Hard water can be a nuisance, from the build-up of lime scale and mineral deposits to the dulling of fabrics and clothing. If you have a well, the chances are high that you are dealing with hard water. Choosing the best water softener for well water can make all the difference in improving your water quality and making your life easier.
This comprehensive guide will help you to make an ideal decision on the best water softener for well water. It will provide an overview of the different types of water softeners and the features to look for when choosing the best water softener for well water.
What is a Water Softener?
A water softener is a device that separates the hard minerals from your water supply, like calcium and magnesium. The minerals usually are found naturally in your water supply, typically at concentrations of around 15-25g per cubic meter.
Some areas have much higher hardness levels in their water supply, up to 1000g per cubic meter.
The hardness minerals reduce the efficiency of your household appliances and can cause a build-up of limescale in your plumbing system. Mineral build-up can shorten the lifespan of your plumbing and make your appliances break down, increasing your overall costs.
A water softener removes the hard minerals from your water supply, reducing the scale build-up in your appliances and plumbing system.
Types of Water Softeners
Various water softeners are available on the market, each with its benefits and drawbacks. In this section, we will explain each type of water softener.
1. Salt-Based Softeners
Salt-based water softeners use a large amount of sodium to clean the water. This softener uses salt to remove the minerals from the water and replace them with sodium ions. Because of this, maintaining a salt-based softening system might be more expensive.
2. Salt-Free Softeners
Salt-free water softeners use a resin to clean the water. The water passes through a bed of resin beads that catch the minerals in the water.
The resin beads are designed to remove a wide range of minerals. The minerals will remove as the water drains, and new beads will add. One downside to this water softener is that it may leave some calcium behind.
3. Magnetic Softeners
Magnetic water softeners use a solid magnet to pull the minerals out of the water. The water will run through a bed of magnetic beads that attracts the minerals in the water. This unique design doesn’t use any chemicals to clean the water.
Once the beads are full of minerals, they’re removed and replaced with new beads. The beads are designed to remove a wide variety of minerals. One drawback is that the magnetic beads will collect a lot of iron, which can be challenging to remove.
4. Dual-Tank Softeners
Dual-tank water softeners use a combination of different methods to clean the water. The water goes through a first tank where it’s softened with salt, a resin, or magnets, depending on the model.
The water then passes through a second tank and is softened using water-softening devices. This is a more expensive option, but it allows you to choose the type of softening that works best for your water.
5 Best Water-softeners for Well Water Available on The Market
The best water-softener systems eliminate calcium and magnesium stains, enhancing the water quality in a house. The water-softening systems listed below are some of the best in their respective categories.
1. Whirlpool 40,000-Grain Water Softener
Installing this single-tank, salt-based water softener manufactured by Whirlpool immediately increases the quality of a home’s water by eliminating hard minerals.
Hard water can cause damage that can result in homeowners having to replace faucets, dishwashers, and other items that use water, so this helps them avoid the extra expenses.
To maintain a constant salt level, a small amount of salt will add to the water during the ion exchange procedure. This Whirlpool 40,000-Grain Water Softener tackles the issue straight away by protecting the plumbing system’s other parts from hard water’s influence.
This softener has a maximum capacity of 40,000 grains and refills itself based on a metered system.
- Type: Salt-based water softener
- Capacity: 40,000 grain
- Dimensions: 47.875 inches tall – 18 inches wide – 19 inches deep
- Only regenerates when necessary by keeping track of salt and water usage.
- Tank lighting makes it simple to observe the salt level and determine when to restock.
- Removes up to 10 ppm (parts per million) of iron from the water.
- requires frequent refilling of salt to the system.
- After a few years of use, several customers claim that resin beads began to leak into pipes.
2. Waterboss 36,400-Grain Water Softener System
This WaterBoss water softener can renew its salt content in less than thirty minutes, which is advantageous for users since it reduces the time taken for regeneration and helps conserve water.
It is reasonably priced and comes with a single tank design that can manage up to 36,400 grains, making it a sensible choice for households with more than four members.
This is an economic water-softening system that is suitable for average-sized homes that have hard-water issues.
It has a factory-provided bypass valve and a built-in shut-off system, making it easier and safer to clean the softener. It should be noted that the water softener adds salt, which necessitates constant replacement.
- Type: Salt-based water softener
- Capacity: 36,400 grain
- Dimensions: 25.75 inches tall – 18.75 inches wide – 14.75 inches deep
- Reduces calcium, dirt, sediment, and iron to solve most city and well water issues.
- A factory-installed bypass valve increases the filter’s and the unit’s longevity.
- Rapid regeneration reduces water use and takes less than 30 minutes.
- It has a built-in whole-house filter that cleans automatically, eliminating the need to change cartridges.
- Salt must be refilled as necessary
3. Rheem Preferred 32,000 Grain Water Softener
This Rheem water softener optimizes salt and water usage and regeneration cycles with its single tank, making it energy-efficient. It is 43.5 inches in height, 15 inches in width, and 20.5 inches in depth.
Instead of having a preset schedule that may not be sufficient for water treatment, the metered system regenerates only when necessary.
This salt-based water softener can deal with up to 32,000 grains, making it suitable for a home of four or fewer families.
This system uses a small amount of salt to eliminate the hard minerals from the water, as usual with such systems. The softener also has a low-salt indicator, which signals its users when they need to add more salt.
- Type: Salt-based water softener
- Capacity: 32,000 grain
- Dimensions: 43.5 inches tall – 15 inches wide – 20.5 inches deep
- Budget-friendly alternative for typical homes of up to 4 persons
- An indicator light for low salt flashes when it is time to refill the salt.
- Homes with numerous bathrooms and 1-inch plumbing benefit from high-flow valves that sustain water pressure.
- Some customers claim this model is less effective than others at softening hard water.
- Parts might not regenerate as soon as they should or might be defective.
4. On The Go Portable RV Water Softener
The On The Go water softener is an excellent selection for those who need a mobile water softener. It is perfect for recreational vehicles, large and small boats, and small one-person or two-person homes or apartments.
This system has a hose that links it to an outdoor faucet or campground water source so users can enjoy softened water for cleaning, drinking, and showering.
This water softener has been created to offer portability. It can replenish with common table salt, which is a great benefit considering its 16,000-grain capacity will require regular recharging with consistent use.
The device’s size reduction also reduces the cost, making this product more budget-friendly.
- Type: Salt-based water softener
- Capacity: 16,000 grain
- Dimensions: 22 inches tall by 9.5 inches in diameter
- Regenerates in less than 30 minutes
- Ideal for camping or travel
- Connects directly to outside faucets and the water source in the campground.
- Some consumers claim that this device requires frequent recharges
- This item weighs 32 pounds, making it too hefty to transport.
5. Aquasure Harmony Digital Metered Water Softener
Aquasure’s dual-tank water softener is widely considered a top choice for tackling hard water from a well water system, with a large-scale 48,000-grain container suitable for residences with up to five individuals.
The digital control board enables users to observe the time of the day, present flow rate, and the amount of tender water or the number of days left until regeneration.
This water softener eliminates iron, magnesium, calcium, and scale. It also includes a metered regeneration feature that decreases the use of both salt and water. It is crucial to remember that dual-tank systems are extensive and take up considerable space.
- Type: Dual-tank salt-based water softener
- Capacity: 48,000 grain
- Dimensions: 62 inches tall – 10 inches wide – 10 inches deep
- Designed to supply the entire house with soft, spot-free, and scale-free water
- A residence with two to four bathrooms would benefit from a 48,000-grain tank.
- Advanced digital control consoles built-in allow precise backwashing when necessary by conserving water.
- Some users claim that it may leak following a few months of use.
- Some claim that after installing the unit, the water in their home has a distinct flavor of salt.
Benefits of Installing a Water Softener
Many people install water softeners when they first move into a new home. However, it’s also an investment that is well worth the money if you plan to stay in your home for an extended period. When you install a water softener, you’ll experience many different benefits.
Here are just a few:
1. Clean and Soft Water
Hard water can lead to mineral build-up in plumbing and appliances, meaning that you may need to clean them more often or replace them sooner.
A water softener can significantly reduce the number of minerals in the water, which can extend the life of your appliances while also making them easier to clean.
2. Cleans Better
Hard water can make cleaning challenging and leave behind spots and mineral deposits, making cleaning a bit longer. Water softened by a water softener will clean better and leave behind fewer deposits, meaning that cleaning will be faster and easier with softer water.
3. Better for Your Skin
Hard water can lead to dry and cracked skin, primarily if you use soap made with minerals. Water softened by a water softener will feel softer on your skin, leading to softer and smoother skin.
4. Good for Your Hair
Hard water can lead to mineral build-up in your hair, making it more challenging to wash and grow healthy hair. Water softened by a water softener will be gentler on your hair, leading to softer and healthier hair.
5. Longer Appliance Life
Hard water can cause calcium and limescale to build up on your appliances. This build-up causes the appliances to lose efficiency and run hotter than necessary. By softening your water, you can help to prevent this build-up and extend the life of your appliances.
6. Lower Energy Use
Hard water requires more energy to heat than soft water. This can help to reduce your energy costs.
7. Save Money
While the upfront cost of installing a water softener is more than cleaning and replacing appliances due to hard water, the long-term savings are significant. You’ll likely see a reduction in water and energy bills.
8. Prevents Scum Build-up
Hard water can leave behind scaly build-up in your bathtub or shower, but installing a water softener can help to prevent this.
Features to Look for When Choosing a Water Softener
Now that you know what a water softener does, you might be curious about the features to consider when picking the best water softener for well water.
Here are some tips to consider before buying the best water softener for well water:
The amount of water that the water softener can process each day. For example, choose one that can process 25 gallons per minute or more if you have a family of five or more.
2. Cycle Time
The time interval between each softening cycle. If you have a family of five and use water-intensive appliances such as laundry machines, dishwashers, and showers, look for a unit with a longer cycle time.
For example, choose a unit with 12 hours or less cycle time. This will ensure that the water is soft enough for your needs.
3. Water Hardness Level
This refers to the amount of minerals in the water. Pick a water softener, for instance, that can handle 10 to 40 grains per gallon.
4. Flow Rate
Flow rates measure how fast water is flowing through your water supply. Higher flow rates indicate more water flowing through your system, which may lead to increased mineral build-up.
If you have a large household, you will want to look for a water softener with a high flow rate to combat the build-up.
5. Water Source
The type of water source you have can impact the type of water softener you choose. If you have a well, you must have a well water softener.
However, other factors may also come into play. If you have access to city water, you can install a city water softener instead of a well water softener. You can also consider a hybrid water softener that can work with both types of water.
6. Get Professional Advice
When choosing a water softener, talking to a water softener professional is always a good choice. A water softener professional can help you to choose the best water softener for well water, saving you time and effort.
A professional will be able to guide you through the different types of water softeners available and help you to choose the best one for your home.
7. Check Reviews
While you can talk to a water softener professional, it is also good to check out online reviews. You can find honest reviews from past customers who have used the water softeners you are considering.
This can help you to avoid making a wrong decision and choosing a water softener that is not right for your needs.
How to Maintain Water Softeners?
If you decide to install a water softener, it is crucial to know how to maintain it and keep it running smoothly.
Here are some suggestions you can follow to maintain the performance of your water softener:
- Check the water flow: Make sure there is proper water flow through the softener.
- Clean the brine tank: You should take out the brine tank every few months and clean it.
- Check the mineral levels: You should periodically check the mineral levels in your water to ensure they are within the recommended range.
- Service the unit: It would help if you have your unit serviced every five years.
Keep in mind that water softeners are not maintenance-free units. You will need to check that everything is working properly periodically.
Water softeners also use a considerable amount of water, so if you have a well, you have to ensure enough water to meet your household needs.
Finding the best water softener for well water can be daunting, especially if you are unfamiliar with this equipment. This comprehensive guide provides you with everything you need to know to decide on the best water softener for well water.
I have covered everything, including how to define a water softener and what features to consider when selecting the best one for your needs.
Is a water softener necessary?
Yes, water softeners are essential for households with well water. Hard water is a common issue caused by the high amount of minerals. Hard water can cause several issues, including reduced efficiency in appliances, reduced water flow in plumbing systems, increased soap use and detergent costs, and many other health problems.
Are water softeners expensive?
Water softeners cost around $600-$2,000, depending on the size and model you choose. In addition, you may get a water softener installed for free by contacting your water company.
Can I add a water softener to my existing system?
Yes, many water softeners are easy to install with an existing system. You can find more information about adding a water softener to your system by contacting a local water softener installation company.