You might not realize the type of water you are using for the daily household, and if it is hard water, you better know about it and think about the harmful effects of hard water on both, your appliances and on your body. Hard water is a result of the presence of excessive minerals in water, and these are unwanted minerals that stay in the water unless the water is treated.
The pipes in your home, the appliances such as coffee machines, dishwasher, etc. get clogged because of the buildup of these minerals, and they slowly deteriorate the function of the appliances. If that isn’t enough, hard water is known to cause problems to your hair, which is a slow process but well noticeable.
Hard water has minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and other minerals that are said to get absorbed into the water and they eventually clog the pipes and sometimes form a thin whitish layer on your glasses and doors of your washrooms. One of the shocking studies revealed that over 85% of households in America receive hard water, and the average hardness of water seen is 10. While some prefer to use hard water to take advantage of its minerals, but the presence of excessive minerals does more harm than good.
If you are wondering if there is something that can be done to protect your pipes, appliances, and inlets from getting damaged due to hard water, you need to use a water softener. It has to be a right type of softener that needs to be used to make the life of your products better and also keep your hair healthy and good.
First, let’s talk about how a water softener works and whether it is good enough to solve your purpose or does something that you don’t want it to do.
What does a Water Softener do?
A water softener is meant to convert hard water to soft water, and that is done by elimination of the excessive minerals present in the hard water. These devices function in their way to bring the desired result, which is the removal of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. It isn’t the same function used by each water softener type because the salt-based water softener uses ion-exchange, and the magnetic water softeners pass water through a magnetic field. There’s also a salt-free version of water softener that doesn’t use the ion exchange method.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Water Softener
As far as the disadvantages of the water softener are concerned, there are quite a few that you need to know about, but these are not common among all types. The expenditure goes higher with the salt-based softener because you not just are spending for the electricity but also for the salt that you need to stock up from time to time. The water wastage is also one of the disadvantages that would keep one from buying a water softener for their household.
But, if you look at those two advantages of the water softener, you should convince yourself to buy one. Firstly, you get a well treated soft water is devoid of any excessive minerals that won’t cause any harm to the external surfaces of your household items, and secondly, you are preventing the pipelines and your expensive kitchen appliances from getting permanently damaged due to the high percentage of salts present in the hard water. Another important purpose of the water softener is for fabric washing where the presence of minerals reduces the effectiveness of detergents, and thus you need to frequently wash the fabrics, leading to their wear and tear.
Even knowing the disadvantages, it should be a wise choice to have a water softener for either domestic or commercial purpose. Choices are many, but what makes one water softener different from the other is the technique it uses to purify and soften the hard water, and also the efficiency is different. Let us help you choose the best water softener among the list.
Recommended Water Softeners 2016
The Fleck water softener is one of the highly rated and recommended water softeners. Coming from one of the very well known brands in the water softener industry, the 5600SXT model uses the ion exchange process to eliminate the calcium and magnesium ions.
While it is the ion exchange process that helps soften the water, one of the advantages the Fleck water softener has is the control valve that allows the user to control the process. The digital on-demand control valve helps control the regeneration process that is meter-based, and you can choose to regenerate only when you want to use the water. This helps reduce the water wastage, and only when you need more water, you can set it to regenerate more water.
The material used for the Fleck 5600SXT water softener is 100% Polyglass, and a 10-year warranty on both tanks, 5-year warranty on head including electronics is provided by the manufacturer, assuring you of a long-term service.
Another advantage of this softener from Fleck is that you don’t have to worry about the water hardness because the medium to very hard water can be treated and softened by it. The Brine tank has the capacity to hold up to 250 pounds of pelleted salt, which doesn’t ask for filling frequently.
No surprises for this particular water softener to be one of the most popular ones for small households having about 3-6 people in the family.
Don’t get confused by the names here, because this particular water softener is called either RV PRO-1000 or the M7002. It is a portable unit that measures about 8 x 22 inches in size and it can be easily carried around and thus, it is a perfect choice for travelers and campers.
The only reason why one would not choose this water softener is the hard work you need to put into it because you have to manually regenerate the tank and have to regenerate it more frequently than you would do on other ones. But on the brighter side, this is a no-headache unit that is the easiest to understand and you also don’t need to carry bags of salt along because the common salt works in the softening process.
The company ships a pack of testing strips that you can use to assess the changes that happen to the water and the effect of the softener on the hard water. The regeneration process doesn’t take long, as you can see that finish is about 20 minutes. The rating of 10000 Grains lets you soften about 80 gallons of hard water with 142 GPG before you see the regeneration process happening.
The Watts water softener is quite affordable but does the job of a much higher-priced softener, and it is a go-to choice for recreational vehicles and RV-type home setups.
Unlike the other two softening systems mentioned above, the Nuvo ones use a different type of technology and thus, it is given a tag of one of the best natural systems of water softening. The Manor system from Nuvo uses Chelation process that is meant to reduce the pH level of water.
Chelation is the process using which all the hard minerals are kept soluble, and thus, they don’t cling to the inner surfaces of the pipes and also on the external surface of the appliances. One of the major advantages of this process is that it doesn’t require any salt and even electricity.
The H20 DPHB home salt water softener system uses 20-inch salt-free replacement cartridges. While the other softening systems prevent the build-up of scales, this particular unit removes the existing ones and keeping the appliances clean and good.
There are many who wonder about the harmful effects of the salt used or the amount of electricity used and expertise needed to run these water softening systems. This system from Nuvo would keep those thoughts away due to the salt-free nature. It is good for a family having about 6 members and there is a capacity of 60000 gallons.
The media tank and outer cabinet have a 10-year limited warranty and the other parts have a 3-year limited warranty that includes the electronics. The model has a compact design and thus, the installation can be done in tight areas, and thanks to the whisper-quiet operation, you don’t notice its functioning.
Even though there is a good capacity, the regeneration takes just about 18 minutes, so there is less water wastage seen here. You can call it a compact softener when you compare it with the other models around but it does a wonderful job of softening hard water having different levels of hardness.
Even though it is usually recommended to hire a technician to install the system, the WaterBoss 220 model is quite easy to install and there are enough accessories included for you to set things up by yourself.
Eddy Electronic Descaler – Water Softener Alternative
The Eddy Electronic Descaler isn’t the standard water softener because you won’t see any of the softening methods here but a descaling process that is popular as an alternative to the traditional softening systems.
Available for both home and business use, the Eddy descaler uses electromagnetic waves to reduce the effects of magnesium and calcium ions that are present in the hard water. The chemical hardness of the hard water is not altered but the descaler is meant to reduce the effects as well as remove any scales that are formed due to the water.
The scaling is broken down by two wire coils that wrap themselves around the water pipes and they send the electromagnetic waves. This system requires a very low maintenance and it is very easy to install. As mentioned above, even though it is a softener alternative, it won’t function similar to the other ones in the list.
The company is offering a 12-month 100% Money-Back Guarantee + Lifetime Repair or Replace warranty, and because you don’t have to worry about its life, it is a very good choice for those skeptical about the standard systems and their functionality for the price. But, if you have a hard water with a higher level of hardness, you cannot rely on this system to make the water softer.
When over 85% of the water supplied is hard water, you should surely look at some solutions that soften the water you use for several purposes throughout the day. We’ve tried to include the best water softeners in the list above and have chosen the best ones having a unique functionality and the best feedback from several users who are already using and are satisfied with them.
The water softening systems are from different brands because each of them offers their best solutions that can compete with the best ones from the competitive brand, and we have researched well to list out the best options that you can choose from, in the different price ranges. We hope that the information provided about hard water, its hardness, and the best solutions are something you were looking out to read before you head to purchase one of them for your household or office.