES40E has been designed to fulfill the needs of a modern household without putting a lot of pressure on the budget. Here are the two smart solutions fitted in this softener that make it this good:
Automatic salt saving technology
This softener is equipped with smart salt saving technology that saves you a lot of resin salt. The Whirlpool WHES40E softener has been made to soften the water with minimum usage of salt. This means you don’t have to worry about changing the resin too much and are getting rid of the hard water at the same time too.
Demand initiated regeneration
This softener has an advanced technology that allows it to self-regenerate and work only when it is needed to. The system takes note of your water usage and only works to soften the water when needed. This makes it an energy efficient softener that reduces wastage of water and salt.
This softener comes with all the required parts and is almost ready for installation. What is even better is the 1 year warranty that the softener has on all its part. Buying the whirlpool softening solutions being sold separately can sometimes extend this warranty to 2-3 years too.
- Efficient softening capability
- Smart salt saving
- Effective iron removal
2. Aquasure Harmony Series 48,000 Grains Water Softener
Can’t be satisfied with an ordinary softener and need a spa-quality soft water? We suggest you use this Aquasure AS-HS48D water softener because of its efficient working capabilities. Perfect for the needs of your whole house, this water softener can soften around 48000 grains of hardness, removing all those coarse minerals and particles from the water that comes in your washrooms and kitchen.
Why should you invest in it?
You will notice obvious spotlessness in your dishes and your skin will have no powder on it. This softener can easily clean up the water for 2-4 bathrooms and with houses with 4-5 people easily. This Harmony series softener is made with advanced technology to save your time and water, both.
Forget about the water softeners with single mode working, this harmony softener is endowed with a digital control to let you decide its working just as you want. This softener allows you to choose between three modes of regeneration. You can either go for the meter immediate control, meter delayed control, or clock delayed one. Choosing between these varieties help you optimize and have a proper control over your system.
Backwashing only when needed
The advanced build-up of this softener lets backwashing of water happen only in the needed amount and when it is required the most. This allows the system to save a lot of water that, otherwise, would have been wasted. This advanced feature also helps the softener save salt and reduces the need for maintenance every other week.
Full water softening set up
This water softener has all the components and is just ready to be used. The setup comes with an advanced electronic control head, 1.5 CF high quality pre filled resin, a drain line, a brine line, overflow regulator, brine tank, and all other valves that are necessary for its proper working.
- Efficient water and resin saving
- Customizable control head
- Multi-modal advanced control
3. AFWFilters WS48-56sxt10 Fleck Water Softener
Hard water has so many disadvantages especially when it comes to cleaning and washing. Luckily, AFWFilters has resolved this issue by introducing one of the best water softeners in the industry. The AFWFilters WS48-56sxt is what we’re speaking of.
Commercial grade capacity
One major advantage of this salt free water softener system is its huge capacity. With a grain maximum capacity of 48,000, this water softener can easily handle mammoth water softening tasks in medium to large sized homes without feeling overwhelmed.
In addition to that, this saltless water softener uses 1.5 cubic feet high capacity resin that uses the ion exchange technique to remove hard ions from water to make it soft. In this technique, ions of hard water trade places with the soft ions of resin beads making your water soft during the process. A brilliant process indeed!
On demand metered system and bypass valve
Now, one thing we love about AFWFilters is that they’ve done everything in their capacity to provide you with the best water softener system that will merge well with the rest of your plumbing system.
With that, they’ve provided a metered system that will record the amount of water used for domestic chores while still allowing the system to regenerate as needed. The paddlewheel style meter reduces the amount of water softener salt used and allows the system to hold up well with less water leakage.
From what we’ve seen in most water softener reviews, it’s true that this water softener is easy to use as compared to most of its closest rivals. Part of its simplicity, it has been enhanced by the touchpad and LCD display that makes it easy to access vital information such as error codes and status information about the machine’s current operation. Isn’t that lovely!
By the way, does this water softener system come with extra features?
Well, one of the things we really liked about this salt free water softener was the easy installation. This was enhanced by a set of exclusive features some of which include; an instructional USB drive, a test strip, lubricant for the O rings, and a sanitizer packet to clean the resin.
- • Sometimes the bypass valve may be smaller or larger than your plumbing line
4. DURAWATER Fleck 5600 SXT Iron Pro 48,000 Grain Water Softener
This is another amazing water softener with excellent water softening capabilities that removes almost all the mineral and ferrous contents of the water, turning it from hard to soft. The fact that this softener can remove iron and other minerals at the same time and with equal efficiency makes it the perfect all-in-one water cleaner. This softener is spacious and can remove about 48000 grain of hardness easily.
What makes DuraWater Fleck 5600 a top-class water softener?
The reasons behind putting this softener in our list of top water softeners are plenty. Here, we are shedding light on only the most desirable qualities of this softener that are sure to draw you towards it.
Easy installation and setup
Unlike most of the water softening systems, this one is quite an easy fix. The package has all the needed components so you don’t have to worry about investing further for the installation process at all. The tank comes pre-filled with the highest quality mesh resin and all other pipes and valves are already there. All it needs to fix this system are some basic plumbing skills and everything else can be easily done in an hour or two.
Metered Based regeneration
To ensure efficiency and water saving, this softener works on a meter based regeneration mechanism. This allows it to measure your average water usage and only cleans the required water amounts after a specific time period. Thus, only the water that you need to use is cleansed from time to time without wasting any extra water or resin at all.
This is a greatly appreciable feature that allows the households to save water and also get rid of struggling with resin issues of their softeners every other week.
- A lot space for water cleanup
- Resource efficient system
- Sturdy body
- Low maintenance
5. Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener
Another fully fledged one of the best water softener system that has garnered multiple reviews is the Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener. In case you didn’t know, this one of the best home water softener is pretty pricey to purchase but the fact that it offers a lot of effectiveness makes it worth every buck.
Now, this whole house water filter screams “high class and convenience” whenever you see it being displayed on the store. Unlike most of its closest rivals, the Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener has a lot to offer to its loyal customers some of which include;
If capacity is what is troubling you, then you don’t have to worry, as this water softener will offer you just enough to cater for all your commercial and domestic water softening needs. The Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener boasts of having a huge 64,000 grain capacity that will consume an average of one bag of salt per month.
In addition to that, this water softener system uses a resin capacity of 1.5 cubic feet. With such a high resin capacity, this water softener will be able to trade more sodium ions allowing it to soften water usable by up to 6 people.
The resin tank comes when it’s already pre-loaded with resin. This eliminates the hassle of having to load the resin by yourself.
We think this is where the Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener has truly thrived. With a high performance ratio, this water softener operates on the principle of ion exchange which means undesirable magnesium and calcium ions are “traded” for harmless sodium ions which soften the water to make it more manageable.
When it comes to installation, Fleck has done an impressive job of offering its customers easy DIY install instructions which are well included in the USB drive. There’s also an AFW filters kit in the mix which includes a lubricant, a test strip and a sanitizer packet to make the installation process more simplified.
What’s in the package?
One upside of this saltless water softener is the functional accessories it offers. It includes a 12″ x 48″ rust resistant brine tank, a bypass valve with 1” threaded plumbing adapter, an LCD display and a 5600SXT ON DEMAND flow meter to monitor and control the amount of water used in your home.
- It is quite expensive
- • The capacity of resin is quite low. 8% is less as compared to other units that have up to 10%
6. Tier1 48,000 Grain High Efficiency Digital Water Softener
The Tier1 48,000 Grain High Efficiency Water Softener is a rather usual looking salt free water softener that comes with a few advantages worth mentioning. If you’re planning to spend fewer bucks on a water softener that will guarantee you efficiency and performance, then be rest assured that this water softener system will get the job done pretty fast.
Now, if you’re a potential buyer looking for quality, why would you choose this saltless water softener over the rest?
We think one strong argument as to why this product has garnered more water softener reviews is the fact that it’s made in the USA. This major upside automatically means that what you’re getting is pure quality.
All the components are made up of high quality materials and the option to choose between two colors — black or blue, has truly motivated most customers to prefer buying this saltless water softener over its closest rivals.
We all love quality, right? Now, having been in the market long enough, Tier1 understands that quality is what makes a product different. Having done enough survey, they’ve managed to add high-quality accessories to raise the efficiency level of this water softener.
Among the accessories Tier1 added in this saltless water softener include; a digital meter control valve that records the amount of water used, ¾ inch water line connectors, a brine tank, a pre-filled mineral tank, a manual control valve and the best water softener salt.
With all these accessories working together, this water softener system will guarantee you a smooth water softening process that will give you clean soft water for domestic use. In addition to that, this product has sleek dimensions that makes it more of a space saver.
- The backwash mode is quite inconvenient
- Some customers complain the price is pretty high
7. AFWFilters 5600sxt 3/4″ WS48-56SXT-34 Water Softener
Another water softener that has made it to our list is the AFWFilters 5600sxt ¾ “ WS48-56SXT-34 Water Softener. What sets this saltless water softener apart from the rest? One reason is, of course, its excellent quality.
Designed with a large 48,000 capacity tank, this water softener has come out as a perfect alternative for medium to large homes as well as medium sized offices.
When shopping for a water softener, quality is one factor that is of paramount importance. Having realized that, AFWFilters have gone ahead to redesign this saltless water softener with a cutting edge engineering to improve its performance.
This water softener has a long warranty option on the tank and head
AFWFilters 5600sxt ¾” WS48-56SXT-34 Water Softener is not the largest but at least its large enough to accomplish most water softening demands for domestic use. It has a large 48,000 capacity tank alongside a 14” brine tank and a 10″ x 54″ tank that holds 1.5 cubic feet of standard 8% resin.
This is actually one major selling point of this best water softener. To enhance efficiency, AFWFilters have added premium accessories which include; an on demand metered system to monitor the amount of water used, a bypass valve with ¾” yoke connection, a high efficiency valve and an LCD display with touchpad controls for easy programming.
- Uses 8% resin which is considered to be quite low
8. Discount Water Softeners Genesis Premier 64,000 Grain
Unlike most water softeners we’ve already reviewed in this guide; the Discount Water Softeners Genesis Premier is the only one of its kind. This no salt water softener comes with its own unique set of features one of which is the totally unique upflow regeneration.
In addition to that, this best whole house water filter comes with 5 cool water softening capacities which range from the lowest 24,000 capacity to the largest 96,000 capacity size. Whether you’re a small family of just 2 or a large family of 6 – 8 members, the Discount Water Softeners Genesis Premier will always have the right size ready to handle all your water softening demands.
According to most water softener system reviews, one major selling point of this best water softener system is the upflow regeneration mechanism. Unlike the downflow method, this one is more efficient and helps you save about 75% of the water softener salt and 64% of water in every cycle.
How does the upflow method work? This process allows resin to regenerate from bottom up instead of up bottom as preferred by most water softeners. This allows for a more precise ion exchange while saving more resin beads from unnecessary ion exchange.
Based on its life expectancy of 15 years, this water softener can save you about 8,280lbs of salt and 32,000 gallons of water.
Speaking of the capacity, this water softener has indeed won the hearts of most people thanks to its huge 64,000 grain capacity. Combining the huge capacity with the upflow regeneration method, the Discount Water Softeners Genesis Premier will surely be enough to serve a large family or huge commercial business.
Still, on the capacity, this best water softener comes with a large 12×52-inch Resin tank that holds up to 2 cubic feet of 10% Crosslink resin. It also comes with a large 18×33-inch brine tank that holds over 300lbs of water softener salt, enough to handle all your softening demands.
Customers will enjoy a lifetime warranty on the resin tank and brine tank and a 10 year warranty on the control head/valve.
Following its massive size, most people will automatically think that setting up this saltless water softener will take a century. But no! With a detailed instruction manual already at your disposal, installing this water softener is easy and fast especially if you have some prior DIY experience.In addition to that, this one of the best home water softeners can be installed both indoors and outdoors provided it’s near the pressure tank or water meter. Also, if you’re setting it outdoors, make sure it’s entirely shielded from the elements such as rain, direct sunshine and snow.
- Unfortunately, this water softener is very expensive
- Customer support is not responsive
9. Mobile-Soft-Water 12,800 gr RV, Portable & Manual Softener
You don’t need to be at home for you to enjoy clean soft water. With the advancement in technology, mobile water softeners have found their way into the market to treat and soften water for RV, boating and camping needs.
One of the best water softener systems that have made a good investment in this field is the Mobile Soft Water 12,800 gr RV Portable Softener.
At first glance, you might mistake this small water softener with an ordinary softener, but once you dig deep into it, you’ll uncover immense features and great benefits that make it the best in the business.
Since this saltless water softener is intended for mobile use, Mobile Soft Water has opted to make it as compact as possible to make it usable in a wide range of settings. With sleek dimensions of 8.2×8.2×21.6 inches and a lightweight of just 15 pounds, this portable water softener is able to fit in tight corners whether it’s in a boat, RV, car or small apartments.
This water softener is able to regenerate quickly and effortlessly without the use of electricity
When it comes to convenience, most water softener reviews have praised this appliance not only because of its small size but also because of the huge amount of work it’s able to handle. With a grains capacity of 12,800, this water softener system is able to treat up to 5 gallons of water per minute. Isn’t this a huge advantage?
Speaking of the accessories, the Mobile Soft Water 12,800 gr RV Portable Softener is jam-packed with key accessories that make water softening fast and easy. Among the items you’ll find in the package include; an 8” softener vessel made from fiberglass, a nylon male hose connector, a resin tank with 0.4 cubic feet of C-108 Cation Resin 8% and installation guidelines.
- Some customers complained that it doesn’t have an input water hose connector
10. Portable ‘Mobile-Soft-Water’ Water Softener 6,400 Grain Capacity Manual Regeneration
Another saltless water softener that is manufactured by Mobile Soft Water is the Portable ‘Mobile-Soft-Water’. Readily accessible in the market, this mobile water softener is highly effective when it comes to removing hard ions from municipal water in exchange for soft, clean and pure water for domestic use.
Although you may mistake it for its small capacity, this water softener has a lot to offer to its consumers.
The first impressive feature we all love about this one of the best water softeners is its size. Though small, this salt free water softener has a medium-size of 6,400 grain capacity which allows it to treat at least 3 gallons of water per minute.
Since it’s entirely intended for RV use, this best water softener system is able to regenerate without the use of electricity. With just a simple process, this water softener is able to condition hard water off magnesium, calcium, lead, iron and other heavy metals, leaving it soft, pure and fresh for domestic use.
- The 6,400 grain capacity is quite small
Our Pick: Best water softener for commercial use
Water softeners have gained popularity in recent times due to a rapid rise of hard water which makes domestic use quite inconvenient. As you all know, soft water has massive benefits that range from laundry, drinking, cooking and bathing.
Now, since water softeners don’t offer the same level of convenience, one of the best water softener that has received ample water softener reviews is the Discount Water Softeners Genesis Premier 64,000.
If you’re struggling to find the best water softener system, then we highly recommend you to consider buying this unit.
Why go for this water softener over its smaller-sized counterparts?
- First is the size. With a record high 64,000 grain capacity, this best whole house water filter is able to deliver a record 20 gallons of softened water per minute. This is enough to serve a large family, offices or a commercial business.
- Another major boost is the unique upflow regeneration process. While most water softeners use the traditional downflow technique, this one uses the reverse process to soften as much water as possible.
- The Discount Water Softeners Genesis Premier is very economical. The upflow regeneration process allows it to save about 64% of water and 75% of the best water softener salt.
- When it comes to the warranty, this best water softener offers customers a lifetime warranty on the resin and brine tank and a further 10 years warranty on the control head.
The only major concern with this salt free water softener is:
How to choose the best water softener—Buyer’s Guide
Hard water can be considered as a major crisis. This is especially so if you look at homes with hard water as homeowners have to frequently fix plumbing faucets damaged by hard water deposits. Hard water also makes it hard for soap to lather making it increasingly difficult to accomplish your daily washing endeavors.
So, to cure this problem, installing a salt free water softener is the smartest move as they help to save not only money but your precious time. With that said, before giving out your card to get swapped, here are some useful tips you need to consider before deciding which saltless water softener is right for you.
- Type: This is the first critical factor you need to think of when choosing the best water softener. Does it use salt or is it salt free?
- Size: Another key factor you need to check on is its size. Water softeners come in different sizes to suit a wide range of uses. For this reason, depending on what your needs are, you need to check the size to ensure that what you buy is enough to handle all your water softening demands.
- Level of water hardness: Another factor you need to keep in mind when shopping for a water softener is the level of water hardness. By using a commercial test kit, you can test the level of hardness of your water to determine which type of water softener is fit for you.
- Regeneration: To keep water soft, a water softener needs to regenerate periodically. Depending on your needs, you can select any of your preferred models that regenerates automatically, manually or with a timer.
- Maintenance: Are you looking for a saltless water softener that requires less maintenance or one that requires frequent maintenance requirements? Some models require periodic cleanup and frequent re-fill of resin and best water softener salt while others require less maintenance to operate.
Frequently Asked Questions: FAQs
Water is life and nearly 70% of the earth surface is covered with water. But water needs to be soft enough for it to be fully effective. One way of softening this water is by using the best water softener systems.
Luckily in this guide, we’ve managed to review 10 of the best water softeners that we believe will make a difference in your water softening endeavor.
Having offered you immense tips to help you along the way, we believe you’ll not only buy an affordable water filter but also an efficient and effective model that will give you full service for years to come.
With such tips at the disposal, we believe you’re now able to make an informed decision when selecting a salt free water softener that will cater to all your water softening endeavors.
Glen Taylor says
#3 Pentair WS48-56sxt10 Fleck. Used this unit to replace one of our previous water softeners. The product is well made and the instruction and installation videos are good. They helped me enter a custom set of parameters that greatly increased the salt performance of the softener. I’m using about 20% salt the old controller was set up for us. I’m happy. The prices are great.
Glen Taylor says
After using it for a while it still works very well, we just need to regularly check it has enough salt or not. Would recommend this device to everyone