The Best Water Softener Systems of 2022 (2022)

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The Best Water Softener Systems of 2022 (1)

A qualitywater softenerremoves calcium, magnesium, and other minerals that cause hard water—which can damage appliances, dry out hair and skin, and leave buildup on the surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom—from your water supply. "The most important thing for finding the right product for your home is understanding the water in your home," says Tim Dunphy, water expert at Leaf Home Water Solutions. "That really comes from getting your water tested, so then you can get the right product recommended to solve your home’s unique water challenges.

If you've had your water tested for hard water, there are plenty of water softeners available on the market to purchase. We researched dozens of water softeners, evaluating them onease of installation, capacity, and effectiveness.Our best overall pick, theGE GXSH40V Water Softener, has a high grain capacity, digital controller, and the ability to optimize its regeneration schedule during periods of peak water usage.

Here are the best water softeners for every type of household.

In This Article

  • Our Picks

  • What to Look for

  • Why Trust The Spruce

Best Overall:GE GXSH40V Water Softener

4.6

The Best Water Softener Systems of 2022 (2)

What do buyers say? 82% of 300+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

What We Like

  • Smart features to optimize regeneration schedule

  • Relatively compact for its capacity

  • Adjustable water hardness controls

  • Useful digital indicators

What We Don't Like

  • Long regeneration cycle

"Smart" and "efficient" are two ways to describe the functionality of this popular whole house water softener. The GE GXSH40V has a 40,200-grain capacity—sufficient for typical 4-person households. It features GE’s SmartSoft technology, which allows the system to detect water usage patterns and optimize regeneration schedules so that softened water is available during peak periods of usage such as during your family's morning shower rush or at dinnertime. Regeneration takes about 2 hours and uses 37 gallons of water.

Its smart features aren't the only thing that makes this water softener our top pick. This model only takes about 30 minutes to an hour to install, which is much less time than other water softeners on the market. At 14.4 x 22.4 x 47.6 inches, it's likely small enough to fit in your laundry room or water closet.

One of the most unique features of the GE GXSH40V is its blending valve, which allows you to adjust the hardness of your water to match your needs. Using the digital controller, you can adjust water hardness levels, conserving salt usage, or increasing water softness to suit your preference. The controller will also provide you with a ‘Days to Empty’ indicator, giving you an at-a-glance indicator of when it’s time to add more to the 230-pound capacity salt bin.

This water softener not only delivers on its promise to remove iron and grains from your water, but its smart technology almost anticipates your needs, which is why it's our top pick.

Price at time of publish: $749

Type: Salt-based| Grain Capacity: 40,200 |Maximum Hardness Removal: 126 GPG | Regeneration Cycle: About 2 hours using 37 gallons of water |Ideal Household Size: 4 people

Best Budget:Waterboss Model 900 36,400 Grain Water Softener

The Best Water Softener Systems of 2022 (3)

What We Like

  • Quick and efficient regeneration cycle

  • High grain capacity makes it suitable for very hard water

  • Filters dirt, sediment, ferrous iron, for great tasting water

(Video) Best Water Softener 2022 - Top 5 Picks

What We Don't Like

  • Difficult to install

While water softener systems can frequently creep past $500 or $1,000 depending on filtration abilities and features, the Waterboss 900 is an economical choice. This budget water softener system is compact and cost-effective yet still equipped to handle the water needs of an average 3-4 person household.

This water softener has a 36,400-grain capacity and filters water with a hardness up to 90 GPG. Impressively, the regeneration cycle takes just 24 minutes and uses only 17.2 gallons of water. A user-friendly digital controller controls the softener’s settings and regeneration. As with many other water softeners, this compact unit includes a bypass valve to preserve media life.

Price at time of publish: $560

Type: Salt-based| Grain Capacity: 36,400 | Maximum Hardness Removal: 90 GPG |Regeneration Cycle: 24 minutes using 17.2 gallons of water |Ideal Household Size: 3-4 people

Best System:GE GXMH31H 30,000 Grain Water Softener and Filter in One

The Best Water Softener Systems of 2022 (4)

What We Like

  • Indicator screen tells you how many days until the unit needs a recharge

  • Sediment and chlorine filter

What We Don't Like

  • Long regeneration cycle

When paired with water filtration components, a water softener system can reduce the mineral content of your water while also improving the smell and taste of your drinking water. The GE GXMH31H Water Softener and Filter in One accomplishes both purposes with one compact set-up.

This water softener system is capable of reducing hard water up to 120 grains per gallon and can filter 31,100 grains before regeneration. Regeneration can be time-intensive, taking between 105 and 152 minutes, and also requiring a hefty amount of water (54.7 gallons) when compared to similar softeners.

In addition to softening water to your preferred hardness using a custom blending valve, the GE Water Softener and Filter in One reduces chlorine taste and odor in your water.

Price at time of publish: $499

Type: Salt-based | Grain Capacity: 31,100 | Maximum Hardness Removal: 120 GPG | Regeneration Cycle: 105-152 minutes using 54.7 gallons of water |Ideal Household Size: Not listed

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Best Portable:On The Go Portable Double Standard Water Softener

The Best Water Softener Systems of 2022 (5)

What We Like

  • Compact design fits anywhere

  • Rope carrying handle

  • Easy regeneration

What We Don't Like

  • Low grain capacity requires frequent regeneration

The On The Go Portable Double Standard Water Softener is the best option for RVs, boats, buses, or any other situation where a water softener needs to be compact and movable.

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The On The Go water softener has a 16,000 grain capacity, which is the lowest capacity of any of our recommendations, but it makes up for it with a straightforward regeneration cycle that takes less than 30 minutes and uses two boxes of table salt. Regeneration is made even easier thanks to the system's large, open mouth. Depending on how hard your water is, the On The Go has a high enough grain capacity to provide between 640 and 1,600 gallons of softened water in between regenerations.

True to its name, the On The Go has a number features that make it ideal for travelers and anyone likely to uninstall and reinstall the unit in multiple locations. In addition to its 22 by 9.5-inch design, it has a carry handle on top, plus a cap and plug to prevent leaking during travel. It also uses a standard hose connection and requires no tools to install.

With a flow rate of three gallons per minute, this water softener is more than capable of keeping up with an RV or marine shower. It also comes with hardness test strips, hose adapters, and a cradle base for stable installation.

On The Go also offers a smaller Portable Standard Water Softener, without about half the capacity, but we believe it's worth the upgrade for the extra capacity.

Price at time of publish: $275

Type: Salt-based | Grain Capacity: 16,000 | Maximum Hardness Removal: 58 GPG | Regeneration Cycle: 24-30 minutes |Ideal Household Size: Mobile, RV

Best for Well Water:Aquasure Harmony Water Softener with Fine Mesh Resin for Iron Removal

The Best Water Softener Systems of 2022 (6)

What We Like

  • Iron filter ideal for well water

  • Fine mesh resin to capture wide range of minerals

  • Ability to handle very hard water

  • Useful digital controls

What We Don't Like

  • No way to quickly check salt levels

A water softener for well water is typically equipped with an iron filter. This additional filter helps to address the specific needs of homes supplied by well water and reduces the presence of iron and rust stains on sinks, tubs, and toilets.

Aquasure’s Harmony series is outfitted with fine mesh resin that captures minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron. It has the ability to filter water with a hardness up to 110 GPG. Choose between water softeners with the capacity to filter 32,000, 48,000, or 64,000 GPG before regeneration is needed. The regeneration cycle uses 40 gallons of water and lasts 98 minutes. Regardless of the size tank you choose, the Aquasure has a digital control console that monitors water consumption and regulates the frequency of regeneration.

Price at time of publish: $580

Type: Salt-based| Grain Capacity: 48,000 |Maximum Hardness Removal: 110 GPG | Regeneration Cycle: 98 minutes using 40 gallons of water |Ideal Household Size: Up to 5 people

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Best Salt-Based:Rheem RHS32 Preferred 32,000 Grain Water Softener

The Best Water Softener Systems of 2022 (7)

What We Like

  • Large salt storage tank reservoir

  • Low salt monitor

  • Angled design and inner tank light for easy maintenance

What We Don't Like

  • Long, 2-hour regeneration cycle

Salt-based water softeners are a familiar sight in homes supplied by hard water. A popular and affordable salt-based softener for average-sized households is the Rheem Preferred 32,000 Grain Water Softener.

This model from Rheem uses a treated resin bed to capture calcium and magnesium particles from hard water. After processing 32,000 grains, the system will regenerate—which takes 2 hours and uses 24 gallons of water. The salt storage tank holds 175 pounds and needs periodic refilling, but the system has a low salt monitor that will provide a visual alert when the salt supply is running low. Rheem also equipped this model with technology to detect water usage patterns and optimize regeneration cycles to conserve salt, water, and energy.

Price at time of publish: $419

Type: Salt-based| Grain Capacity: 32,000 |Maximum Hardness Removal: 105 GPG | Regeneration Cycle: 2 hours using 24 gallons of water |Ideal Household Size: Up to 4 people

(Video) BEST Ion Exchange Water Softener Review💧(Ultimate 2022 Guide To Salt Based Water Softeners)

Best Heavy Duty:Pelican Water 80,000 Grain Heavy Duty Water Softener

The Best Water Softener Systems of 2022 (8)

What We Like

  • Processes 4,000 gallons of water before needing regeneration

  • Metered backwash controller

What We Don't Like

  • Only handles water hardness up to 75 grains per gallon

Households that have very hard water may benefit from a heavy-duty water softener, which has a higher maximum grain capacity than typical water softeners.This heavy-duty water softener from Pelican Water is rated to capture 80,000 grains and process 4,000 gallons of water before regeneration is necessary.

Maximum hardness removal is 75 grains per gallon, which is not as high as some other water softeners but is much higher than average water hardness levels in most areas. Regeneration cycles take 105 minutes and use 100 gallons of water, but the system includes a controller for a metered backwash function to reduce the use of unnecessary water.

Price at time of publish: $1,828

Type: Salt-based| Grain Capacity: 80,000 | Maximum Hardness Removal: 75 GPG | Regeneration Cycle: 105 minutes using 100 gallons of water |Ideal Household Size: 3-4 people

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Final Verdict

The GE GXSH40V Water Softener (view at AJ Madison) is our top pick as a water softener for average-size households. It filters 40,200 grains before launching triggering a 2-hour regeneration cycle that uses just 37 gallons of water. If you're on a budget, check out the Waterboss 36,400 Grain Water Softener (view at Home Depot), which can accommodate up to 4-person households.

What to Look for in a Water Softener

Type

There are three types of water softeners: salt-based softeners, salt-free water conditioners, and electromagnetic conditioners.

Salt-based softeners are the most popular systems for residential use. However, they do require ongoing attention and maintenance. Homeowners will need to purchase a supply of sodium chloride or potassium chloride regularly and keep the salt holding tank full for regeneration. Resin media generally has about a 10-year lifespan, but it depends on water quality and usage.

Salt-free and electromagnetic water conditioners don’t remove calcium and magnesium particles from the water. Instead, these systems neutralize the particles to eliminate their ability to stick to plumbing fixtures and appliances. The benefit of conditioned water is that it prevents scale build-up without the need to regularly buy salt and add it to the system.

Capacity

Water softener capacity is usually indicated in how many particles the system can filter before needing a regeneration cycle. Capacity generally ranges from about 28,000 grains for small water softeners to 80,000 grains for heavy-duty softener systems. An average-sized water softener for three to four-person households is usually in the range of 32,000 to 40,000 grains.

Bypass Valve

A bypass valve enables you to divert water from the softener system, which can be useful in a number of situations. When turned on, the valve will direct the flow from your water pipe past the softener system—enabling you to work on the softener without shutting off water to the whole house. A bypass valve is also sometimes useful when using a volume of water where water hardness is not an issue. For example, if you’re doing yardwork it might make sense to divert water from the softener. Doing so saves the resin media from filtering water unnecessarily and shortening the time until the system’s next regeneration cycle.

FAQ

  • What are the pros and cons of a water softener?

    If you have hard water, a water softener can reduce the number of mineral spots on glassware and prevent the build-up of minerals on the inside of your pipes. Water softeners work by using coated resin beads (which have a negative ion charge) to attract and capture particles responsible for water hardness—specifically calcium and magnesium (which have a positive charge). These particles bind to the resin while the treated water flows through the resin bed and through your home’s plumbing system.

    A water softener helps prevent potential long-term damage to your plumbing and can extend the life of your dishwasher and washing machine. Conversely, for some people, the extra sodium in softened water can be harmful. Anyone with high blood pressure should check with a doctor before installing a water softener. According to guidance released by the Minnesota Department of Health, people on a low-sodium diet should keep a separate, un-softened tap for cooking and drinking.

    The addition of another appliance in your home does come with added maintenance requirements to ensure the water softener is functioning as intended.

  • What size water softener do I need for a family of 4?

    For a family of 4, look for a water softener with a grain count between 30,000 to 40,000, with a minimum grain capacity of 30,000 units.

  • How much does it cost to install a water softener?

    The cost to install a water softener depends on the type of system and how much time the installation will take. Some water softener systems are easy enough for a DIY installation. For a straightforward installation that doesn’t require installing or cutting pipes, the cost may be $300 or less. More complex systems may cost $500 to $6,000, or more.

  • What is the best place to install a water softener?

    Ideally, a water softener should be placed on a flat, stable surface near the point where the water supply enters the home and close to an electrical outlet. You’ll want to make sure the water softener is installed so that it only treats the water you use for drinking, cooking, and washing, and not irrigation.

    Check the manufacturer’s instructions regarding placement. Water softeners should not be placed in direct sunlight, or in areas where freezing temperatures may occur.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was researched and written by Erica Puisis, a professional writer that specializes in large and small appliances for the home. She has written more than 200 articles for The Spruce, including articles on water testing kits, water heaters, and filtration systems.Emma Phelps also contributed to this article by contacting Tim Dunphy, a water expert at Leaf Home Water Solutions. Dunphy provided insightful context for understanding how water softeners function as well as best practices for maintaining their systems.

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FAQs

Which water softener method is best? ›

Salt free water softeners are the preferred type by consumers. Salt free water softeners uses a filter so no chemicals, potassium or salt is required. This means that the minerals in the water are not effected. The only disadvantage is that they are not recommended for very hard water.

How much is a good water softening system? ›

The average price to professionally install a whole-home water softener is $1,500, including both materials and labor. Depending on the type of system you choose, the process could cost as little as $500 or as much as $6,000.

Which water softener uses the least amount of salt? ›

Genesis water softener systems are an eco-friendly choice, saving as much as 75% on salt and 65% on water usage with each regeneration in contrast to other softeners. Using upflow softener technology results in the best salt efficiency and the capability to use the lowest reasonable amount of salt.

What water softener does NASA use? ›

NASA Technology

Many Puronics® water softeners incorporate a SilverShield® HYgene® filter to inhibit bacteria growth within the filter media bed. The technology behind this proprietary product was adapted from NASA's silver ion technology developed to purify water for the astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Orbiters.

What is the average life of a water softener? ›

Water softeners can last 10 to 20 years, depending on the type and quality you buy. On average, a single tank electric water softener could last you up to 12 years, while a Kinetico system can last as many as 20 years. However, no appliance lasts forever.

Which is better for water softener crystals or pellets? ›

The pellets are definitely superior when it comes to salt pellets vs. salt crystals. Although they're pricier than their crystal counterparts, they can be used as-is without further processing. On the other hand, salt crystals need to be ground down into a fine powder before adding to your softener.

Which is better water softener with or without salt? ›

The choice is clear—only a salt-based water softener is proven to provide softer water, healthier skin, and no scale buildup or soap scum. A salt-based system is a better investment.

Does it matter what water softener you use? ›

The type of salt you use in your water softener does make a difference. While all salts will soften hard water, pellet salts will do so more efficiently because they are purer.

What is the average cost of a whole house water softener? ›

A water softener system cost ranges between $500 and $6,000, but the average cost is $1,500. The type of water softener you choose has the most significant impact on the price you pay.

What size water softener do I need for a family of 4? ›

In general, a 32,000 or 33,000 grain water softener will suit most families of four.

What size water softener does my house need? ›

To determine the appropriate water softener size for your home, multiply the number of people in your home by the gallons of water they use each day (80 gallons per person is the average). Multiply that number by the grains of hardness in your water to figure out how many grains need to be removed each day.

How long does a 40-lb bag of water softener salt last? ›

On average, a family of four with average water hardness will use roughly one 40-lb bag of salt each month. If this applies to your current situation, maintain a half-full tank of salt.

Do salt-free softeners really work? ›

Unfortunately, salt-free water softeners don't work because they don't exist! “Salt-free water softener” is a misnomer for salt-free water conditioners – all water softeners use some kind of salt to remove hard minerals from your water.

How long should 40 lbs of salt last in a water softener? ›

Your salt consumption will depend on the level of water hardness (minerals in your water) and the amount of water your household consumes. The average family of four with hard water (7-10 grains per gallon hardness level) will use about one 40-lb bag of salt each month.

Why are states banning water softeners? ›

Agriculture depends on the use of repurposed water for irrigation but high-sodium water is detrimental to crops. The ban on water softeners is to preserve the integrity of our wastewater so that it can be used for agriculture.

Can bacteria grow in a water softener? ›

There will be bacteria in your water softener, but it is not harmful bacteria. Bacteria are found everywhere – particularly in substances where there are minerals, such as water. They are completely harmless and, in a lot of cases, help us to function as living things.

Who has the best water filtration system in the US? ›

Best Overall: Big Berkey Gravity Fed Water Filter

Why We Like It: Big Berkey has a large capacity and you only need to change filters every three years.

What is the downside of a water softener? ›

The major disadvantage to softening water is the potential health risks for people that might be on low sodium diets. The exchange of hardness minerals for sodium adds 7.5 milligrams per quart for each gpg of hardness removed. In addition, calcium and magnesium are eliminated from the homeowner's diet.

How often should water softeners be serviced? ›

Besides adding salt to your softener and occasionally cleaning out the brine tank, most water softener manufacturers recommend that you service your softener annually.

What are signs of a water softener going bad? ›

Is It Time to Replace my Water Softener or Do I Need Maintenance?
  • Soap not lathering.
  • Clothes feeling rough or appear dingy after laundry.
  • Spots or streaks on dishes or glassware.
  • Dull, lifeless hair or dry, itchy skin.
  • Soap scum on the shower, tub, and other surfaces.

Can I put vinegar in my water softener? ›

Can I put vinegar in my water softener? Yes; follow the same instructions for cleaning the tank with bleach. You can also mix the vinegar with water if you'd rather just scrub the brine tank instead of running a full cycle.

Can you switch from salt crystals to pellets? ›

In general, all types of salt will work in most softeners and there is no particular harm caused by mixing different types. However, there may be instances were some types of salt will be preferable to others depending on the specific softener design.

What makes one water softener better than another? ›

The difference between a good water softener and a bad one is the efficiency in which these hard water minerals are removed. High-efficiency softeners use much less salt and water needed to regenerate, reducing waste and energy costs.

What happens if you don't replace salt in water softener? ›

If you forget to top off your water softener, the water softening resin will stay saturated. This brings the ion exchange to a screeching halt and allows hard water minerals into your pipes, fixtures and appliances.

Is there salt in your water if you use a water softener? ›

The truth is, water softeners do not add any salt to the water. The water softening process breaks down the salt to use its sodium. There is a difference. Salt, also known as sodium chloride (NaCl), contains sodium (Na).

Is there a water softener that doesn't need drain? ›

Not all water softeners require a drain, but ones that do not act more like filters than softeners. This means water softeners will require a drain, and with that comes rules and regulations for how drains and drain lines can be set up. Some areas will allow for discharge in septic systems; some will not.

What should I ask about my water softener? ›

8 Water Treatment Questions to Ask a Pro Before Buying a Water...
  • Why do I need a water softener? ...
  • How do I know how hard my water is? ...
  • Do saltless systems work? ...
  • Will we ever run out of soft water to shower, especially when we have company over? ...
  • How long do water softeners last? ...
  • What maintenance is required?

Should you drink softened water? ›

Soft water is also very safe to drink for most healthy humans. People tend to be concerned about the elevated sodium levels characteristic of soft water. In reality, soft water only contains slightly more sodium and does not approach levels harmful to healthy adults.

Does a water softener affect blood pressure? ›

Softened Water Side Effects

Since soft water contains a slightly higher amount of sodium, it can elevate your blood pressure. Because of this, softened water is not an ideal choice for somebody with high blood pressure.

How do I choose a whole house water softener? ›

Choosing a water softener? Here are some important guidelines and features to understand.
  1. Household Size and Water Usage. ...
  2. Regeneration Style. ...
  3. Remove Additional Contaminants. ...
  4. Other Convenience Features. ...
  5. Adding a Water Filtration System. ...
  6. Installation. ...
  7. Don't Forget the Warranty.

Can you buy too big of a water softener? ›

Is an Oversized Water Softener Bad? While an oversized water softener will certainly have the capacity needed to make sure that every gallon of water you use is appropriately treated for hardness, going too big can result in channeling, which can be less effective and efficient at low flow rates.

What is the labor cost to install a water softener? ›

You can expect to pay between $500 to $6,000, with an average price of $1,500, to install a new water softener system. Costs largely depend on the type of filtration system you choose and the size of your home.

How often should a water softener regenerate for a family of 5? ›

It is generally agreed upon that regular regenerations are the best, because they keep the resin bed active. This should be every two to three days, although highly efficient softeners may generate every day or even multiple times a day.

Is a higher grain water softener better? ›

Knowing your water and usage is vital to purchasing the correct water softener. A water softener that is too small will not be able to keep up with your needs and will wear it down faster. High grain water softeners cost more money and an over-sized softener means wasted money.

How many gallons of water does it take to cycle a water softener? ›

Some softeners may use between 20 to 25 gallons of water during regeneration. Although this might seem like a lot of water, the process saves you the water that could be wasted if you keep using hard water or even damage to your home appliances.

Where is the best place to install a water softener? ›

Water softeners are most often installed near the incoming main water line before your water heater. Most commonly, this is in the basement, but water softeners can also be installed in the attic, garage or even a closet dedicated to system storage.

What is the ideal water hardness for a house? ›

If water hardness is between 0–3 grains per gallon, then your water is at the ideal water hardness and it won't require a softener.

What is the ideal water hardness for home use? ›

The general rule of thumb is to drink clean water, with hardness being somewhere in the middle of soft and hard, 60 mg/L to 120 mg/L. Some also advise to not go beyond 170 mg/L, which indicates very high levels of calcium and magnesium.

How high should you fill water softener with salt? ›

How much salt should I add? We recommend keeping your brine tank at least one-quarter full of salt at all times and no more than 4-6 inches from the top in order to maintain optimal performance. Also, make sure that the salt level always remains a few inches above the water level.

How often do I need to refill water softener with salt? ›

So How Often Should I Add Salt To My Water Softener? In general, we recommend adding a bag of salt every month. At the first of each month check your brine tank and you'll be able to monitor your salt usage and adjust as needed.

How many salt blocks should a water softener use? ›

The amount of salt you need to top up your water softener will depend on the model and size of the softener you have installed. Typical traditional block salt comes as 4kg blocks – 1 x 4kg block is about the right amount for one person, per month to use.

How do you soften hard water without salt? ›

If you're in the market for a salt-free water softener, unfortunately, you are out of luck. A salt-free water softener does not exist. The ion exchange process used by water softeners doesn't work without the sodium ions displacing the calcium and magnesium ions that create water hardness.

Do salt water softeners damage pipes? ›

The ions in the electrolyte can also lead to metal corrosion, causing corrosion in the plumbing system within the house or the commercial building.

Which is better salt pellets or crystals? ›

The pellets are definitely superior when it comes to salt pellets vs. salt crystals. Although they're pricier than their crystal counterparts, they can be used as-is without further processing. On the other hand, salt crystals need to be ground down into a fine powder before adding to your softener.

Why is my water softener using salt so fast? ›

Excessive salt usage can oftentimes be the result of leaking valves or improper controls leading to overflowing brine systems, causing highly concentrated and highly valued salt water to be lost before even entering the regeneration process.

How many bags of salt do I need for a water softener per month? ›

For a properly sized water softener system, the industry standard for an average family of four, (with a water hardness level of 7-10 grains per gallon) will use approximately 10lbs of salt each week or one 40lbs bag of salt each month.

Does it matter which water softener to buy? ›

When picking a water softener, it is important to know just how hard your water is as each model is designed to treat a specific range of hard water levels. You need to ensure it has the capacity to treat your specific hard water symptoms.

Are some water softeners better than others? ›

The difference between a good water softener and a bad one is the efficiency in which these hard water minerals are removed. High-efficiency softeners use much less salt and water needed to regenerate, reducing waste and energy costs. Ion exchange is the only way to truly soften water.

Does Consumer Reports review water softeners? ›

Although Consumer Reports does not test whole-house water softeners, we do have new Ratings of water filters.

Is Costco water softener worth it? ›

Our verdict: almost definitely not. There's nothing inherentlywrongwith the water softeners sold by Costco, but 1) the units are very expensive and 2) there's a lack of brand variety. You might think that, because you have a Costco membership, everything you buy there is going to be cheaper than anywhere else.

How long does a 40 lb bag of water softener salt last? ›

On average, a family of four with average water hardness will use roughly one 40-lb bag of salt each month. If this applies to your current situation, maintain a half-full tank of salt.

What lathers better hard or soft water? ›

Soft water is much better for your hair and skin, and soap will lather better with soft water than with hard water.

Is there an alternative to a water softener? ›

The most common alternative to water softeners is called a water conditioner and offers a viable way to reduce the damage hard water can cause throughout your home through a process distinct from the process used by water softeners.

Are big box store water softeners any good? ›

Meant to be low-priced in a mass market, big box store water softeners are basic, inefficient at times, non-customizable and you may not get the quality, longevity, functionality, or service and maintenance that you had hoped for. Low-quality materials and parts.

Do saltless water softeners really work? ›

Unfortunately, salt-free water softeners don't work because they don't exist! “Salt-free water softener” is a misnomer for salt-free water conditioners – all water softeners use some kind of salt to remove hard minerals from your water.

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