As its name already suggests, a water softener aims to reduce the hardness of water. In this context, it reduces the limestone content so that the water is then safe and drinkable. And because the supply is abundant on the market, it becomes difficult to choose the best model. If you are thinking of making such an acquisition, then consider investigating some basic parameters first. These involve pressure, cycles, flow and noise level. Those who do not have enough time to read the entire buying guide can go directly to comparing the best products. The AquaHouse EcoPlus XLis a reliable example for acting on the limescale content and at the same time removes the hardness of the liquid. Its effectiveness is such that it improves the taste, but also the smell of the water. The same goes for thePentair Fleck 5600 SXT water softener, which is one of the easiest to set up.
Beneficial to your health and that of your home’s piping, the water softener is an essential piece of equipment. Through the use of sodium resin or CO2, this device reduces the limescale content of the precious liquid. Freed from alkaline earth salts such as sulfates, chlorides or magnesium, your running water will become soft and healthy. To take full advantage of the benefits of this amazing machine, there are a few criteria to see closely when acquiring. Here are some criteria to consider when knowing how to buy a water softener with better value for money.
First of all, you should know in advance the pressure of the water that reaches you from the distribution network. If it is not indicated on the meter, kindly ask your supplier. Indeed, most commercially available water softeners operate with a dynamic pressure of 1.5 bar and 7 bar static.
Our advice would be to use a pressure reducer as soon as the value exceeds 4 bar. The connection must be made with flexible hoses to reduce the risk of damaging the machine. Pay attention where to buy a new water softener. Normally, bona fide specialists will offer you the appropriate accessories.
There are two tank systems. On one side, there is the model with a unique resin tank. Often larger than the others, this device only softens water when you need it. The onboard electronics make the device more efficient. On the other, there is the duplex model. It is smaller and simpler, the flow of softened water remains constant.
Whatever you decide, consider the daily need of your home. Also remember that the Hydrometric Title (TH), that is to say the limestone content of your water, will be decisive. For a household of 4 people, you need a softener with a capacity of 10 liters if the TH is between 20 and 25 ° F.
Most water softeners currently on sale have a 5-cycle valve. These correspond to the different steps followed during the operation of the machine. These are detachment, suction, slow rinsing, quick rinsing as well as filling. On other machines, it is possible to have up to 8 different cycles so that the water is perfectly softened.
The energy consumption and cost of the device will vary accordingly, so refer to a price comparator. The most basic devices cost 250 € while the most efficient machines reach 2000 €.
Like any device that runs on electric current, the water softener may make a small purr. This is normal, but remember to ask the seller the level of noise caused by the machine since it should be connected 24/7.
Whenever possible, opt for the device that will make the least noise among the offers in the catalog or in a buying guide for the best water softeners. Do not hesitate to choose a model running on CO2.
How to use a water softener?
Tap water naturally contains limescale, the main culprit in the appearance of scale. Accumulated gradually, these can cause many problems, especially for health. To prevent the formation of unsightly deposits, you will need a water softener. The installation and use of this device remain within everyone’s reach.
Understand how this device works
More than a gadget, the water softener is an indispensable equipment to release the precious liquid from its residual limescale content. During its passage through a resin tank, the water will become softened. The calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+) ions, those responsible for the formation of scale will be captured. To maintain balance, these chemicals will be replaced by sodium, one of the components of cooking salt.
Choose the technology that’s right for you
You have several distinct technologies to choose from to soften your water. The process of capturing calcium and magnesium derivatives can be done automatically or on demand. In both cases, the resin used will be naturally regenerated. Otherwise, CO2 is also used to capture unnecessary ions. The carbon dioxide will be injected into the circuit. This process is very efficient and leaves no trace, but its cost is quite high. Thus, it is intended more for professionals.
Install your equipment in a dry place
The installation of a water softener remains within everyone’s reach. Just be sure to place your equipment in a dry place not exposed to the sun. You will need a wrench and cutting pliers. For fastening, you need to have a drill. Concretely, you will have to fix the device near the drawing point. Then, you must make the connection for the water inlet and outlet. Use so-called American fittings to have maximum sealing.
Remember to maintain the water softening system
The CO2 softener requires no maintenance. For its part, the resin model requires some maintenance work. In particular, you need to keep an eye on the salt level. As a reminder, it is the element that maintains the balance of your water. Also, be sure to replace the pre-filter regularly. Every six months, you will have to check the hydrometric title, i.e. the limestone content of your water. Periodic disinfection is mandatory to prevent the proliferation of bacteria.
Make the most of your new equipment
By using softened water, you will enjoy many benefits. This liquid will, for example, be easier to heat. Freed from calcareous residues, it rises quite quickly in temperature. Experts also argue that using softened water to clean dishes or laundry reduces detergent consumption.
Do not drink exclusively softened water. The latter is very low in calcium and magnesium. However, these elements are essential for the human body, especially in the skeleton and nervous system. The salt used to rebalance water can weigh down the body. Pregnant women, newborns and seniors should not consume softened water.
What we don’t know about water softeners
The softener presents itself as the solution to obtain better water, to date. However, many people do not adhere to its use. The debate on the pros and cons is raging on the Web on this subject. Indeed, some taboo information has not been revealed to the general public. Here are some of them that manufacturers have, perhaps expressly, failed to tell us.
But first, let’s see what a water softener is.
The water that passes through the pipes contains a lot of calcium carbonate, as well as magnesium. These components promote limescale deposition. An effective treatment has therefore emerged.
Device placed upstream of the sanitary facilities in a house, the softener treats water via a resin. The latter removes calcium and magnesium ions to replace them with sodium ions.
The installation of this device helps to obtain less hard water when it comes out of the mixer. And in a sense, it presents various privileges.
What advantages does this product offer?
Limescale reduction is the real function of a water softener. This article then improves the life of the piping in the house. Obviously, this also affects the heating resistance of household appliances, or the boiler.
In a washing machine, for example, the limescale deposit increases considerably when the temperature reaches 60 °C. That’s why specific products like lozenges must accompany the laundry every time. By using a water softener, the hardness of the water will decrease, thus avoiding the use of chemical solutions that could affect the quality of the fabric to be washed.
By using a device of this kind on a water heater, the desired temperature is reached more quickly, because no scale will clutter the resistors and reduce their performance. And with its low consumption, the economy will see itself in the long term.
It must also be taken into account that this device improves the effectiveness of a cleaning product. Once the water is softened, shampoo or laundry becomes more active, because it foams and dissolves better. We can therefore obtain a satisfactory result, without mess.
In addition to these few technical advantages, this device brings a certain comfort. Softened water reduces the white marks usually left on dishes. This will make no mistake cleaning silverware or enamelled products. Its use on soft linen is also recommended, as it is less aggressive. Clothes will thus be less likely to deteriorate, even if they are washed quite often by machine.
In terms of health, hard water will gradually harm the skin, making it drier and easily irritable. By using a water-softening device, the hair becomes more supple and less rough.
So why do some people object to its use?
It has been found that hard water offers some disadvantages. If we cannot get rid of it, we pay for it. However, according to some research, “treated” water is not completely drinkable. Experts therefore advise against using this kind of practice, especially in cooking.
Chemically, attenuated water lacks mineral salts, in favor of sodium. As a result, it contains little calcium and magnesium. These elements exert beneficial properties for metabolic balance. In order to compensate for this deficiency, softener users will be more obliged to feed on foods that contain them.
The strong taste of treated water comes from the high presence of sodium ions, especially present in cooking salt. Many at-risk individuals should not consume it. We are talking here about babies, people with heart problems, pregnant women and anyone else following a salt-free diet.
While softened water offers many benefits when it comes to cleaning and housekeeping of all kinds, it is harmful to health in the long term. It has no effect on pesticides and nitrates, and therefore has no sanitizing role. This could therefore lead to gastric or other problems. Water service operators do not take this into account, due to the fact that additional treatment has been added.
You should also know that water that is too soft becomes corrosive at a certain level. If the appliance used lowers the content from 15°F to 0°F, the water will undeniably assail the piping. Because of this, it will contain dissolved metal. The health risks will then be more serious than one might think. In addition, the water will also attack the joints of the plumbing, creating leaks.
The choice depends on each individual, but also on the use
The use of a water softener has various privileges, including cleaning. However, it must be used correctly to avoid adverse effects. According to many claims, this device should be used only for certain needs. It is not necessary to have them at home, supposedly to get more comfort.
When using this type of device, we must be on our guard regarding maintenance, especially during the disinfection of resins and filters. A lack of attention could cause bacteria to overgrow.
The use of a water softener also requires more work than one might think. That is why it is necessary to weigh the pros and cons before even getting one. Ask yourself the following questions: Why should I install this product? How do I use it correctly? What advantages and disadvantages come with this article? Do I have enough time and attention for its regular maintenance? Do we know the risks involved for the use of this device?
The choice then depends on the needs of each, but will have to be based on solid knowledge in order to avoid problems in terms of health and for the installation of plumbing.
The most popular brands
Those who put their finger on the water softeners had a good flair. Indeed, having water a little too calcareous coming out of its pipes has almost become a nature in itself for the population. And to preserve the life of its household appliances, there is only one recourse: use the water softener.
No matter how much tank volume you have, 22 l, 30 l or more, the sign has what you need as a softener. The advantage with it is that in most cases you receive the complete installation kit to make it easier for you to use for electronic models.
Its articles incorporate several new technologies such as resuming immediately after a power outage, or at the time you have chosen. They also last 48 hours even without food. This earned the brand the sympathy of many consumers.
Water2Buy is a specialist technician for everything related to water, but also a formidable marketer. When it comes to after-sales service, many find it quite difficult to do as well as the brand that offers a warranty of up to 7 years for its water softeners.
It adds to its articles spare parts free of charge to bait customers and we can say that in the French regions, its strategy works thunderously. In designing its appliances, the brand thought about the space problems frequently encountered in homes.
Smeg floods the world with Italian culture through its “Bien de chez eux” appliances. This family business run by Vittorio Bertazzoni has been manufacturing household appliances made in Italy since 1948 and continues to dazzle us with its innovations.
At the origin of the gas stove with automatic ignition or the dishwasher with 14 covers, today, it makes us know its water softeners adapted precisely to this last type of device.
We must not believe that Delonghi remained in 1902, the year of its creation. The Italian company lives in tune with the times, and strives to provide all homes with smart devices to improve living conditions: coffee machines, air conditioners, and other lesser-known products such as water softeners.
The latter have the role of reducing the concentration of calcium, magnesium and other minerals in the water used for the coffee maker for example. Yes, we can learn that everything still revolves around coffee for the brand.
Calgon is dedicated to removing unwanted salts from water. Moreover, this name that has been attributed to it derives from the expression “calcium gone”, in order to provide homes with healthy water for bathing or cleaning.
A host of products were then born with the same composition, or derived ingredients capable not only of remedying the hardness of the water, but also indispensable in the treatment of wastewater. With the sign, washing machines, dishwashers and other appliances have a longer life ahead of them.
Q1: How to maintain a water softener?
Since the water is treated from a salt and resin process, it requires regular care. In some devices, maintenance boils down to changing the filters that make up the machine. However, before reaching such extremes, it is necessary to check the elements present in the Permo water softener for example.
Clean the salt deposits accumulated in the appliance every two years. When you notice that a whitish crust forms at the bottom of the tank, it is time to scrub it.
To overcome resin waste, it is enough to resort to specific items available in large DIY stores. Pour the cleaning product in the right dose and relative to the amount of liquid contained in your machine. Afterwards, refer to the housing control to perform manual regeneration of the resin. This task is to be carried out every year or after two weeks of absence.
Q2: How do I install a water softener?
To develop your system, start by establishing a pre-filter that serves as an insulation of the water against impurities. Add this element to the main water inlet. Next, use a pin to establish the regeneration water discharge elbow and its drain sheath. Once done, lay the drain hose of the overflow and finally attach the softener. Mend the supply hoses on the cuts drawn on the water line. Use a biconical fitting style to attach the unit to this source. Once established, open the main inlet and check for leaks at the various branches.
Q3: How do I service a water softener yourself?
This is easy based on the assembly instructions for a new filter, since the maintenance of this type of tool involves the specific change of this accessory. Also refer to our previous tips to easily carry out this mission yourself.
Q4: The water softener: what are the health risks?
According to the studies carried out on the subject, this article is not at all harmful to health, if it is designed and maintained according to the required standards. On the contrary, it is your well-being that will suffer if you do not use it to reduce the limescale content in your pipe system. As it also treats chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals present in the water, the softener protects us from contact with certain elements dangerous for our hygiene.
In the event that the device is not maintained regularly and according to the required standards, expect bacteria to grow and spread throughout your facility. The proliferation of microbes and germs alters, among other things, the quality of the liquid as well as the health of the residents.
Q5: How does a water softener work?
This element is based on the principle of filtration of products circulating in our pipes. Some models are managed electronically. The substance is treated using a two-level process. The first works on the eradication and reduction of chlorine and heavy metal levels. This mechanism also prevents the formation and development of bacteria in the water. Thus, we obtain a softer and tastier one. A second filter then takes care of preventing the appearance of flaking due to the deposition of limescale and sediment in the liquid.
Q6: How do I empty a water softener?
If you want to know how to drain a water softener, simply close the direct duct that integrates the device. Then, open the valves of the house to drain the inside of this equipment.
Q7: How do I program a water softener?
The configuration of your tool is based on these few criteria: the hardness of the water and the volume of water consumed by the household. Then refer to your water bill to measure your monthly expense. From the data obtained, first regulate the date and time of regeneration. Next, configure the amount of liquid to be processed. And finally, program the rate of the hardness of the inlet and that of the output. How do I adjust a water softener? According to the advice of professionals, it is best to operate a stable setting between 6°F and 10°F.
Q8: How much does a water softener cost?
The price of this product undeniably varies according to certain criteria based in particular on the brand, the capacity of the tool and the nature of the technology used by the filtering system. On average, your budget should oscillate between 400 euros and 1500 euros. In addition, the value is amortized when you install the device yourself. If you use professionals, then you need to save more for supply and labor.
Q9: How do I fill a water softener?
After checking the resin level in your device, you can add more just by opening the tray for this purpose. Make the same gestures to load the salt tray of your device.