Best Water Softener | Reviews Of The Best Water Softeners 2019
It’s a fact that only around 15% of the entire United States has soft water that is naturally occurring. That means that 85% of us must deal with the problems that hard water brings.
River or little water is naturally soft, the hardness comes into the water when it comes into contact with certain minerals. An example of this is limestone. Limestone contains magnesium and calcium, this mineral is very Common cross most of the country.
As water goes through the Limestone then it picks up minerals along the way that cause the water to harden.
The longer the duration of contact between the limestone and the water then the harder the water will become. This is the main reason why the hardness of your water differs from one place to another. It depends on the amount of contact the water has with the minerals.
The minimum amount of minerals dissolved in water to be classified as hard is 60mg.
Actually changing your water from hard to soft is not that difficult as long as you use the correct water softeners. This comprehensive guide is intended to inform you fully about how to soften your water effectively and also which equipment is the most effective.
If you’re looking to get started quickly then why not take a look at our best water softener reviews directly below this introduction. If you want more of an in-depth buying guide then scroll below the reviews to find out everything you need to know about softening your water.
Best Water Softeners Guide
Why Do You Need To Have A Water Softener Anyway?
A water softener is a type of device that is needed by many households all over the world. It all depends on the type of water that your family uses.
In general, municipal water supplies have many minerals in them that make the water “hard.” Hard water contains high amounts of dissolved iron, magnesium, and calcium, along with many other particles as well.
What Makes Hard Water So Bad?
It results in many domestic inconveniences and quite often diseases as well. Hard water will require you to do thorough maintenance more often of your pipes and faucets. Now we will take a closer look at some of the major problems that hard water causes.
It leaves traces on your faucets and dishes. You definitely will see soap scum on the bathroom fixtures and dishes. On whatever surface you allow water to dry out on it will leave a cloudy film behind, Basically, every 2019 water softener consumer report will tell you that is one of the major problems that is caused by hard water.
Your skin also will feel it. That is because any icky substance will be left behind on surfaces, which means that hard water makes your skin feel a bit itchy and drier. This problem can also be prevented by soft water.
Your pipes will have build up – the water’s mineral substances are the major reason why there are is limescale visible in your shower heads or pipes. The same thing is true for your appliances that can be fairly sensitive to hard water. The buildup can lead to a significant level of deterioration of your home’s entire water-related infrastructure.
Water heaters are also threatened. Hard water is a major cause of reduced efficiency of a water heater’s heating element. It also may cause significant damage to numerous components unless maintenance is done on a regular basis.
Rust and corrosion might occur as well.
Shampoos and soaps will not be as foamy as normal. The lather of hygiene products can be significantly reduced by hard water. They won’t be as effective and there will be less foam that is produced. That is definitely not a good sign.
Laundry will not be as pleasing visually – clothing will frequently feel stiffer after they are washed in hard water. They won’t be as vibrant and there might be whitish spots that appear on them as well.
Now that we have discussed all of the hard water issues above, it is time to talk about how these problems can be eliminated by a water softener. Before moving on with in-depth information on the subject, we will first discuss the major benefits that water softening provides.
Water Softening System Benefits
These systems are not just a convenience. They also can affect your family’s budget in a positive way and produce good results for your health as well. Here are some of the major benefits in no specific order.
Hair and skin are softer – this is also true for clothes. Since your skin is treated gently by soft water, it will affect your clothing’s fabric favorably as well. Your clothes overall cleanness will also be increased.
The lifespan of your appliances will be extended – a lack of buildup always has a positive effect on your devices and appliances functionality that use water.
Improvements in energy efficiency – appliances definitely use less energy when they are operating efficiently. You will have lower heating bills although you might not notice that immediately.
Reductions in some detergent and soap inefficiencies – a soap’s functionality is significantly compromised when it is combined with hard water. Softer water allows detergents and soaps to be much more efficient and therefore reduce the amounts that you need to use.
Surfaces will be free of stains. As previously mentioned, you should remove any cloudy residue that hard water leaves behind. If you check some water softener reviews you will see that faucets can appear very glossy and shiny on both the inside and outside when soft water is used.
Compare the pros and cons of soft water versus hard water today!
The Most Popular Kinds of Water Softeners
So now that we have discussed why basically every household needs to have a water softener, we will cover the different kinds of water softeners that are available currently. This will help you determine the effectiveness level of each type so that you can determine which is the best water softener for your situation and needs.
This is the most popular type and basically the “classic” kind of water softener that is available. In terms of water filtration types, there is a wide range of products that are available, but the classic ones are always easy to recognize.
The devices are also referred to as Ion Exchange Softeners since that is the major process that occurs. We will be getting into more detail about the way that softener work later. However, right now we will just say that they need salt for the “softening” process to occur.
Salt-Free Water Softeners
Although the name might sound exciting since there is no salt, we have to clarify that the effectiveness of this kind of softener is not anywhere near as good as the kind that we discussed above. They are not water conditioners actually and don’t take anything out of the water. They don’t reduce the hard water minerals either.
The major goal of this type of water conditioner is making it difficult for existing minerals to be able to buildup inside of the pipes. You will notice getting some relief in terms of maintaining your faucet. These water units do help to ensure there is less limescale and it is definitely better than not having any water treatment at all. However, they really aren’t water softeners in terms of the way the other kinds work.
Dual Tank Water Softeners
This is the “big boy” in water softening since they come in a pair. You get a brined tank and two big iron tanks. This type of system is heavy duty and well-suited for households that consume a lot of water.
The major goal of this type of system is to provide you with a continuous supply of soft water at all times of the week or day. Resin has to regenerate and that usually occurs at night or after a couple of gallons of water are processed. However, during the regenerations, you will not have any soft water to enjoy since the water bypasses your system.
This problem is not allowed to happen with a dual-tank softener. When one of the tanks is regenerating, the one one is still providing processed water and is fully functional. Typically the investment is larger but you will probably enjoy better results over the long term.
Magnetic Water Descalers
This is the final kind of softener. It is also the one that is the most unconventional. This is an alternative system, os it isn’t very popular. It has some advantages, however, since it provides hassle-free service to you.
A magnetic descaler is a type of electrical device that doesn’t interfere with the piping system. Therefore, installation is not required, since no plumbing has to be detached and there aren’t any bypass valves. There are just a couple of wires that coil around the water intake pipes.
This plug-in device produces a magnetic field around your pipes. The water has properties of the minerals that are all reshaped. The device is similar to a non-salt softener and prevents the buildup of limescale inside of your fixtures and water supply system.
Selecting a Water Softener
In this section, we will be providing you with useful tips from experts and we will also give you some inside information that you should consider before purchasing anything. We also will provide some comparisons of the different kinds of softeners that we have discussed above. This is an essential section for you to read when you are considering various things about a water softener that you are thinking about buying.
Before going into our comparison, first, we want to give you some general tips. Those insights can definitely help you when you are looking at water softeners. Make sure you don’t just go by what is seen on the surface. These pointers can be used to conduct detailed research on a prospective water softening system for your home.
The first thing that you need to know is whether you would like to get a 2-piece softener or a 1-piece one. In general, a 2-piece softener is the best choice if you have enough space for the system to fit in. Usually, 2-piece water softeners are less expensive and the electronics are located on the media tank’s top and are separate from brine solution inside of the salt tank, which is highly corrosive.
For a small household, a 1-piece unit may be best. It is about the workload that can be handled in addition to the unit’s size. It uses a lot less water and less salt. This type of water softener can work well for a 2-person family, but that is about it.
Stick with units that are made using non-proprietary components. Name brands are good due to their quality, however, if they have unique parts you might be better with a unit that you can get spare parts from the local hardware store. After all, if a brand name unit is overhauled or is discontinued, you won’t be able to get spare parts for it when you need them years from now.
Go with a unit that has proven technology behind it. Search for a brand that has been in existence for many years. Whatever glitches a product may have had, most likely they were fixed a long time ago. When you are spending a lot of money on a new water softener, it is important for it to be reliable.
Who you purchase your unit from it important. Buying a water softener in your local area may be the best option since local dealers will know precisely the kind of water that you have and what requirements you have. You can discuss everything with them before you make your purchase. Customer support will also be easier.
Search for a scaled down industrial unit version. Industrial softners are able to handle a lot more water than you use in your home. It needs to be dependable, sturdy, and reliable.
Make sure the softener is serviceable. Find a unit that is easy to maintain. It isn’t rational to have to take the entire body apart to simply replace a filter or motor.
If you are going to get a salt softener, the main point for you to focus on is its resin capacity. You need to determine the amount of water you use on average. Usually, that will depend on how many members are in your family. The bigger the capacity, the less often the softener will have to regenerate.
Grain capacity can var. Typically, the lowest will start at 16,000. There are some units that might reach up to 96,000. With a dual-tank soften that is a very large capacity. There are not a lot of different resin types although there are some softeners that work great with well water that has iron.
Capacity relates to the brine tank also. If there is a lot of resin houses in your media tank, then it will also need more salt than normal. And that leads us to our next point about space and size.
You cannot get a massive water softener if the intake pipes are surrounded by an area that is too small. A majority of households can do well with a mid-range softener. That means you would do fine having a 2-piece system with a brine tank and iron tank.
Big dual tank systems come with a really big brine tank as well. A large area is needed due to the large capacity. After you are confident that a specific model will fit into your available space, go for it. You can get the product’s dimensions and specific measurements from the manufacturer. You can usually find the information online as well.
A Bypass Valve
The bypass valve is another very important component. it enables the water to bypass the softener. That can be useful on many different occasions like when you are filling up a pool with water – where you don’t need to have softened water.
It is critical that it is easy to find and operate the valve. The Fleck water softener is a good example since the brand Fleck heavily specializes in building the most trusted and reliable valves and heads for water softeners. Usually, the value will come with two red arrows – they are pointed towards one another when the water is not going through the softener and has stopped.
The Regeneration Setting
Another thing that you need to determine is whether you want to have a timed water softener or a metered one. A metered system results in the resin regenerating after a specific amount of water is used. You get to determine the amount.
When you have a timed softening system, every few days the device regenerates based on a prognosis of the amount of water you will use. The downside to that is if you end up using more water than was planned before the regeneration occurs, you will probably run out of your soft water. There is also another drawback which is you are not at home for a long time, your water softener will still be regenerating and using salt and water.
On the other hand, a metered softener only regenerates when it needs to.
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