Rainsoft Water Softener Systems
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.
Aqua Systems is another well-regarded brand by its users, and in fact, most of them who have published their opinions online have given the highest ratings and glowing reviews. It was actually pretty hard to find complains and basically all of the few complains I did found were related to delays on the customer support area (e.g. someone calling to ask for help and receiving a reply or help several days later).
Additionally, all of its water softeners (which are salt-based) have long warranties and are also highly regarded.
Saltless Water 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. But first of all, keep in mind that there are two types of saltless water softeners: Magnetic conditioners and Salt-free softeners, and we will consider both here.
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:
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.
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 two types of water softening devices in the market that do not need salt to operate: salt-free softeners and magnetic water conditioners. 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-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
Now, here is a list comparing the advantages and disadvantages of these three systems:
Magnetic water conditioners
|· They do not require salt or other substances to work
· They do not consume electricity
· They do not create any waste
· They are very easy to maintain (you just need to periodically replace a filter)
· Most models also have an internal filter that ensures the quality and purity of the water it treats
· They do not need to go into a regeneration cycle
· They can save more water than salt-based softeners
|· Small size and compact fit
· Extremely easy to install
· They do not create any waste
· They use less electricity than salt-based softeners
· They are not expensive
· They are the easiest to maintain: you do not even need to do anything
· They do not need to go into a regeneration cycle
· They save much more water than any of the other systems
|· They do not really remove salts
· The filters they use have to be replaced periodically and some can be expensive
· The units themselves tend to be more expensive than salt-free softeners
· While they offer the same benefits of salt-based systems, these benefits are lessened; for example, a salt-based softener makes soap and detergent work much better and you save more of them. a salt-free system on the other hand will make soap and detergents a bit more efficient, but not as much as a salt-based system; scale buildup is also lessened but not stopped as with salt-based systems
|· They do not really remove any salts
· They render salts harmless but only temporarily (the effect lasts for about 48 hours); this also means that limescale can still build up in places where the water remains still for a large period of time, such as in water heaters
· They simply will not work if your water is too hard (10 GPG or more)
· Has to be installed indoors
· Does not works with lead or iron water pipes
· They will not be able to handle the demands of a bigger household, so if you have 2 bathrooms or more, this may not work
· Its efficiency varies wildly: it can completely neutralize the salts in a gallon of water and do nothing for the next
Clearwave Electronic Water Softener System
The Clearwave Electronic Water Softener System is a salt free water conditioner that is different from most of the other regular water softeners available in the market.
Most other water softeners remove hardness in the water using pellets of resin charged with sodium ions and the hard water is pumped through the beads, where the mineral ions of the hard water are replaced with the sodium ions that cover the beads, and the mineral ions (such as magnesium and calcium) take their place in the surface of the beads. Once the beads are depleted of sodium ions, they are washed with brine that replenishes them, and to generate such brine a constant supply of salt has to be fed to the water softener.
The Clearwave Electronic Water Softener System uses a different technology which does not rely in resin pellets and brine to remove the hardness of water. The Clearwave Electronic Water Softener System is a magnetic system which sends water through a pipe with electromagnet coiled around it. This magnetic field will not eliminate the minerals that make water hard, they just change the conformation of these minerals and prevent them from sticking to the internal surfaces of pipes, washing machines, water heaters, dishes or your skin.
These type of water softeners (known as water conditioners, given that they do not eliminate the ions that cause hardness in water) offer a few advantages over the regular resin based systems: they have a much smaller size, they never need to be resupplied with salt and they do not need to regenerate. The Clearwave Electronic Water Softener System Salt Free Electronic Water Conditioner is actually composed of a simple set of metal coils that are installed above any pipe that supplies water, plus a panel with controls and indicators.
Despite the advantages of this and other salt-free water conditioners, there is currently a debate ongoing among users and scientific researchers regarding their effectiveness.
Some of the advantages of the Clearwave Clearwave Electronic Water Softener System are:
- It consumes less electricity
- It does not need to be replenished with salt, in fact, it does not need any salt to operate
- It is very compact and small in size
- It is inexpensive
- It is very easy to install (in part thanks to its small size)
Some of the disadvantages of the Clearwave Electronic Water Softener System are:
- It has to be installed indoors
- It does not gets rid of hard water as a true softener would, instead it just ‘neutralizes’ the minerals that make water hard; as such, it simply will not work if your water is too hard (above 10 GPG) or if the volume of water it has to treat is too large (a household of 6 members or more or more than 3 bathrooms). So, for a bigger household or if your water is too hard then you will need a true water softener
In conclusion, this device is perhaps the most simple to install and use water softener (or conditioner) and is also relatively inexpensive, so it could be a great option for a small-sized household or if you do not have serious problems with the hardness of your water; otherwise, you should probably forget about this and look for other true water softeners.
So how much could a good water softener cost me?
Keep in mind that Magnetic Conditioners are very cheap but not very effective, Salt-free Softeners and Salt-based softeners on the other hand could get expensive and their prices will also depend on the size and output you would need your unit to have. So, a new water softener with a medium to large capacity (for families of 4 members or more and 2 bathrooms or more) of the best quality will cost you over $500 USD at the very least and some units can cost over $1,000 USD. But, again, it will all depend on the size and output of the unit you need.