You drink it, you bathe in it, and you even wash your clothes in it; so shouldn’t you be taking better care of it?
Dealing with hard water isn’t necessary, and if you want the very best for you and your home then you need a water softening system.
By reading our water softener reviews and following these simple guidelines, you will be absolutely sure to find a system that is efficient for both your home and wallet. Don’t be the person who wastes money on buying the first unit they see, there are a few important details you need to know that can save you time, money, and possibly even a headache.
Water Softener Reviews – How to Find the Best System for Your Home
Water is one of the most important factors in every person’s life, and yet it’s one of the most overlooked. By using hard water in your home you are dealing with the many negative side effects such as dried hair and skin, rough clothes, and much more.
In order to get the best water softener for your home there are a few important details you need to know. First make sure that you buy a unit that is capable of softening enough water for your entire family. This is where most people go wrong by not buying a powerful enough unit, or vice versa too powerful which is a waste of money. You also need to know if the system will fit in the appropriate space you have accommodated for it, if not you will have to deal with customer service with getting a refund or returning the system. Most importantly you need to know for sure that you actually have hard water. While 85% of the United States deals with hard minerals you could be the rare exception. Look at the map below to get an idea of the hardness levels in your area.
How to Tell if You Need Hard Water Treatment
So you’ve decided to buy a home water softener system, but are you positive you actually have hard water? Do you even know what it is? Well when water passes through rocks and soils underground it carries along with it the “hard” minerals known as calcium, magnesium, and other metals. These hard minerals cause many negative side effects to both you and your home, and the best solution to remove them is by ion exchange, or otherwise known as water softening. Below are some of the main side effects associated with hard minerals.
Negative Effects of Hard Water
- Scale from dissolved calcium and magnesium will build up in your plumbing fixtures resulting in clogged pipes and erosion, thus reducing water flow.
- Reduces the ability for soap to lather, causing you to use more.
- Hard minerals enter into cloth fabric to make clothes feel rough and look dingy, shortening the life of your favorite shirt by as much as 40%.
- Soap mixed with hard minerals will leave a sticky soap curd that can damage your skin, hair, and cause you to clean your shower or bath tub more often.
- Any appliances used to heat water will have a shorter life and an increase in utility bills (scale is a bad conductor of heat so more energy is needed).
- The minerals affect the taste of coffee and tea.
- Hard minerals will leave dishes with a film and looking spotty, especially when cleaned with a dishwasher.
Hard Water Stains
If you have noticed any or all of these effects in your home then you have hard water. But actually knowing you have hard water isn’t enough; you need to know the actual level of hardness to make sure you get the best softener for your home. Hardness is generally measured in grains per gallon, or GPG. When measuring in grains per gallon, if the hardness level is 0 to 1.0 then it’s considered soft, 1.0 to 3.5 is considered slightly hard, 3.50 to 7.0 is moderately hard, 7.0 to 10.50 is hard, and 10.50 and above is extremely hard. In order to find out the levels of hardness in your home you will need to buy a water test kit, you can find the top rated test kits here. Knowing this number will help you find the most efficient system for your home.
How to Find the Best Water Softener
So now that you are positive you have hard water, it’s time to find the system that fits your home best. I’ve had countless occasions where I go to install a unit that was already bought; only to find out it’s not the right capacity size for their home and family, or it was too big to fit in the proper accommodated space. By following these simple guidelines you will be sure to find the perfect system for your home and have it working with full efficiency in no time.
Water Softener Sizing
To find the right size unit to buy for your home, you need to do a little bit of math; this is where the test kit comes into play. The way that water softeners are measured is in the capacity of grains or grain removal. Softeners come in sizes of 15000, 24000, 32000, 40000, 48000, 64000, 80000, and 110000 grain removal capacity. Buying a size too small can lead to hard minerals making their way through, pressure drop, and even fluctuating water temperature. Buying a size too large will just cost you more than needed but will allow you to regenerate less often. Regeneration is when the hard minerals are flushed out of the resin tank and replaced with sodium so that your water will continue to soften. This should occur only once a week to avoid wasting money. To find the right sized unit you have to take the number of persons in your home, times it by the average usage of gallons per person (80-100), then times this number by the GPG that your test kit revealed. You then take this number and times it by 7 for each day of the week. Make sure this number is lower than the capacity size of the unit you buy to ensure you will still be free of hard minerals even in times of heavy water usage. If you don’t want to purchase the test kit then you can go by the average hardness levels in the United States which is 10. To find the right capacity size for the average family of 4 your calculations would look like this:
Persons = 4
Daily gallon usage per person = 90
Overall daily gallon usage = 4 x 90 = 360
Daily gallon usage x GPG = 10 x 360 = 3600
Grains used per week = 3600 x 7 = 25200
A 32,000 grain softener would be the perfect fit for this household, by putting in your own measurements you will know the proper size for your home so you can get the best water softener possible. Couple this with reading water softener reviews of high rated systems of the right grain capacity and you will have a highly efficient unit that will bring great results and save you money in the process.
Water Softener Comparison
|Autotrol 255/460i control||$700||4||48,000|
|North Star NST70UD1||$1800||4.5||70,000|