Are you looking for the best water softener to buy? If so, then you’d probably want the latest and the most advance device you can find to install in your house. Read this article today as we are going to count down the top rated water softeners for this year and maybe the water softener system you are searching for is included in this list.
If you have been following our blog for quite some time now, then you might have read our feature on buying tips for water softeners where all the information given there are particularly focused on the important factors you need to consider before actually buying a water filtering device.
In this section, we have decided to add more information to this topic as readers like you must also know the TECHNICAL considerations you have to look for in buying a water softener so that you will end up with the right kind of device that you really need.
Softening Capacity – Most (if not, all) water softeners measure the softening capacity in GPG or Grains Per Gallon. This is how you indicate the hardness of water that is being supplied in your area. Most manufacturers provide consumers with a rating as to how much hardness they can remove from the water. And you can acquire this information any time.
After testing the level of hardness in the water you have, you can deduct the system’s rating with the test result to get an estimate of the water softener’s hardness level output.
Type of water softener to purchase – As mentioned in our previous entries, there are 2 types of water softeners which are commonly used and these are the salt-based and the salt-free devices. Salt-based make use of resin beads in order to pull out the hard elements in water. These devices also require salt regenerant to function properly. Most water softeners today are using sodium based regenerants, but you can also opt for a healthier alternative in potassium and hydrogen based salts.
On the other hand, salt-free water softening systems basically softens water with the absence of salt. These devices employ different technologies in treating hard water to change the chemical makeup of hard elements in water and render them non-reactive after conditioning. Salt-free devices usually require electricity to initiate the regeneration process and they are usually free of maintenance except for the occasional replacement of filter parts.
Flow Rate – This indicates the speed of a water softener system in producing soft water which is measured in GPM or Grains Per Gallon. Normally, this detail changes with respect to the model, but typically the bigger the capacity of the water softener the more soft water is produced. It would be very helpful to know the flow rate of the system you are planning to buy so that you can compare this against the peak usage that you have in your household.
Maintenance Requirements – Most systems require regular maintenance such as refilling of softener salt pellets and cleaning the tank periocially while others practically function without the need of tune-up. For this area, you need to decide which one works best for you in terms of the cost and the effort required in order for the device to run smoothly.
This device is unique in terms of reliability and design as it is the one of the 2 water softeners that is dedicated for recreational vehicle (RV) use in this list. Let’s face it, going camping outside or spending the summer in RV parks can be a hassle as these places are plagued with hard water problems. The water is so hard the it can almost ruin your day as your skin feels dry and drinking the supply water will make you gulp unexpected as the water taste yucky all the time. What’s even worst is if you don’t do something about this it can damage your RV plumbing over time, adding up more expenses in your maintenance bill.
The OTG4 Portable 8000 Grain Water Softener For RV is the answer to all your outdoor hard water problems as it can effectively deal with all the hard water issues as you go on vacationing in your mobile home.
The OTG4 includes these awesome features so you and your family can have a real good time as you go and explore the wonders of nature:
- Built primarily for RV/Marine models
- Can produce gallons soft water with only 1 box of common table salt
- Large mouth so refilling of salt would not be hassle. Plus, it also comes with easy to carry handle.
- Ultra fast regeneration process so you can enjoy your soft water without going through that tedious waiting.
- Lightweight space-saving design
- Hoses and components are designed to fit most standard hose connections which are usually found in RV parks and camp sites.
- No electricity required
STRENGTHS: This specific water softener system is ideal for people who love to travel a lot. With this device, you can now enjoy the comfort of having the same quality of soft water that is usually produced by standard water softeners. And it’s very affordable too since the device is moderately priced compared to the similar device you can find from other brands.
WEAKNESSES: This device IS NOT intended for home use as it is not designed for heavy production of soft water. So don’t you ever think of using the OTG4 as a permanent replacement to a standard water softener because it’s just not worth it. You’ll just end up facing a lot of problems in the end rather than experiencing the benefits that this device is supposed to give.
This company is widely acclaimed for utilizing the Chelation process for softening/conditioning tap water. We give salute to this model of water softener in this list due to the great performance it has delivered to American homes particularly, for this year.
Here are some of the best features that the Nuvo H2O DPHB Water Softener System can offer:
- A flow rate of 12-15 GPM which is more than enough to sustain the soft water needs of an average sized household.
- It also includes 1 inch ports to ensure no change of rate in the existing flow.
- Has a capacity of 50,000 gal. which is the equivalent to the average annual usage of soft water in a small house.
- Cartridges are designed to remove the existing scale unlike other devices which can only prevent the scale build up before it happens.
- Healthy to use and eco-friendly since the device is free from the harmful effects of salt that is normally used by other water softener systems.
STRENGTHS: The good thing about having the Nuvo H2O DPHB Water Softener System in your home is it can help you eliminate all the concerns you have regarding the health and environmental risks that you normally get from salt-based water softeners. Not only that, you can get to enjoy better tasting water too since no chemicals were added or removed from the water while preserving its nutritional value. Moreover, you can also save your bathroom fillings which were previously victimized by the effects of hard water as this device will also get rid of these scale buildup in your drains, shower heads, and other areas affected by scale.
WEAKNESSES: Some consumer reviews have reported issues regarding the need to change the cartridge every 2 months in order to get optimal results. This is very unlikely considering that most water softener filters and cartridges have to be changed at least twice a year.
Up next on the list is the other filtering system that is intended for RV use and this is the RV Pro 1000 (10,000 Grain) Portable Water Softener System. Well, it may be designed for RV’s, but what makes this product so special is the fact that can be installed virtually anywhere you need it! Whether at home, a boat, or even a cabin camper it gives you the best quality of soft water anytime you want it. The RV Pro 1000 will also work just fine with a common table salt, just like the OTG4 Portable 8000 Grain Water Softener.
STRENGTHS: Unlike other portable water softeners, the Watts RV Pro 100 can be installed in other locations aside from a recreational vehicle. And the price is so affordable that you will literally want to buy this product after reading this guide.
WEAKNESSES: The device itself has no issues in terms of performance. But the only reason why the Watts RV Pro 1000 is ranked at the bottom part of this list is because it is less popular compared to other water softener brands.
To get more interesting facts about the RV Pro 1000 (10,000 Grain) Portable Water Softener System, please check out our earlier review as featured in one of our previous guides.
Another device in our list is one of the most famous (if not, THE famous) water softener being used today and this is the Fleck 5600 SXT (48,000 Grain) Water Softener System. The 5600 SXT is a perfect system for a standard family of 3-6 people due to its 48,000 grains per minute production and a very efficient digital control head that will let you know when it’s going to regenerate and when you need to do maintenance. You will never go wrong with 5600 SXT. In fact, you can tap into other review sites to get more info about this Fleck device and you get is positive feedbacks from all its users!
STRENGTHS: (Please check our last article for more details on the specs of this device)
WEAKNESSES: Like any other Fleck water softener systems, the 5600 SXT is also prone to salt bridging, incorrect timer setting (situational), and the presence of water inside the tank which is not really serious compared to the problems experienced by other devices which are included in this list.
What sets this product apart from the rest is the fact that the company is willing to give a decade of warranty upon purchase for less than a thousand bucks! Not only that, you can also get rid of the softening waste that is being thrown to the drain as the Rhino EQ 1000 water softening system does involve backwashing while treating hard water.
Aquasana consistently ranks as one of the best water softeners each year because of the SLOW PHOS technology they used in treating hard water, a revolutionary process in filter water.
Aside from that, here are the other features when you go for the Rhino EQ 1000 device:
- Able to produce 1,000,000 gallons of soft water
- No backwashing, electricity, and softening salts required for softening water
- Filtered water improves the quality of air inside the bathroom by reducing the harmful fumes that is vaporized by the steam shower
- Copper-zinc KDF
- Activated carbon included
- Brass fittings
- 10 year product warranty
WEAKNESSES: Most reviews indicate issues on the device’s fitting since most whole house fittings are usually 1 inch and up while the Rhino EQ 1000 has 3/4 inch. This means that you have to purchase an adaptor in order to install this water softener system at home. Moreover, this same detail can also affect on the pressure of the water being supplied. That’s why some consumers complain about the slow pressure of water coming inside the house after installation.
Next on the list is one of the outstanding devices from a popular salt manufacturing brand, the Morton Salt MSD34C Water Softener System Saver. This device is a saving grace in any way because the compact design which allows you to enjoy conditioned water even if there’s not enough space. Most water softeners come with a separate brine tank and a mineral tank, but the MSD34C has these components in one compartment.
The best thing about having this system is you will be able to produce the same amount of softened water while using only half of the salt you are normally using. Plus, it has 34,000 grain capacity which is perfect for a bigger family.
STRENGTHS: The Morton Salt MSD34C Water Softener System Saver includes a “Look Ahead” feature which looks into the usual pattern of the water usage in a household and adjusts the device accordingly so that it will regenerate soft water only when needed.
WEAKNESSES: Some consumers noticed that the control board is still affected by corrosion even though it is protected by a clear coat. And this specific issue is often discussed in most water softener reviews for this device.
This specific device is designed for homeowners who are situated in the confines of urban area. Of course, the WaterBoss City Water Softener (22,000 Grain) is expected to remove all the hard contaminants in water. But did we mention that it can also remove chlorine and runs very quietly? If you are residing in a condominium or a townhouse were you don’t have a luxury of space, then this system is definitely for you.
Here are some of the features you can enjoy after installing the WaterBoss City Water Softener (22,000 Grain):
- The device is designed to minimize the use of water upon regeneration to effectively cut the cost on water bills.
- Includes a patented dirt and sediment filtering system that is absolutely maintenance-free.
- Removes up to 35 GPG
- Easy to install
- Compact design
WEAKNESSES: Some reports point out on the issue regarding the circuit-board as the display goes off in some instances that the parts will have to be replaced only to find out the same problem will happen again a month later. Aside from that, other customers have an issue with their phone support as the representatives provide “useless” instructions which can damage the device even further.
At the third spot in our list is one of the most impressive water softener systems and that is the Aquios AQFS220c Water Softener (Full House) And Filtering System. It’s quite surprising how Aquios has managed to earn this spot knowing that we rarely mention their products in any of our previous guides. And yet this model has caught our attention because of a lot discussion we have read about the impeccable performance of this product.
Here are some of the specifics you can get when you opt for the Aquios AQFS220c Water Softener (Full House) And Filtering System:
- Salt-free water softener with filtration system and a commercial grade descaler which can eliminate calcium and magnesium elements in water.
- All-in-one device which can filter, condition, a remove hard water contaminants without affecting the pressure of water being supplied in your area.
- Maintenance-free and does not require any complicated programming or electricity
- For residential and commercial use with cartridge life for up to 6 months
- Includes 40,000 gallon cartridge
- 20 years warranty
WEAKNESSES: Some of the common complains about this product are the presence of iron in soft water after filtering and the brand’s claim to supposedly soften water as the quality of the liquid remains the same after treatment. On the other hand, some consumers are not happy with the actual size of the product (2 ft.). They think it’s just not worth it to pay 400 bucks just to have a water softener this size for home use.
Scalewatcher Nano Electric Descaler
At the second spot on the list is one of the best softeners/conditioners you can use aside from traditional systems: the Scalewatcher Nano Electric Decaler. Usually, these particular types of water softeners don’t get much credit. But we firmly believe that this model can truly deliver what you need to battle out the hard contaminants in your household. That’s why we give salute to this device by making an honest review about it.
The concept behind their technology lies in the power of electricity where pulses are constantly sent through the water to alter the hard mineral’s ability to attach into pipes and fitting and prevent scaling from happening. Aside from that, the same technology can also be used to break down existing scale formations and “clean” your pipes as the water passes through it.
STRENGTHS: The Scalewatcher Nano Electric Decaler does not require any chemicals or softening regenerants for softening hard water.
WEAKNESSES: The effectiveness of the device is still up for debate as the technology they employ is not yet scientifically proven.
And on the number 1 spot in our list is a tough contender in the water softening industry: the Fleck’s Iron Pro 2 Water Softener System. The Iron Pro 2 has a 64,000 grain capacity which will allow you to remove calcium, magnesium, iron, and even small traces of dirt in water! Not only that, this device can also reduce the chlorine flavor in water the more you use it.
STRENGTHS: (Please check our “Reviewing The Best Water Softeners Today” article for more details on the specs of this device)
WEAKNESSES: Salt bridging, incorrect timer setting (situational), and the presence of water inside the tank which is common in most Fleck water softener systems.
Do check out our 3 favorite devices from the 10 water softeners in this list by looking at our table below:
- Most Effective Water Softener w/ Filter
- Fleck’s Iron Pro 2 Water Softener System
- Overall Rank: 1
- Additional Notes: The most efficient of salt-based water softeners in this list
- PRICE: $$
- Most Efficient Device in terms of value:
- Aquasana Rhino EQ 1000 Water Softener System
- Overall Rank: 6
- Additional Notes: Environment-friendly
- PRICE: $$
- Most Innovative Model
- Scalewatcher Nano Electric Descaler
- Overall Rank: 2
- Additional Notes: Cheap and alternative solution to hard water problems
- PRICE: $
Stay tune for more interesting facts about water softeners in our next articles.