If you live in an area with hard water, the whole house water softener is a must-have device in your house to treat your hard water problem.
Hard water is not an issue to our health, but it is known for its harmful side effects on water home appliances and plumbing. Making a decision to add a whole house water softener system will help overcome the problem caused by hard water.
There are different brands available in the market that removes hardness in different ways, the price varies, features and size ranges.
That’s why we have taken the time to review the best whole house water softener that will help completely remove hardness in your water.
It has a capacity of 48,000 grains. It is capable of removing the hardness of 160gpg and iron up to 12ppm. This model is suitable for household 1-6+ people
When it comes to warranty the Whirlpool 48,000 grain has 3 – years on electronics, 10-years on tank and 2-year warranty on parts and labor. Warranty can be extended to 10-years after purchase and correct use of whirlpool water softener cleanser.
The Whirlpool 44000-Grain Water Softener is a 44,000-grain capacity which is capable of removing the hardness of 140gpg and iron up to 12ppm.
It is ideal for 1-5+ people
Like any other whirlpool water softener, this model has a warranty to which is 3- years on electronics, 10-years on tank and 2-year warranty on parts and labor. Warranty can be extended to 5-years after purchase and correct use of whirlpool water softener cleanser.
The Whirlpool WHES30 30,000 grain is ideal for a household of 1-4+ people.
This model removes up to 8ppm of (ferrous) iron and is NSF certified to reduce hard water symptoms which form stains, build-up on your plumbing and faucets as well as spotting on dishes. So the system works well with city water or well water.
It employs demand initiated regeneration meaning the softener counts how much salt and water is needed to regenerate and use what is necessary resulting in large water and salt savings.
All Whirlpool system comes with a 3-year limited electronics warranty, the 10-year limited warranty on the tanks, a year warranty for manufacture parts and labor.
The Kenmore 38350 has a capacity of 31, 000 grains, remove hardness up to 100 grains per gallon, and has a flow rate of 11.8 GPM.
It is ideal for a family of 4-6 people.
Dual tank water softener
#9. Twin tank water softener
The dual tank ion exchange water softener is used where downtime/break up of the water softener is an issue, or you have a high usage of water, and your water has high hardness.
Buying a water softener with a dual tank / double tank is wise.
What happens with dual tank ion exchange water softener when one tank is softening water the other one is regenerating as a result conditioned water is supplied throughout without downtime or break up.
Most of this type of water softener operates on demand they can be sized smaller than a single tank.
When you are buying dual tank water softener make sure you have enough space where to install, it requires drain pipe for backwashing, and others require electricity to operate, ensure the power source is located nearby.
The Fleck 9100SXT is a dual tank system, so you never run out of softened water.
It is capable of removing up to 110,000 grains of hardness between regeneration cycles making it ideal for a home with many peoples, very high hardness levels, or commercial application
The package includes Riser tubes with distributor baskets 3.5ft³ high capacity resin per tank, 14″ x 65″ resin tanks (2), Larger Round Brine Tank which measures approximately 18″x40″ and holds approximately 350 lb of salt.
The Spring Well Water Filter and Salt Based Water Softener is used to remove iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide, and hard water minerals.
It can remove up to 8 ppm of Hydrogen Sulfide, up to 7 PPM Iron and 1 PPM Manganese.
The water softener has the electronic metered valve mounted atop the resin tank, the system measures water by the gallon before running a cleaning cycle. The system runs the cleaning cycle once the resin bed reaches its saturation point
The water filter is a single tank with an air pocket mounted on the top. As the water passes through the air pocket iron, sulfur, and manganese is oxidized, the Springwell AIO System filter oxidized iron, sulfur, and manganese
This system is easy to charge with the use of Bluetooth technology. Adjust your system’s settings such as air draw, backwash cycles, timing, and more in the palm of your hand.
The Pentair system uses a Fleck 5600SXT Digital on-demand control valve. The valve has a 5-year warranty and features backlit LCD touchpad controls 48-hour internal power backup and a user-friendly interface.
It comes with a Black structural mineral tank made of a durable poly-glass tank with a 10-year warranty and the standard square black brine tank that hold about 250 lbs. Of salt. The tank includes safety float prevents overfilling and the overflow drain acts as an additional backup to avoid water messes
This model has a 10% Cross-linked resin, valve with bypass, and adapter.
The Ecopure hybrid system includes a water softener and filtration system.
It helps remove high levels of hardness, clear water iron up to 3 ppm, and ferrous iron.
The filtration system helps reduce sediment, lead, chlorine, and iron.
All eco pure system features auto-sense technology which is salt saving technology. The technology calculates the amount of water and salt used then decide when to regenerate, therefore, help significant reduction in salt and water usage
It features Intuitive programming controls, low salt indicator light and compact single tank design provide an easy softening solution.
The EcoPure system is identical in height and exact-fit replacement for Kenmore water softening systems.
This hybrid system is ideal for 1-6+ people and treats 100 grains per gallon
The Aquasure Harmony Series is equipped with Aquatrol Advanced Digital On-Demand Meter Control Head, in and out bypass, resin tank with distributor tube, brine tank with overflow regulator, brine line, drain line, 1″ NPT Male Adapter, and pre-filled premium quality resin.
This model can treat up to 48,000 Grain of hardness, perfect for the household size of 2-4 bathrooms and up to 5 people.
Aquasure Whole House Water Softener allows 3 types of regeneration which include time clock delayed control, meter immediate control, and meter delayed control. The control head customizable to fit any individual needs and special applications.
The resin tank is constructed of High strength corrosion resistant fiberglass lined polyethylene tank and comes with a 5-year warranty.
Aquasure Harmony Series is available in different capacity 32,000 grains suitable for 1-2 bathrooms and up to 3 people, 48,000 Grains ideal for 3-4 bathrooms, and up to 5 people and 64,000 grains perfect for a household size of 4-6 bathrooms and up to 7 people.
This model is made up of two systems the AS-F110SCP Dual Purpose Pre-filter helps to remove larger particles and chemicals that may be harmful to your home and the AS-HS32D whole house water softening system to soften hard water
The AS-F110SCP prefilter includes an outer layer sediment filter that helps remove suspended particles like sediment and rust and inner layer Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Dual Purpose Pre-Filter which help remove chemicals, chlorine taste, and odor. The filter has a capacity of 50,000 gallons.
The whole house water softener includes a resin tank and brine tank. All Aquasure water softener are fully customized to regenerate in three types which include time clock delayed control, meter immediate control, and meter delayed control
It is available in 32,000 grains ideal for 1 to 2 bathrooms and up to 3 family members and 64, 000 grains perfect for 4 to 5 bathrooms and up to 7 family members.
The system includes Whole House Water Softener/Reverse Osmosis.
It is available in 32,000-grain ideal for 1 to 2 bathrooms and up to 3 family members 48,000 grain capacity which is ideal for 3-4 bathrooms and up to 5 people and 64,000 grain perfect for 4 to 5 bathrooms and up to 6 family members
The ABCwaters combo is a combination of whole house water softener, Upflow Carbon Filtration System, and 5-stage Reverse Osmosis drinking water system.
The whole house water softener system has a capacity of 48, 000 grain, is controlled by popular Fleck 5600sxt digital valve meter and uses 10% Crosslinked resin.
Reverse Osmosis drinking water system is a 5-stage filtration system which includes sediment, activated carbon block, thin-film composite membrane, and a post inline carbon filters.
It is capable of removing contaminants such as chlorine, lead, nitrates, chromium, arsenic, a range of toxic heavy metals, organic impurities, fluoride, bacteria, and viruses
The up-flow carbon filtration system removes chemicals, bad tastes, and odors, which is excellent for protecting & extending the life of water softener resin.
In the package include Fleck on-demand digital meter 5600 SXT valve, black resin tank 10″ diameter PG 2. 5T, black 36-inch brine tank with safety float, Fleck bypass valve, 1″ male threaded yoke connection and 1. 5 cubic feet of high capacity upgraded 10% crosslink resin.
This model, both mineral and brine tank are black and backed by a 10-year warranty. Other colors are available upon request.
The Fleck 5600SXT valve is backed with a 5-year warranty.
Also, the system includes Upflow carbon filtration, hardness Test, 5-stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System, lead-free brushed metal faucet, 2-gallon storage tank, water & drain line, valves & accessories.
The ABCwaters 48k-56sxt is a combination of water softener and iron filter.
It treats a whole house up to 48,000 grains and is controlled by Fleck 5600Sxt digital metered control valve for efficiency and ease of use.
The valve is backed by a 5-year warranty
The system is ideal for homes with 2-5 people, 2-3 baths and able to remove all hardness, iron up to 6-8 ppm range, manganese up to 6 ppm, sediment, sand, and rust.
This complete system includes Bypass valve, DIY instructions, Fleck 5600SXT digital Metered Control Valve, brine tank with safety float and overflow drain, 1 inch Noryl plastic male threaded bypass and 10 x 54 Black resin tank loaded with 1.5 cubic foot of fine mesh resin.
The standard square brine tank measures 14 x 14 x 34 and can hold about 250 lbs. of salt
What differentiates one softener to the other is the size. Size is the main feature that you need to check when buying an Ion exchange water softener.
In size, we don’t mean the physical size but the ability to remove hardness without frequent regeneration.
How do you know the right size that handles the demand of your water usage for your household?
Water softeners are sold in different sizes which are measured using by the number of grains of hardness known as grains per gallon (GPG).
You calculate the size of the system your family needs by multiplying the number of members present in your household by gallons used by each person every day. Then the hardness present in your water by total family consumption.
An average person uses 80-100 gallons per day.
For instance, If you have five members of the family, you multiply 85X5=425gallons. You consume 425 gallons of water every day.
If your water has a hardness of 10GPG multiply 425X10=4250. So you need the water softener that removes an average of 4250GPM/ hardness per day.
Per week = 425X7=2950×10=29500
Per month= 425X30=
Now that you have known how to calculate your water consumption, water softener comes in various capacities from 15000 to 100 000 GPG.
Make sure the hardness you want to remove doesn’t exceed your system capacity so regeneration doesn’t happen more frequently.
So for the case above a family of five people (2950 grains per week), a water softener of 35000 would best fit, or you go up.
Purchasing a unit with small capacity will be regenerating more often and will cost you more while buying the unit with high capacity will cost you more when buying the whole unit but will regenerate less frequently saving you money.
Knowing the amount of water that you use per day helps choose the right size of water softener also helps you know the right amount of salt that is needed for regeneration.
Softener regenerates in two ways.
Demand initiated regeneration (DIR)/Metered
Demand initiated regeneration (DIR) measures water usage over a period and regenerates when needed.
The DIR system is commonly sold because they save a lot of salt and water because they charge when necessary.
The timer regeneration is set/scheduled to regenerate on a specific period. This method is old technology and sometimes can waste a lot of salt because it can regenerate during times you have used a small amount of water.
For instance, when you have traveled for a time, and you have not used water it will still regenerate when the time you have set reaches.
In addition to timer regeneration, you can have short of soft water during the times you have a high usage of water for example when you have visitors.
Types of minerals it removes
The most common mineral present in your hard water is calcium and manganese, but some water has iron which also needs to be removed.
Make sure your system removes all unwanted minerals from the water.
Find out whether you need a professional or a plumber to install the softener.
Also, pay attention to maintenance costs either annually or monthly.
Certification by certain independents body guarantee the system is good at removing hardness effectively and passed industry standards.
Such bodies are :
National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) which certifies water treatment products.
The water industry’s trade organization
The Water Quality Association certifies equipment.
Warranty on both the control valve and mineral tanks
A good system lasts for 20 years. So on warranty, the control valve should have a guarantee of three years while the mineral tank should have a warranty of 10 years on most brands.
What are other methods for treating hard water?
There is another option for treating hard water but the technology does not soften water/ remove hard minerals present in your water but conditions water to stop scales from forming on the water using home appliances. This alternative does not use salt they use electric pulses/ magnetic waves and other useful media. Such an alternative method for conditioning water includes an electronic water conditioner and salt-free water softener.
Does the salt-based water system makes your water taste salty
To choose the best whole home water softener is depends on the number of factors such as the number of grains you want to be removed, capacity, maintenance cost and more. Make sure the system removes the right number of grains you need. The following is the list of the best water softener Whirlpool water softener Water boss water softener GE water softener Genesis water softener Morton water softener Kenmore water softener Fleck water softener
How much does water softener installation cost?
Water softener installation cost can be between $800- $3000. The price varies due to some reasons such as: Plumbing cost If your home is well plumbed the cost is less but if the older house with poor plumbed the cost can be high. Hiring professionals Most people prefer hiring plumbing professionals if your house requires some plumbing issues such as soldering, cutting and joining steel pipe. This can cost more compared to the case you are doing it yourself. Also, some brands are complicated to install so you need to hire someone to do so. Installation kit Most water softeners companies pack the main water softener installation kit required during installation but in case your house requires extra plumbing materials the brand will not cater to that. You can incur extra costs in such incidences where you require extra materials.
What size water softener do I need for my house?
To choose the appropriate size of water softener for your home you need to multiply the number of people by the gallon of water they use each day (on average a person uses 80 gallons of water per day. The number you will get multiplied by a number of grains of hardness in water. The hardness of water is measured in grains per gallon (GPG) and you can use a test kit or ask municipal your water hardness details. Example A family of five people uses 400 gallons of water per day (80×5). Let assume your water hardness is 10 GPG you need a system that removes 4000 grains hardness per day (400×10=4000) Make sure the hardness you want to remove doesn’t exceed your system capacity so regeneration doesn’t happen more frequently. Purchasing a unit with small capacity will be regenerating more often and will cost you more while buying the unit with high capacity will cost you more when buying the whole unit but will regenerate less frequently saving you money.
Is it ok to drink softened water?
Is water softener worth money?
Yes! Hard water has a major effect on home appliances which can be expensive to repair compared to buying a water softener.
Can I install water softener myself
Most water softeners come with installation instruction which can guide you on how to do it. Installation requires more plumbing work and takes time so if you are good at doing plumbing work you can do it yourself.
How long will water softener last?
The most brand lasts for 10-20 years.
Do water softeners need a drain?
Yes! To flush out water that is used during regeneration.
Should water softener drain into the septic tank?
Can I use water while the softener is regenerating?
During regeneration time the water that will get into your house appliances is hard/untreated. So it is not recommended to use water because it will have a negative impact on your house appliances.
Does recharge water from water softener affect septic tank?
One main thing that affects the normal operation of the septic tank is overloading and undersized septic tank. How do you overload septic tank is using excessive clean products. How to reduce overloading when it comes to a water softener is to choose a water softener that utilizes demand initiated regeneration. The water softener that utilizes demand initiated regeneration method regenerates when required and do not use a lot of salt, therefore, will not overload septic tank or system
Does water softener lower water pressure?
The water softener should not lower water pressure unless it is not installed correctly, defective system or undersized.
How often should you change water softener resin?
The resin lasts for 20 -25 years. You can only change the resin if the quality of the water has changed.
Do water softener need servicing?
If the system is properly installed and you have chosen the right size, a water softener can operate for years with less servicing. The only need you need to check monthly is the salt level for regeneration.