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John Young
John Young

Best Water Softener To Buy ((FULL))

The best water softeners work by either drawing heavy minerals out of the water using a process called ion exchange or by neutralizing these minerals so that they are unable to bind together and remain soluble in the water.

best water softener to buy

In researching water-softening systems, we took an in-depth look at features and specifications across several categories, as well as customer reviews for each product. Here are some of the best water softeners available based on our findings.

Key considerations included the type of soft water system, the capacity of the product, the suitability of the softener for various family sizes, the water softener companies buyers choose, and any outstanding features that made a water softener stand out from similar products.

There are four main types of water softeners: salt-based, salt-free, dual-tank, and magnetic water softeners. The cost of a good water softener generally falls between the affordable magnetic units and the pricier salt-free options. Before buying a water softener unit, shoppers should familiarize themselves with each type and determine which one best suits their needs.

Water softeners that are salt-free have a template-assisted crystallization system consisting of polymeric beads that hold microscopic nucleation sites. When heavy minerals attach to these sites, they begin to form into crystals through a neutralization process. Once established, the crystals detach and do not bond to anything, preventing mineral buildup and scaling from hard water.

Salt-free water softeners tend to cost more initially but last for around 3 years without electricity or recharging required. These models are also smaller than salt-based systems, so they can be used for small- to large-size houses without issue. However, salt-free water softeners may struggle with very high levels of hard water and households with higher-than-average water usage.

A dual-tank water softener is salt-based and has two resin tanks, making it the best kind for homes that rely on well water. When one of the tanks is in the regeneration cycle, the other is still providing softened drinking water to the household.

Small water-softening systems have weekly grain capacities of 16,000; 24,000; and 32,000 and are ideal for RVs, apartments, and small houses. Those with grain capacities of 40,000; 48,000; and 64,000 are great for medium to large households. For big families and large properties, a residential water softener with a grain capacity of 80,000 or 100,000 works best.

Salt-based and dual-tank water softeners, for example, can take up a lot of space and are best for medium to large homes. By contrast, most salt-free water softeners are smaller than salt-based models and are suitable for small, medium, and large households. Portable salt-based water softeners are an alternative option for small homes or RVs that prefer a salt-based model to remove heavy metals entirely.

Magnetic water softeners take up the least amount of space and can be installed without cutting into plumbing. Typically, these smaller softeners can be mounted directly on the pipe and do not interfere with floor space. These softeners are the best option to save space in smaller homes, RVs, or apartments.

A valve controls the flow of water through a pipe, closing, or opening when necessary. A bypass valve works in the same way as a regular valve, but its purpose, when used with a water softener, is to divert the flow of water away from the softener, providing access to the hard water running into the home.

Water softeners are an excellent option for homes with light to heavy hard water, which can result in clogged pipes and leaky faucets and can degrade water-based appliances. The heavy minerals detected in hard water tests also prevent moisture permeation in hair and skin and can cause colors to fade in the washing machine and items to come out of the dishwasher looking chalky or spotted.

While checking salt levels, the condition of the brine tank should also be checked, as salt bridges may have formed over time. These bridges can prevent the resin beads from softening the water properly and must be cleared to ensure the proper functionality of the water softener. Here are a few more tips to consider:

Our guide addressed most of the questions and concerns shoppers have while looking for the best water-softening system for their homes. Sometimes, additional questions crop up, particularly those involving filtration-system usage and regular maintenance. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about water softeners.

The GE GXSH40V Water Softener is our top pick as a water softener for average-size households. It filters 40,200 grains before triggering a two-hour regeneration cycle that uses just 37 gallons of water. If you're on a budget, check out the Waterboss 36,400 Grain Water Softener, which can accommodate up to four-person households.

A water softener helps prevent potential long-term damage to your plumbing and can extend the life of your dishwasher and washing machine. Conversely, for some people, the extra sodium in softened water can be harmful. Anyone with high blood pressure should check with a doctor before installing a water softener. According to guidance released by the Minnesota Department of Health, people on a low-sodium diet should keep a separate, un-softened tap for cooking and drinking.

No, according to Tim Dunphy, a water expert at Leaf Home Water Solutions. This style of water softener is not as efficient as salt-based softeners. There's also little evidence to support that magnetic water softeners are effective at softening water, as they only temporarily change the composition of the water, rather than removing the minerals.

While installing a water softener yourself allows you to save money, a water professional can test your water to ensure the system you've purchased is best for your home. Professional installation services may also save you a headache if your home has an older plumbing system.

The size and type of water softener you need depends on the hardness of your water and the space you have available. You can test the hardness of your water at home with a test kit or by sending a sample to a lab.

All water softeners work differently, so there's no easy answer. If you're worried about the environmental impact of salt, or the maintenance required to keep a salt-based water softener running, a salt-free water softener may be a better option for you. That said, the results will vary, too, depending on which model you opt for.

Water softeners are safe to use, but humans do need minerals in their diet. As is always the case, you'll want to make sure you're following a nutrient-rich diet. If you're on a low-sodium diet, you may think twice about using a salt-based water softener or simply limit your water intake from that supply.

"These minerals can form a layer on the skin, causing dryness and itchiness, and exacerbating existing skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis," says Brian Campbell, founder and chief water treatment expert at "When we shower in hard water, the calcium and magnesium buildup on our hair causes it to become dry and brittle and the color to fade."

Salt-based ion exchange softeners: These work by exchanging the hardness minerals in water (primarily calcium and magnesium) for small amounts of sodium. According to Campbell, salt-based softeners are ideal for excessively hard water, such as well water.

By installing a water softener in your home, you can increase the efficiency of your pipes and water-based appliances and even reduce the time it takes to heat up your water. Campbell reiterates that softer water is also beneficial for smoother skin and stronger, healthier-looking hair and can help your dishes come through the wash actually looking clean.

The grain capacity of a water softener refers to the number of grains of hardness it can hold, while the maximum hardness removal is the maximum amount of grains it can remove from your water. We prioritized softeners with high grain capacity and hardness removal while also taking all other factors into account.

One of the most popular water softeners on the market for good reason, this salt-based water softener uses smart technology to track your water usage and then automatically regenerates whenever necessary. The compact design makes it a good choice for small homes. With a 40,200-grain capacity, this softener gives you your money's worth.

This water softener is currently rated 4.65 stars on AJ Madison, with reviewers loving its set-it-and-forget-it operation, the easy installation process (some even managed to do it themselves), and the compact size. One shopper emphasizes, "It's simple and easy to use, and we love the difference it makes in our water," and another adds, "Water softener working so well. Love the feel of my skin and hair using soft water. It's working great! Highly recommend!!!"

With a 4.5 out of 5-star rating overall, this water softener gets a lot of love. Reviewers rave about the value for the cost, the improved flavor of their water, and how low maintenance this appliance is. Even those who had to hire a plumber for installation still say it was a worthy investment they would recommend to anyone.

Fast regeneration time and a self-cleaning water filter make this 36,400-grain water softener system a good pick for busy households with more than four people. This system can soften up to 90 grains of water per gallon and has an automatic regeneration cycle every 20 minutes. While this means it does not conserve water or salt as well as some of the other options, it ensures that your water is always soft and ready for use.

This salt-based water softener is so powerful at filtering out iron, dirt, and other tough sediments, that you can use it for well water or city water. The settings can also be adjusted to control your water's softness level, simply by using the machine's consumer-friendly controls. 041b061a72


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