When you are looking for the best water softener, there are a variety of factors you will want to determine in order to find the best whole house water softener. You’ll want to consider the price, the water softener brands, as well as the water softener’s grain capacity (the maximum number of hard water grains the softener will be able to remove). You may also want to call a few plumbers and research water softener installation cost to decide if you are going to install the water softener yourself, or if you will leave it to the pros.
If you’re on the market for the best home water softener, read our water softener reviews below to help you find the perfect water softener for you.
Table of Contents
- 1 7 Top Rated & Reviewed: Water Softeners
- 1.1 #1 Fleck 64k water softener 64,000 Grains Blue
- 1.2 #2 Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener
- 1.3 #3 Nuvo H2O Dphb-a Home Water Softener System
- 1.4 #4 ABCwaters Pro Fine mesh Fleck Water Softener
- 1.5 #5 Tier1 48,000 Grain High Efficiency Digital Water Softener for Hard Water
- 1.6 #6 Triple Action Poly Salt Free Water Softener
- 1.7 #7 On the Go Portable 16,000 Grain RV Water Softener
- 2 Buyer’s Guide to Water Softener Systems
- 3 Top FAQs
7 Top Rated & Reviewed: Water Softeners
#1 Fleck 64k water softener 64,000 Grains Blue
The Fleck 64K Water Softener is a complete house water softener that includes the tank, control head, resin, and the brine tank. This water softener has a 64,000-grain capacity. With just some basic plumbing knowledge, you’ll be able to install the water softener yourself.
You can set up the high-efficiency valve to make the water softener more efficient and use less salt. The Fleck 64K Water Softener features an LCD display that shows the system’s status. The display will easily let you see any error codes and allow you to troubleshoot to solve any problems. This water system uses a flow member that monitors and measures your use of water, and will regenerate when needed.
What is the total height of the unit?
The tank for the Fleck 64K Water Softener is 54 inches tall.
Should I use salt pellet or crystals with this unit?
You can choose to use either salt pellets or salt crystals with this water softener.
Where should the Fleck 64K Water Softener be installed?
Most of the time, people install a water softener next to their water heater. However, you can install it anywhere you have electricity and access to a drain.
#2 Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener
The Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener has a 64,000-grain capacity. It is designed to both soften your water and remove iron. The Iron Pro 2 Water Softener can also help remove manganese from your water. Manganese can cause slimy stains or build-up.
This water softener features a digital control head to allow you easy control of the system. The Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener is designed to conserve water. The system generates the water level only when needed, so it does not waste water.
Can this system be used with well water?
Yes, the Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener can be used with well water.
How often will I need to replace the resin in this filter?
The resin in the filter should last at least five years, but it will vary depending on your water use and water hardness levels.
Is it hard to install this water softener?
No, if you have some plumbing knowledge, it will be pretty easy to install the Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener.
#3 Nuvo H2O Dphb-a Home Water Softener System
The Nuvo H2O Home Water Softener System is designed to make getting soft water in your home simple for you. The water conditioning system lowers the pH of your water and softens it without the use of salt. It uses a process called chelation to keep the minerals in your water-soluble and prevent problems associated with having hard water.
The Nuvo H2O Water Softener is compact in size, making it easy to install anywhere. When you use the Nuvo Water Softener, you can help extend the life of your water heater and other appliances, since you will be preventing damage caused by hard water.
How often does the filter need to be changed?
The instructions say to change the filter every six months, but it may vary based on your water usage and water hardness.
Does the Nuvo H2O Water Softener get rid of rust?
No, this water softener is not designed to remove iron in water, which is what causes rust.
How big of a home will this water softener work for?
This water softener should work with homes up to 1,800-2,000 square feet. If your home is larger than that, you should look for a larger model.
#4 ABCwaters Pro Fine mesh Fleck Water Softener
The ABCwaters Fleck Water Softener has a black tank with a 48,000-grain capacity. This system both removes iron from your water and softens it. This water softener is designed to be used in a home with between two and three people.
The ABCwaters Water Softener features a Fleck 5600SXT control head to allow for easy operation. The system includes a specialty resin to help it better remove iron from your water. This water systems also comes with a test kit to check for iron and water hardness levels to help you correctly set up your new system.
What type of salt should you use with this water softener?
Salt pellets are the best type of salt to use with the ABCwaters Water Softener.
What is the highest level of iron this unit will remove?
This water softener will remove iron levels up to 8 ppm.
If I want to install this water softener myself, what other supplies will I need?
In addition to what comes with your order, you will also need salt, pipes, a drain line, and plumbing fittings.
#5 Tier1 48,000 Grain High Efficiency Digital Water Softener for Hard Water
The Tier 1 Water Softener is a digitally controlled system with a 48,000-grain capacity. This water softener will come with all the materials necessary for installation. You will receive the brine tank, mineral tank (pre-filled with Cation Resin), the control valve, water line connections, brine tubing, and a drain line. The Tier 1 Water Softener includes a manual bypass valve to aid with installation.
The digital controls and LCD display make the system easy to operate and understand. When you use the Tier 1 Water Softener, it will help reduce build-up of limescale. This will help prolong the life of your appliance, help you to use less soap, and contribute to healthier hair and skin.
What type of salt should you use with this water softener?
The water softener’s manual recommends using pellet salt.
Does this system run off of electricity, or is it battery operated?
The Tier 1 Water Softener runs off of electricity and will need to be plugged into an outlet.
Can you use this water softener if you have well water?
Yes, the Tier 1 Water Softener can be used in homes with well water.
#6 Triple Action Poly Salt Free Water Softener
The Triple Action Water Softener operates without the use of salt. The system does not need to be backwashed or brined to be used. Additionally, no electricity is required to operate this water softener. You can use the Triple Action Poly Salt Free Water Softener in homes with either well or city water.
This water conditioning system takes up less space than traditional water softeners with a tank. It installs directly on to the piping in your home. The water softener has been endorsed and tested by the Israel Institute of Chemistry & Technology.
Is the unit BPA free?
Yes, this water softener does not have any BPA.
How much should I expect my water hardness level to drop when I use this system?
Since the Triple Action Water Softener is not an ion exchange system, the number on a water hardness test will not change. However, you will still see the effects of having softer water, such as noticing less build up on your appliances and better feeling hair and skin.
Since this system does not use salt, how does it soften water?
The Triple Action Water Softener breaks down calcium carbonate into aragonite crystals using its catalytic bullet core. Polyphosphate sequesters the aragonite to prevent it from flowing with your water.
#7 On the Go Portable 16,000 Grain RV Water Softener
The On the Go Water Softener is a small, portable water softener designed to be used in an RV. It has a 16,000-grain capacity. While this unit is much smaller than in-home water softeners, it is the largest model on the market designed for RVs. It is able to supply about 40% more soft water than other RV water softeners.
This water softener is compact, which allows it to be installed in a small space. It is designed to allow for a high flow and will not lead to much of a drop in water pressure. This small water softener has features that are designed to make it travel-friendly. It incudes a handle on top for carrying as well as a cap and plug so the unit won’t leak when it is being transported. To hook this water softener up to your RV, you just need to hook the connector up to a park faucet.
What type of salt should you use with this water softener?
The manufactures recommend using table salt for this water softener.
How do you know when the unit needs to be recharged?
How often the water softener will need to be recharged will vary depending on your usage. The water softener comes with test strips so you can check your water hardness, and when you notice it is starting to get higher, it is time to recharge the unit.
What do you need to do to store the unit when it is not in use?
To store the unit when you will not be using it, you will first need to turn off your water and disconnect the unit. Next, you will need to drain all the water from the unit by turning it upside down. You will want to store it upright in a cool and dry area.
Buyer’s Guide to Water Softener Systems
Before you purchase a new whole house water filter sytem, it is important for you to understand a few things about how a water softer works. You should also take time to compare different water softener brands so you are sure to find the best house water softener to meet your needs. There are different types of water softeners you should consider as well before making a final purchase.
How does a water softener system work?
Water is made “hard” when it has high levels of minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium. A water softener softens your water by removing the calcium and magnesium in the water. Different water softeners operate differently, but they all achieve this goal of removing the calcium and magnesium.
To remove the minerals that make your water hard, a water softener “trades” them for something else (sodium is the most common). When a water softener trades minerals for sodium or another compound, it is called ion exchange. Water softeners will regenerate when the beads in the tank are saturated with calcium and magnesium. The regeneration process involves backwashing, where dirt is flushed out of the tank. Next, the salt solution is brought from the brine tank through the mineral tank. This solution then collects on the beads to replace the calcium and magnesium. Finally, the mineral tank is flushed to remove any excess sodium. Then, the water softener is ready to be used again.
After the water softeners has completed the ion exchange for your water, the water that comes out of our faucets will have a lower hardness level. Softer water is better for your skin and hair and allows you to use less soap and shampoo since softer water will suds up more. Softer water is also better for your appliances, since a build-up of calcium and magnesium can short their lifespan. When you have softer water, you will also notice that your silverware is shinier and your clothes are softer and last longer.
What type of water softener systems are there?
There are four main types of water softener systems:
- Ion Exchange: An ion exchange water system is a system that trades salt for the minerals, like calcium and magnesium, that make water hard.
- Salt Free: Salt free water softeners use a filter to remove minerals from your water. They are not as effective for areas with very high levels of water hardness.
- Reverse Osmosis: A reverse osmosis water softener removes minerals in water using pressure with a semi-permeable membrane.
- Magnetic: A magnetic water softener operates though the use of magnets around water pipes. The magnets change the water’s composition and make it less hard. However, the water will return to its original hardness after being away from the magnets for 48 hours.
How do I choose the right size water softener?
As a general rule, to find the water softener with the perfect size for your home and family, there is a formula you can use. You will want to take the number of people who live in your home and multiple that by the number of gallons of water that are used each day. Then, you will want to multiple that answer by the grains of hardness your water has.
How can I measure my water hardness?
You may be able to determine your water hardness by calling your water company. However, it is easy and inexpensive to purchase a water testing kit online. Once your kit arrives, you will just need to wet one of the test strips with water from your faucet and match it up the color it turns with the kit’s key to determine the water hardness level in your home.
How can I estimate how much water I use?
The average amount of water used by a person each day is 80 gallons. You can also find water usage calculators online if you want to find a more precise number.
1.What to look out for when buying a water softener?
When you are buying a water softener, you will want to pay attention to the grain capacity of the unit. You want to be sure that the unit you purchase will be sufficient for the number of people in your household.
Additionally, you should also pay attention to whether the water softener uses salt or is a salt-free version. Remember, if you have very high levels of water hardness, you’ll probably want to buy a softener that uses salt.
If you are planning to install the system yourself to save on water softener installation cost, then look over customer reviews to ensure that it will be easy to install. You can also look up the company and see if they provide good customer service in case you encounter an issue when installing the system.
2. How much salt do I need to add to a water softener?
The amount of salt needed will vary based on your usage and will also vary with different water softener brands. However, as a general rule, water softeners typically use about 10 pounds of salt each week.
3. How often will I need to add salt to the tank?
You will want to check the salt levels in your tank at least once a month to see if more salt will be needed. How often you’ll need to add salt to the tank will vary depending on your water use and the size tank you purchase.
4. How long will the resin media inside the tank last?
Typically, the resin media inside your water softener’s tank will last for 10 to 15 years.
5. Will a water softener system filter out lead and other chemicals?
A water softener is not the same as a water filter. They remove calcium and magnesium from the water to make the water less soft, but they do not remove other chemicals that are present in the tap water. Some water softeners are also designed to remove iron from water.
6. What do I need to do to maintain my system?
In order to get the best results and most years of use out of your water softener, you’ll want to take good care of it and maintain it. To do this, be sure to use the salt type recommended by the manufacturer and check the level of salt in the system each month. You should also periodically break up any salt bridges (solid layers of salt) that have formed in the unit. Additionally, you should periodically clean your water softener’s tank. If you have a new water softener, this will only need to be done every few years.
7. How long do water softeners last?
If your curious about how long do water softeners last, most will last between 10 and 15 years. However, with proper maintenance and care, it is possible for your system to last longer.
After reading our water softener reviews, you’re probably realizing that there are a lot of different options to choose between. So, how do you choose the best home water softener? My top three picks for the best water softener are below to help you make your decision.
Our Top 3 Quick Picks:
Best Water Softener: Fleck 64k water softener 64,000 Grains Blue
This is the best water softener salt on the market. It has a high grain capacity, so it is perfect for larger families. The water softener will automatically regenerate, which saves water and makes it easier to maintain.
Runner-Up: Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener
This is another great option when you’re looking for a house water softener. If you have iron-rich water, then this is probably the best option for you, as it removes iron in addition to softening your water.
Basic Needs Water Softener: Nuvo H2O Dphb-a Home Water Softener System
If your water hardness is not at very high levels, then this is probably a great option for you to consider. This water softener uses a process called chelation to remove the minerals instead of using salt.
Now, you are armed with all the information you need to find and purchase the perfect water softener for you home. You will be amazed at how noticeable the switch from hard to soft water will be.