Last Updated: September 7, 2020
Before I give you all the facts and the water softener reviews consumer reports, let’s cover the basics.
What is hard water?
Hard water contains calcium, magnesium and other dissolved minerals. You can drink hard water (but not advisable) and it can leave a white residue. This is the horrible limescale stains on your shower, appliances, plumbing, faucets, sinks and even in your kettle. Over time, this accumulation can affect performance and efficiency.
Hard water can quickly clog a point-of-use filter, so you should use a water softener for the entire house. Water softener systems solve this issue by replacing minerals that harden the water with soft sodium ions.
- What Is Hard Water?
- Water Softener Reviews
- Hard Water Problems
- Water Softener Types
- Best Water Softener Reviews
What Is Hard Water?
Hard water contains high levels of magnesium, calcium and other dissolved minerals.
You are studying different water softener reviews consumer reports because you want to get rid of hard water.
This is because hard water is what causes white limescale stains around your appliances, plumbing, pipes, sinks and tap faucets. Technically, any water containing more than 1 GPG of dissolved hardness minerals is considered hard, but realistically, the water is relatively mild up to 3.5 GPG.
Solve problems with hard water by getting a basic water softener.
Hard water comes from aquifers and other subterranean springs that collect dissolved minerals from rocks. Especially calcium, magnesium carbonate and manganese. These minerals give the water undesirable properties, collectively referred to as “hardness.”
The hardness is measured with grains (minerals) per gallon (GPG) or in some cases with parts per million ore (PPM).
Water Softener Reviews
Lots of water softener reviews consumer reports show that softening systems can cost several thousand dollars. Though some companies can rent them to you for $40 to $100 a month.
In general, they are equally effective in water softening, although potassium chloride costs several times more than sodium chloride to regenerate softener systems.
Hard Water Problems
Hard water is less of a health problem than a potential nuisance. Many of the problems caused by hard water remain hidden until some kind of error occurs in the water installation of your home or in a device that uses water.
- By heating the dissolved minerals of recrystallized hard water and in the form of flakes that eventually clog your pipes to reduce the flow of water.
- Limescale deposits affect water heaters such as dishwashers and coffee makers and increase the need for repair.
- The problems of hard water are revealed as annoying when bathing and cooking, cleaning clothes and the house.
- Calcium and magnesium react with many soaps, shampoos, detergents and cleaners, which reduces their foam and cleanability and therefore don’t work as effectively.
- They also form white limescale on and around your tiles and what looks like a hard-to-clean bath tub ring. In the kitchen, the hardness is translated into hard lime-scale on dishes and in kitchen appliances.
- In addition, certain hard water minerals, such as iron and manganese, can give water a displeasing appearance, smell or undesirable taste.
- Hard water also penetrates into poor health. People with hard water are more susceptible to skin rashes and skin problems because they alter the pH of the skin, alter the soap on the skin and clog your pores.
Water Softener Types
By far the most popular and common type of water softener for the entire home is an ion exchange unit or “cation exchange”, but there are also other water softening technologies available. The differences are explained below.
1. Salt-Based Ion Exchange Softener
This type of water softener circulates the water of the house through two tanks: one filled with special resin beads and the other with brine. It works on the principle of ion exchange by softening hard water by replacing sodium (salt) with hard minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron.
2. Salt Free Water Softener
Salt Free Water Softening Systems
This unsalted water softener is designed for compact spaces. A salt-free water softener is regenerated with a potassium chloride salt substitute instead of sodium.
A salt free water softener is actually a descaling machine because it does not reduce hard water minerals.
It instead prevents minerals from depositing on the surfaces of appliances and pipes that use water.
The general consensus is that this type of water treatment is better than no water softener, but not as effective as conventional water softening.
3. Magnetic Water Softener or Descaler
Magnetic Water Softener: Eddy Magnetic Descaler
This electronic water softener has the reputation of improving water quality effectively and economically.
It is often sold as a “water softener without salt” but it does NOT soften water.
According to manufacturers, this plug-in device hooks into the incoming pipe. While there it creates a magnetic field that alters the electromagnetic properties of calcium carbonate minerals. This is so that they are repelled by pipes and each other.
Note that the manufacturer offers a 12-month money-back guarantee. Leave your comment below if you try it.
4. Dual-Tank Water Softener
The dual tank water softener never goes out of service because while one is working the other is resting and vice versa.
This unit actually softens your water unlike some of the others on this list.
Dual-tank Water Softener For Commercial Use
These are so is one of the best selling double-tank water softeners. One of its tanks regenerates while the other tank is not in use.
When one tank is operating in a double-tank unit, the other is being regenerated. As a result, the softened water is continuously supplied without interruption. And since these units work when needed, they can be smaller than the individual tank units.
Several different types of models are available.
These double tank sfteners have a fully adjustable valve that is controlled by one meter. As the water softener begins to clean a tank, its controller shifts the water supply to the other tank and provides a continuous flow rate of 21 gallons per minute.
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Best Water Softener Reviews
Which is the Best Water Softener?
This is because it is a digital water softener and is the best-selling softening system for the average home. The digital display system combined with its unique specifications makes the configuration and execution of this system very easy.
In terms of softening hard water, this system is one of the best and it softens hard water around the clock.
This means there is no downtime.
Aquasana Salt FREE Softener and Filter
An extremely powerful filter that can treat a number of harmful toxins, chemicals and viruses.
The filter actually exceeds NSF (independent certificaiton) standards.
Comes with a profressional grade installation kit that makes it easier to install yourself without needing to hire an expensive plumber.
90 day satisfaction guarantee.
Pelican Salt-BASED Softener and Whole House Filter System
Heavy and bulky system that needs space and access to plumbing.
Effective at softening hard water.
Save money because it is much cheaper then similar models from big brands. A unit like this from Rayne or Culligan will set you back thousands of dollars.
Easy to set up with a little bit of DIY knowledge without an expert plumber.
Regenerated metered counter, which means you can automate your soft water.
Comes with a 5 year guarantee and lifetime limited warranty.