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||4.9 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.
What is the best water softener to buy?
This is a tricky and complex question because the answer varies from one user to the other; for example, a model that may be the best model for a small household will not be the best for an RV or for a bigger household; there are simply many variables to take into account and many questions to be answered and which only you can answer, as you are the only one who knows your household and its needs.
Fortunately, it is not something that will take you a lot of time of research.
The aspects necessary to consider which could be the perfect water softener for you and your home are the following: its capacity and output, its price and whether to buy or lease its quality and the type of the water softening device.
Its capacity and output
The first step before deciding which the best water softener is for you is to determine exactly 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.
After you have 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 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
Now, here is a list comparing the advantages and disadvantages of these three systems:
Magnetic water conditioners
|· Will directly remove the salts that cause hardness in water
· Suitable for treatment of even the hardest waters
· They can handle the demands of even the biggest household
· They are the only softeners that will completely and surely stop limescale formation and buildup, that will maximize the efficiency of soaps and detergents and the only ones that will make your water supply feel more clean and “slick”
|· 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
|· Needs a constant supply of salt to work
· You may require professional help to install it
· They put all the salts they trap in a little of water creating a concentrated amount of water saturated with salts, such waste is thrown down the drain periodically and is very harmful for the environment
· They may be harder to maintain (replenishing salt, changing filters, etc.)
· They need to go into a regeneration cycle periodically, during which they throw away the waste, consume salt, spend water and can’t work
· They are not recommended for people on a low-sodium diet for health reasons
|· 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
These are the factors you will have to consider to find the perfect water softening device for you and your household; as you can see, there are no simple answers; however, there is a perfect or almost perfect model for you and your home. All you have to do is find it, which, with the help of this guide, should not be so hard. You can also visit our site WaterSoftenerEvaluations.com to see more reviews about the models you consider, read the reviews and ratings of other users who have used and find many more useful resources and tools.