Put The Best Home Water Softener For The Money In Your Home

If your home has a hard water problem, you might want to consider finding a home water softener solution. So, if you live in a place with hard water that leaves spots on your dishes and shower walls, then you’ll definitely benefit from installing one of these in your home.

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There are so many different options available on the market that it can be difficult to choose the solution that is right for your household. That’s why we’ve provided the guide below to help you out, as well as some of our favorite models on the market.

Our Home Water Softener Ratings At-A-Glance

water softener ratings

Rated: Best Water Softener for Home Use (2017 - 2018)

our rating is based on value and quality for home use
MODELOUR RATING
Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole House System
Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole House System
(9.3 / 10)
Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener
Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener
(8.6 / 10)
Culligan WH-HD200-C Whole House Heavy Duty 1
Culligan WH-HD200-C Whole House Heavy Duty 1" Inlet/Outlet Filtration System
(8.7 / 10)
Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener iron filter Fleck 5600SXT digital metered valve 64,000 grain
Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener iron filter Fleck 5600SXT digital metered valve 64,000 grain
(8.9 / 10)
Iron Pro 48K Combination Water Softener & Iron Filter with Fleck 5600SXT Digital Metered Valve
Iron Pro 48K Combination Water Softener & Iron Filter with Fleck 5600SXT Digital Metered Valve
(8.7 / 10)
Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole House System
Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole House System
(9.3 / 10)
iSpring WGB22B 2-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System w/ 20-Inch Big Blue Sediment and Carbon Block Filter
iSpring WGB22B 2-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System w/ 20-Inch Big Blue Sediment and Carbon Block Filter
(8.7 / 10)
Aquasana 10-Year, 1,000,000 Gallon Whole House Water Filter with Professional Installation Kit
Aquasana 10-Year, 1,000,000 Gallon Whole House Water Filter with Professional Installation Kit
(8.6 / 10)
Triple Action Poly Salt Free Water Softener
Triple Action Poly Salt Free Water Softener
(9.3 / 10)
Morton® System Saver® 30,000 Grain Water Softener M30
Morton® System Saver® 30,000 Grain Water Softener M30
(8.6 / 10)

What To Consider Before Buying

It is important to know the differences between the various solutions that are available on the market so that you can pick the one that will work the best for you. To help you with this task, we have created a home water softener buying guide going over what hard water is as well as the many options that you have available to you to be able to fix the problem:

Hard water problem:

The first step in determining if you need a hard water softener is determining if you have a hard water problem. The best way to be able to see if you have a hard water problem is to do a test of your water and check the grains per gallon of hard water minerals. Hard water is created because of there being too much calcium, magnesium carbonate and manganese in water. Although hard water is not necessarily a huge health issue, it can be a huge expense for your household. Hard water can cause your appliances to malfunction and it can crystallize in your pipes reducing water flow and increasing the number of repairs that you need in your household. Grains per gallon or GPG is what you need to look at to determine if your water is hard or soft. Soft water is generally considered to be around 3.5 grains per gallon, while extremely hard water is around 10.5 grains per gallon. If you are close to 10.5 grains per gallon, you might want to consider getting a home water softener solution.

Testing your water:

To be able to test your water properly to decide if you need a home water softener, you’re going to need to buy a proper test kit. The nice thing about test kits is that you should be able to purchase strips and simply dip them into your water to see the results firsthand. Generally, if the strips change colours, that means that you have a certain degree of hard water. It never hurts to do a few tests just to make sure you didn’t have a faulty strip; however, the strips tend to be accurate so you can be pretty sure that you are in need of a home water softener if the test says so.

Types:

There are many kinds of home water softener solutions available on the market to remove hard minerals from your water and soften the chances of you having to pay for a bunch of repairs. To be able to choose a good home water softener for your household, it is important to know the various kinds of softeners that are available. Generally, there are three different kinds of home water softener solutions that people use. Here is a breakdown of those commonplace types:

Salt based:

If you are looking for a relatively low-cost solution to your hard water problem, you might want to consider getting a salt based home water softener. This type of softener works, thanks to having two tanks. One tank has a resin that is filled with beads and the other is filled with brine. The home water softener works as a result of something called an ion exchange. This ion exchange essentially substitutes salt for hard minerals to soften your water. This is a very common type of water softener available on the market and although you will have to pay for new salt on a regular basis and this system will create salty water, this is a relatively affordable solution for most people.

Salt free:

If you are worried about salt intake and don’t want so much salt in your water, you can get one of these saltwater free home water softeners. This softener works thanks to a salt substitute called potassium chloride. Although this softener does not actually reduce the hard water minerals in the water, it is designed to prevent the minerals from being deposited onto various surfaces. This essentially means that you are going to be ingesting the hard water, but you don’t have to worry as much about having to pay for a whole bunch of repairs.

Magnetic water softener:

If you are looking for something to help with keeping your hard water from attaching to your pipes and appliances, you might want to consider getting a magnetic water softener. The nice thing about this design is that there are no other minerals added to your water to make it softer. With this design, you simply plug in the water softener and the water softener sends out a magnetic field that changes the properties of calcium carbonate materials which makes them become repelled by pipes. The only problem with this method is that it is somewhat controversial as to how effective it truly is.

Cost:

When you are thinking of buying a home water softener, cost is something that you should make sure you consider. It is not only important to consider the upfront costs of a system, you should make sure that you consider the cost of the system down the road. Some systems are more cost-effective than others and home water softeners are designed to be able to last for a long period of time. You should always expect that a unit have a reasonable warranty on it. Keeping that in mind, it is important to think about how much material your unit is going to use up over time. Depending on how many people you have in your household, the size of your unit, and how often your unit regenerates, your system will use different amounts of material. Generally, you can expect that your system will use around 100 pounds of salt per month if you’re an average family and are using a salt based system. This may only cost you a few dollars each month, but if you have something like a potassium chloride system it may cost you a bit more or a bit less depending on where you live. It doesn’t hurt to calculate out your monthly expenses before making a purchase so you can make the best choice for your long-term wealth.

Location:

One thing that you’re going to want to consider when you are looking at purchasing a home water softener is the location that you’re going to be placing the unit. Depending on where you’re going to be placing the unit, you might have to move some things out of the way and you also might have to remove things like doorways or even walls depending on how close of quarters you live in. If you happen to purchase a smaller unit, width wise, and one that is tall, you might be able to fit through a doorway. On the other hand, if you have a large doorway and a short ceiling, you might want to consider getting a unit that is thicker and less tall. Choosing a location is important as these units aren’t exactly the prettiest appliances to have sitting around. You might want to attempt to locate your home water softener in a place where you don’t have to look at it.

Size:

When you’re choosing a water softener, size is one of the largest decisions that you’re going to have to make. Water softeners are sold with a rating that describes the number of grains that they can remove before they must regenerate. It is extremely important to make sure that you calculate the size of water softener your family needs before you purchase one so that you can make sure that your water softener can keep up to the amount of water that your household uses daily. One of the easiest ways to do this is to determine how many people are going to be in your house daily and multiply that number by 75. Since 75 is close to the average amount of gallons that a person uses daily, this is a great way to make sure that your water softener will can keep up to your needs. You can then take this number and multiply it by the GPG of your water to determine the size of water softener that you need.

Features:

One of the most important things to look at before picking up a home water softener is how long it takes for a regeneration cycle to complete. It is important to make sure that your household will have enough soft water during the times of day that you need it. You should look to see how long each cycle takes as well as what oversees the cycle. Knowing when the cycle starts and ends can help you to be able to know when your water softener needs refilled and it is also a good way to make sure that it is going to be sufficient for your needs. There are a couple different features that you should look for in a water softener to make sure that it is of a good quality. The first main feature you should attempt to try to find is a water softener that has a timer control on it so that it recharges at a specific time of day based on when you use your water. The other feature that you should look for is a little more sophisticated control system that senses when the unit needs to be recharged. This system is called demand initiated regeneration and it is important to have for the odd days that you happen to use a large portion of water.

Buying or leasing:

What you may or may not already know about water softeners is that you don’t necessarily have to buy them. In fact, many people choose to lease their water softeners from the company. The nice thing about leasing a water softener is because you can often get service from a company and you don’t necessarily have to pay for the unit if something happens to it. Home water softeners can cost a lot of money upfront and can range in price from anything around $500 to as much as $3000 plus. If you don’t have that much money to spare, that is one reason why you might want to consider getting a lease for your water filter. Although you may still want to purchase one, the service can more than make up for it at times and some places might even offer things like free installation if you happen to sign up, which is something you should keep in mind.

Installation:

One thing that you should keep in mind when you’re buying a water softener is how difficult the unit is to install. Water softeners are something that shouldn’t be messed with and should be installed by a professional. These are expensive systems and you don’t want to break one of these systems by installing it improperly. Many people choose to install a dual water softener system, which is even more complicated than a single system. It is important to keep in mind that installing one of these units is not going to be cheap and it is likely going to require some additional plumbing in your household.

To Conclude:

We hope that this home water softener buying guide has helped you to be able to realize the different types of home water softeners that are available on the market. It is extremely important to make sure that you check out some different brands that are available so that you can make sure you are getting the features that you should be. Remember to set up a budget and remember to consider installation costs when you are looking at prices of different systems. We wish you the best of luck with finding a home water softener solution and whether you lease or buy, we hope that you enjoy your nice, clean soft water after getting one of these installed.

top image via rcwilley

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