Best Water Softeners to Protect Your Pipes and Home Appliances

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 25, 2017
If you live in the area with hard water and want to save your home appliances from scale, a good water softener is a must-have for you. We have selected five best systems that will not only help you protect your plumbing but also provide you and your family with healthy drinking water. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Grain Capacity
Flow Rate
Characteristics
Dimensions
Warranty
 
PROS

The operation of this water softener is automatic and can be operated with the help digital control head, LCD display, and touchpad controls. Besides, if there is a power outage, the system has 48-hour internal power backup. 

CONS

Quite bulky and requires much space. 

OUR VERDICT

Due to its high efficiency and easy installation, the Fleck 5600SXT is one of the best systems to use at home. It can supply with healthy soft water the household of 4-6 members.

detailed parameters
Type

Regenerating ion exchanger 

Grain Capacity

48000

Flow Rate

12 GPM

Characteristics
  • Automatic work 
  • Digital control
Dimensions
  • 54" x 10" tank
  • 34”x 15" brine tank
Warranty

5-year valve warranty/10-year tank warranty

PROS

This model retains all healthy minerals in water and saves your home plumbing and appliances from the buildup of limescale. 

CONS

It may need frequent replacement of cartridges. 

OUR VERDICT

The Nuvo  H20 DPHB is one of the best options to treat water with a moderate level of hardness. Not only does it improve the quality of water it also preserves its useful properties. 

detailed parameters
Type

With removable cartridges 

Grain Capacity

Uses 20-Inch salt-free replacement cartridges

Flow Rate

12 - 15 GPM

Characteristics
  • Keeps healthy minerals
Dimensions

24" x  5" x 5" 

Warranty

Lifetime 

PROS

With Look Ahead Technology, the regeneration of the resin starts when it is necessary and ensures the efficient and economical salt use.

CONS

The exterior of the tank is not resistant to corrosion. 

OUR VERDICT

Are you looking for a high-performance water softener for a reasonable price? The M30 model might be just the right choice for you. 

detailed parameters
Type

Regenerating ion exchanger 

Grain Capacity

30000

Flow Rate

7 GPM

Characteristics
  • Automatic work 
  • Digital control
Dimensions

42-3/4” x 17-1/4” x 20-5/8”

Warranty

10-year tank warranty/1-year on other parts

PROS

This system saves your household plumbing and appliances from scale formation and promotes de-scaling.  

CONS

Too hard water may not be sufficiently softened.

OUR VERDICT

If you want to drink healthy water without harmful chemicals, the Eddy model is definitely worthy of your attention. 

detailed parameters
Type

Magnetic 

Grain Capacity

Uses EM waves 

Flow Rate

Is the same as the flow rate of water in your home plumbing system

Characteristics
  • Keeps healthy minerals 
Dimensions

~6.7" х 1,6" х 3,5"

Warranty

Lifetime 

PROS

The softener is furnished with a handle and weighs only 35 lbs which contributes to the convenience of use and ease of transportation.

CONS

The grain capacity is not very high. 

OUR VERDICT

If you are tired of struggling with white spots on your dishware after washing, we have a solution for you. The ABC is a compact and high-class water softener that will help you forget about this problem once and for all. 

detailed parameters
Type

Regenerating ion exchanger 

Grain Capacity

8000

Flow Rate

8 GPM

Characteristics
  • Portable 
Dimensions

18" x 6"

Warranty

1 year

What is a Water Softener?

Unfortunately, the issue of hard water is common and affect many people nowadays. It may cause many problems such as limescale formation inside your electro kettle or washing machine, which becomes one of the most common reasons for their breakdown. The problem with chalky depositions and the buildup of limescale may occur in plumbing, pipes, or boilers such as tank water heaters.

Moreover, water hardness influences not only our home appliances but also our skin and hair, not to mention the adverse health effects from the food cooked in hard water. In this case, water filters, also known as water softeners, are commonly used to reduce the level of adverse chemicals, insoluble salts, or minerals. Water that flows through such a softening system disposes of excess calcium and magnesium that cause hardness and becomes more suitable for use then. In this review, we describe 5 different water softeners and hope you will find the best one to meet your needs.

What Features to Compare

Types of Water Softeners

Before buying a water softener, you should take into account a few details that may influence your decision. First of all, there are several types of such appliances. They include:

  • Domestic filters or water jugs. This is the most common type that purifies small amounts of water at a time and requires frequent change of cartridge. Such a jug can provide you with improved potable drinking water. 
  • Ion-exchange resin device is attached to the plumbing and has high throughput capacity. The enriched with sodium ions resin is the main ion-exchanging element of this system. When water passes through this material, these sodium ions remove calcium and magnesium very quickly, thus speeding up the whole process. There are simple, cartridge and regenerative filters of this kind. 
  • Reverse osmosis membrane filter is one of the most efficient filters that softens, purifies, and even distills the water. However, you should know that it removes not only harmful components out of the water but also useful ones. 
  • Magnetic water softener affects the hard water with a constant magnetic field. Such appliance usually comes in a case with built-in magnets and can be easily attached to water supply pipes. Magnetic field changes physical characteristics of water, thus preventing the build-up of hard limescale. 
  • The electromagnetic system consists of a plastic case with an integrated microchip that generates electromagnetic waves.  Under the influence of these waves, the composition of water remains the same but calcareous scale build-up is effectively prevented. 

Grain Capacity and Flow Rate 

You will also notice that the number of sodium ions in resin reduces with time. For this reason, the efficiency of water softening process declines. The pace of this process depends on the amount of treated water, its level of hardness, and grain capacity of the filter. When the water is too hard, in other words, it contains a lot of solid minerals, as well as the water flow rate, you should purchase the system with high grain capacity. Also, pay attention to the softener's flow rate, that is measured in gallons per minute and indicates the speed at which the device can process the water that goes through your plumbing system. With insufficiently high flow rate, you may experience a drop in water pressure around your house.

Dimensions

And last but not least you should pay attention to the dimensions of such system. Highly capacious water softeners usually take up much space. You will notice that there are portable space-saving models. However, they are better suited for car wash than for home use. 

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Fleck 5600SXT

Great Solution for a Large Family

The Fleck 5600SXT is a water softener with quite high productivity. It is a great solution for a family of 4-6 members. Cation resins are at the root of the softening process of this model. They replace magnesium and calcium ions with harmless sodium ions. And when the ion-exchanging ability of the resin falls, regeneration process begins. By the way, you can refresh this filter with sodium chloride solution. 

As for the process of filtration, it is quite simple. When water gets into the system, it flows through the ion-exchanging resin, where harmful ions are displaced by sodium ions. When this process is over water becomes soft and flows into the plumbing system. It can be safely used afterward for any household needs. 

You should also take into your account that the Fleck system requires some space since it has better productivity, higher capacity, and therefore bigger size than similar systems. The tank features the dimensions of 10" x 54", while the accompanying brine tank with a salt grid is 15” x 34”. Hence, you may consider setting it up in the basement. 

Review of Fleck 5600SXT Whole House Water Softener

Hassle-Free Operation and Intuitive Control

The operation of this system is automatic, which is undoubtedly one of its key advantages. This water softener has a digital control head with a bypass valve that controls the whole process. All you need to do is add salt to a brine tank from time to time, which shouldn't be a problem due to the impressive brine tank's capacity of 250 lbs and efficiency of salt use. There is also a digital timer to set the desired mode of operation. There are three regeneration modes available: by time (recurrent), by weekly schedule, or meter-based, that measures the amount of water used and regenerates as needed. The timer displays the current time as well as the number of days (or amount of water) that is left until the next regeneration. In addition, if the power supply is off, the system can run on the internal power backup for 48 hours. All your pre-programmed settings will be saved though.

Fleck 5600SXT Whole House Water Softener in the use

Simple Installation with Step-by-Step Guide

As soon as you make up your mind the complete system can be delivered at your doorstep with all the necessary components and a step by step guide for quick and easy installation within an hour or two without a helping hand from a professional. Trust us, with this system you will be able to save a fortune since you won't need to hire a plumber to set up the system or pay for the expert installation. This is one of the advantages of the Fleck System 5600SXT, which has been appreciated by so many satisfied customers. Plus, all system components are shipped complete and assembled. So, if you are keen on around-the-house fixes, you shouldn't experience any difficulties. Give it a try! In any case, you can always turn to a professional for help.

Detailed review of Fleck 5600SXT Whole House Water Softener

Exceptional Quality for Long-Lasting Service

The manufacturer provides customers with an extended warranty. With this system, you get not only a high-class water softener but also a guaranteed backup support from the manufacturer to protect you from any manufacturing defects. The warranty on the tank lasts 10 years. The digital control head built on the tried and true 5600 valve boasts an exceptional 5-year warranty. However, the valve had outstanding testing results, which reported its ability to run continuously for up to 27 years. 

Fleck 5600SXT Whole House Water Softener application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Fleck 5600SXT
Fleck 5600SXT
 

Nuvo H20 DPHB

Preserving Essential Minerals in Water

The Nuvo H20 DPHB Water Softener is a comparatively new product on the market. Even though it didn't have a chance yet to stand the test of time and demonstrate its long-lasting service to the customers, that doesn't belittle its quality. We can safely say, that Nuvo approach to water filtration is quite reliable and the majority of customers that have seen this system at work, are satisfied with the results and its performance. 

The main feature of this appliance is that the water softener uses citric acid instead of salt. Plus, the principle of work is aimed at water softening but not at changing its PH level or chemical composition of water. This has many advantages. With this technology, all equipment that uses water, such as a dishwasher, kettle, or boiler, for example, is protected from scale formation and thus premature breakdown. The manufacturer claims that the service life of such home appliances will increase by at least 30%. 

This method of water treatment has another benefit. The thing is, it doesn't remove essential minerals of calcium and magnesium from water but simply undermines their ability to build-up on pipes and other elements.

Review of Nuvo H20 DPHB Home Water Softener System

Space Saving Device

Due to a space saving design, this system will fit even into a small apartment. Moreover, during the installation, the water flow doesn't go down, and it is almost impossible to spot the difference. You will also notice that this water softener has a lifetime warranty. Undoubtedly, it speaks for itself. 

Nuvo H20 DPHB Home Water Softener System in the use

Useful Piece of Advice

Talking about its limitations, we should point out that it is better to use this appliance to treat the water with a hardness level under 10GPG. The reasons for this is, for starters, the filter does not remove any solids from water. Hence, technically speaking, it does not make it any softer nor work as a common water softener. According to the users' opinions, when this system filters very hard water the difference is insignificant. Secondly, when processing excessively hard water, cartridges may fail faster and require a more frequent change. So you will end up spending more on their replacement. Ideally, one cartridge can handle 35000 gallons of water. In average, a family of 4 members requires 100,000 gallons per year, that means you will have to change cartridges three times a year. However, if the water in your area is not very hard, the Nuvo system will work just fine for many years to come. 

Detailed review of Nuvo H20 DPHB Home Water Softener System

Save on Your Power Bills with Device that Needs No Electricity

Practicality and convenience of this model deserve our sincere compliments. Not only is this system space-saving and user-friendly, it also operates without any power supply and electricity. Think of a fortune that you will be able to save on your power bills over the years of use. That is to say, this is a perfect alternative for those, who want a salt-free and full-out water softener system.   

Nuvo H20 DPHB Home Water Softener System application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Nuvo H20 DPHB
Nuvo H20 DPHB
 

Morton M30

Look-Ahead Technology for Exceptional Efficiency

The Morton M30 is a well-known model with an outstanding potential. For starters, we should note that it is furnished with an electronic smart controller. Secondly, with a patented Morton "Look Ahead" technology, this smart unit not only monitors your water consumption but also can predict the upcoming water usage for timely regeneration. The system analyzes when and how much soft water has been used in the past, and then, extrapolates this information into the future to make a forecast of your water needs. As a result, this filter starts regeneration only when it is necessary and uses the salt by 50% more efficiently than other water softening units. Thus, it is super thrifty and efficient. If the urgent regeneration is required, you can press "Regenerate Now" button to start it immediately. Moreover, there is a sensor in a brine tank that measures the amount of salt left in the tank, so when it is almost over, a smart indicator informs you about that. Despite the fact that Morton M30 is capable of providing medium and large households with soft water, it is quite space saving and takes up only about 1.3 square feet. The last but not least, this fantastic softener will be able to cope even with the hardest water of up to 95 GPG. 

Review of Morton M30 Water Softener System

What Is a Regenerative Ion-Exchange?

The operation of this water softener is based on one of the most common and efficient principles, namely regenerative ion-exchange. This chemical process includes several stages. When the water gets into the system, it passes through the ion-exchange resin, where calcium and magnesium are replaced with sodium ions. However, the resin's ability to exchange ions can reach its limits and stop softening water. When this happens, you just need to refill the salt tank and activate the regeneration process that can restore the resin's functions. 

Morton M30 Water Softener System in the use

Economy Must be Economical

The manufacturer endeavored to minimize the salt consumption and succeeded. Thanks to an innovative iron filtration system, this process has become more economical. When iron particles get into the water, the demand for ion-exchanging salt declines significantly. The producer claims that with this method the salt dosage is reduced by 50%. 

Detailed review of Morton M30 Water Softener System

System with Reliable Memory

In case of the power outage, you have no reason to worry! The system settings will be automatically saved and won't change for several hours. As soon as the electricity is back the system will resume its normal operation.

Morton M30 Water Softener System application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Morton M30
Morton M30
 

Eddy Water Descalers Electronic

Simple Design With Maximal Efficiency

If you want to purchase a water softener that doesn't use chemicals or even salt for regeneration, this model is what you need. Thanks to its electromagnetic mechanism, the Eddy Water Descaler ED6002P makes a perfect alternative to its competitors. Its advantages begin right from the installation process which is quite simple especially if you have basic plumbing skills. You can set up this appliance practically anywhere since it consists only of one plastic block. However, we have to note that you should better choose a thicker pipe for installation since it will be easier to wind the wires around it and attach the system. 

Another useful extra of this water softener is that it practically does not require any maintenance. You won't have to refill it with salt nor replace any of its consumable parts on a regular basis, that wear off and reach the end of their service life too quickly. All you need to do is install it and switch it on. Electric magnets will do all the job. They build a magnetic field that destroys all harmful elements in water. In order to create such a field, the wires are winded around plumbing pipes. 

Frankly speaking, this system can work for decades without experiencing any problems. Such longevity, reliability, and durability of the appliance have attracted many customers to this system. In addition, the fact that the manufacturer supports this product with a lifetime warranty speaks volumes in itself.

Review of Eddy Water Descalers Electronic Water Softener

How Does Electromagnetic Field Work?

The effect from this filter differs a little from other systems. Compared to ion-exchange filters that remove calcium and magnesium from water, this one uses electromagnetic waves to prevent their interaction with acid ions. In other words, it doesn't let them form hard, off-white, and chalky substance. Also, if this appliance works constantly, old limescale in your plumbing pipes (or even kettle) can be washed with the water flow. In conclusion, such approach has a beneficial effect not only on water quality but also on all the equipment that handles water, thus prolonging its lifespan. 

Eddy Water Descalers Electronic Water Softener in the use

When Pipe Material Doesn't Matter

One of the questions that customers frequently ask, is what type of plumbing pipes can maximize the efficiency and improve the performance of this device. The manufacturer ensures that you can install the ED6002P on steel, plastic, or copper pipes, and it will work equally well with any of them.  

Detailed review of Eddy Water Descalers Electronic Water Softener

Not Only Safe But Also Healthy

It is also worth mentioning that electromagnetic waves don't remove any useful solid minerals from water, such as calium or magnesium, thereby preserving the good properties of water and its composition.

Eddy Water Descalers Electronic Water Softener application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Eddy Water Descalers Electronic
Eddy Water Descalers Electronic
 

ABC WATER Portable

Portable and Productive

When we think about soft water, the first thing that comes to our minds is its domestic value. However, non-treated hard water can be bad for our household appliances, cars, and bikes as well. The thing is that calcium and magnesium change physicochemical characteristics of water, thereby contributing to its hardness. The rich in solid minerals water poorly interacts with cleansing agents or even soap, thus forcing you to use more of them to better the washing-up process. For this reason, the build-up of limescale occurs, and it is similar to what you can see inside your kettle after boiling hard water. 

The ABC PWS8 is an ion-exchange softener that softens hard water very well and will help you avoid such problem. Being portable and easy in use, so you can transport it any time and any where if necessary. Despite its dimensions of 18 by 6 inches this model boasts impressive performance and excellent characteristics. For example, the flow rate of 7 GPM is undoubtedly high enough for such system and quite sufficient for average household needs. Surely, with this appliance, your water won't leave any off-white chalky stains on your dishware, dishwasher, or other appliances.

Review of ABC WATER Portable Water Softener

The Process of Water Softening

As we have already mentioned, this is an ion-exchanging system. That means, its purpose is to eliminate the main cause of hard water. When water flows through the system, harmless sodium ions replace calcium and magnesium ions with softer alternatives. This softener can filtrate up to 1000 gallons of water before the resin needs regeneration that you can do with regular table salt or rock salt, which, by the way, is a great solution for such a portable appliance. 

ABC WATER Portable Water Softener in the use

Only High-Quality Materials

When dealing with a portable water softening system, it is highly important to consider its durability and reliability. We can safely reassure you, that the ABC water softener boasts exceptional longevity. Since there are no plastic parts in it; therefore, the chance of mechanical damage is reduced significantly. 

Detailed review of ABC WATER Portable Water Softener

Easy Handling

This water softener has a quite strong handle, so it's much simpler to use, transport, and handle.

ABC WATER Portable Water Softener application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


ABC WATER Portable
ABC WATER Portable
 

FAQ:

Q: Will a water softener make my water safe to drink?

A: Unfortunately, it won’t. It is aimed at making water softer and preventing scale formation. So water must be clean before it goes to your water softener. In order to make sure that your water is safe, you should contact your local health department, where they regularly test the water and conduct full lab analysis to detect the presence of any harmful bacteria or chemicals that may pose serious health hazards. 

Q: Why do I have an odor in my water, if I have a water softener?

A: Despite the general opinion, water softeners don’t remove most odors and bad taste from water. However, they do remove the metallic taste though. If your water has a rotten egg smell, which is caused by hydrogen sulfide, or “bleach” smell of chlorine treated water, an activated carbon filter will help you to fix this problem. In addition, sometimes the problem may be in the water heater. In this case, you just need to find a good plumber, who will replace it. 

Q: How can I determine my flow rate?

A: Well, the process is quite simple. You may use your garden hose faucet or bathtub faucet, just turn it on the fully open position and put the gallon container under the water flow very quickly and record the time instantly. You should find out how much time it takes to fill the container. Then you need to divide one minute by the number of seconds. If it takes 15 seconds, for instance, then your answer is 4, so your flow rate is close to 4 GPM. In this case, we advise you to select the system that is capable of coping with at least 4 GPM. 

Q: Where should I install my water softener?

A: As a rule, water softeners are mounted where the water pipeline enters the house. However, you should notice that unless you have some decent plumbing skills you should probably delegate the system installation to an expert. 

Q: Are water softeners noisy?

A: Not at all! The only sound you can hear from them is the flow of water through the system. 

Q: How should I maintain water softening system?

A: Despite the fact that in most cases such appliance can supply you with soft water for many years to come and require little maintenance, you should check on some things, especially when the system had been in operation for a long time. Firstly, monitor the salt build-up in the brine tank. If a sediment has formed, you can remove it with a vacuum cleaner and soapy water. Also, if there is iron in the water, you should check for an iron crust in the resin bed as well. In this case, we recommend using an iron-removing product for more effective cleaning. Finally, you should check on the injectors from time to time, to make sure the system works properly. 


Sources:

1. Don Vandervort The Best Water Softener Buying GuideHomeTips. May 12, 2017

2. Water Softener Buying Guide, Lowe's.

3. How to Choose a Water Softener, SFGATE.

4. Water softening, Wikipedia.  May 15, 2017

5. Water Softening, Extension.

6. Thomas Klenck How It Works: Water SoftenerPopular Mechanics. August 31, 1998.

7. Bob Formisano Water Softeners - How They Workthe spruce. October 26, 2016. 

8. Don Vandervort How a Water Softener WorksHomeTips. April 7, 2016.

9. How Do Home Water Softeners Work? Fresh Water Systems

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Publish Date: 2017-06-30 09:25:28