How do you choose the best water softener? What functions and features should the water softener have according to your needs? Read our guide and choose informed.
The presence of hard water is a serious problem for many areas around the world, but also in Romania. Consumption of such water can lead to serious health problems.
In addition, appliances that use it, such as a dishwasher or clothes, can also break down much faster due to mineral deposits.
Fortunately, there are water softeners . If you need such a solution in your household, here is how you can choose the best water softener .
Top 3 recommended water softeners
Why choose the best water softener?
Hard water is rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium and manganese . If you feel that the shampoo and soap are not doing their job well, if there are always white marks on the dishes, the clothes do not look good and the coffee machine has calcium deposits, there is a problem with hard water in your area.
Although these minerals are not normally dangerous to health , they can severely damage the water system, boiler and other appliances, which makes cleaning clothes, dishes and hair a real challenge. To solve this problem, specialists recommend the use of a water softener . However, in order to fully enjoy the benefits of one, it is necessary to choose the best one.
How to choose the best water softener
See this shopping guide to find out all the selection criteria you need to consider before buying such a device. You will learn about the types of water softeners available on the market and how each one works.
You will also learn how to choose the right size for your home as well as other important details. In the end, you will be ready to buy like an expert.
How can a water softener be useful?
There are several reasons to buy such a device if you live in an area with hard water. Here are just a few:
You will no longer have deposits on the pipes
Hard water minerals tend to create deposits on the pipes and thus damage them. The softener prevents the formation of deposits . Thus, it can permanently eliminate the cause of the problem. This is the most efficient way to reduce the maintenance costs of the water installation in the long run.
Appliances will no longer be affected by deposits
By preventing mineral deposits, a water softener helps reduce leaks and prolongs the life of appliances . It also eliminates the unpleasant odor, specific to deposits inside the faucets, the sink in the bathroom or the shower heads.
Hair and skin will be finer
Even if you use a shower head filter, it is not very effective. By using a softener, you will wash with cleaner water , which will help you have a smoother and more hydrated skin, but also healthy hair.
The clothes will be softer
As soon as the water is filtered by unwanted minerals, you should notice that clothes and towels are silkier and more delicate after washing . Flakes and stains should be easier to remove, and the materials will retain their intense color for longer. In addition, less detergent will be needed to achieve the desired effects.
You will have glasses and glassware without white spots
How can you check the hardness of the water?
There are methods of approximating the level of water hardness. However, you will need something more precise to be able to select a softener that will cope with your needs.
You may need to buy a water hardness test kit . These devices will be able to indicate the concentration of minerals in the water, as a value expressed in milligrams per liter.
If you want something more advanced, you can always take a water sample to a laboratory so that professionals can provide you with the most accurate data. Thus, you will find out not only the level of hardness in the water, but also the elements that cause such high values of calcium. This will allow you to better decide which type of water softener is best for you.
Types of water softener
There are different types of water softeners on the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here's what you need to know about each:
Salt water softening system
Basically, these devices are based on a process called " ion exchange ", to extract hard minerals such as calcium and magnesium ions, but also iron and others, from water. These substances are replaced by sodium or, in rare cases, potassium. This is the most common and used method of water softening today.
For this exchange to take place, hard water is introduced into a tank containing resinous materials in the form of small balls that are filled with sodium . As the water comes in contact with the resin, the sodium ions are replaced with those of calcium and magnesium , as a result, they are removed from the water, making it suitable for household use.
After a while, all the sodium will be consumed, and the resin beads will be covered with mineral deposits. This is where the softener needs regeneration . Therefore, a highly concentrated saline solution must be circulated through the resin tank.
All minerals are dissolved in water once more, and the resin beads are refilled with sodium. The last step is to empty the salt tank which now contains all the calcium and magnesium.
Among the advantages of this device are:
- You will have appliances that work for longer because they prevent the deposition of minerals.
- You save on detergents because it will be easier to clean surfaces and objects.
- There are not so many stains on dishes and other surfaces.
- Hair and skin will look healthier.
There are also disadvantages :
- The water and salt needed to regenerate the resin elements involve extra costs
- Soft water has a slippery texture that you need to get used to
- Consuming this water or using it for cooking will increase the level of sodium or potassium you consume daily. They can cause hypertension and other conditions.
Salt-free water softener
These are not necessarily softeners, but rather a kind of " water balm ", because they do not remove minerals . Their purpose is to prevent these substances from being deposited. In other words, they have a descaling effect.
These methods include the use of citric acid or polyphosphate as hard water ion binding agents so that they will remain soluble. Other substances use catalytic agents that cause the formation of calcium carbonate crystals.
Magnetic water softener
These are considered controversial devices . Basically, these are electronic devices that are equipped with a cable that simply wraps around the main water pipe. It generates a magnetic field that changes the electromagnetic properties of calcium carbonate.
As a result, the mineral particles are rejected by the surface of the pipes , thus avoiding their deposition. However, they do not make the water less hard, but only prevent deposits.
Two tank systems
The idea behind this system is that as long as one tank regenerates its resin, the other is available to provide softened water.
This is a suitable device for families in which members have a different schedule , for example if they work on different shifts. This is because regeneration is normally scheduled at night, ie when no water is needed or when the need is very low.
However, in situations where water is needed at night, such a system can prove to be really useful. However, keep in mind that it will take up more space than usual.
How do you choose the size of the water softener?
When buying the best water softener, it is crucial to choose the right size. You want to have one that meets the needs of the household, but it should not be too big, because you will consume resources and money for unnecessary maintenance.
Not necessarily physical size is important, but the ability of the unit to soften the water without frequent regeneration sessions.
Water softeners are available in different sizes . Your goal is to choose a unit that will be able to serve you for at least 3 days without the need for regeneration .
Ideally, it should also cope with higher water consumption than normal. Basically, you will need a larger appliance as there are more people living in your household and there are many bathrooms.
For example, if you have a house with two bathrooms in which a maximum of 3 people live, you need a small to medium softener . If you have more than 3 bathrooms and more than 4 people in the house , opt for a medium to large or even large one.
Regeneration system by volume or time?
Today, most water softeners use a metric system to determine when the regeneration process begins . This is desirable.
The technology uses an electronic sensor or a mechanical instrument to measure the volume of water to measure consumption. This allows the appliance to start regenerating only when necessary, ie when the resin is full of mineral ions or when a certain volume of water has been used.
The advantage is that you will save water and salt , and the impact on the environment will be smaller.
In another category there are regeneration systems that are based on time . As the name suggests, regeneration starts after a predetermined period or at a certain time of day, regardless of the volume of water you have consumed.
To prevent wastage, you will need to choose the time frame for the resin to refill. However, when you consume more water than usual, for example when you fill a pool, regeneration must be done more often.
Likewise, if you go on vacation and the water is not consumed, the process of recharging the water will waste a lot of resources.
Additionally, there are variants that allow you to manually activate the regeneration , only when you consider it necessary.
Digital control unit
Such a special function allows easy configuration and monitoring of daily operations . Moreover, a screen can display errors as well as repair ideas.
A water softener with a bypass is easy to control and easy to install. It can be used if you need repairs and the system must be temporarily shut down.
A softener that is easy to maintain will work longer. So choose one with easily removable components as well as one that has mounting accessories and connectors made of good quality materials.
It is unpleasant and difficult to maintain a device that has hard-to-disassemble parts such as injection or hard-to-reach valves. Make sure you read the opinions of other consumers on this topic before making a purchase.
Where to buy the best water softener?
You will find such a good device both in physical stores and online . However, it is better, from all points of view (financial, time, energy) to order online. That's because you have even more chances to find exactly the device that suits you.
In addition, you enjoy another advantage. You can find very quickly and easily opinions about that product from people who have already tried it. Thus, no dishonest manufacturer or incorrect seller can make you buy a product that is not good.
Among the aspects you need to pay attention to are the manufacturer and the warranty . Choose a product with as much warranty as possible and buy only from manufacturers who have a good reputation and whom you can trust.
Also check how well it communicates with customers if your device is experiencing problems. This way you will be able to enjoy the best water softener.
The best water softener: recommendations
Analyzing the existing offer, taking into account the opinions of buyers and the above tips, we further recommend some models of home water softeners that offer an excellent quality / price ratio.
Regeneration depending on the time and volume of water consumed.
Service flow @ 15 psi / 1 bar 6.81 m3 / h.
Reverse wash rate @ 25 psi / 1.7 bar 3.66 m3 / h.
Flow rate (m3 / h): 2.40 m3 / h – Resin volume (l): 2 x 20 liters
Valve Automation: Volume + Time – ByPass Valve: Optional.
Water Type: Cold Water – Use: Residential, Commercial, Industrial.
Water connection: 1 inch – Benefits: Eliminates hardness, Prevents limescale deposits.
Wireless control for the control valve (80 m).
Possibility to adjust the hardness for the treated water.
Dry salt tank.
Use softened water for brine.
Up-Flow regeneration for water and salt savings.
Do not interrupt the water supply during regeneration.
The Purifyo 26l softener is specially designed for larger families of up to 8 people.
With a 26-liter ion exchange resin vessel, it can withstand both high hardness and high flow.
The device works at optimal parameters for a maximum hardness of 55 degrees German.
Salt / regeneration consumption: 3.1 kg – Max treatment capacity: 78 (° G x m3).
Flow – 2.1 m³ / h – Water pressure (min / max): 2.5 / 8.6 bar.
Bluesoft softening stations benefit from a modern design and are equipped with a Runxin control valve.
Bluesoft softeners are very versatile in terms of programming, allowing volumetric and chronometric programming.
Holiday function that allows safe regeneration at a certain time interval, preventing the development of bacteria in the installation.
Flow rate (m3 / h): 2.00 – Resin content (l): 25 – Bypass valve, overflow protection valve.
Softening station for residential use
Flow rate (m3 / h): 1 – Resin content (l) 8.
Regeneration programming: Volumetric.
Service flow @ 15 psi / 1 bar 4.56 m³ / h.
Reverse wash rate @ 25 psi / 1.7 bar 1.56 m³ / h.
Regeneration with treated water – 5 washing cycles with adjustable times.
Regeneration schedule: 1 – 99 days.