Hard water is always a problem, whether it is flowing in the pipes of a household, a pharmaceutical industry, or a food industry. The solution is the water softeners, which take away all the hardness from water. But, it is not the water softeners alone to soften the water. Resin characteristics also affect the level of softness your water softener offers. So, you always have to choose the best water softener resin. Let’s see what’s the best choice for you.
Best Water Softener Resin of 2021:
The hard water passes through the resin beads, which absorb all the hardness in themselves. As a result, the water which comes out of the water softener contains minimum hardness, up to zero grains per gallon. Every resin is not a perfect fit for every softener. See the hardness level, compatibility of the resin with your water softener, and then make a buying decision. Here we have listed a few best buying choices of water softener resin. So have a look at each below.
List of Top Water Softener Resin of 2021:
1. INDION Cation Resin in the Sodium (NA+) Form
The best water softener resin for iron removal when you have high iron. It’s time to replace old resin if the softener is five years old. The seller is offering an 8% cross-linked resin for the smooth ion-exchange water softeners. See the picture for how the pack looks like.
The resin is regenerated into sodium form and is ready to use. Helps water softener in removing hardness overall and soluble calcium and iron specifically.
The pack comes in a bag of 50 pounds containing one cubic feet of resin beads.
Choose the best water softener here.
2. NELSEN Cation softening resin
This high capacity water softener resin is like spherical beads in physical form. It is 8% polystyrene cross-linked with Divinyl benzene. Replacing the resin will make your water softener work like a new one. See the picture for how the pack looks like when it arrives at your doorstep.
Removes hardness causing substances such as calcium and magnesium by replacing with sodium.
The pack has ½ cubic feet of high capacity resin, and the whole bag weighs 23 pounds. However, the shipping weight is 30 pounds of this pack.
3. Purolite Cationic Resin C100E
Purolite provides an industrial-grade, gel polystyrenic strong acid cation exchange resin in sodium form. It’s efficient in regeneration and lowers extractables. Also, it offers good kinetic performance. See how the pack looks in the picture.
Compatible for industrial water softening. Exclusively developed to treat water used in processing food, beverages, and foodstuff.
The resin bag weighs 49.9 pounds, which has components of one cubic feet.
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See benefits of a water softener here.
4. AQUATROL Resin CAT100E
AQUATROL presents an 8% cross-linked high capacity resin for residential water. See the picture to know how the pack looks like.
The virgin resin efficiently removes rust stains and helps water softener to perform better. Best water softener resin replacement for every system.
One cubic feet resin comes in a pack weighing 50 pounds.
5. LiquaGen Resin 781307538280
LiquaGen presents this water softener resin to eliminate hardness and provide highly pure water. Best for separation and purification of trace elements and recommended for the pharmaceutical industry. The best choice for the treatment of food and beverages. Also useful for the treatment of water used in processed foods. It offers good physical, thermal, and chemical instability through exceptional kinetic behavior of high capacity and porosity characteristics. See the picture to know how it looks like.
Offers scale prevention, soft hair and skin, cleaner laundry, improves the efficiency and life of appliances, and makes the maintenance easy.
½ cubic feet of resin comes in a pack of 26 pounds with the same shipping weight.
7. iFilters Water Softener Resin Media Replacement
A budget-friendly option now for those who want to have soft water without spending too much to get the job done.
This softener resin from iFilters works well as a replacement for the old resin bed in your water softener. Another nice feature is that it is compatible with most portable systems on the market, such as ones used in RVs.
You will get soft water for years ahead if you choose this cost-effective softener resin and it has been designed to deliver 100% ion exchange. It is NFC certified and has an 8,000-grain capacity so it should work with water softeners in the average household, except for those with high usage or larger families.
8. Tier1 IER-100 Ion Exchange Water Softener Resin
A strong perform up next, with this Tier1 softener resin delivering big for both commercial and residential properties. However, this does come at a price, making it one of the more expensive solutions out there.
As mentioned above, it is suitable for both commercial and residential properties as it is compatible with the vast majority of water softener systems. You shouldn’t need to make any changes to your current water softener set up.
It has a 10% cross-link and automatically starts working as soon as its installed, so it really delivers from the very first moment. This water softener resin will saturate hard water until it is ready to use so you can trust you’re drinking soft water and your appliances will see much lower levels of scale build-up.
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9. Watts A4004033B RV Pro 1000 Resin
Watts have created an effective but affordable water softener resin and it really should be one you consider using if you want to balance price with performance, whilst still getting soft water.
This resin for water softeners is most suitable for smaller households, as well as portable water softener systems such as those in an RV. It will deal with hard water almost immediately delivering soft water that you will enjoy drinking and cooking with.
The main feature of this ion exchange resin is that it is affordable, so having to replace it regularly, approximately every 6-12 months isn’t a great expense. It is important to note that just because it is less expensive than others, it still delivers a fantastic result. The only downside is the cheap packaging which makes it hard to carry and prone to spillage.
10. Oceanic Water Softening Resin Ion Exchange Softener Resin
One of the most effective and fast-acting water softening ion exchange resins on the market right now and there are some fantastic benefits to choosing water softener resin from Oceanic water systems.
This choice of water softener resin is compatible with pretty much all of the standard water softeners out there, treating hard water in households. It should deliver soft water for cooking, cleaning and washing, as well as working well with dishwashers to help extend the lifespan of appliances.
It is easy enough to install this water softening ion exchange resin, with plenty of guidance and support in the form of online videos. This is an added bonus as the cost of the resin is pretty high, so any savings are greatly appreciated!
Its beads are very proud, meaning it will cover a large surface area and the product has been NSE and FDA approved, so you can trust the soft water it will produce.
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Why do you need a water softener?
No matter how good your water supply is, whether it comes from the city supply or a private well water supply, you are likely to have hard water to some degree.
Whilst hard water isn’t a particularly big health hazard, in comparison to harmful contaminants that should be filtered out, it can have an impact on your plumbing, appliances and also skin and hair.
Hard water causes scale to build up in pipes, faucets, sinks and appliances such as kettles.
This scale will impair the performance of the pipes and appliances and could eventually lead to them cracking or breaking. Hard water can also cause skin irritation, as well as drying your hair which isn’t a nice situation to be in, particularly if you have health conditions such as eczema.
What is a water softener resin?
In essence, water softener resins are the materials used inside a water softener that allow for ion exchange to happen. This ion exchange takes the minerals in water that cause hard water, such as iron, copper, calcium and magnesium and exchange them for other ions, leading to soft water.
Water softeners resins come in a range of forms and it depends on the type of water softener you have, the usage you require and price you are willing to pay.
Types and sizes of water softener resin
There are a few different types and sizes of water softener resins on the market and it is a good idea to learn about the alternatives out there before making a buying decision.
The most common type for salt-based water softeners is the standard ion-exchange resin. It will work well at removing the minerals causing hard water up, training between 3 and 5 PPM. They will normally use sodium or chlorine as part of the regeneration process.
As the most versatile and cost-effective option, it is a great choice for most households except for those that have a high PPM of hard minerals in their water supply.
As the name suggests, these are small-sized resin beads that help deal with hard minerals up to 10PPM. You will often find them combined with an activated carbon filter to improve the smell and taste of your water supply.
You may have noticed the term crosslink used during this article and this relates to the size of the resins. A crosslink is a connection between the resin beads core and there are two types of crosslink resin out there, 8 crosslink and 10 crosslink.
This is the most widely used size as its larger resin beads can hold more water and so the 8 crosslink is the popular choice for households with a well water supply or with harder water. You will find that these work effectively for 3 to 5 PPM and will last many years, even when the water quality is poor.
The more expensive size of water softener resin, the 10 crosslink is more durable than other sizes and works well with municipal water supplies. The main downside of this option is that they can increase the water pressure.
The Pros and Cons
There are some fantastic benefits to using a water softener resin but it is important to also be aware of potential downsides of using these systems and products. We’ve put together the main points for you to be aware of below.
The first big benefit is the value for money that water softener resin represents. Once you have invested in a water softener, then the maintenance is relatively inexpensive because the resin doesn’t cost a great deal. Even high-quality resin products are actually reasonably priced considering the rewards in performance and longevity.
Of course, there is always a trade-off between price and performance so think carefully about which resin is right for you, as you may not need to go for the most expensive resin out there.
Ease of use
We all love a product that is easy to use, convenient to buy and does the job with minimal fuss. That is what you get with a water softener resin product. You will often be able to buy resin in large packs of multiple kg’s at a time, which drives down the price. They will normally be packaged in resealable materials so that they last a long time without getting contaminated or spilled.
Thanks to the variety of water softener resin out there right now, whether it is the size or type, you can be sure to find the right one that performs well. Each type of resin will help deliver softer water that is kinder to your skin, safer to wash with and that will protect your plumbing and appliances from damage.
The main downside to this kind of product is that it’s all about salt-based water softeners, which use sodium. During the ion exchange, they replace the ions from minerals causing hard water with sodium ions, increasing the salt levels in your water. For those that wish to control or minimise their salt intake, or perhaps have a medical requirement to do so, then these aren’t the best products for you.
In this situation, it would be a good idea to look at the salt-free water softeners out there and we’ve got some fantastic articles on these to help you.
There are some important factors to consider when buying the best water softener resins for your household. These resins are vital in helping a water softener system to perform at its best. It can be a complex and at times confusing process and whilst shopping around, keep the following considerations in mind:
Resin Tank Capacity
One of the first considerations to have is the amount of resin you require and this is directly linked to the size of the resin tank in your water softener system. Ideally, your resin tank will show the measurements on the side but if not, then you need to measure both the height and diameter.
We’ve helpfully put a breakdown of the resin types above but there are fundamentally two choices to make: standard ion exchange resin or fine mesh resin. The choice here is dependant on the level of hard water you have.
If you have high levels of iron, then a fine mesh resin is a good choice or a 10 crosslink version of the non fine mesh resin system.
The standard ion exchange resin products come in either an 8 crosslink or 10 crosslink and the basic difference is that 8 crosslink is better for hard water that has a lower concentration or PPM, which will normally be city water supplies or private supplies.
The best water softener resins out there will require minimal installation effort and can be done without the added cost of professional assistance. It is important to do your research, check the supporting guidance and read customer reviews. You don’t want to end up having to budget for extra costs when you can avoid it.
You should also make sure the measurements, features etc match your existing water softener system.
All water softening systems that require a resin will need some kind of maintenance, normally in the form of replacing resin. You should make sure whatever choice you make it is easy to put into the softener and maintain. An important consideration is also how easy it is to access the system, so you can monitor it and check when maintenance is required.
Never a fun consideration but most certainly an important one to think about. High-quality resins will cost more than the budget-friendly models but they may not necessarily be needed, so you need to balance performance against your budget. Likewise, your initial budget may not be enough once you’ve done your research so think carefully about choosing the right product.
Thank you for reading our article on the best water softener resin products on the market right now. We hope it has helped you to develop a greater understanding of what softener resin is, how it should be used and the best types out there. It is always important to fully understand the product and which is the best for your households water softener.
If you need a salt for your water softener, see here.
When you decide to buy one among all the above, don’t forget to share your experience with us. It will help others in making the right choice. This way, you can contribute to the betterment of the whole world…
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