What to Look for in Water Softener System Reviews
If you have hard water in your house, you know what it can cost you – and you may be in the market for awater softener system to help you prolong the life of your appliances, reduce the amount you spend on soap, and improve the quality of your water.
However, reading water softener reviews can be confusing, especially if you don’t know which features are most important to get the results you want. It can be helpful to have a checklist to refer to as you shop so you can be sure to choose the best option for you and your family.
#1: Types of Systems
The first thing to consider is which method the system uses to soften the water. You’ll have several options, each with its pros and cons:
- Ion exchange softeners replace hard minerals, such as calcium, iron, and magnesium, with salt.
- Salt-free softeners use a potassium chloride salt substitute instead of salt.
- Magnetic water filters use magnetic force to pull hard minerals from the water.
Ion exchange softeners tend to be the most effective option. Whichever system you choose, it’s important to make sure that it adheres to NSF standards.
#2: Water Volume and Regeneration Frequency
Next, you need to know how much water your family uses on a daily basis to determine the volume your water softening system will need to handle and how quickly it will regenerate. The basic rule of thumb is that the average person uses 75 gallons of water per day, including water for bathing, doing laundry, cooking, washing dishes, and flushing the toilet.
Ideally, you want your water softening system to regenerate every three to ten days. Regeneration is measured in grains – as in, how many grains of hard water minerals can your system remove? Here’s how to break it down:
- If you use between 100 and 200 gallons of water per day, you’ll need a system that can handle 20,000 to 29,000 grains.
- If you use between 200 and 400 gallons of water per day, you’ll need a 30,000 to 44,000 grain system.
- If you use more than 400 gallons of water per day, you’ll need a system that can process more than 44,000 grains before regenerating.
You can use your family’s water bill for the month to decide on the required volume – and remember to keep in mind that water use is typically higher in the summer than it is in the winter.
#3: Type of Regeneration
There are two ways that a water softening system can regenerate.
- It can regenerate on a timer, meaning that you can tell the system to regenerate every four days regardless of your water use in that time.
- It can use demand-initiated regeneration based on the amount of water filtered. These systems tend to have the most efficient use of salt.
For most families, demand-initiated regeneration is the most effective and cost-efficient option.
#4: Extra Features
Once you’ve covered the basics, you can consider additional features. These features are optional, and you can certainly find an effective water softening system without them. For example:
- The ability to filter additional substances, including chlorine and sediment
- Low-salt indicators to help you monitor the salt being used
- Water flow indicators
- Touch screens
These added features usually increase the cost of a water softening system. You’ll have to evaluate how important they are to you before making a buying decision.
The most important thing to remember as you shop for a water softening system is that you need one that will deliver the best quality water for you and your family. Our Guardian Water Services water refiner uses four separate filtration systems for that purpose. If you’d like to take the first step, you can schedule yourfree water quality test right now.