Good day readers! We hope you enjoyed our last feature on Culligan water softeners. Today, we are going to make an honest and in-depth review about NorthStar water softerners and gather all the facts you need to know before purchasing any of their water softener system for your water softening needs.
NorthStar has been in the water softening business since 1925 and is currently owned by Ecowater and Marmon Group of Companies which are both branch companies of Berkshire Hathway. The company was successful in the sense that they were able to manufacture their products on site. And probably, one of the reasons why they were able to sustain their prolonged existence is because of the fact they were the first to create water softener systems with few moving parts compared to other similar devices.
The water softners they create are suitable for homes as well as business established which are in need of water treatment. These devices are very easy to install as their products are compatible with most of the plumbing systems we have today. And the best part of this is these units are cleverly designed so won’t eat up a lot of space in your garage or basement.
Today, NorthStar remains as one of reliable companies in manufacturing water softeners for home and industrial use. And though they are not as popular as Fleck, Culligan, or Morton in terms of sales and product ratings, you can still be assured that their devices will get the job done in solving all the hard water issues you are experiencing today.
As experts, we honestly think that NorthStar has the potential to become one of the leading water softener brands in the industry. In fact, they were included in one previous feature as one of the top brands of water softeners today. But the one thing that sets them apart from all the other brands is the fact that their devices are not marketed they way other softener systems are sold to the public. Nonetheless, their products are excellent no matter what. And if the company will continue to maintain their steady sales annually, they will surely earn the same recognition as other top brands and probably earn more customers in the process.
What sets NorthStar water softeners apart from the rest? It’s the technology they have in their water softener systems. And that’s why we have carefully detailed these common features so you can evaluate their capabilities while comparing it to the technologies being used by other water softener brands:
“Look Ahead” Technology – This patented programming is considered as the core feature of their water softeners. Basically, this ‘brain’ feature monitors the water usage so it can determine a pattern when to start the regeneration process and when to stop. In the process, you will be able to save up to 60% of softener salt as the device will only initiate the regeneration process whenever needed. So this goes without saying that this technology is similar to Culligan’s smart technology in their water softeners as it has the ability to learn and adjust accordingly according to maintain the device’s optimal efficiency. In addition to this, the “Look Ahead” feature also has the capacity to calculate precisely the amount of softener salt being consumed and to recharge only a portion of the resin beads that have been depleted.
Counter-Current Regeneration – This particular feature is pioneered by the NorthStar company. With this process, the water is directed at the bottom of the resin tanks to enhance the quality of the regeneration cycle that is being done in the device.
No-Worry Setting – Unlike other systems where you have to set the units into vacation mode, the NorthStar water softener doesn’t require any of this setting since the appliance does not regenerate soft water if not needed.
Super Cap Time Keeper – Not like other water softeners where the time will reset back into its default settings after experiencing a blackout, the NorthStar device is capable of maintaining accurate timing for up to 3 days (72 hours)! And in instances where the power outage will last for hours, all you need to do is to re-enter the current time once the electric supply resumes and the system will operate back into its pre-determined settings.
Environseal Circuitry Protection – With this feature, all the device’s circuitry and wirings are carefully protected from salt corrosion. So even if your system is installed in very humid areas, it won’t easily breakdown or damaged. And it will even make your water softener last longer.
In addition to this, here are some of the additional features you can avail while using a NorthStar water softener:
- Each tank has an additional lining so these components will remain durable after years of servicing.
- Each unit includes a resin bed agitator to ensure all the elements are continuously moving inside the tank and thus preventing foreign substances like iron and dirt from contaminating the water.
- The unit uses a 24V system to prevent electrocution and other forms of electrical risks from happening.
NorthStar water softener systems don’t have a big line of products, but they do have several options for residential and commercial use. Here are some of the best products you can choose whether you want to install it at home or in the office:
This line of water softeners comes in 5 different models, but they all have these similar features:
- NorthStar’s “Look Ahead” Technology
- Has a Quick Set up feature which enables any user to adjust the time and the level of hardness to the desired setting.
- Includes an Efficiency Selector so you can choose the kind of efficiency mode you want the device to operate into.
- Has a Diagnostic feature which tallies the number of regenerations being done in a day, self-analysis of the electrical components, switches check, and turbine check.
- Has a Heavy-duty valve with fewer moving parts
- No-Worry Setting
- 1 year manufacturer warranty
NSC15ED – This model has a maximum capacity of 15,700 grains a rated service flow rate of up to 5.3 GPM. It can remove traces of iron in water for up to 4 PPM while efficiently removing 4,160 grains per 1 lbs. of softener salt. The NSC15ED has a standard 1 inch size valve connection which makes it very easy for attaching into our plumbings at home.
- NSC23ED – This model has a maximum capacity of 26,000 grains and flow rate of 6 GPM. It also has the capacity to remove 7 PPM of iron deposits in water while efficiently removing 5,000 grains per 1 lbs. of salt. This model also has a standard 1 inch size valve connection for easy set up during installation.
- NSC30UD – This cabinet water softener model has a maximum capacity of 30,200 grains and flow rate of 7.3 GPM. It can remove iron deposits in water for up to 8 PPM and can get rid of up to 5,120 grain per 1 pound of salt. This model also includes a standard 1 inch size valve connection for easy set up during installation.
- NSC30UD1 – This water softener model has a maximum capacity of up to 34,000 grains and a rated service flow rate of 7.5 GPM. It can also remove iron sediments in clear water for up to 5 PPM and can eliminate 5,030 grains per 1 pound of softening salt. Unlike the previous 3 cabinet water softener models, the NSC30UD1 has a High Flow 1 inch size valve connection.
- NSC40UD1 – This model has a maximum capacity of 39,000 grains and has a flow rate of up to 10 GPM. And like all the other cabinet water softeners, the NSC40UD1 can also remove iron deposits of up to 5 PPM while removing 5,100 grain per 1 pound of salt. This model also has a High Flow 1 inch size valve connection similar to the NSC30UD1 model.
- NorthStar Cabinet Water Softeners
- Main Feature: "Look Ahead" Technology
- Added Benefit(s): Quick step feature, efficiency selector, diagnostic feature, no worry setting, few moving parts
- PRICE: $$
- NorthStar Two-Tank Water Softeners
- Main Feature: "Look Ahead" Technology
- Added Benefit(s): Has all the benefits similar to a Cabinet water softener but with two tanks to produce 2 times soft water for high demand water softening.
- PRICE: $$
Basically, this is NorthStar’s version of “twin tank” water softener units. There are 4 models under this line and all of them have these same features as the Cabinet Water Softeners except they can continuously produce soft water because the 2 tanks will regenerate alternately to meet huge demand of a large home or a big family.
- NST23ED – This two-tank model has a maximum capacity of 26,000 grains and has a flow rate of 6 GPM. It can remove up to 7 PPM of iron contaminants in water while efficiently removing 5,000 grains per 1 pound of salt. This model also has a standard 1 inch size valve connection for easy set up during installation.
NST30UD – This two-tank water softener model has a max. capacity of 30,200 grains and has a rated service flow rate of 7.3 GPM. It can remove 8 PPM of traces of iron in water and can take out 5,120 grains per 1 lbs. of salt. And like the NST23ED, this unit also includes a standard 1 inch size valve connection for easy set up during installation.
- NST45UD1 – This type of two-tank model has a maximum capacity of 45,400 grains and flow rate of up to 10 GPM. The NST45UD1 can remove 12 PPM of iron in water and can eliminate 5,120 grains per 1 pound of salt like the NST30UD. But unlike the previous 2 water softener models mentioned above, the NST45UD1 has a High Flow 1 inch size valve connection.
- NST70UD1 – This fourth and last two-tank water softener from NorthStar has a maximum capacity of 70,000 grains and a flow rate of 13.5 GPM. It can remove 19 PPM of iron like other NorthStar water softeners and can eliminate up to 5,110 grain per 1 lbs. of softening salt. This model also has a High Flow 1 inch size valve connection similar to the NST45UD1 model.
And just to provide you with some added information, we have also included some of the softener salt products that NorthStar is recommending to be used in their water softener systems as shown in their website:
- Morton System Saver II Patented Water Softening Pellets
For more information about this product, please check out our previous feature on Morton water softeners.
Based on careful analysis and on personal experiences of some of the researchers in our team, here are the top 2 NorthStar water softeners that we can recommend you to check out. Of course, these choices are just based on our collective opinions, but the final decision is still entirely up to you:
NSC40UD1 Ultra Demand Cabinet Water Softener – Basically it has all the excellent features of a typical NorthStar water softener and it also has a LCD display screen so you can check all the details you need to keep the device from running smoothly. Aside from that, we chose this model because one of us have actually installed this system in their home and is very satisfied with the performance ever since.
NSC30UD1 Ultra Cabinet Water Softener – This is our second best option because of the following reasons:
- It comes with the same features you expect to get from a NorthStar water softener.
- A lot the company’s clients have tried and tested this product and are very happy with it (based on consumer reports).
- We love the fact that it can retain up to 72 hours of data. So even if you experience a power failure, you don’t have to worry about the system going back to its factory settings anymore. We are so impressed by this since you cannot find any feature similar to this from the top water softener brands in the market today.
The way we see it, investing on NorthStar products is something we can definitely recommend. However, you need to bear in mind these certain details before making an actual purchase:
Think of the size of the product if it’s really the one you need – Those who are considering NorthStar water softeners often think of how big their softening units are and how they are efficient in treating areas with very serious hard water issues. Yeah, their devices are extremely effective. But you have to make some room before these products can be installed in your home.
Check on specific details of the model you wish to buy – It would also be good to check if the tanks use 3/4 inch or 1 inch valves because the company usually manufacture their products with these specifications in mind.
Study their warranty coverage – It would also be wise to know the warranty coverage of your chosen product as NorthStar water softeners are covered for 10 years but the warranties on specific products may differ from each other.
NorthStar water softener systems are very affordable. In fact, you can expect somewhere between $400 to $1500. And this price range is quite reasonable (like this NSC40UD1 model in Amazon) that you can easily save some dough in order to come up with a decent unit. Apart from that, you can be assured of the product’s durability since it is made by one of the reputable water softener brands in the market today.
As mentioned above, NorthStar is not as popular as other top water softening brands. Even if they have established their name in the industry since 1925, there is still something that’s making them “inferior” from the competition.
It’s not that we are downplaying the brand because their products are great. It’s just that other brands tend to have that edge that makes them look better in front of customers when the truth is NorthStar also makes the same high quality products as them. Yes, they have the tools to make it big. In fact, their technology has been updated from time to time to meet the demands of the ever discriminating public. But when it comes to reports and annual ratings, they are often left behind. Whether because GE and Whirlpool tends to be mainstream brands that they tend to stand out on customers and Morton has a better cling to the business, this are some of the realities we cannot really explain…
Nonetheless, we see NorthStar as a worthy competitor because they are often included in the top 10 lists (usually ranked at the bottom half). And if they maintain their good standards, they will definitely make it to the top one day.
A lot of customers are very happy about NorthStar water softeners. In fact, we have scoured different reviews over the internet and most of them often say a lot of great things about their softener systems. And many of the positive feedbacks are pointed on the fact that using their water softeners can also help prevent clogging issues which usually affects the device and the plumbing fixtures inside the bathroom. Moreover, users are also delighted that they can see the results in no time which is a true testament that their products are indeed very useful and efficient.
In addition to this, some reports have also mentioned about the product’s maintenance free and ease of operation capabilities particularly on the “Look Ahead” technology which makes their live more easier as they continue to enjoy softer water at their homes.
Furthermore, certain clients are extremely pleased that the salt loading space is so easy to access and that control panel (along with its settings) is very user-friendly.
Please refer to the “Water Softeners Warranty from date of installation” section as shown in the company’s official website to know more about the warranty coverage of NorthStar water softeners.
Like some of the water softener systems we have featured in this blog, a NorthStar water softener service manual is usually provided to the customer after purchasing the device. But if you misplaced or lost the original copy of your manual, you can always secure a new one by going to their website’s technical support page and look for the “Owners Manuals” tab. After clicking this, you will see the service manuals of different products which can be downloaded in .pdf format.
A piece of advice: Be sure to remember the model number of the product you have so you can easily locate and download the replacement manual you need.
Based on research, here are the best places to visit once you have finally decided to purchase a NorthStar water softener:
The company website – You can check out their product page particularly on their residential products and you will see a lot of NorthStar softeners being sold there. Of course, you have to expect that the price details are not provided which means you may have to contact them to request a quote.
Amazon – We also checked this popular retail store and found some NorthStar water softener systems are also being sold in their product list. And by checking further, we were able to confirm that some of these units are heavily discounted. Therefore, we advise you to check on this store as well and hope that the product you wish to buy is currently available.