The 7 Best Water Softeners of 2022 (2023)

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The 7 Best Water Softeners 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.

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

Our Top Picks

Best Heavy Duty:

(Video) BEST Water Softener Systems Review💧(Ultimate 2022 Guide For Hard Water)

Pelican Water 80,000 Grain Heavy Duty Water Softener at Home Depot

Jump to Review

In This Article

  • Our Picks

  • What to Look for

  • Why Trust The Spruce

Best Overall:GE GXSH40V Water Softener

4.6

The 7 Best Water Softeners 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 7 Best Water Softeners 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) ✅ 7 Best Digital Water Softener New Model 2022

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 7 Best Water Softeners of 2022 (4)

What We Like

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

  • Sediment and chlorine filter

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 7 Best Water Softeners 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.

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.

(Video) ✅7 Best Water Softener System in 2022 - Best Water Softener

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 7 Best Water Softeners 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 7 Best Water Softeners of 2022 (7)

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

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

The 7 Best Water Softeners of 2022 (8)

(Video) Best Water Softeners - Water Softening Systems For Home In 2022 Review

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

  • How do water softeners work?

    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.

    "That calcium magnesium, when it's in your water, can create scale build-up, which you often see on your faucets and your shower heads," says Dunphy. "That scale build up will also be happening in your appliances, which cause major challenges for those appliances over time as it builds up." Hard water is also the cause of spotting on dishes and glasses because it leaves behind a powdery coating. "When you go to soft water what you’ll find is: cleaning is way easier, your laundry will be brighter, your appliances will run more effectively, and your skin won’t be as irritated because it won’t have that powder coating on it."

  • How do you clean a water softener?

    To maintain peak performance, water softeners require regular regeneration. Essentially, this is the process that "cleans" the resin bed. Over time, the resin bed becomes coated with grains of calcium and magnesium and will be unable to bind more particles. The system will typically monitor how much water has been processed and regenerate as needed.

    Regeneration involves a brine rinse and backwash. An attached salt tank supplies the sodium necessary for the brine bath that washes the resin bed. The ions in the sodium of the brine will bind the calcium and magnesium particles and carry them away with a single or double backwash.

    "As long as the valve and regeneration cycles are properly set, the softener will kind of take care of itself because the brine wash will clean the resin continually when it needs to regenerate," says Dunphy. "Besides that really all that's needed is that salt is maintained within the system so it can work properly."

    If your system is failing to perform and you notice hard water flowing from your pipes, you will want to check and see if a salt bridge has formed. This is essentially a layer of crusted salt that prevents the salt from reaching the brine tank and removing hard minerals from the water. While the salt bridge can be broken up, we recommend calling a professional to ensure that it's properly removed. Some water maintenance companies will also provide annual checks of softener systems to ensure they're continuing to function properly. "We provide annual checkups on our water softeners where we will make sure everything is performing properly and check the seals and the spaces to make sure there’s no clogging and no wear," Dunphy adds. "You don’t want it to get to the point where there’s a leak or a seal fails."

  • How long do water softeners last?

    The lifespan of a water softener is dependent on the longevity of the resin bed. "If a water softener is properly maintained, the resin should last 10 years," says Dunphy. "At that time the resin just becomes less efficient, so you just change the resin and you’re good to go. There might be some maintenance with the valves and such but properly maintained, it can last for as long as you maintain it." How long your water softener lasts will largely depend on water hardness and usage. Very hard water and frequent regeneration may shorten the lifespan of the treated resin inside your water softener.

  • Is it safe to drink water from a water softener?

    The short answer is 'Yes,' it is safe to drink water from a water softener for most people. Water softeners increase the level of sodium in your water, but not typically by an amount that will have an affect on your health. Still, several states and municipalities recommend that anyone with high blood pressure 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.

  • Is soft water damaging to copper pipes?

    While it is sometimes held that the calcium carbonate scale that hard water deposits on the interior of pipes acts like a protective layer, there's no evidence for this claim. Water that has been completely demineralized and stripped of all total dissolved solids (known as TDS), can act as a corrosive, but that's not a water softener does, since it replaces calcium cations with sodium cations. Studies conducted by the Water Quality Association have concluded that water softeners do not contribute to the erosion of copper pipes.

    (Video) Top 7 Best Whole House Water Softener | Best Whole House Water Filter and Softener Combo Reviews

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.

FAQs

Does Consumer Reports review water softeners? ›

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

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.

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.

How much is a good quality water softener? ›

You can expect to pay between $500 and $6,000 to have a whole-house water softener installed, depending on the type of system you choose, your system's capacity, and your water hardness.

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.

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.

How do I choose a water softener? ›

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 do I choose a water softener for my well? ›

How to Choose a Water Softener
  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.

Is salt free water softener better? ›

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.

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.

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.

Where is the best place to put 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.

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.

What water softeners are made in the USA? ›

WaterBoss water softeners are proudly made in the U.S.A. Our team uses advanced injection molding technology, laser welding, and precision robotic assembly. Every water softener receives a full system test prior to shipment. WaterBoss supports our products with a factory-trained and factory-based customer support team.

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.

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.

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.

Is it better to shower with hard or soft water? ›

The minerals in hard water can also change the pH balance of your skin, weakening it as a barrier against harmful bacteria and infections. Soft water is much better for your hair and skin, and soap will lather better with soft water than with hard water.

Which is better crystals or pellets for water softener? ›

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.

Is the higher the grain better in a water softener? ›

The bigger the number, the better the softener, right. What gets lost in this approach is the efficiency rating of the system. If we return to our example above you'll see that to achieve 32,000 grains of softening from a 1.0 cubic foot softener, we need to use 15 pounds of salt.

Are water softeners hard on water heaters? ›

Soft water can actually corrode the water heater anode faster. When the anode wears down, the corrosive elements will move on to the tank. So if left alone, a water softener system can actually shorten the lifespan of a water heater.

How long does a Morton water softener last? ›

Just like any other appliance, a water softener will only last for so long. Eventually, components break, electrical problems occur, and it just stops working. While they can last much longer if well maintained, water softeners have a typical lifespan of between 10 and 15 years.

Do water softeners use a lot of electric? ›

They are much less than you might think, although the type of softener will influence its efficiency, making some softeners more efficient than others. Time operated softeners are perhaps the least efficient.

Can you get 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.

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.

Do I need a twin tank water softener? ›

More consistent water quality

The main reason you might want or need a twin tank water softener is for consistent soft water 24/7. This cannot be done with a single tank system. Here's why: A water softener works by taking hard water and bringing it into the tank where there is a resin bed.

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.

What hardness should I set my water to? ›

The rule of thumb is that a good hardness level should not be higher than 120 to 170 mg/L, i.e., seven to ten grains per gallon of water. An accurate water analysis report should show you the hardness level. You can get the water tested in a lab, or do it yourself at home with a water hardness test kit.

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 size water softener do I need for a family of 2? ›

Determine the proper water softener based on your hardness and number of people in your house.
Hardness in Grains Per Gallon1 to 2 people*3 to 4 people*
11-20 GPG32,000 Grain32,000 Grain
21-30 GPG32,000 Grain40,000 Grain
31-40 GPG40,000 Grain64,000 Grain
41-50 GPG64,000 Grain80,000 Grain
4 more rows

Can you drink well water with water softener? ›

It is unlikely that a physician would discourage anyone from drinking softened water. Because water softeners are designed to address the problem of hard water and do not remove other water contaminants such as organic matter, many of our water softener customers also use a drinking water system.

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

until the brine tank runs out of salt. 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.

Does water softener salt raise blood pressure? ›

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.

What happens if I stop putting salt in water softener? ›

The absence of salt means that the water will no longer be softened, and the control valve will be filled with hard water. The water can't be softened without salt. That means hard water will build-up your pipes and cause less efficiency in your water heating system.

Why do I feel slimy with soft water? ›

Soft water replaces those magnesium and calcium ions with sodium ions. The result is soft water, loaded with salt. The salt is what makes the water feel slimy. After you buy a water softener, you might feel slimy and slippery after you take a shower, like you haven't gotten all the soap off of you.

Should you run soft water to ice maker? ›

Avoid connecting the ice maker to a softened water supply

The machine work great but has a lot of mineral build up due to the hard water in my area. I have a pre-filter installed in the water line.

How often should you soften your water? ›

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.

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.

Will water softener freeze in garage? ›

Homeowners often forget about water softeners during winter because they sit in basements and garages. Your water softener is as fragile as other home appliances in freezing temperatures.

How far can you run a drain on a water softener? ›

A softener unit creates enough pressure on its own to discharge the waste up to 20 feet away. So yes, it could be drained up into a washing machine drain standpipe, for example. The drainpipe needs a minimum 1 ½-inch net opening.

How close can a water softener be to a water heater? ›

Additionally, there should be at least 10 feet of piping between your water heater and water softener. This distance will prevent the possibility of hot water migrating backward into the softener during its regeneration cycle. If hot water gets into your softener, it could damage some of the tubing inside.

What is the typical lifespan 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.

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.

How often should you clean your water softener tank? ›

Water softeners don't typically need to be cleaned yearly, despite their constant usage. However, you should clean them every five to 10 years. If your water softener is older than 15 years; however, you will likely need to clean it every year or so.

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.

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.

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 softened water raise 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.

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.

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.

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