Water Softener Reviews Consumer Reports: Best Rated & Picks
Water is the essence of life, without it, we can’t imagine life on the planet Earth. Whilst the ¾ of the earth’s surface is covered with water, but when it comes to drinkable water the number is alarming. Of 71 percent of the total water on Earth, only 2.5 percent is drinkable. Water is classified into two types, hard water, and soft water. I think it is easy for you to understand as to which type of water is suitable for consumption, but what if the water running through the taps of your house is hard?
Basically, hard water is the water that contains minerals that are not suitable for the human body if consumed in water. Minerals such as calcium and magnesium. If you are looking to transform hard water into soft water, then there is nothing significant that you’ll have to do. Just get a water softener and enjoy the pure and delicious water.
However, the problem is that there are so many water softeners available on the market. If you start looking at each of those, then you will end up confusing yourself big time. To make things easy, you can just go through best water softener reviews by consumer reports, which are given in the next sections.
Reviews Of 12 Best Water Softeners Consumer Reports
1. Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole House System
Fleck is a renowned and trusted brand when it comes to manufacturing water softeners. The company manufactures a variety of water treatment devices and it is needless to write that they all are made of quality materials.
This water softener is can be installed at homes or at commercial settings and is fully capable of permanently transforming large volumes of hard water into soft water.
This is a salt-based model, which comprises of a brine and resin tank along with a host of other components that will successfully remove the hard minerals dissolved in water.
When it comes to controlling water usage and regeneration, you get a flow meter installed on the system. This will also prevent water and salt wastage.
Using this system is as easy as it gets, courtesy of a digital LCD and touchpad controls. The company provides a 5-year warranty on control head and 10 years warranty on tank.
2. Pentair Fleck Commercial Grade Water Softener
Although this is an ideal water softener for a commercial setting, you can use it at home as well. This is one of the best salt-based water softeners available on the market.
This particular model also comes with a flow meter to give you to the ability to measure the water usage and required regeneration.
The unit is equipped with 100 percent crosslink resins, which prolongs the life of the water softener.
Installing this water softener is a breeze with a detailed guide that has been provided by the company.
The LCD digital display along with touchpads make it easy for users to use the machine. The company is also providing 5-year control head warranty and a 10-year warranty on the tank.
3. Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener
This is a pocket-friendly version of a water softener. However, don’t assume that cheap price means a lack of features as well because this water softener from Eddy is packed with all the features that are necessary for a water softener for home.
Its low price makes it a popular choice among the public because they are getting a reliable water softener at such a low price.
To convert hard water into soft water, this water softener produces electromagnetic waves that surround the incoming water, which alter the adhesion properties of limescale present in hard water. With that, the harmful elements don’t stick to the surfaces of pipes, appliances and so on.
But, there won’t be any change in the chemical hardness (TDS) of the water, thus ensuring the presence of all the health benefits of the water.
Installation of this water-softening device is pretty much a straightforward process, as you have to call out for a plumber.
The company is offering a 12-month money back guarantee on the product along with lifetime repair, which makes this water softener a product highly considerable.
4. iSpring Water Conditioner
First, let me clarify that this is not a water softener because it doesn’t remove any minerals from the water, but turns the water unsaturated in order to dissolve the existing scale build-ups in the water system.
This is more like a salt-free alternative to the traditional water softener for fixing hard water problems. With this water conditioner installed at your home, you don’t have to bother about chemical or maintenance related problems.
I really like the fact that this electronic descaler is not just proficient in preventing scale deposition to form, but it also breaks down all the existing scales that are deposited in the water system. With this water conditioner, there won’t be any unwanted scale build-ups.
The limescale deposits on the sink, faucets, and showerheads will be easily removed when they are exposed to the treated water regularly.
This water conditioner comes with all the features to treat critical hard water areas, which in turn prolong the life of several of your appliances such as geyser, washing machine and so on.
However, if the water hardness is more than 25 grains, then you will have to buy a water softener.
You don’t need to add salt or replace cartridges in this water conditioner, thus making the maintenance work minimal. Moreover, you can install the product all by yourself.
5. Sania Yarna Electronic Water Descaler System
When it comes to the most economical and compact water softener systems, you will definitely find the name of Sania Yarna Electronic Water Descaler System at the top of the list. This machine doesn’t incorporate a large tank, but it features a blue pipe having a 2-inch diameter along with copper tape. These two items are good enough to convert hard water into portable one.
You can attach the tiny pipe with the main water source pipe with a screw or glue, whichever way you like. The water is treated via electric impulses, which can be controlled via a computerized microchip. Copper coils that are wrapped around the pipe transmit signal frequencies and reduces the size of crystals present in the water. With this water softener installed in your house, you won’t have to deal with blocked pipes with build-up or damaged machinery.
The presence of magnesium and calcium from the water is not fully removed, but reduced, as some percentage of these are essential for your body. The company offers a 1-year money-back guarantee on the product, so you can use the product for an entire year and if you don’t like, return it, a scenario that is less likely to happen because the product really delivers what it says.
6. ABCwaters built Fleck 5600sxt Water Softener and Upflow Carbon Filtration
If you are looking for a complete package of water softener, then you should consider this product, which makes use of upflow carbon filtration to get rid of all the germs and bacteria present in the water along with softening the water.
The service flow rate of the unit is around 12 GPM, and the unit is ideal for a family of 2-5 people. The company offers 5-year warranty on the fleck valve, so there is nothing to worry if the valve gets damaged. Other benefits of the unit include no use of electricity, no drain line and no wastewater. The downsides of the product includes complicated installation instructions and shortage of tubing for setting up the unit.
7. ABCwaters Triple Combo Whole House Fleck 5600sxt Grain Water Softener System
Again, it’s a product by ABCwaters, which can act as a whole house water softener system. This unit has everything you need, as you will receive all the components that you need for installing the unit, and in case, you come across any issue, there is an excellent support facility, which you can contact for assistance. The unit makes use of Reverse Osmosis to filter and soften the water.
The softener system features a 5-stage filtration system where all kinds of contaminants will be thoroughly removed from the water. It produces a 1:1 ratio of wastewater to clean water, plus the type of technology incorporated into the unit puts it ahead of other softener systems. The company offers a 5-year warranty on the product, so in case, anything happens to the product, you can get it checked by the professionals. When it comes to downsides of this unit, then installation is a section where you can encounter issues, otherwise everything is so well thought in the product.
8. On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable Grain RV Water Softener
This is a portable unit, which allows you to carry soft water anywhere you like. As the name implies, you can have this water softener installed on your RV to get clean drinking water outside your house as well. A highly efficient unit, you will get up to 40% softer water than most portable water softeners available on the market.
The regeneration time of this unit is also shorter at 30 minutes compared to other models that take around 45 minutes. Despite being deemed as a portable unit, it can easily deliver 1,600 gallons or 40 days of safe, clean water before undergoing regeneration. You will really like the performance of this water softener especially if you like to travel around a lot.
9. Whirlpool WHES30E 30,000 Grain Softener
Whirlpool is a top American firm, which manufactures various consumer electronics items. This water softener by Whirlpool is ideal for water with medium to hard hardness. If there is iron content present in the water of around 8 ppm, then it won’t be a problem for this water softener to eliminate it.
The water flow of this unit is 7.6 GPM, which makes it ideal for a family of four. It features a single tank, which incorporates softening resin along with salt storage. You can easily install this unit on your own, following the detailed instruction manual provided by the company. If you are looking for a small, compact yet efficient water softener, then this is the product worth considering because it can provide you with safe, clean drinking water for a long-long time.
10. AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener iron filter
While it has all the features of a standard water softener, but one additional feature it is known for is its ability to eliminate the eggy sulfur smell present in the water. If the water coming into your house smells like hardboiled eggs and stains everything orange, then the water definitely contains iron and sulfur content in it. So, you will need this water softener to take care of those two elements in particular.
This unit is going to filter 64,000 particles of mineral grains present in the water before it needs regeneration. The unit features a fleck 5600 SXT control head and valve, which triggers regeneration cycle when the water use reaches 64,000 grain setting. This filter comes with fine mesh resin along with KDF-85 for removing iron, manganese, and sulfur from the water. The efficiency of the product can be determined by the fact that the company is offering a 4-month money-back guarantee on it.
11. APEC Water Systems FUTURA-10 Premium 10 GPM Whole House Salt-Free Water Softener
For salt-free softening and conditioning of water, you need a unit like the one developed APEC Water Systems. This water softener prevents scale build-up in the water pipes, thus prolonging their lifespan. You can easily install the unit without taking anybody’s help. The softener system doesn’t use electricity, drainage for wastewater and backwash, plus you don’t have to replace the salt as well.
An ideal machine for water whose hardness level is below 25 grains per gallon. The unit is safe for people with heart problems, as it doesn’t make use of salt in the softening process. The minerals present in the water are converted into scale resistant crystalline form, which is neutral, harmless, and heat resistant. Moreover, you don’t have to attach pipes or heaters and there won’t be any lime deposits.
12. Aquasana Water Filter
This brand has gained a top reputation all over the world through its assortment of best quality water treatment systems.
The product that we are discussing is no different as it performs incredibly well and provides you with soft and mineral-rich water.
The unit employs a dual tank design that increases the time of water contact with hard minerals and contaminants.
This water softener can remove up to 97 percent of chlorine from large volumes (around 1 million gallons) of water, plus the system constitutes of activated carbon filters, which is known for reducing chemicals, such as pesticides and herbicides from the water like no other water softener.
Working Of A Salt Based Water Softener
Water softeners basically replace the minerals in hard water with sodium, and this happens through a process called ‘Ion Exchange’.
A water softener consists of two tanks where one tank holds the resin beads or zeolite and other thank holds salt and liquid brine.
When the water flows through the first tank that contains resin beads, the positively charged molecules of water are attracted towards the negatively charged resin beads.
The minerals present in the water connect to the beads with the water taking on sodium ions.
Now, the water contains only salt and no minerals. There won’t be any scale deposits in such water. This salt softened water is good for people having dry skin because there aren’t any minerals in the water to dry out their skin.
There are some drawbacks to salt-based water softeners such as, continuous buying of salt and replacing it after a certain time.
People living on a low sodium diet will not like using this water softener. With frequent use, the resin beads become filled with minerals, so you may have to adjust them through a regeneration process.
Some smart water softeners perform the regeneration process automatically during the time when water usage is minimum.
How To Select The Best Water Softener?
If you have decided that only a water softener can solve your water-related issues, then you need to figure out now as to how to buy the right water softener. Go through these below-mentioned tips to make a better decision.
Number Of Grains
You need to take a reading of the grains present in the water and choose a water softener that can diligently handle those numbers of grains.
Also, the water softener you are looking to buy must be able to transform the volume of water you use on an average day.
Inclusion Of A Water Filter
If the water softener has some facility of filtering the water, then that will provide you with a comprehensive water solution system because a water filter can easily remove particles of lead, cysts, chlorine and other chemicals from the water.
Style Of Regeneration
You will find two types of regeneration with one being timer based and other being a manual regeneration.
In the timer regeneration, you can set the timer and once that time comes, the system regenerates on its own. The other is manual regeneration, which is only performed on demand.
Normally, you will get a 5-year warranty on control head and a 10-year warranty on the tank, but you must check the warranty details before buying the water softener.
Treating hard water is of paramount importance because if you continue using hard water, then you will end up getting sick. Moreover, you will develop all sorts of skin problems or allergies as well, so it is better to install a water softener in the house.
Just go through the best water softener reviews by consumer reports mentioned in the above section to make a decision as to which water softener fulfills your requirements in the best way. I’m sure it won’t be that difficult to select the right product from a small list of 12 water softeners. The earlier you select, the better it will be for your health and the health of your family members.