The water supply of your house may come from a nearby well, or it is connected to the municipal water supply line. Most of the time, this water is hard. It will adversely affect your plumbing, appliances, and everything that comes in contact with water. So you have to choose the best whole house water softener. So that everything becomes safe from scale buildup, soap scum, and rust stains. Find out the best one for your house from the options given below. Our Top Picks: Want to make a choice in minutes? Best Whole House Water Softener of 2020: While choosing a water softener for the whole house, keep in mind the hardness level and water consumption of the entire family. Also, take note of components that are affecting your water the most. So you must look for a product that can eliminate the problem to the fullest. You don't have to work hard to figure out all this. Just read out this article till the end, and you will surely make a choice before you leave. List of Best Whole House Water Softeners: Whole House Water Softeners Also Worth Mentioning: 1. AFWFilters Iron Pro 48k AFWFilters, in combination with Iron Pro, presents you the best external water softener for the whole house. It is specially designed to eliminate both ferrous and ferric iron. Either it is in the well water or in the municipal water supply line, it is always useful. The pack contains the mesh resin, 25 cubic gravel bed, KDF 85 media guard 48,000 grains, safety float, salt tank, resin tank, and on-demand control valve. See the picture to have an idea of how it looks like. Compatibility: This system can remove the overall hardness of water up to 50 gallons per grain with the help of fine mesh resin. It eliminates iron up to 4 parts per million. Also, it can eradicate hydrogen sulfide up to 2 parts per million entirely, which is the cause of rotten eggs smell. Along with that, it reduces the presence of heavy metals, often found in well water and city water supplies. Digital control: This system has Fleck 5600SXT digital control that measures water usage. With that, it sets the time to regenerate as per requirement. Due to this, it can maximize the system\u2019s capacity and minimizes salt usage. There is also a safety float to prevent overfilling. Technical support: The seller is offering excellent customer support by knowledgeable and friendly support staff. They are always available to assist you in case you need some assistance. But you will merely need it because the written guidelines and instructional videos are enough to make sure that installation and programming is a DIY for you. Weight: This very best water softener weighs only 95 pounds. But it arrives at your doorstep in a package weighing 140 pounds. Warranty: The seller is offering a 5-year warranty on the valve and a 10-year warranty on the tank. Good Points Alerts! \tIt gives the clearest water. \tBest for a home with high iron water. \tIt works with both well water and city water supplies \tWill not remove sulfate. 2. AFWFilters 80k dual It is the most suitable water softener if you are looking for 24\/7 water availability. Because it has two tanks which work alternatively when one is in the regeneration process. The pack contains 5 cubic feet of resin, 2 mineral tanks, Fleck 9100 SXT controller, bypass valve, brine tank with safety float, salt tank, and connectors of 1\u2033 or \u00be\u201d. See the picture for how it looks like. Compatibility: It reduces scale buildup and rust stains from faucets, plumbing, and appliances. Because it entirely eliminates hardness causing substances from water. Capacity: With 80,000 grain capacity per tank, the best flow rate water softener provides you up to 25 gallons of water per minute. Which means, it is solely enough for large families who have either a well water supply or get their water from the local municipality. Warranty: The supplier is offering a warranty of 5 years for the valve and ten years for both of the tanks. Technical support: The seller is offering exceptional customer service. The knowledgeable agents are happy to assist you in installation and programming to make it a DIY for you. Weight: This item weighs 95 pounds only but arrives in a shipment that weighs 260 pounds. Good Points Alerts! \tSoftest water ever. \tIt has an effective bypass valve \tOne of the best dual-tank water softeners on the market \tNot able to filter chlorine. 3. DuraWater 80k DuraWater presents this amazing water softener with different capacity ranges so that you can choose one as per your requirement. The variations are; 24,000, 36,000, 40,000, 48,000, 64,000, and 80,000 grain capacity. The pack of best water softener for hard water areas includes 10% resin, control head, overflow prevention, LCD display touchpad, a tank, brine tank with safety float, installation kit, test strip, sanitizer packet, lubricant, and instructions. See the picture to know how it looks like. Display: The LCD display, along with a touchpad, makes it easy to program and control for all homeowners. Weight: This high capacity water softener system weighs only 95 pounds when it arrives at your doorstep. Compatibility: This water softener has a Fleck 5600SXT control valve that measures water usage. So it regenerates as per demand. Can treat water hardness up to 40 grains per gallon. Capacity: With 80,000 grain capacity, this downflow water softener offers a flow rate of up to 16 gallons per minute. It is an ideal choice for a home with four bathrooms and more than four residents. Technical support: There is a complete installation kit with everything within. So you will not have to run to the superstore. With that, video and written guidelines for programming and installation are also available. Warranty: The seller offers a 5-year warranty on the control valve and a 10-year warranty on the tank. Good Points Alerts! \tSuper easy installation. \tDoesn\u2019t removes the sulfur smell. 4. AFWFilters IRONPRO2 AFWFilters, in combination with Iron Pro 2 Water, presents the best whole house water softener for iron removal. The pack contains brine tank, Fleck 5600SXT control valve, tank, fine mesh resin, lubricant, install kit with sanitizer, and instructions. See how it looks like in the picture. Compatibility: The best bang for buck water softener eliminates sediment, sand, rust stains, and scale buildup that are the leading cause of iron in the water. It removes manganese up to 6 parts per million and ferrous iron up to 7 parts per million. In return, your plumbing and appliances work better and last longer. The overall hardness removal score is 70 grains per gallon. Digital control: This system has Fleck 5600SXT digital control that is metered based. Which means it measures the water requirement and regenerates as you need it. Capacity: With 64,000 grain capacity, this system can provide a flow rate of up to 16 gallons per minute. Enough for six or more residents. Technical support: The seller provides DIY written installation plus video instructions to make it easy for everyone. With that, telephone and email technical support are here to assist you in case there is an issue. Weight: This item weighs 54 pounds as a whole. Whereas it arrives at your doorstep in a package weighing only 95 pounds. Power consumption: This system requires a power outlet on 120 volts to run the operations smoothly and consumes very less energy. Warranty: The seller is offering a 5-year warranty on the valve and a 10-year warranty on the tank. Good Points Alerts! \tHair and skin feel better. \tDrinking safe water. \tManual regeneration 5. Iron Pro 2 - IRONPRO2 It is a fantastic water softener if specifically, iron is the primary concern. It is when there is a reddish-brown color of your water. Also, it adds a harsh taste and is terrible for skin and hair. The pack contains Fleck 5600SXT digital metered control, almond color resin tank, a round almond brine tank with safety float, fine mesh resin, bypass valve, and 1\u2033 male connections. See the picture to have an idea of how it looks like. Capacity: It can treat water up to 16 gallons per minute with 64,000-grain capacity. Also, it can last longer without the need to regenerate. Warranty: The seller is offering a 30 days satisfaction guarantee so that you can make sure it is best for your whole house. With that, there is a 5-year warranty on the control head and 10-year warranty on the tank. Compatibility: This best water softener for iron and sulfur can also remove sand, rust, and other harmful sediments. Eliminates scale buildup, so there is no need to scrub faucets, appliances, shower, and sinks. It can remove ferric iron up to 8 parts per million, sulfur up to 2 parts per million, and manganese up to 6 parts per million. So the overall hardness removal capability is 75 grains per gallon. Technical support: The seller is offering excellent technical support from a team of skilled and professional people. They are available over a phone call and email to assist you. Weight: This best whole house softening system weighs 119.5 pounds when it arrives at your doorstep. Digital control: The digital control is smart enough to measure water usage and regenerate as per demand. Good Points Alerts! \tIt removes the iron level of 10 PPM to undetectable. \tNo water pressure drop. \tNo soft water in regeneration time. 6. Fleck WS48-56SXT The best choice for a water softener if the problem is soap scum, water spots, scale buildup, and no soap leathering. The pack contains Fleck 5600SXT digital metered control, a standard black brine tank with safety float, a black resin tank, high capacity 8% crosslink resin, bypass valve, and 1\u2033 male connections. See the picture to have an idea of how this system looks like. See all resin buying options here. Compatibility: The best ion-exchange water softener removes iron and magnesium from water. As a result, hardness reduces, and the life of your appliances and plumbing increases. The system has a safety float, which protects it from overfilling. With that, there is an overflow drain that acts as a backup. Capacity: With 48,000 grain capacity, this water softener offers a flow rate of 12 gallons per minute. Also, it is enough for a home with six people. Digital control: The Fleck 5600SXT control valve has a backlit LCD display along with touchpad controls. It measures water usage and regenerates as per requirement. With that, it makes sure to minimize salt usage and maximize the overall capacity. Power backup: The user-friendly interface has a 48 hours internal power backup. Which ensures that the water supply never stops in case of a power outage. Warranty: The seller offers a 10-year warranty on the tank and a 5-year warranty on the valve. Which is also tested to work for 27 years continuously. Weight: This water softener weighs only 20.8 pounds when it arrives at your doorstep. Technical support: The seller gives an installation guide in written and video form to ensure smooth operations. Also, you can take further assistance over a phone call from knowledgeable customer support agents. Power consumption: This system requires a power outlet of 120 pounds to run smoothly. Good Points Alerts! \tCrystal clear water. \tNo drainage tubing in the pack. 7. Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 grain The intelligent water softener that never forgets the set programming up to 48 hours in case of a power outage. The pack of best water softener for city water contains 2.0 cubic feet high capacity resin with resin tank, a standard brine tank with safety float, 5600SXT on-demand control valve, instruction manual, sanitizer, lubricant, and test strips. See the image to know how it looks like. Digital display: There is an LCD display that gives that shows time, remaining capacity, and regeneration cycle if it is in process. With that, microprocessor remembers the programming and doesn\u2019t go to default settings after a sudden restart. Also, it measures water usage and regenerated as per requirement. Compatibility: You can select the desired regeneration option among immediate meter regeneration, delayed meter regeneration, or delayed time clock regeneration. This way saves your money on salt and water. Eliminates scale buildup, rust stains, and soap scum. Capacity: This best water softener for home use with 64,000-grain capacity offers a flow rate of up to 12 gallons per minute. Technical support: Written guidelines for installation and programming are in the pack. Video installation tips are also available to make it a DIY for you. With that, customer service over a phone call is exceptional. Weight: The item weighs 180 pounds when it is fully loaded. It is shipped in two boxes weighing 120 and 30 pounds respectively. Warranty: The seller is offering a 5-year warranty on the control valve and a 10-year warranty on the resin tank. Good Points Alerts! \tIt provides drinkable water. \tRemoves sulfur smell. \tNot Wi-Fi compatible. 8. Aquasana Rhino THD-600-BUNDLE This Aquasana water softener is designed to protect your loved ones, appliances, and plumbing for a long time. Hard water contaminates the indoor air you breathe in. This best water softener for hard water purifies the air so you can breathe in a clean environment. See the picture to know how it looks like. Compatibility: Adds nothing and removes nothing. It doesn\u2019t use electricity or requires drainage to wastewater. Eliminates 97% of chlorine, reduces scale buildup, heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, and industrial solvents. Capacity: This up-flow softener has two tanks that increase water contact time. It can treat up to 600,000 gallons of water. Weight: This excellent whole house twin tank water softener only weighs 71 pounds. Good Points Alerts! \tNo power required. \tSoftener plus filter, and salt-free. \tRemoves arsenic and fluoride. \tInstallation is not a DIY. \tNot for high iron. Have a look at more suitable choices of salt-free water softeners here... 9. Iron Pro 48k-56SXT-FM-1 This is one of the best water softeners for hard water and iron removal and is available from a True Blue Dealer. The pack contains a mineral tank, a brine tank with safety float, a control valve with backlit LCD display, and connectors. See the picture to know how it looks like. Compatibility: It removes sediments, sand, red stains, and scale buildup. It also eliminates manganese up to 6 parts per million, ferrous iron, and some ferric iron, up to 8 parts per million. So your appliances, plumbing, and fixtures will last longer and perform better. Digital display: The system has a backlit LCD display and a user-friendly interface. Measures water usage by the digital Fleck 5600SXT control valve. It regenerates water as per demand. Power backup: This salt-water softener works smoothly in case of a power outage because of 48 hours of internal power backup. Capacity: This 48,000-grain capacity water softener provides a flow rate of up to 14 gallons per minute. Technical support: Installation of this system only takes 1-2 hours with some necessary plumbing skills. In case you need some assistance, there is an installation video. Also, the seller offers an app where you can access configuration details, technical documentation, spare parts, and troubleshooting manual. Weight: The item weighs only 53 pounds. Whereas the whole pack weighs 136 pounds with all the components when ships to you. Power consumption: This best salt-water softener consumes very little energy and requires a power outlet of 120 volts. Warranty: There is a 10-year warranty on the tank and a 5-year warranty on the control valve. Good Points Alerts! \tWater softener plus iron filter. \tSuitable for city water. \tNot fit to install outside. See how a salt-based water softener works, here... 10. Fleck IRONPRO2 It is another best option as a water softener for iron removal and hard water. The package contains a Fleck 5600SXT digital metered control, a black resin tank, a standard black brine tank with safety float, fine mesh resin, and bypass valve and 1\u2033 male connections. See the picture to have an idea of how it looks. Compatibility: It eliminates soap scum, scale buildup, rust stains, sand, manganese up to 6 parts per million, and also ferrous iron up to 7 parts per million. So, the overall hardness removal score is 70 grains per gallon. Digital display: With Fleck 5600SXT digital control, this softener also measures the water usage and regenerates as per demand. Capacity: It provides a water flow rate of 14 gallons per minute with 48,000-grain capacity. Besides, it is enough for a home with five residents or more. Warranty: The seller offers a 10-year warranty on the mineral tank and also a 5-year warranty on the control valve. Short of a lifetime warranty, this is about as good as you can get. Technical support: Phone and email technical support is here to assist you all the time. Besides that, the DIY instruction manual and video guide make it easy to install and program for everyone. Weight: This Fleck water softener only weighs 53 pounds and comes in a shipment weighing 54 pounds. Power usage: This system requires a power outlet of 120 volts to ensure smooth operations. Good Points Alerts! \tKills bacteria. \tA 48,000-grain water softener \tDoesn\u2019t eliminates sulfur. What problems does hard water cause? Whilst there aren't health issues with having calcium and magnesium in your water supply, those and other minerals from the water are the fundamental cause of hard water. Whilst not life-threatening, it can have a serious impact on the performance of your plumbing, longevity of appliances and cause you to suffer from issues with your skin. We've summarised the main problems below: Plumbing And Appliances All households will suffer from hard water to some degree, whether they have a city water supply or a private well water supply. What varies is the degree of hardness and how this impacts the pipes, faucets and appliances in a house. When hard water is present in water, it will gradually cause scale to form on surfaces as the calcium and magnesium ions latch on to them. This is the residue you find on faucets or on filters in washing machines. Over time, this will build up and reduce the performance of your pipes and appliances but more seriously, it can cause damage by creating leaks or failures in the system. This can end up being a far more expensive problem that spending money on water softeners. A less harmful side effect of hard water is that it can cause stains to appear on your faucets and other surfaces, particularly glass, metal or ceramic. They are tough to clean, have an unpleasant odor and are generally just annoying to have to deal with. Your skin and hair This is an issue that is less well-known but an important one for those with skin problems or particularly sensitive skin, such as eczema and dermatitis. This build-up of minerals from the water can cause your skin to dry up, to itch or clog your pores. In terms of hair, it has been suggested that hard water minerals can cause hair to be dryer and more brittle, as well as cause scalp irritation. These are unpleasant side effects of a water supply and ones that can be easily fixed by getting a water softener system in your home. The benefits of water softeners There are a number of fantastic benefits to installing water softeners in your home, whether it is one of the salt-free softeners, a salt-based water softener or one of the other specialist types of water softeners on the market right now. We've put together some key benefits that will help persuade you to invest in a water softener system today. No scale build-up Possibly the biggest benefit to installing water softening systems or a whole house water filter and that is the protection against scale building up in your pipes and faucets. Water softeners replace or change the calcium and magnesium ions in hard water, stopping them from attaching the surfaces. This process is known as an ion exchange. If you prevent a scale build-up then your pipe system and appliances will work more efficiently, last much longer and prevent potentially expensive faults from occurring. No residue Stopping residue from building up is a fantastic benefit of installing water softeners because residue is a huge problem for appliances. Whether you have an older washing machine or a modern kitchen full of appliances, hard water can cause them to work badly and produce foul-smelling water. Avoiding this residue problem will make water coming from faucets, showers and heaters smell better and give you the confidence that they are clean and safe. No stains and smells It's never fun trying to scrub away those tough stains on sinks, showerheads and glass shower doors. A big reason for these stubborn stains appearing is hard water and so the best water softeners help massively with minimising them in the first place. You should no longer see a calcium film on surfaces once you've washed them either, so you don't have to repeat the process or live with a less than perfect surface. Better skin and hair It is important to have some kind of water filter, whether it is a whole house water filter or specific faucet filters. These help to clean up your water supply and improve its quality. However, not all of them deal with hard water and so you will want to consider adding a water softener system to your home. If you do this, then your skin and hair won't feel as dry or irritated as you will get rid of the hard water causing minerals (hard minerals are primarily calcium and magnesium) that cause the problems. Softer clothes Perhaps a benefit that will rank lower down but we believe an important one to remember - your clothes can feel softer and kinder to your skin if you install one of the best water softeners in your home. You will no longer be washing your clothes with hard water and on top of feeling better, your clothes and fabrics will last longer before fading or falling apart. Increase performance Away from the personal benefits, your household's heating and plumbing will see a general increase in performance as a result of installing a water softening system and the soft water it will produce. The water flow rate will be better due to the lack of scale build-up, making your water supply more effective and efficient. Furthermore, your heating systems will heat up quicker further reducing cost and energy waste. Works with a whole house filtration system Both salt-based softeners and salt-free softeners can work well with a filtration system already installed in the home, so you don't need to worry about finding the softeners on the market that include filters and vice versa. It is always important to remember that hard water issues are not often resolved by filters, but the benefits of having both far outweigh any complications. Key Considerations There are some important features and key considerations to be aware of when purchasing your preferred water softening system. It is vital that you think carefully about what your individual requirements are, such as the hard water levels and water usage in your home, as well as the features and performance of each water softener. Capacity This is an important consideration because if you choose one of the water softeners out there that doesn't have a big enough capacity to cover your water usage, you will get incredibly frustrated and have wasted money. When we discuss capacity, it is normally explained in terms of grain capacity, which is the capacity for processing water before it needs to regenerate or be replaced. On average, a family will use around 3,000 grains per day. Another key aspect of capacity is the hardness of your current water supply. If it is a high level of hard water, then water softeners have to work harder to create softened water and in turn, get used quicker. Salt-free water softener Vs salt-based water softener There are actually a few different types of water softeners. Salt-based water softener or a salt-free version is the key decision you have in front of you. Neither option is better and it is all about preference and individual requirements. Salt-based water softeners For those that have a higher level of hard water and want to focus on the removal of the hard water causing minerals, then salt-based water softeners are the way to go. They use ion exchange to replace hard water causing ions with sodium ions These are the most common type, highly affordable and easy to install. However, you need to remember that these do add sodium to your water, so for those who are concerned with added salt and for those who don't want to have to replace the salt regularly, this isn't a great option. Salt-free water softeners The alternative for those who are concerned about sodium content and there are actually some different types of salt-free water softener out there. In general, these systems don't remove hard water ions but change their shape to stop them from sticking to surfaces. This process is often known as template-assisted crystallization (TAC). This means they are more like a water descaler than actually creating soft water as a salt-based system would. However, the best salt-free water softeners are still good choices for anyone who suffers the effects of hard water. Water softener installation Fortunately, almost all of the best water softeners out there are easy to install, with minimal experience required and certainly no need to pay for professional assistance from a plumber. It is important to research which brands and models can be installed easily if you have concerns about your DIY expertise. It is also important to think about where it will be installed, what space is required compared to what is available. Most water softening systems take up minimal space, with a salt-free water softener requiring less space as it doesn't need to hold the salt when compared to a salt-based system. Maintenance Not all water softening systems require maintenance and it depends on the types of water softeners you install on your property. If you go for a salt-based softener then you will need to maintain it by replacing salt and cleaning it out. However, with a salt-free water softener such as an electronic water softener, you don't have this issue and maintenance is almost zero. Take the time to think about where you will install the softener, what level of hard water you have and whether you're happy with added salt as a by-product of soft water. No matter your choice, the maintenance isn't a great deal if you choose one of the best water softeners out there. Budget In general, the best salt-based water softening systems are more expensive to buy and will require upkeep in the form of replacement salt. However, they are a more effective choice for those with a hard water problem. Even the best salt-free water softeners, such as the latest electronic water softener will cost a fair amount of money. It is this trade-off between the initial price and long-term performance that is important to consider. You may have an initial budget in mind but once you've done your research, it may be that the smart choice is to spend a bit more initially to see fantastic long-term benefits for your household. One good way to assess what budget is required is to look at the best water softener reviews out there and see whether other people have similar experiences or requirements to you. Certification Whilst making sure your choice of a water softener is certified isn't a deal-breaker, in our opinion, it is the safer, sensible and better choice for the long-term. You want to trust that it is actually treating your hard water and delivering the levels of soft water you expect. You also want to make sure that it isn't adding any unwanted chemicals or taking minerals from the water supply that you are then drinking or washing with. If you find your favourite salt-free softener or salt-based softener, then check to see if it has been certified by the Water Quality Association or NSF International. These are stamps of quality that mean the manufacturer cares about their products, their customers and clean, safe water. Type of water When we say the type of water, we mean the number of hard minerals in your water and overall quality of it. Has it gone through a water filtration process or is it direct from a low-quality water source such as well water? These key questions will help decide whether one of the stronger salt-based water softener systems are required or you can go for salt-free water conditioners will cope, such as one of the magnetic water descalers. FAQs: How to install a whole house water softener? Choose a place where you want to install the water softener. Buy connectors and all other required stuff from the market. Follow the installation manual by the manufacturer while you connect all the parts together. Take the services of a professional plumber in case you don\u2019t have any plumbing experience. What are the whole house water softener alternatives? If you don\u2019t want to install a traditional salt-based whole house water softener, consider other options. You can go for a salt-free water softener, an electronic water softener\/descaler, or a magnetic water softener. Where to install a water softener? The best place to install a whole house water softener is the entry point of water. So you can install it in your garage or in the basement. It is because most of the water softeners do not work at freezing temperatures. How do whole house water softeners work? A whole house water softener turns the hard water into soft water. It takes in the hard water and processes it to reduce the hardness. It can be done through an ion-exchange method by salt-based water softeners or through reconditioning by salt-free water softeners. The resulted water is then called soft water. What is a whole house water softener? This type of softener is enough for your whole family and the whole home. So make sure that the water flow rate of the water softener you want to buy is enough to serve water to all of you all the time. The grain capacity should also be enough that it doesn\u2019t require frequent regeneration. How much does a whole home softener cost? Cost of whole house water softener depends on the size of the household and water hardness. It will cost you up to 200 dollars if you are a family of two. However, a whole house water softener will cost you around 600 dollars if you are a family of 6 or more people. Do I need a water softener? The short answer is yes, you definitely need a water softener in your home. After you install it, you will witness crystal clear water from each faucet in your home. Also, your appliances and plumbing will last longer and work better. There will be no soap scum and rust stains. Also, there will be more soap leathering. If your water supply is very hard, then salt-based softeners are recommended. What is the best whole house water softener? Aquasana Rhino is the best whole house water softener. It is a salt-free softener. So it will remove nothing from water and will also add nothing to it. Despite that, it will make your water soft and healthy. It also purifies the air inside your home that you breathe in which no other water softeners seem to do. How much does it cost to install a water softener? If you have some plumbing experience, there will be no cost to install the whole house water softener. You will only need to buy some connectors only. However, if you want to hire a professional for the purpose it may cost you equal to the cost of purchase of water softener. How long do water softeners last? A whole house water softening system is a one-time purchase item and will last for years. If you maintain it properly and do care, there will be also very minimum maintenance costs. Also, some water softeners are tested to run continuously for 27 years by the manufacturer. What size whole house water softener? Your whole house water softener should not be of maximum capacity. You have to check the water hardness and your household size. An average water hardness with a family of up to 4 people only needs a water softener of up to 48,000 grain capacity. If you are on well water, choose a suitable water softener here... What is your choice for the whole house water softener? Don't forget to keep in mind the hardness level and water requirement before buying one. 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