As you may already know, hard water is a problem that, depending on the particular situation, dealing with it may become an important and urgent issue.
Water softeners and Water conditioners (the ones that do not directly remove salts but just render them harmless) are the devices used to deal with such problem and there are lots of models, each one using different methods to neutralize or remove the dissolved salts that cause water hardness; they are designed for different specifications, some are perfect for smaller households, others can perfectly cover the water needs and demands of even the biggest household, others will not work if the level of hardness of the water is too high, and so on.
So what is the best Water Softener System available right now? That is a tough and complex question and indeed the best Water Softener System for you is not the best rated Water Softener System, but the one that works better for your particular situation and that can cover the demands and needs of your household.
However, before helping you decide which could be the best Water Softener System for you; let’s take a look at the best rated Water Softener Systems in the market as of 2015.
|Fleck 5600SXT Digital metered||Fleck 7000 Digital metered||Eddy Electronic Water Descaler||Iron Pro 2 Combination Softener + Filter Fleck 5600SXT||NuvoH2O Manor Complete Water Softening System||Watts RV PRO-1000 OR M7002 Portable Water System|
|Size (inches)||10” x 54” (tank)
14” x 17” x 33” (brine tank)
|15 x 7 x 18||9” x 44” x 46”||27 x 10 x 8||31.3 x 10.1 x 8.8||21 x 9.5 x 9|
|Filter life||12 months||12 months||120 months||6 months||12 months||6 months|
|Warranty||10 years||10 years||Lifetime||20 years||Lifetime||10 years|
|Users rating||4.8 Stars||4.8 Stars||4 Stars||5 Stars||3 Stars||4 Stars|
And the best rated brand in the market as of 2015 is Fleck and its best rated model is the Fleck 7000 Digital Metered, which is a whole house system with a huge capacity and output, you can see its most important features and characteristics in the table above.
Which Are The Best Saltless Water Softener Systems?
This is a complex and tricky question; because the answer will depend on many different things and conditions of your particular situation, remember that no two households are identical.
So, to decide which could be the best non-salt water softener for you and your household, you should consider the following things: your budget and the price of the unit you are considering, the type of water softener that best fits your needs and its capacity and output.
Let’s analyze each of these conditions separately in the following explanation and remember that these conditions and these instructions can, and should, be applied for all types of water softeners, not just for salt-free softeners:
Its capacity and output
First you have the capacity and output of the device you will need, and to determine those factors you will need to determine first exactly how hard how hard your water supply is.
You can do this by buying a water home test kit, with test strips being usually cheaper than other types.
Once you have done that and determined the level of hardness in your water supply then you will need to calculate the minimal necessary capacity and output a water softener must have to cover all the necessities and demands of your household. To do this you can use the following formula:
(N x U) x 7 x H
N = Number of people that live in your household
H = Level of hardness of your water supply (measured in GPG or Grains per gallon)
U = The average amount of water a person uses per day
The level of hardness in water is measured in Grains per gallon (GPG) and the average GPG in the United States the average level of hardness is of 10 GPG, however, some places are outside this average level. So, in the United States you can find levels of 3 to 20 grains, with 3 being somewhat soft and 20 being extremely hard water.
The average amount of water a person consumes every day (U) ranges from 75 to 100 gallons of water per day and the value of U for your household will most likely be inside this range. To calculate the average usage per person in your household just get an estimate for each member of your household, then add them and divide the result between the number of members of your household; so if 4 people live in your house and their usage is like this:
Mom – 80 gallons
Dad – 90 gallons
Son – 75 gallons
Daughter – 70 gallons
Then you just add them up:
90 gallons (Mom) + 95 gallons (Dad) + 80 gallons (Son) + 75 gallons (Daughter)
Which gives 315, then you divide this between the number of people who live in your house:
340 ÷ 4
And the result will be of 85 which is the average usage of water per person in your household.
So, if 4 people live in your home then you will have to multiply the number of people who live there (4) by the amount of gallons they use per day on average (79 after being rounded).
(4 x 85)
The result would be 340 which is total global amount of gallons consumed per day in your house.
Now you will have to multiply that number by 7, which the number of days in the week and you will get 2,380. So, every week, this house will consume 2,380 gallons of water.
To complete the formula now you would just have to multiply that last result (2,380) by the level of hardness of your water supply, which in this example is of 5.
(4 x 85) x 7 x 5
Now that the values of this formula have been substituted and the formula solved, the result is of 11,060, the units for this value are Grains per gallon (GPG). So, all the water the house in this example uses in a entire week has 11,060 grains; and a water softener would need to be able to remove at least that amount of grains every week to meet and satisfy the demands and needs of this household.
Most Water Softener come in the following set capacities:
All you have to do is to pick the one that can meet the demands and needs of your home. If you pick a model with a capacity lower than your demands, that is, a softener which has a capacity lower than the demands of your household, then the softener will be overwhelmed and the resin beads it uses to trap the salts that cause hardness will be filled very quickly and the softener will have to wash it very often which will cost you more money. So, it is advisable to pick a softener with a capacity a little higher than your demands; for example, if your house has a value of 45,000 then the closest capacity would be 48,000 which would be the one you should choose and the best option for your household. Also this at the end will not affe your pipes and no lime scale will build up in your plumbing,
First of all, to buy a water softener you will obviously need to consider your budget, but will also need to keep in mind that the price of the unit will depend on (besides the size) whether you will buy it or lease it. The option of leasing will be obviously cheaper but in the short term and it is ideal if you do not own the place where you live, such as an apartment or a condominium. Buying a new unit, on the other hand, makes more sense if you own the property where you live.
The type of water softener
The last important thing to consider is which type of water softening device you will buy. There are three types in the market: Salt-based softeners, salt-free softeners and magnetic water conditioners. Salt-based softeners are by far the most used and recommended and perhaps the most effective too, salt-free softeners are relatively new and have many supporters, while magnetic water conditioners are rarely recommended and used mostly for very small homes with a limited budget.
Let’s now take a brief look at the features and mechanisms of each type:
- Salt-based softeners use a mechanism called Ion-exchange. They basically take all the salts that make water hard (calcium and magnesium) and replace them with harmless sodium. This models need to be charged with common salt to work which has to be replenished periodically.
- Salt-free softeners do not need salt or any substance to work; they transform the salts that cause hardness (calcium and magnesium) into crystals, which are completely harmless.
- Magnetic water conditioners create a magnetic field through which water passes and which causes the salts that cause hardness to rearrange and blend together into bigger particles which are harmless
Do they really work?
The right question would be: are they effective? And the answer would be yes. Each of these types of water softeners or conditioners has their different indications and is designed for their very specific niches. For example, a Magnetic water conditioner is designed to be used in smaller households and as long as you respect that indication and specification, it will work well. So yes, they all will fulfill the purpose for which they were made, even though some users will prefer some types over the others and even though every type will have its different and very specific qualities, advantages and disadvantages; but as long as you pick the right model and type of water softener for your household, as long as you follow the indications and as long as you give it the proper maintenance it requires, it will fulfill its purpose and reduce the level of hardness of your water supply.
Nuvo Water Softeners, are they worth it?
Nuvo H2O is a relatively new company that specializes in Salt-free water softeners, so if you are not a big fan of salt-free systems you may skip this section.
It is hard to summarize in a few words the quality of this company and to summarize the quality of all its models and systems; but, we can say that this company is trustworthy, and in general, it offers decent water softeners, so their models are fine, not excellent or great, just fine and decent.
In the following table you can compare the main features or characteristics of two of this company’s best known and sold models along with their prices: the Nuvo H2O DPHB and the Nuvo H2O Manor; as you can see by the ratings given by the users who have bought this systems, the Nuvo H2O DPHB Home is considered a good model and the Nuvo H2O Manor is considered a regular (but decent) model.
|Nuvo H2O DPHB Home Salt Water||Nuvo H2O Manor Complete Water Softening System|
|Size (inches)||5” x 5” x 24”||31.3 x 10.1 x 8.8|
|Filter life||2 years||12 months|
|Users rating||4 Stars||3 Stars|
The Best Whole House Water Softeners
Again, to decide which Whole House System is the best you will need to consider several things, including: the size and output you will need the system to have to cover the needs and demands of your household, your budget and whether you will buy or lease your system and the type of water softener you will want and need.
In short, you should follow the same steps explained above, which apply for Water softeners of any kind.
|Fleck 5600SXT Digital metered||Fleck 7000 Digital metered||Aquasana EQ-1000 Premium Rhino||Aquios Full House Water Softener and Filter System||NuvoH2O Manor Complete Water Softening System|
|Size (inches)||10” x 54” (tank)
14” x 17” x 33” (brine tank)
|15 x 7 x 18||9” x 44” x 46”||27 x 10 x 8||31.3 x 10.1 x 8.8|
|Filter life||12 months||12 months||120 months||6 months||12 months|
|Warranty||10 years||10 years||10 years||20 years||Lifetime|
|Users rating||4.9 Stars||4.8 Stars||4 Stars||4 Stars||3 Stars|
RainSoft Water Softeners
RainSoft is a company that has been around for a while in the market of water softeners. RainSoft mainly specializes in salt-based water softeners. Overall, this brand is considered by users and consumers as a good brand, again, it is not great or very good, but it is not regular or bad either.
One of most persistent complains users make about RainSoft water softeners is that they tend to use much more salt than other systems from different brands, so its softeners are not considered a very efficient models but they will fulfill its purpose and be rather effective at removing salts and reducing the level of hardness of your water supply.
Hellenbrand Water Softeners
Hellenbrand is considered a good company and they are known and highly regarded for their good customer and manufacture support. Most users and customers have had good experiences with them and actually, it will be hard to find a bad review or complain published online by a dissatisfied customer.