Prevents hard water buildup and softens drinking water. Removes harsh minerals, iron, sediment, and chlorine for a fresher taste. Supports up to 5 people in 1 household. Monitors water usage to save costs and the environment. Filter is self-cleaning, so no need for replacements.
Automatically takes in salt to reduce costs, which may be inconvenient to some drinkers.
This 16,000-grain water softener only requires table salt to work. Weighs 32 pounds. Delivers about 1,600 gallons or 40 days of softened water. Sets up without electricity and tools using a garden hose. Measures 22 inches high and 9.5 inches wide.
Some reports of the unit arriving damaged.
Reduces hardness in water and eliminates spot buildup. Supports a household of up to 3-4 bathrooms while saving water. Fiberglass tank provides stability and structure. Has preset settings and can be customized. Allows users to monitor grains of hardness, recharge time, capacity, and more.
This product can be difficult to install, especially for more inexperienced users.
Features a digital panel offering the time and controls. Brine tank measures 14 inches wide and 33 inches tall. Comes with a mineral tank and valve with adapter and bypass. Includes a water hardness test, filters, sanitation items, and crosslink resin.
One of the more expensive options.
Showerhead with a chrome finish and massage, rain, and power rain functions. Softens water by blocking heavy metals, calcium, and rust iron. Comes with 2 filters for eliminating fluoride, chlorine, and chloramine. Preserves water pressure. Comes with a 1-year warranty.
Water pressure may be too strong for some.
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If you’re one of the majority of homes in the U.S. that have hard water, the minerals in that water could cause problems. You could get a crusty buildup on your showerhead and faucets or find stains on your drinking glasses. Before these issues become more than a minor nuisance, you may want to purchase a water softener.
A water softener reduces certain minerals that are commonly found in water. While these minerals are not currently considered harmful by the medical community, the trouble they can cause could range from being an inconvenience to requiring plumbing repairs.
The best water softener for you depends on your needs. To learn about and understand what’s available, it’s helpful to read a comprehensive guide on the topic. Additionally, examining an unbiased list of top models will let you know, at a glance, what’s available. Utilizing these two tools, you can make a confident, well-informed purchasing decision.
Hard water is water that contains high concentrations of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Some consider higher levels of minerals to be more healthful because the body needs them to function properly. However, with a proper diet, you can get the recommended daily intake of these minerals through food sources, such as yogurt, almonds, and legumes.
The problem with hard water isn’t what it does to your body, however, it’s the issues it can create with your home’s plumbing and general household cleanliness.
If you’ve ever noticed any of these in your home, you may have hard water:
A water softener is any type of water filtration system that reduces concentrations of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, that make water “hard.” This system should be installed at the incoming water source, which ideally will also have a nearby power supply and a place for the wastewater to drain. Typically, these systems are installed close to the water heater to centralize large equipment.
A water softener is essentially a magnet. When water enters the unit, it passes through resin beads that have a negative charge from sodium ions. Since calcium and magnesium naturally have a positive charge, these minerals are removed and replaced with sodium ions as they pass through the resin beads. This way, only soft water enters your home.
There’s no health law stating you must install a water softener; it’s a choice the homeowner must make. To help you understand the value of a water softener, here are some pros and cons of having one.
Pros: Having softer water means less soap scum buildup, appliances may last longer, your skin will feel softer, and your hair will feel cleaner. Having softer water can reduce your cleaning and water heating bills, combat plumbing issues, and give you brighter clothes and cleaner dishes.
Cons: Although it’s a matter of preference, some don’t like the taste of softer water. Also, the wastewater from a water softener isn’t suitable for irrigation and upfront costs may be prohibitive.
The quickest way to get a rough estimate of the size water softener you need is to multiply the number of people in your home by 80. Then, multiply that number by the grains of hardness in your water. Most water softeners have a grain rating, so it’s a simple matter to find a model suitable for your daily needs.
A dual-tank system means you’ll never have to wait to use water while your system regenerates or recharges. If this is a concern for you, you’ll need a dual-tank system, which can cost twice as much as a single tank system.
Some water softener systems are two-in-one systems that also offer additional filtering to remove sediments and reduce unpleasant odors and tastes. If this is desirable, you’ll have to pay more or purchase a second system, such as a reverse osmosis system.
You can either purchase a water softener that recharges when the system needs it or one that recharges at a designated time. A demand-initiated system ensures your water softener is always running at peak efficiency while a timer guarantees you always have water when you need it.
If the salt gets too low, your water softener won’t be able to remove the calcium and magnesium. A low-salt indicator alerts you when the salt in your brine tank is getting low.
If you just want to feel cleaner after a shower and you’re not worried about other issues that may arise from having hard water, you can purchase a showerhead filter. These items won’t solve your water hardness problem, but they will make you feel cleaner.
Because minerals are the ingredient that provides water with flavor, you may notice your water tastes different after adding a water softener.
If you just want to soften the water coming out of your showerhead so you have a better bathing experience, you can get a filter that removes minerals and sediments from your water as it flows. These devices cost less than $50 and are only suitable for providing a more enjoyable shower. They don’t protect your pipes from the damage that may occur from hard water.
Most homeowners are happy with a whole house filtration system. These models can cost anywhere from $300 to $800. The only downside to these models is you have roughly two hours every few days when the system is down due to regenerating.
If you want to have softened water on demand, 24/7, it’s possible with a dual-tank system. These high-end models are larger than single tank systems and can cost twice as much. Expect to pay between $1,000 and $1,600 or more for a dual-tank system.
A water softener requires maintenance. Neglecting minor upkeep may create problems that require costly repairs down the road. Luckily, maintaining a water softener is inexpensive and easy to do. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your water softener.
A. If you want to find out exactly how many dissolved minerals there are in your home tap water, you need to purchase a water hardness test kit. The easiest ones to use are strips you dip in a glass of cold tap water. After dipping the test strip, it will turn a different color. Match the color of the test strip to the included chart to find out the overall hardness level of your water, which is measured in grains per gallon.
A. If you use an at-home test strip: 0-3.5 gpg is soft, 3.5-7.0 gpg is moderate, 7.0-10.5 gpg is hard, and over 10.5 gpg is very hard. Other measurements of the hardness or softness of water are expressed in parts per million: 17 ppm is soft, 17 to 60 ppm is slightly hard, 60 to 120 ppm is moderately hard, 120 to 180 ppm is hard, and over 180 ppm is very hard.
A. If you’re finding clues that you might have hard water and want to determine if this is actually the case, there’s a quick test you can perform to see if you do have hard water. All you need is a clean empty bottle and pure liquid soap. Fill one-third of the bottle with tap water and add a few drops of the pure liquid soap. Shake the bottle and set it down. If the bottle is mostly full of suds and the water is relatively clear, you have soft water. If there are few to no suds and the water is cloudy, you have hard water.
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