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Before seeing through more details of the best water softeners, you need to know what water softener is and how it works.
A water softener is a helpful device used to “soften hard water”. It is a system to reduce minerals to clean water by the exchange process.
The principle to soften hard water is to minimize magnesium concentration (Mg 2+) and calcium (Ca 2+). The high precipitation of minerals leads to worse problems in daily living activities.
For instance, hard water causes laundry soap waste, loss of taste when cooking, or the “slow boiling water” phenomenon. It’s so dangerous.
So, you need to have the best water softener.
In the market, there are various types of water softener systems. Depending on your need and your financial condition, you can choose your family’s suitable one.
Water softeners are divided into four main types: ion-exchange water softener, reverse osmosis water softener, salt-free water softener, and magnetic water softener.
Each type has different functions and structures, so you should note before making a buying decision to avoid “throw your money around”.
Ion-exchange water softeners
Ion-exchange water softeners are used to provide soft water for every corner of your house. This type’s characteristic is containing a resin inside - causes the ion-exchange process continuously.
This process is as follows: The resin runs out of harmful minerals like magnesium, calcium, and iron. Instead, sodium is added to soften the water. Because the exchange process happens once a week, you should often check to ensure the system works well.
Salt-free water softeners
Salt-free water softeners have an advantage over the ion-exchange water softener system because they do not require regular check-ups once a week.
However, its disadvantage is expensive when you start using them. Despite its weakness, the running system’s costs become cheaper and cheaper in the long run.
Another point to note is that they have a compact structure and take up little space. It is very convenient for houses which do not have large areas.
Salt-free water softener systems do not entirely remove harmful minerals such as Mg2+, Ca2+, etc., from water. Instead, they prevent the high precipitation of toxic minerals to avoid hard water formation.
Reverse osmosis water softeners
Similar to the above systems, reverse osmosis water softeners also remove all harmful ions from hard water.
On the one hand, this system puts healthy minerals into the water so that you can drink it. They are usually installed under the handwashing faucet for daily water use.
About the characteristics of reverse osmosis systems, they use a reverse osmosis mechanism to push water through the RO membrane. Because of the benefits of reverse osmosis water softeners, the costs to get these systems are often expensive. So, if you have too much money, you should consider buying other systems.
Magnetic water softeners
Magnetic water softeners are particular types of softening-water systems.
Because they produce alternatives to recent water softeners, their structures are similar to a line used to wrap water pipes. The magnetic field will let water through, but they need to be connected to the house’s electricity.
The prices of magnetic water softeners are pretty good. Unlike other types in the market, they are new softening-water systems.
There are many designs of water softeners, including traditional and modern ones. Depending on your family's needs, you can buy these of different types.
Note: the design must match the area of the house you are in. For a tiny space, you should choose the right size softener.
About the design, Watts OFPSYS Whole House OneFlow is an excellent choice for a compact design.
You can estimate the size of a water softener for our family by using the following calculation:
= The number of people * 75* GPG of hardness minerals
75: the average number of gallons/per person/per day.
GPG of hardness minerals: Grains per Gallon of hard mineral waters (1 grain (64.8 mg) of calcium carbonate per U.S Gallon).
By this calculation, you can calculate the water softener’s capacity enough for the whole family. We recommend buying an iSpring WGB21B 2-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System.
10" x 4.5" Big Blue Sediment CTO Filter
Moreover, it has 5,0000 Gallons for your whole family.
The cost of water softeners
You can buy water softeners on Amazon at different prices.
Besides, you need to pay for the cost of installation. This fee is often from $1,000 to $2,800. However, if you do it yourself, the price may be lower than 500$.
We encourage you to invite an expert on water softener installation. They are more experienced and can give you helpful advice, especially if you don’t know anything about the structure.
We recommend you iSpring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler about the price. It’s very cheap for you because the price is only $145.98 on Amazon.
The warranty will help maintain the system for a long time. The water softener warranty is a common standard once a year on parts. For fiberglass plastic storage tanks and plastic brine tanks, the warranty period is longer - 10 years.
You can choose Eddy Electronic Water Descaler, the water softener has 896 ratings on Amazon. The producer’s policy guarantees are “12 months 100% "no quibble" Money-Back Guarantee + Lifetime Repair or Replace warranty.”
That is amazing! Right?
How do we realize the signals of hard water in our house?
When you see some unique signals of hard water in your house, such as:
“Foggy dishes”: Glassware is more fragile, and you find it hard to clean your dirty dishes
Your skin and hair drier: While soft water makes your skin more moisturized, hard water makes your skin drier after bathing. The more you shower, the more irritated you feel. It is an uncomfortable experience.
Your clothes: White clothes turn yellow stains after laundry, especially clothes made from cotton and linen.
If you say YES to all those signals, it's time to have a water softener.
How to set up the water softener unit?
Typically, the water softener unit is installed in the plumping system near the domestic water source. You should place a water softener close to a water tank, a dry place, away from extreme cold and direct sunlight.
For instance, basements, garages, or utility rooms are suitable environments for equipment and ensure sufficient space for easy maintenance.
If you don’t know what to do, we recommend asking the water softener providers or experts. They have the knowledge to consider which is the best position to install the system in your house.
How do we know the water-softening system is not working well?
After installing the water softener, you should check the water softener regularly to ensure the systems are working well.
For example, for ion-exchange water softeners, you need to test their work once a week. However, in some cases, for some underlying reason, the device is no longer working as well as you might think.
So, how to realize it?
First, you don’t feel water really “soft”. There is hard water in our home. You can feel itchy and uncomfortable. Also, your hair will be drier.
People with hypersensitivity will experience an allergic reaction and possibly hair loss. It means that there are some problems with the water softener, so let’s check it!
Second, there are some changes in water quality. In a few cases, the water pressure is also changed abruptly. Or clearly, you can see some hard water spots.
When seeing these signs, you need to promptly call the maintenance company to fix the water softener system.
Is it possible for us to drink soft water?
There is no verdict that soft drinking water is safe for our health.
According to research, water for drinking must have less than 200 mg/l of sodium. Drinking soft water depends on your living condition, your area's environment.
If your area has a high water hardness, it still contains a vast amount of salt after the water-softening process. And it’s not good for your health.
After installing a water softener, will the water bill go up?
Installing a water softener will not have much impact on the water bill. However, the water softener system requires a little water during the softening process.
So, don't worry about it.
The water softeners have a lot of benefits. As you can see above, you do not have to get tired of washing clothes, cleaning dishes, irritating rough skin after bathing, etc.
After reviewing and comparing each type, we give two great water softeners for the best position in 2021. Salt-free systems and reverse osmosis systems are the best water softeners.
Do you know why?
The first position is iSpring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler Water Conditioner. The price of this type is so reasonable. The design is small. So, this will be the best water softener.
The second position is OFPSYS Whole House OneFlow Plus. This type has a compact design, suitable for small families. Despite its small design, the unit still has multiple water filters, making it easier to soften the water.
After considering the price, design, and warranty factors, we come up with a list as follows:
The best of the best: iSpring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler Water Conditioner
The best price: iSpring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler Water Conditioner
The best design: OFPSYS Whole House OneFlow Plus
The best guarantee: Eddy Electronic Water Descaler
The best capacity: iSpring ED2000 Whole House
We hope through this article, you can find the best water softener for your home. Good luck!