11 Best Water Softener Reviews, Types and Buying Guide for 2021

Best Water Softener

Have you found signs of hard water in your home? The best water softener can efficiently solve this problem. Hard water can damage many appliances in your home, reducing their lifespan. It also has an effect on your health, and the effects of hard water can be difficult to live with.

If you feel your skin is drying out after taking a shower, you need a water softener to be installed in your home immediately. Broadly, water softeners fall within two categories: salt based systems and salt-free systems. They differ in how they function, but both kinds can deliver you excellent, soft water.

Within those categories, you can find products that provide whole house water softening, and others that are more specifically targeted. Ultimately, the water softener system for you is going to depend on your personal circumstances.

We have compiled a list of 10 water softening systems designed to remove all the built-up residue in your pipes and harmful minerals from your home water supply. The changes you’ll see in the quality of your water after installing one of these systems will be remarkable.

Additionally, we’ve provided detailed reviews of a wide variety of water softening systems from a number of leading brands. So don’t forget to read the buyer’s guide before making your final decision. This way, you’ll be able to make a good investment that will serve you reliably for years to come.

So to begin, scroll down to take a look at our top picks of water softening systems in 2021.

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Best Water Softeners

Image

Product

Details

SpringWell Water...
Editor Choice

SpringWell Water Softener

  • Stainless steel body

  • No electricity needed

  • Easy installation

  • Lifetime Warranty

NuvoH2O Home Water...

Nuvo H2O Dpmb

  • Prevent and remove all the scale buildup

  • Eco-friendly

  • Cost-effective

  • Tested by third parties

Aquasure Harmony...
Editor Choice

Aquasure Harmony Series 48000

  • Reduces the hardness in whole house water

  • Pre-filled premium resin material

  • High strength corrosion resistant

  • Durable bypass valve

AFWFilters 48k...

AFWfiltres 48000 Eradicator

  • Digital whole house water softener

  • Removes hardness up to 50 gpg

  • Mediaguard KDF 85 removes all hard metals from water

  • 10 years warranty periodNew List Item

AFWFilters 56SXT-10%...

AFWfilters 56SXT

  • Upflow carbon filtration system

  • Ecofriendly design

  • Removes several contaminants and odor from water

  • No electricity required

Capacitive...

YARNA Capacitive

  • Reduce the effect of limescale

  • Removes odor from water

  • Easy to clean and Install

  • Computerized micro chip

Watts RV PRO-1000 OR...

Watts Water 10000

  • Full cradle base

  • Low-pressure drop

  • Add common salt

  • Effective regeneration

  • High flow rate up to 4 GPM

AFWFilters 5600SXT...
Editor Choice

Fleck 5600 SXT 48000 Grains

  • Comes with a bypass valve

  • 12 GPM flow rate

  • Digital on-demand metered water softener

  • Ideal for six family members

iSpring ED2000 Whole...

Ispring ED2000

  • Descales entire water of the house

  • Lifetime support from the company

  • No plumbing modifications required after installation

  • Saves energy

  • Enhances the life of home appliances

Filtersmart Whole...

Filtersmart

  • Maintenance-free

  • Environment friendly

  • Carbon filtration

  • Convenient installation

1- Spring Well Salt Based Water Softener – Best Choice Overall

SpringWell Whole House Water Filter System

If you have hard water in your house, you know how much detergent you have to use when washing clothes. The Spring Well salt-based water softener is an excellent product if you are looking to resolve your house’s water supply issue.

It is one of the best products with a more advanced neoprene packaging. One of the best features of the Spring Well salt-based water softener is that it protects your appliances. It enhances the water quality to the point that you have to use 40% less detergent. Ultimately, it is a great product to save your money in the long run.

Other Features

One of the issues that people have to face with hard water is scaling or mineral deposits on the appliance. Spring Well salt-based water softener is a great water filter system as it helps reduce the mineral content in water.

Eventually, the water softener helps in reducing scaling and enhances the home appliance life. You will not have to deal with rust and corrosion in your house as often as you do with hard water.

Hard water is not ideal for your skin and hair. It can cause your skin to feel parched, and your hair starts falling in crazy amounts. However, the Spring Well salt-based water softener is here to rescue you. It softens the water and neutralizes the mineral content in water significantly. Hence, your skins start to look better and feel better. With time, your hair will start gaining back its luster and health.

One of the many drawbacks of hard water is that a person needs to use more detergent to create a thick lather. The Spring Well salt-based water softener is a blessing from heaven for those who are tired of wasting their detergent. After using this water softener, you will use up to 40% less detergent, enhancing water taste.

Pros
  • 40% less detergent
  • Better skin and hair
  • No rusting
  • Better water taste
Cons
  • Expensive

The Bottom Line

If you deal with hard water issues at your home, then you must consider getting your hands on the Spring Well salt-based water softener. It neutralizes water and reduces mineral content making it better for commercial use.


2- AFWfilters 80k Dual Fleck 9100SXT Twin Tank

AFWfilters 80k Dual Fleck 9100SXT Twin Water Softener

 

Our top pick is the AFWfilters 80k Dual Fleck 9100SXT Twin Water Softener. This model reliably and consistently provides you with soft water. Moreover, When you make your purchase, you’ll have a 10-year warranty on the tank and five years on its valve. Included in the price is a free bypass valve; most products will require you to purchase the bypass valve separately.

One plus of this model is its convenient installation process. The bypass valve mentioned above comes with a male-threaded yoke for quick installation.

Other important information to consider includes the fact that this water softening system has a grain size of 8000 pounds, and it weighs approximately 95 pounds. The AFW has an impressive flow rate of 22 GPM. This water softener is ideal for a household of 5 to 7 people.

Other Features

One of the main reasons we have included this product on our list is that it comes with a backup generator. Also, unlike some other models, it can provide soft water simultaneously to undertaking the softening process. Installation is straightforward, with a similar process regardless of whether you are installing a single or dual tank.

This water softening system comes with a quick regeneration cycle and 40,000 grains (which need to be periodically replaced) in each tank. The best part? When one tank’s grains have exhausted capacity, the valve will automatically shift to the second tank.

Further, this system comes with backup loss, and updates to let you know how many gallons of water have been softened. In addition, this system is suitable for a large household. It will also save on utility bills by not running constantly.

Pros
  • Easy to install
  • High grain filtering capacity
  • Affordable price
Cons
  • Impractical for small household

The Bottom Line

All in all, the Fleck 9100 is one of the most efficient and reliable dual tank water softeners available. Its ten-year warranty period also makes it an attractive option, as does the fact that it’s a low-maintenance product. This efficient dual tank water softener will solve all of your hard water issues.


3- Nuvo H2O Dpmb-A

Nuvo H2O Dpmb-A Water Softener

 

Second, we have the Nuvo H2O Dpmb-A Water Softener. This system is one of the most efficient softeners on the market. It has a compact design, and you can easily eliminate the scale buildup from the pipes. Additionally, it offers all the bonuses that come with being a salt free softener.

Adding to its positives, it doesn’t waste water or overuse electricity, and Nuvo has third-party verifications, making it easy to put your trust in. Perhaps most importantly, it is an eco-friendly water softening system at an affordable price. However, you should bear in mind that the Nuvo water softener will not remove minerals from the water, only soften their effect.

In its basic functionality, the Nuvo is similar to other systems. However, it comes with a range of additional accessories. It’s relatively portable and compact, with a weight of 17 pounds, and is ideal for a house with 4 members. Its lifespan is 50,000 gallons. Therefore, it needs replacement after approximately 6 months.

Other Features

If you want to buy one of the best salt free water softeners, then Novu is the choice for you. It is most suited to medium-sized households.

Another benefit of the Novo water softener is that it doesn’t clog the pipelines. One of the worst effects of hard water is the buildup of material along pipes that can lead to serious plumbing problems, including reduced water flow. But the Novo will remove any prior buildup of limescale as it continues to provide you with softened water, removing the hard water minerals, lime, sulfur, chlorine, and other chemicals from the water that aren’t good for the human body.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • The flow rate of 12 to 15 GPM
  • Salt free water conditioner
Cons
  • Not for large household
  • It doesn’t soften the water completely

The Bottom Line

All in all, the Nuvo water softener offers great service for a house with 4 people or less. Additionally, the price is affordable, and the fact it doesn’t require salt makes it excellent for laundry purposes.


4- Aquasure Harmony Series 48000 Grains – Highly Efficient Meter

Aquasure Harmony Series 48000 Grains Water Softener

 

Third, on our review list, we have the Aquasure Harmony Series 48000 Grains Water Softener. This water softener is highly efficient and removes the scale buildup from the household plumbing. As the name announces, it has a substantial grain capacity of 48000.

After installing the Aquasure grain water softener, you will notice the absence of iron and other hard ions from the water. So if you were having irritation on the skin due to hard water, you’ll feel the sweet relief of enjoying soft water throughout your entire house.

The warranty for Aqausure is 5 years, and it comes with a corrosion-resistant fiberglass tank and a robust bypass valve. The Aquasure water softening system is made from durable materials, and as a whole house water filter, it will efficiently function for a medium-sized house.

Furthermore, it comes with a digital meter, which makes it easy to run after installation. The meter will show how many gallons have been filtered and how many grains are left in the tank. The system also comes with a bypass valve, male adapter, and additional resins.

Other Features

As well as being suitable for a medium-sized house, another bonus is its flexibility. You can install this system even if you use well water in the house.

It does require some ongoing maintenance, for instance, as the system comes with resin beads, you will need to add some salt after some time to get the best soft water.

And the best part? This whole house water filter has a flow rate of 12 GPM, and is highly effective in eradicating even the hardest ions, including calcium and magnesium, from the water.

Pros
  • The flow rate of 12 GPM
  • Digital meter
  • High capacity of filtration
Cons
  • Heavy

The Bottom Line

All in all, this salt-based softener is one of the best available. It has a high filtration capacity, and you’ll quickly start to notice the absence of stains on faucets and other home appliances on it. With Aquasure, one of the best salt based softeners, you will have a low-maintenance device that delivers a great result.


5- AFWFilters 48000 56k Grain Iron Pro Eradicator 2000 – Highest Selling

AFWfiltres 48000 56k Grain Iron Pro Eradicator 2000

 

Next up, we have the AFWFilters 48000 56k Grain Iron Pro Eradicator 2000. This is a whole house water filter. It offers an all-in-one system, suitable for well water, that will remove heavy metals, ferrous iron, and hydrogen sulfide from water. Once it’s installed you will notice an unmistakable reduction in water hardness.

This water softener system comes with a 10-year warranty, but the valve is covered for only five years. However, this product will last longer if you frequently maintain it. It has a compact design and can be installed even in small spaces.

It has a digital meter so you can keep track of when your water is softened and how many grains have been consumed, and its substantial grain capacity means that it is relatively low maintenance.

Other Features

Additionally, this water softener comes with NSF certification. One of the main reasons we have added the Iron Pro to our list of water softener reviews is because it can even soften well water with iron contained in it.

This model is suitable for a family of up to 5 members, and it is suitable for removing hardness of a level up to 50 gpg. With this system, you will have effective removal of iron up to 4 ppm and HS2 up to 2 ppm. It is a relatively expensive model, however, its strong performance is sure to satisfy you.

Pros
  • Removes the hardest ions
  • Ideal for well water
  • Digital meter
Cons
  • Relatively expensive

The Bottom Line

All in all, the AFWFilters 48000 56k Grain Iron Pro Eradicator 2000 is tough to install, and you may need to hire a plumber or ask customer care services for help. However, have no doubt that it is an effective water softener that can be the ideal solution if you’re in a situation where you need to draw on well water with iron at high levels.


6- AFWFilters 56SXT 10 Percent Water Softener And Filter – Best Combo Package

AFWfilters 56SXT 10 Percent Water Softener And Filter

 

Are you looking for a combination of a water filter and water softener system? If you are, the AFWFilters 56SXT 10 Percent Water Softener And Filter is an excellent option. It can deliver you clean drinking water and at the same time solve your hard water issues.

This combination model has 10 percent more resin in it than prior AFW models. It is based on a carbon filtration system that runs in combination with the grain water softener.

It has a grain capacity of 4800, enough for a whole household for an average of 5 months. If you need more capacity, you can upgrade to a dual tank option for large houses. It also has excellent water flow, as the efficient softening process runs as you turn on the tap.

Other Features

The reason for this excellent flow rate is the bypass valve, which regenerates the water supply even as you use it. It also comes with a 5-year warranty on the valve and a 10-year warranty on the filter.

Another feature worth noting is this product’s energy-saving technology. Unlike an electronic water softener, this filter doesn’t require electricity to run. In fact, you don’t even need any drain line or wastewater production line with it. The company has tried where possible to incorporate natural materials, giving the system a shell of coconut that’s extremely efficient as one layer of filtration in removing contaminants from the water.

As this product is also a filter, you have the bonus that it will remove all sorts of contaminants from your water, leaving you with pure water as well as soft water.

NSF certification is an indication of the product’s reliability.

Pros
  • Long warranty period
  • Up-flow carbon filter
  • Removes all contaminants
Cons
  • You may need assistance with water softener installation

The Bottom Line

All in all, this AFWFilters 56SXT 10 Percent Water Softener and Filter comes with the carbon filter to remove the hard ions, and offers 2-in-1 value for money.


7- YARNA Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System – Best Alternative Of Whole House Water Softener

YARNA Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler

 

Are you in search of an electronic water softener for the whole house? We have the YARNA Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System for you. This descaler works differently than other models such as salt based softeners. It will remove hard water minerals first by detecting them through a microchip sensor.

After detecting hard ions, signals are transmitted to impulse bands; these remove the hard ions from the water via a crystal exchange mechanism. After installing it, Yarna will quickly remove the scale building up on the pipes with this water descaler.

And that’s not all. As the minerals are removed, Yarna will make dull surfaces bright again as your water quality increases. Yarna’s process also helps to remove bacteria from water. However, you may have to make some modifications to your plumbing to improve the performance of the Yarna descaler.

Other Features

Another advantage of the Yarna descaler is that you can conveniently install it. For the installation, you need 10 inches of free space for a pipe. Other than that, it doesn’t require specific tools for installation and can be set up in just 15 minutes.

This descaler will not remove the minerals but it will reduce their effect. Besides that, you will not have any scale buildup on the appliances and pipelines after installing the Yarna descaler – you can wave goodbye to hard water. It’s an excellent, efficient salt free water softener.

Yarna also offers a money-back guarantee. If the performance doesn’t satisfy you, the company will provide a complete refund (within one year).

Pros
  • Easy and quick installation
  • Computerized micro-chip
  • Efficient salt free water softener (low maintenance)
Cons
  • High upfront cost

The Bottom Line

All in all, this system will remove hard water from the whole house, delivering you an excellent, low maintenance soft water solution.


8- Watts Water Quality And Conditioner Pro 10000 – Best Built-In Drain Line

Watts Water Quality And Conditioner Pro 10000 Water Softener

 

The Watts Water Quality And Conditioner Pro 10000 Water Softener comes with a built-in line of the drain, and it will effectively remove hard ions from water. A rare feature of the Watts water softener is that it comes with custom flow valves, so you don’t need to disconnect the water softener valve in order to maintain it.

In addition, it has a full cradle mechanism, and you can securely install it yourself at home. The water flow rate is 4GPM, and it comes at an affordable price.

Other Features

This model has a 55 percent higher regeneration capacity and offers a continuous water supply. The company has introduced a new technology to filter water, delivering you a high-quality product.

The use of this product can lead to a drop in water pressure, but the results in terms of improving your hard water situation will be impressive. There will be no hard water stains on the appliances and faucets.

You will need to maintain this water softener system by adding salt regularly, and although it functions well as a whole house water filter, as a relatively bulky option it’s not suitable for smaller homes.

Pros
  • Installation is easy
  • The maximum flow rate is 4 GPM
  • Utilizes normal salt
Cons
  • Some users claim that the valves leak
  • The salt filler hole is very small

The Bottom Line

All in all, the Watts Water Quality and Conditioner Pro 10000 Water Softener is an ideal hard water solution for small houses. You may need something stronger if you are in an area with very hard water.


9- Fleck 5600 SXT 48000 Grains – Best High Capacity Resin Filter

Fleck 5600 SXT 48000 Grains Water Softener

 

Next up, we have one of the best salt based systems available. The Fleck 5600 SXT 48000 Grains Water Softener comes with a digital meter to keep track of your water supply and your grain usage. It comes with a grain capacity of 48,000.

The Fleck 5600 SXT has a water flow rate of 12 GPG, and it is a great hard water solution for a large household. It comes with a high quantity of resin to get you started.

Other Features

If you are looking for an effective salt-based water softener, then the Fleck 5600 SXT is the best choice. The LED display offers a convenient way for users to see the flow rate.

Also, you can check the hardness level from the water softener’s LED display. It also comes with automated settings, and it will filter the water whenever needed. In addition, this water softener has a 5-year warranty on the accessories and 10 years for the tank.

Fleck water softener has a great reputation. Once you install it you will notice a significant change in your water quality.

Pros
  • Comes with a digital meter and bypass valve
  • Quick installation
  • 48-hour backup power
Cons
  • It doesn’t come with the drainage tube
  • Bypass knobs might leak sometimes

The Bottom Line

All in all, this system is one of the best softeners on the market. Once you start using it you’ll be able to see a rapid reduction in the quantity of minerals in the water. Best of all, it is great for offices and homes and has a low salt consumption rate. Additionally, it has a 5-year warranty period.


10- Ispring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler – Maintenance Free Water Softener

Ispring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler

 

This electronic water softener will eliminate hard water from your home. It’s an affordable option that will remove previous limescale build-up and prevent similar build-up in the future.

Other Features

This model can lead to great savings on your utility bills. One of the little-known advantages of eliminating hard water is that soap forms a more effective lather in soft water, so detergents and soaps go further, leading to additional savings.

This water softener system is best for houses with a water supply that has a hard water level of less than 25 GPG. It requires no plumbing maintenance after installation.

However, there are some cons to the Ispring softening system. Firstly, it doesn’t eliminate iron compounds in the water, and you may still experience the effects of hard water on your skin.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Less maintenance required
  • Quality salt free water softener
Cons
  • Doesn’t filter iron ions
  • Not ideal for homes with a water hardness level more than 25 GPG

The Bottom Line

All in all, the Ispring works similarly to a conditioner to reduce hard water. So while it will not remove the hard ions from the water, it will soften them. There might still be traces of iron compounds in the water.


11- Filtersmart Whole House Water Softener – An Eco-Friendly Choice

Filtersmart Whole House Water Softener

 

The model in our review list is by Filtersmart. This tank water softener is an excellent, eco-friendly choice for people who are experiencing the effects of hard water on their skin and hair.

This NSF certificated dual tank model comes with tanks in the form of steel bottles, making it ideal for large households.

With the Filtersmart Whole House Water Softener, your house water will eliminate a multitude of minerals in the water, as well as chloramine, organic compounds, herbicides, pesticides, industrial solvents, and THMs compounds, leaving you with gentle soft water.

Other Features

The best thing about this environmentally-friendly option and it doesn’t require electricity to work. Additionally, although it is a salt-free softener it can nevertheless efficiently remove the hard minerals from the water, such as calcium and magnesium.

If you need a water softener that can efficiently remove the minerals from your hard water but that doesn’t require frequent maintenance, then this is an excellent choice. Furthermore, it has a simple input and output design, which makes it easy to use. Best of all, the fact that it’s a salt free water softener means that you can get the best water without the continuing expense of salt.

It will require maintenance after ten months to change the sediment filter but comes with a lifetime warranty.

Pros
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Less maintenance required
  • Eco-friendly and cost-effective hard water solution
Cons
  • Higher upfront cost
  • Difficult to install

The Bottom Line

All in all, the Filtersmart Whole House Water Softener is not cheap, but it will deliver you soft water for the whole house. Best of all, it is an environmentally friendly option with lower running costs. Lastly, it has a lifetime warranty period, making it a well-balanced salt free softener.


Water Softener Buying Guide

Before we discuss the water softeners’ essential features, you need to be familiar with the different types of water softeners. Essentially, there are four types:

Types Of Water Softeners

salt base water softener

1- Salt-Based

Salt-based water softeners are the most common, and you will find them in many houses. They are highly effective at removing harmful chemicals from water. Not only that, but the salt-based softeners will also eliminate the scale that builds up in pipes and home appliances due to hard water.

Best of all, the salt-based water softener is still affordable, and you don’t have to maintain it frequently, although you will have to replace the resin beads. There are also some other downsides to salt-based water softeners.

They will add a small amount of sodium to your water. However, this is not an issue for everyone. Only those who are on a strict diet cannot drink slightly salted water. And fortunately, there’s a solution for those people who are on a diet and also have a salt-based water softener at home. You can fix a reverse osmosis plant under the sink to remove the salt and other chemicals from the water.

2- Duo Tank

Duo tank water softeners are similar to the salt-based water softeners; you could even call them an extension of a salt-based water softener. The two tanks of this system will efficiently soften the water supply of the entire house.

However, this option tends to be relatively expensive, and you should only buy it if you have a larger family. If you do choose this option, you will have a quick supply of softened water with the duo tank water softener.

3- Salt-Free – (Water Descaler)

Another most popular type of water softener is the salt-free water softener, also known as a water descaler. This water softener will remove very hard elements like calcium and magnesium from the water. This excellent water softener will not let residue build up on the pipes and home appliances.

Keep in mind that salt-free water softeners will not remove all minerals from the water, they will only soften the hard minerals. In this way, you could describe salt-free water softeners as water conditioners.

There’s no doubt that this type of water softener is better than many others. Even you are on a low-salt diet, you will still be able to drink the water. And even better, this kind of water softener is great for those who aren’t allowed to install salt-based water softeners at home due to environmental regulations.

However, there are some cons. For instance, they will not remove the prior hard water stains on the faucets, glassware, cars, etc.

4- Magnetic Or Electronic Descalers

Lastly, we have magnetic descalers. These water softeners are small, and you have to attach them to the pipeline of your home. These are also salt-free water softeners.

However, a magnetic descaler will not remove the minerals from the water, it simply combines the hard minerals contained in the water to stop them from sticking on the appliances and other surfaces. This type of water softener is not necessarily the most effective, but it is popular due to its affordable price. Best of all, they are convenient to install and maintain.


Essential Features To Know Before Buying a Water Softener To Solve Your Hard Water Issues

how water softener works

Now you know the four types of water softeners, but that’s not enough; you must know which features to consider before buying a water softener. Water softeners are often cheap, and you have to ensure that you make the best purchase.

Below, we have created a list of features that you must check before making a final decision.

Capacity To Filter

The capacity of water softeners to filter water varies. However, you have to pick a water softener that can easily fulfill your house’s water needs for a long time. So it’s important to pick a water softener that has sufficient capacity.

For example, if you have a big family, it is essential to buy a water softener with a grain capacity of at least 64,000 grains.

Technology Type

As you have seen, there are numerous different types of water softeners. However, you have to pick very carefully. If the water in your home has a high level of hardness, then it may be best to purchase a salt-based water softener. Salt free softeners are an option if you don’t want sodium in the water.

The best type of water softener systems is either salt based or salt free softeners. Water descalers should only be bought if you have a very low budget.

Maintenance And Installation Cost

Further, the maintenance and installation costs of the various water softener systems will vary from one type of technology to another. For instance, salt-based water softeners are expensive, but their installation cost is less. However, you will have to buy a huge amount of salt for maintaining a salt-based water softener, which is a considerable ongoing expense.

The resin beads in the water softener are composed of salt, and after a certain amount of time, they will need to be replaced. The manufacturers of a water softener should be able to tell you how the approximate cost of maintenance and installation.

Some of the water softeners will need a plumber to install them. You should familiarize yourself with whichever of the water softener systems you choose to avoid inconvenience later and to deliver the best water to your house.

Available Space At Home To Install It

Do you have enough space in your home to install the water softener system that you want? Pick the best location to install it, and make sure to take accurate measurements before making your decision. Also, make sure to look at the water softener’s dimensions before buying it.

Keep in mind that a salt free water softener such as a descaler or duo tank water softeners requires more space.

Bypass Valve

Next up, you have to look for the bypass valve of the water softener. This valve’s function is to take the water to the softener without stopping the flow to the pipes.

The bypass valve will also stop the water supply if you are maintaining the water softener. Not all water softeners will come with a bypass valve, however, you should be able to purchase the bypass valve separately.

If you are considering a salt-based water softener, then you must buy a bypass valve to go with it.

Certifications

Last but not least, consider the certifications of water softeners. You’re likely to make a safe purchase if the water softener comes with several certifications. The best certifications are from the Water Quality Association (WQA), or NSF.

Although certification is not required, a water softener with a certificate is likely to perform better. Moreover, you have to make sure that the water softener system is efficient enough to remove the hardest elements, such as iron, calcium, and magnesium from your water supply.

Let us tell you now that not all water softeners are able to remove iron from hard water. The vast majority of water softeners to receive WQA or NSF certification are salt-based water softeners. Therefore, the salt-based water softeners can more easily remove the iron, calcium, and magnesium from the water.

All in all, we don’t recommend buying a water softener without certification because it is unlikely to remove hard ions or effectively condition them.


How to Tell if the Water Softener Is Working?

It can be hard to figure out if it works properly or not. Knowing how to install and use a Water Softener is extremely important, and here we will take you through the basics. This will make it easier for you to understand how the Water Softener works and whether it’s actually doing something or not.

Understanding the Water Softener basics

The Water Softener is a product designed to soften water by removing any hard, problematic compounds. What it does is replaces the magnesium and calcium ions in the water with sodium ions. The Water Softener uses negatively charged resin beads that are attracting all the positively charged minerals. The idea here is whenever water goes through those beads, minerals stick to them and you have soft water going out of the system.

Obviously, these beads will end up having too many minerals, so they have to be regenerated. Salty water will help wash the mineral deposits and those beads will be able to do their job properly. This is basically how the entire system works. But how do you know it’s actually doing its job or not? Let’s find out.

Testing the Water Softener to see if it works

A good idea here is to buy a water hardness kit. The water testing kit designed to help you test the water condition. Soft water has anywhere from 0 to 17.1 mg of minerals per liter. Anything more than that means the Water Softener is not working properly. If the value is within those margins, then you will be more than ok. In case the Water Softener stopped working for a reason or there are issues, you may find some scale buildup in the sink.

Then you have the soap test. This requires you to pour some liquid soap and mix it with soft water. In case the water is hard, there are problems. Since this is not a scientific test, you can’t rely solely on it. Normally Water Softeners have inconsistent results if there’s a dirty resin bed, any regeneration issue, an accumulation of debris in the system, a motor failure, or anything similar to that.

You should run a water softener test from time to time in order to measure its efficiency. You never really know what results you can expect, so tackling this issue properly can be well worth the effort. At the end of the day, you need to have patience as you try to find any issues regarding your softener. Even if there aren’t a ton of issues, it’s still crucial to ensure its efficiency!


How to Clean Water Softener

In cleaning your water softener, the following steps will guide you:

  1. Plan the cleaning

Everything works best with a schedule and the same applies to cleaning your water softener. Most of the softeners we use at home are designed to last for 5-10years without cleaning. With this, you choose what best works for you. To tell whether it’s time to clean your softener, monitor the quality of the water from the softener.

Is water hard or soft? If the water is soft, then the tank does not need cleaning yet. If the water is hard, then that means the softener needs cleaning. For the older models of softeners, especially the electric ones, frequent cleaning is needed. In fact, schedule to clean them at least once a year for best results of water softening.

  1. Drain the tank

Before setting out to clean your water softener, you need to empty the tank. How do you do this? The tank has a bypass valve that controls water intake. Turn off this valve to ensure no more intakes are allowed. After this, siphon the water from the tank and get rid of the salt. In draining the tank, a hosepipe comes in handy. Connect it to the tap and open the tap. Allow the water to drain slowly until the tank is empty. The salt should not be thrown on the farm for they cause dehydration and death of plants.

  1. Take off the brine grid from the tank’s base

This step is necessary for the models of softeners that have grids at the bottom. In case yours does not have one, then process 3 is not necessary. The platform or the screen that holds the brine at the bottom can easily be removed. However, sometimes it becomes hard to detach it from the bottom. This happens if a salt bridge has formed on the grid. In this case, hot water is used to loosen the salt block. The grid can then be removed.

  1. Use a Water Softener Cleaners

Always use the water softener cleaner to clean the entire water softener system. Pour the liquid as per the instructions given in the product’s manual (this depends on the size of your softener). You can use a long scrubbing brush to properly scrub the interior parts of the softener. If the brush has a long handle, it makes the process less strenuous.

  1. Rinse the tank

Once you have thoroughly washed the tank with a water softener cleaner. Pour a sufficient amount of clean water into the tank. Intensely rinse the tank then drain off the water.

  1. Bleach clean the tank

Make a bleach solution by adding approximately 60mL of household bleach to anything between 8 and 11 liters of water. Stir this mixture. Once homogenous, pour it into the tank. Let the tank settle with the bleach for about fifteen minutes. The time allows the tank to sanitize and shun bacteria.  After the fifteen minutes have elapsed, drain the bleach.

  1. Rinsing bleach and tank refill

After draining the bleach, rinse the tank. This has to be intensive to ensure no traces of bleach remains. If ascertained, the brine grid is put back (in case it was there). Put salt into the tank and add water. Allow enough time for the brine to completely dissolve before you can regenerate it and allow it to soften water as usual.

FAQ’s

  • Is Softened Water Good For Hair And Skin?

Yes, softened water is good for hair and skin. It will make the hair softer and give it more volume. When you bath with soft water, your skin becomes less dry and your hair less greasy.

Moreover, hard water contains a lot of chemicals that are harmful to our bodies; another good reason to install a water softener that can remove hard water from the water supply of your entire home.

  • What Is The Lifespan Of The Water Softeners?

There is no fixed lifespan of any particular model. Every one of the models described here in our list of water softener reviews here should last for a minimum of 10 years. But you should think about replacing a water softener after 15 years because it will be useless after that period.

You will also find most of the water softeners in our review come with a warranty period of 10 years. However, you can increase the lifespan of water softeners by performing routine maintenance.

Apart from that, the hardness of water will define the lifespan of the system. Thus, you may have to replace your unit earlier if the hard water intensity in your water supply is high.

  • How To Determine Hard Water In Home?

You can test the water in your house for its mineral content. Other than that, various signs will indicate if you have hard water in-home or not.

For instance, if soap and other detergents do not make a good lather when mixed with water, it’s likely there’s a high mineral content in the water. Likewise, if you see water stains on the faucets and home appliances, such as a crusted buildup after you’ve emptied the kettle of water, then that’s a sign of hard water.

Similarly, if your hair and skin are drying out right after taking a shower, it means your house water has hard minerals. The most advanced sign of hard water is the clogging pipes.

All in all, hard water can increase utility bills. Also, you have to frequently repair the pipelines if the water is hard in the house.

  • Which Are The Best Water Softeners For Whole House?

Some of the best softeners for the whole house are the following:


To Sum Up

In our review, you’ve been introduced to the top 10 water softeners that are also the highest sellers on the market. These water softeners are great for well water and the city’s plumbed hard water. So have you made your choice? If not, let us help further narrow down your decision by providing three stunning suggestions.

Firstly, we have a softener for the whole house, AFWFilters 80k Dual Fleck 9100SXT Twin Water Softener. This water softener is salt-based, and you will never regret buying it.

Secondly, if you need a cost-effective solution, then the Nuvo H2O Dpmb-A Water Softener is the best to buy.

Lastly, if you are looking for a good combination of a water filter and softener, then AFWFilters 56SXT 10 Percent Water Softener and Filter is highly recommended.

All things deliberated, you have to pick a water softener that meets the requirements of all your family members, faucets, and pipelines. The best water softeners have a lot in common, but as you will have seen, your choice will depend on many factors. Do not compromise on the value of water softener.

Thank you for visiting us!

Jeremy Lee is a researcher and part-time blogger who has a passion to discover cutting-edge technologies related to water filtration. He knows the importance of purified water in our lives and started this blog aiming to provide the best product reviews, buying guides, and other useful information related to water. When not working, he loves to spend time with his beloved wife and two kids.