Published: December 10, 2019
Last Updated: November 2023
Everything Customers HATE About Northstar Water Softeners
Most people are happy with their level of effectiveness especially when it comes to treating hard water. However, one of the reasons I wrote this Northstar water softener review is the high number of bad reviews North Star has when compared to other UK water softeners. The biggest complaints are:
Unhelpful technical support.
Uncertainty about longevity. For instance, one verified customer talks about how their NSC40UD1 only lasted for 2 years before completely breaking down. This is unfortunate because it is likely they were out of warranty at this point.
Do You Even Need A Water Softener?
Hard water is what causes white limescale stains in your kitchen and bathroom. Particularly around faucet, plumbing, pipes, appliances and at the bottom of your kettle.
The best and most effective way to deal with hard water is to get a water softener. Getting one will remove all the hard minerals and make your water “soft”.
A good quality water softener will not just produce soft water. It will also extend the life of your home’s appliances and keep your plumbing fixtures scale-free.
North Star Water Softener Buying Guide
Hard water is one of the biggest problems facing home water supplies today.
The most effective way to treat hard water is with a softener. The issues, however, is that the market is flooded with lots of different, brands, models and styles to choose from.
The water softener buying guide below will point of the key things to consider before making this expensive purchase:
Single vs. Twin Tank Water Softeners
While 2 cylinder softeners are more able to work 24-7 since one cylinder is always on while the other recovers.
Two cylinder or double tank machines will usually use block salt.
Northstar softeners are typically single tank cylinders with a smaller brine tank (i.e. where the salt goes).
Softener Size & Capacity
How much water do you use in your house each day? This will help you decide the level and capacity of softener that you need to buy.
A larger family with more than 3 people and extremely hard water need to consider getting something like a regular softener.
However, Northstar is suitable for a small household with low to moderately hard water. This is because Northstar models typically deal with 22,090, 31,300, 35,600 grain capacities. Meanwhile other softeners in a similar price range tend to start at around 48-64,000 grain capacity and go much higher.
Salt-Based vs. Salt-Free Systems
The only way to get genuine soft water is by using a salt-based softener.There are so called salt-free softening systems that don’t produce soft water but instead “condition” and sometimes filter the water to reduce the effects of hard water.
If you have extremely hard water then your best bet is to get a softener that uses salt like Northstar softeners.
Common Features In All North Star Models
Unlike other brands Northstar does not have a long list of softener models and they all have similar features:
Backlit Small Display Diagnostics.
It will also allow you to check past settings like the total number of regeneration cycles, number of days in service etc. There is also the opportunity to view problems with switches and turbines.
Compact Single Tank Design.
Lots of traditional water softeners come with 2 tanks so that it can provide you with soft water 24-7. This is because when one tank finishes regenerating the other one takes over.
However Northstar models typically only have one tank (and one brine tank i.e. where the salt goes). This means that you really should not consider Northstar if you have a large household or extremely hard water.
Patented “Look Ahead” Technology.
“Look Ahead” is a patented Northstar feature that lets you set it up to predict the future. This follows on from the previous point of efficiency. Over time you will be able to see the average monthly usage and then adjust the water regeneration cycle accordingly.
This is a great feature for people that want to save resources, like water, energy and salt. The easy to use efficiency selection panel lets you set up how much water to generate. This means that you can reduce output if there are fewer people in the home.
Benefits of Northstar Water Softeners
Comes with lots of great features (e.g. Look Ahead technology) that help you save energy, water and resources like salt.
Small compact space saving designs that are also very durable.
The diagnostics panel lets you set and track the softening performance.
Its resin bed agitator will keep circulating and moving everything inside the softener. The result of this stops dirt and iron from actually getting into the unit.
Top North Star Models
Northstar softener models typically have the same features and set up. However, the main difference from one model to another is the size and capacity. Here are 2 of the top models:
North Star NSC40UD1 Ultra Demand Water Softener
The NSC40UD1 has all the common Northstar features discussed above.
This includes a small display unit that allows you to view regeneration time, level of hardness and check other efficiency settings. It even comes with a means to opt for high or low efficiency, which is possible with its “Look Ahead” technology.
Having a 39,000 grain capacity means that it can treat moderately hard water for a small household of between 2-4 people.
Efficiency and energy saving options.
Easy to use compact LCD screen for programming the device.
Very expensive as prices start at $2500-$3000 for ONLY 39,000 grains per gallons. Meanwhile you can get a 48,000 grain Fleck 5600SXT with a starting price that is around $600.
However, note that this $600 amount does NOT include a whole house filter or professional installation costs.
North Star NSAS 6500 Review
This means that it will not turn your water soft but will reduce the effects of limescale.
This is one of the smallest and most compact units in the Northstar range.
Despite its small size it can treat hard water about 50,000 gallons of water with a flow rate of up to 18 gallons per minute.
50,000 gallons capacity.
The pressure vale is built-in.
Very small, space saving compact design.
The unit comes with 1 year full parts and labor (warranty) on the entire system.
3 year warranty on the valve body and electronic control board.
It does not produce soft water, simply reduces the effects of hard water.
Fleck vs Northstar Comparison Table
|North Star NSC40UD1
|Treats low to medium hard water.
|Treats hard to extremly hard water.
Are Northstar Water Systems WORTH It?
Don’t get me wrong Northstar water softeners ARE effective at removing hard water. Everything in this Northstar water softener review should show that.
However, I think there are better options (e.g. this) are better overall. This is simply in terms of value for money and overall positive customer reviews.
Northstar softeners seem to start at $1200+ despite NOT having a powerful filter. For a little extra you can get a full softener WITH a powerful multistage whole house filter.
Although this might seem like you’re spending more money, you’re not. This is because when you get a basic standalone Northstar softener, you will still NEED to buy a filter to make the soft water drinkable.
However, the biggest reason why I think this option is better are all the positive verified customer reviews.
The average Northstar water softener review is mixed and some customers raise issues that seriously concern me.
What is a Better Option?
This is salt based softener includes a powerful multi stage filter. This means it is ideal for very hard water and also filters all contaminants. The result is that you drink fresh clean filtered water direct from your faucet.
This is because it actually uses salt so will generate soft water unlike so called “salt less softeners”.
Consider getting this softener and filter model because:
It is a combination of a whole house filter AND salt-based softener in one single device. This means you don’t have to worry about buying an extra filter down the line which is not the case when you buy a basic softener from Northstar.
Effectively treats up to 48,000 grains for 1-3 bathrooms.
Easy to install with instructions and manuals.
Comes with a controller head that will allow you to control and monitor the machine.
Extensive warranties, performance, satisfaction and guarantees.
|Treats hard water UP TO 25 ppm (low to medium low hard water).
|Treats hard water OVER 25 ppm (medium to extremely hard water).
|Does NOT require electricity.
|Requires electricity if using the electronic head monitor.
|Control Your System With An App:? NO
|Control Your System With An App:? YES
|- Powerful salt-FREE water softener.
- 1,000,000 one million gallon capacity.
- Aquasana Rhino exceeds NSF standards.
- Treats hard water WITHOUT salt.
- Removes chlorine, bacteria, iron, sulfide, manganese, mercury, lead etc.
- Includes pre-filter, copper-zinc and carbon filtration stages with standard fittings.
- 90-Day Pure Satisfaction Guarantee.
- Limited 10 year warranty.
|- Powerful salt-BASED water softener.
- 1,000,000 one million gallon capacity.
- Also includes a multi-stage filter.
- Easy installation (inside or outside)
- Sufficient for 1-3 bathrooms (options for 4-6 and 7+ bathrooms also available).
- 6 month money back guarantee.
- Limited lifetime warranty.
Ships to US and CA.
Ships to US, CA and Puerto Rico.
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