Hard water is bad for the human body, which is why you must check the state of your drinking water. Hardness is a process whereby water contains the buildup of calcium, aluminum, magnesium, and any other minerals that can be harmful when a substantial quantity is ingested. This health hazard requires that you take the necessary proactive measures to contain it.
After taking a test to ascertain whether your water contains these minerals or not, you still have to install a preventive means to eliminate any chance of the situation arising. This is where water softeners come in as an effective medium you can use to cut off any buildup of limescale or minerals in your water source.
Without further ado, let’s consider the best water softener Consumer Reports and how to choose the right model for your home:
Best Water Softeners – Top 6 Picks of the Year
Top 1 – Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000 Grain Water Softener:
This is an excellent model suitable for a household holding over five individuals; the product holds a capacity of 40,000 grain and is NSF-certified, which guarantees the quality and functionality of its design. You can remove hard minerals in quantities up to 125 grains of hardness per gallon.
A hi-tech demand regeneration feature is integrated into the product to ensure it only regenerates at times where it is required. This model is designed and assembled in the U.S. under the best standards and technology available. The tank featured is ultra-light and transparent in case you need the level of the salt available.
An indicator is added for detecting potential leaks in your water flow system. This can help reveal any leaks you might have in your plumbing network. A limited electronics warranty for three years and another limited warranty for ten years comes with the tanks. Included in the package is a bypass valve along with an instruction manual, a softener system, and an installation kit.
- Includes a high flow valve
- Contains the full resources for installation and maintenance
- Ideal for private wells
- Contains a system monitor, an interface that lets you know when the device is in full operation
- Not a suitable option for a small family
Top 2 – Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener
This digital model is manufactured in the U.S. and very useful in the elimination of any hardness minerals existing in a water flow system. This system is salt-based, which means it requires regeneration, but this process can be made automated by setting in the instructions.
You can rely on the use of this product for a very long time, and it comes with a 10-year warranty. A household containing up to 6 people can make use of this product; it is ideal for small and mid-sized households. Sufficient pressure is provided by this model to deliver up to 12 gallons per minute.
The Fleck 5600SXT reduces the wastage of salt and money to conserve your resources for you. There are numerous features integrated into this system to complement the overall service delivery. This model is available in capacities ranging from 16,000 to 64,000 for you to choose from.
- Impressive warranty
- Large assortment of capacities
- Helps conserve resources
- Very effective model
- Heavy design
- Some components are not very durable
Top 3 – On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT Portable 16,000 Grain RV Water Softener
This model features a portable design with a 16,000-grain capacity that uses standard table salt for its regeneration. The regeneration process on this system takes only 30 minutes; this compact product helps you create soft water anywhere you want.
There is a convenient handle on top of its head for easy transport and connection; the model has an opening on the top for refilling the salt. You can easily assemble the product through an easy setup procedure. Electrical energy is not required to power this device, meaning there is no power rating for you to worry about.
Hardness test strips, hi-flow valve, inlet and outlet hose adapters, back-flush adapter, and storage inlet/outlet caps are featured in this patented design.
- Effectively reduces water hardness
- Test strips are included
- The product does not affect the water pressure of your water system
- Holds a capacity of 16,000
- Plastic components are used for the construction
- Can be quite heavy for some users
Top 4 – Pentair WS48-56SXT10 Fleck Water Softener:
This water softener comes with a control panel with a display that provides information about the current information of the system. The product is commercial-grade and equipped with a tank, float, and a 48,000-grain capacity. The product grants your water flow system high resistance to the effects of chlorine and other minerals.
This model features the Fleck SXT controller, which can be used to achieve maximum performance. An installation kit is included to make the setup convenient and easy. The system is ideal for a household of four people; there is a bypass valve contained in the setup package.
- Digital interface
- Easy installation process
- Highly durable model
- Scalable design
- Bulky nature
- Short warranty period
Top 5 – Whirlpool WHESFC Pro Series Water Softener:
You can save money with this dual-function system, which can serve as a filtration and softening system. The hard ions present in your water can be effectively eliminated along with any contaminant that poses a danger to your well-being. A notable and unique feature is the smart 6th Sense Technology incorporated into the system for efficient consumption of water and salt.
Everything required for convenient installation is provided in a kit that comes with the package. The Whirlpool WHESFC has a grain capacity of 31,000; you can easily connect the system to the main water supply by following the user manual provided.
- Hybrid functionality
- Can handle sever water conditions
- Easy cleaning and maintenance
- Can help extend the lifetime use of your appliances
- Calibration can be difficult
Top 6 – Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener:
The Fleck 5600SXT is a premier-quality system that holds a lot of complementing features that shape its ultra-excellent performance when it comes to the conditioning of your water supply. This product is certain to deliver optimum value for your money; this model holds a capacity of 64,000 and can serve a household containing up to 6 individuals.
You can rid your water of any traces of hardness through a high-end process that rids your supply of iron or any other minerals. The digital interface of the product allows users to navigate through the functions with ease; an upgraded flow meter is also integrated into the design to enhance the water dispersion and monitor the water usage. There is a 5-year warranty on the valve as well as a 10-year warranty on the tanks of the product.
- Convenient warranty features
- Easy digital interface for efficient usage
- The resin of the system comes pre-loaded
- Features a 64,000-grain capacity
- Installation process may be difficult
- Expensive option
How to Choose a Good Water Softener
The performance of your water softener depends on how you handle the evaluation of the products in the market. Getting something that serves you well whilst keeping to your budget is what you need to aim for. There are several products you can consider to attain safe drinking water, which is perfect for your health.
Many things can impact how effective a water softener is, considering such things before buying one is crucial for you to get the most value out of your investment. You can refer to the points listed below to make an educated decision.
Knowing the kind of water softener that suits your needs is important because there are different types designed with unique mechanisms. However, they all serve to ensure your water is safe for use. There are the magnetic water softeners which generate a magnetic field around your pipe structure to eliminate the chances of a buildup occurring.
There are also salt-based water softeners that induce a safe chemical process using salts to attain water softening. Some salt-free models initiate water conditioning to erase any buildup of minerals in your water; this particular type isn’t the most effective of all the kinds that exist.
The last kind is the dual tank water softeners; the mode of operation involved for this design is perfect for households that incur large water consumption. This model features two heavy-duty tanks that provide soft water around the clock.
Each model comes with a capacity of resources it uses to replenish the softness of the water. For salt-based water softeners, their capacity is measured in terms of the grains of hardness they have before you need to restock. 16,000 is the starting point in a range of capacities you can consider getting; this size is ideal for small households, while larger households require a larger quantity.
The larger the capacity, the longer you can go before refilling the tank; you should also use a kit to test the hardness of your water to determine the quantity you need.
The overall cost to be incurred for the purchase of the softening product is to be evaluated to keep to your budget. Costs of installation and maintenance should also be put into consideration; each model comes at a different price, which doesn’t necessarily guarantee its quality.
You can weigh the features of the different models against their specific prices to make the best choice that suits you. Speaking of features, it’s recommended that you go for models that come with a bypass valve. This component grants you the options of using your water softener or not.
Space will be needed for the installation of your water softener; the amount of space required depends on how large the water softener is. Larger models require more space for a convenient fitting; the good thing about water softeners is that they can be installed outside. It’s recommended that you install your water softener where the water main enters your house. Hence, you should take the measurements of this spot in your house to match the dimensions of the water softener.
Water softeners can help you increase the lifetime use of your kitchen equipment, dishwashers, washing machines, or appliances that get in contact with your water supply. Even your skin and clothes can benefit from having your water purified by a water softener. Whichever model you settle on, ensure that it can serve you long enough for you to get your value out of the purchase.