You never know how much you love soft water until you don’t have it. You find yourself with clothes that never look clean and yellow toilet bowls.
The best water softener for iron removal will help get rid of the iron and the hardness quickly.
- 1 Best Water Softeners in 2019
- 2 Top Water softener Reviews
- 2.1 Iron Pro 2 Combination- Top Softener For Removing Iron
- 2.2 Fleck 5600sxt Digital Metered Water softener-
- 2.3 ABCwaters 48k-56sxt Softening Pro
- 2.4 Aquasana- premium Rhino – Salt-Free Softner
- 2.5 Watts RV PRO-1000 Portable- Is it the Best for the Outdoors?
- 2.6 WaterBoss Self Cleaning Water Softener
- 2.7 Hard water Bullet Poly Triple Action
- 2.8 Eddy Water Descaler
- 2.9 Nuvo H2O Complete Water Softening System
- 3 Water Softeners Buying Guide
- 4 How often should salt be added to a Water softener?
- 5 Water softeners FAQs
- 6 Can water softener cause low Water pressure
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions About water softeners
- 8 How to remove iron from water naturally without using a water softener
- 9 Best Sediment Filters to use with a water softener.
Best Water Softeners in 2019
Here’s the deal: I have combed through hundreds of water softeners and shortlisted the best units being sold by good suppliers. First, check out a comparison table below.
Top Water softener Reviews
Iron Pro 2 Combination- Top Softener For Removing Iron
You may be wondering, why Iron pro 2 is so dependable in removing iron while other softeners fail?
Well, it’s simple. Iron Pro was specifically designed with iron removal in mind. The makers made it with a Fleck 5600SXT control head plus an Iron filter which makes very powerful at removing iron from water. The iron pro 2 has been proven to reduce iron from a high of 75gpg to a low as 6gpg. This will help you get rid of the “Sickening Yellowish Stains” in the sink, in the toilet, and in the shower.
Unlike some solutions that are pricey, you will not have to part with an “Arm and Leg” to get it. This is because in the market today, there are some units which are of the same performance going for over $ 3,000.
Iron Pro 2 Combo Softener Gives You…
- A way to reduce iron from “Unbearable Highs” to as low as 6gpg.
- Economizing the use of salt by only regenerating when a “Specific Amount” of H2O it has been processed -unlike other units which are set to regenerate weekly or fortnightly regardless of the amount of water they have processed.
- A way to bypass the softener while it’s in maintenance while still having water throughout the house- avoid the inconveniences of not having water because softener is regenerating.
- A guarantee from the maker to repair or replace the control head for the first 5 years.
- Guarantee to repair or replace the tanks for 10 years.
What I like
As you may know, installing a softener is not that simple, but Iron pro 2 comes with a DIY installation manual which gives you step-by-step instructions and is super easy to follow and is better than most. Even if you are not very technically capable, you can follow the steps. In addition, there is also an installation demonstration video for the unit.
Most importantly, the customer service you’ll receive when you place an order includes a free phone consultation and email tech support is always available. I like the fact that each regeneration gives you 800 Gallons.
Not surprisingly, Iron pro 2 combination has lots of positive reviews of customers who have used it.
What I don’t like
I know how frustrating it is when you have a lot of iron and the softener cannot keep up. Because of the bypass valve, during the regenerating cycle, the water you use will not be treated. So you can find yourself washing your white shirt with red water. Also, it’s kind of a pain getting the resin to its chamber.
- High flow rate
- Removes 75 gpg iron
- Meter based Regeneration
- Control head 5-year warranty
- Tank 10 years warranty
- Installation video
- Untreated water during the regeneration cycle
- It cumbersome refilling the resin.
Fleck 5600sxt Digital Metered Water softener-
The second item in our list is “Fleck 5600SXT Digital Metered Review” The reason for including this model is because it’s a solid model which uses Fleck 5600SXT digital head. One thing with this unit is it’s not pricey, so you will not have to break the bank to buy it.
When analyzing reviews for this product, I come across many positive reviews praising the customer service they received. Which is not surprising because the customer service is great. You will not only have prompt delivery, but you will also get someone contact you to ensure you received the product on time and give you instruction on installation over the phone.
In addition, like other units that use a digital meter, this unit is efficient because it uses a digital meter for regeneration. You will not be refilling salt every other time. It also comes with a pre-charged resin. Which makes it a great system for domestic and commercial users.
Fleck 5600sxt Digital Metered Gives you…
- Ability to remove “48,000 Grains of Hardness” before it requires regeneration -which is equal to 6.8 pounds of dissolved calcium and magnesium. This is a lot of hardness compared to other models.
- Allows you to turn off the water going to the softener while it’s on maintenance mode but still have water throughout the house. So If you ever want to use water while the softener is regenerating, it won’t be a big hassle.
- A way to measure the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium that have been removed from the water, so as to regenerate when it needs to -which helps to maintain the effectiveness of the water descaler.
- Guarantee from the maker to repair or replace the control head for the first five years upon purchase. And ten years for the tanks.
- A way to keep running for 48 hours when the supply of electrical power is interrupted or is unstable. So if your electrical power is cut-off, you will still have soft water for 48 hours without requiring Gas or diesel-powered generators.
What I like
The customer care is great, and it is super easy to install. The Pre-charged resin saves you the hassle of refilling the resin tank when you first buy the Fleck 56,000.
What I don t like
It does not come with drainage tubing and You must buy one.
- Easy to install
- Prefilled Resin
- Great customer care
- Great price
- Highly rated
- You must buy drainage tubing
- Electrical outlet not readily available
- Installing the resin is a hassle
ABCwaters 48k-56sxt Softening Pro
If you’re looking for a softener for iron removal, ABCwaters 48k-56sxt Pro is sure to meet your expectation. It has the ability to remove 48,000 grains of hardness using a “Fine Mesh Resin filter” which is specifically made for high iron removal.
In a nutshell, it’s both a softener and iron filter. As you know, there are lots of softeners on the market today, but few of them use “Fine Resin Mesh” which gives it a Superior ability to remove iron, calcium, and magnesium from water.
“ABC Waters 48,000” works both as an iron filter as well as a softener. ABC-water Inc is one of the well-known brands that specialize in making H2O equipment. They pride themselves in using the highest quality materials and having great customers care.
ABC waters 48k-56sxt Pro Gives You…
- A way to remove up to “6-8 ppm of Iron” from water. This significantly improves the quality of water and gets rid of the nasty metallic smell of iron?
- Capacity to remove 6.8 pounds of dissolved calcium and magnesium before it is in need of regeneration (48,000 grains of hardness capacity)
- Step-by-step instruction for installing the softener that you can do without requiring the help of a professional plumber.
- An ability to bypass the softener using a valve which is on top of the tank. This comes in handy when you don’t what to use the softener or when it is regenerating.
- Can serve a home with up to five people, or up to three bathrooms –It is higher than most units in the market today.
On buying ABCwater, it comes with an installation kit in the package together with DIY installation guide and water hardness test strips . Finally, when I was researching about this softener, I looked at the customer reviews. The overwhelming conclusion from most customers is that ABCwater produces extremely soft water. It is hard to come up with a negative review.
- Good for iron removal
- Bypass valve
- High capacity
- DIY installation
- A bit pricey
Aquasana- premium Rhino – Salt-Free Softner
The next softener to look at is “Aquasana Rhino Premium” As you probably know, the Aquasana Inc Corporation has been one of the top filtration system maker for decades. They’ve built a reputation for providing the best filtration products.
Aquasana Rhino premium is a whole house filter with a saltless water softener. It uses a “Sequenced Stage Filtration” which includes Sediment filter, starlight UV light, activated carbon, and salt-free softener.
The sequenced filtration process is capable of removing many of the contaminants found in water. When you buy Aquasana Rhino premium, you will have noticeably soft water. More importantly, you will have the convince of having clean drinking water in the entire house. In addition, if you have chloramine or chlorine in the water. This system eliminates all these chemicals.
Aquasana Rhino Premium Give You…
- A way to soften water without using salt -therefore, saving a lot of water which is wasted by “Salt Using” once.
- A more effective way of killing viruses, bacteria and other micro-organisms that are found in water using ultraviolet light. This is better than other methods which use chemicals, and it’s cheaper.
- A way to reduce solid particles such as dust from water before softening, which is unlike other units that don’t have a sediment filter installed.
- A way to filter water using a variety of method such as mineral stones which helps in aeration.
- Uses micro-filtration to get rid of organic and sediment particles that are very small for other filtration methods. This ability is not available to units that don’t use Sub-micron post filter.
- Guarantee from Aquasana Inc corporation to repair or replace the units for 10 years.
- Bypass loop for easier filter change
- Pro Grade install kit which has the following things
What I Like
If the city you live in uses chloramine to treat its water, this system is one of the few purification systems that eliminate chloramine. This system really gives clean fresh taste water.
What I don’t like
You will need to have a professional to install it if you don’t have plumbing experience. In addition, it kind off drops the water pressure, and it is a bit bigger.
- Great for commercial users because the cartridges last up to one million Gallons
- Eliminates a wide range of contaminants
- prevents mineral build up
- Pro-grade install kit
- Bypass loop to make it easier to change of filters.
- “Salt-Free” are not as effective as “Salt-Using” units in softening water.
- You might have to hire a plumber to install
- It is a bulky piece of equipment
- Not cheap
Watts RV PRO-1000 Portable- Is it the Best for the Outdoors?
No review of water softeners would be complete without the inclusion of portable units which can be used in the outdoors.
For those who need a small and portable water softener, Watts RV PRO is a convenient, compact and portable RV type system.
The performance of watt RV is great. In fact, it works better than some the expensive whole house system in the market. More importantly, you can use table salt or the salt palates.
Watts RV pro Gives you…
- A more “Effective Regeneration” that expands its capacity by 50% compared to other outdoors units.
- A way to regenerate without having to disconnect the system ensuring that you never run out of water because the system is regenerating.
- Unlike other portable systems, it has a firm and secure base for standing.
- A way to softeners up to 4 Gallons per minute even if the inflow pressure is low.
- Conveniency of using common table salt which is readily available.
The bad news: this is not a big system that can serve as whole house unit. However, it’s works just as well. More importantly, it’s not very pricey compared to the others.
- Not expensive
- can run with both table salt or palate salt
- Manual recharging
- Limited size
WaterBoss Self Cleaning Water Softener
Why does WaterBoss softener have a lot of positive reviews?
Well, here’s the deal. WaterBoss uses less salt than almost then all the other models. You can enjoy the soft water for a long time without having to touch it.
More important is that when you install waterBoss the hardness in water is undetectable. It regenerates in 20 minutes. In addition, because it has an inbuilt filter, it removes iron and other contaminants from water.
- 36,400 Grains
- A flow rate of 15 GPM
- Meter Based self-cleaning
- 20 microns
- size 15.8 X 19.8 X 32 inches
- Color Beige
- Inbuilt conterminant and sediment filter
What I like
Water boss is suitable for a middle-sized home of three to seven people. The flow rate of 15 Gallons per minute is not bad. It uses less salt than any other product available on the market. You don’t need to be taking it apart to fix anything.
What I don’t like
Because the valve and other parts are not sealed, It is prone to leaking.
- Easy to install
- meter based
- inbuilt filter
- 15 Gallon per minute
- valves and other parts not sealed
- Short warrant of three years
Hard water Bullet Poly Triple Action
Although this device doesn’t remove iron, I decided to include it in this because the makers have done an excellent job in creating superb product for the outdoors. If you ever find yourself needing a water conditioning system that can be installed outdoor, then bullet poly triple action is a good option.
The hard built design makes it possible for this unit to withstand the elements. In addition, it is waterproof, and it will not be affected by rains. Therefore, if you leave in a place where there is no risk of freezing this is an ideal system to be installed in the outdoors.
Unlike other softeners, you will not need to use salt because it uses an inbuilt conditioner. To increase the effectiveness, it is advisable to have the water pass through a sediment filter before entering the conditioner.
In addition, it’s Eco-friendly because it’s made with BPA free plastic. It comes with a mounting bracket for easy installation. It has steel inlets which don’t get damaged easily. On buying poly triple you get a guarantee from the seller to replace or repair the unit for six months.
When it comes to removing hardness, it uses poly-phosphate media and screen filter. It is able to remove calcium carbonate, but it’s not able to remove iron and chloramines. Therefore, if you have iron or chloramines in your water, bullet poly triple action is not a good solution.
You should also consider that you can buy a proper softener such as Iron Pro or Fleck systems by adding just a few hundred bucks to your budget.
- Hard built body
- Can be installed outdoors
- Made with BPA free plastic
- Comes with mounting bracket
- Does not remove iron
- Does not remove chloramines
Eddy Water Descaler
If you are looking for an alan alternative wayescalling water without having to buy a conventional softener, Edddy descaler is great option. While a softener uses salt to remove minerals from water a descaler uses electromagnetic waves to reduce the presence of magnesium and calcium ions in water.
Eddy water descaler is an electronic device that comes with wires that you coil around water pipes. The wire induces a powerful electromagnetic field that separate ions using an electromagnetic force. The electromagnetic field also prevents the buildup of minerals inside the pipes.
One good thing about eddy descaler is that it’s super efficient because it uses electricity and does not require adding salt. In addition, installation is simple, and you will not need a plumber to help you in the installation. You don’t need to have previous experience to install this system. A strong selling point of this system is the guarantee by the seller to repair or replace the unit in case of damage. In addition, you get money back guarantee for 12-months
The negatives of using a descaler are that it doesn’t remove hardness in an efficient way. Its ability to remove water hardness is questionable. The benefits you can expect from using this system is marginal compared to normal softeners.
- Uses Electricity to generate an electromagnetic field
- You don’t have to add salt
- You don’t lose the essential minerals like calcium from H2O
- Prevents the build-up of minerals inside the pipes
- Super easy to install, and you need the plumber services
- Lifetime warranty from the manufacturers
- The ability to soften water is questionable
- It’s not waterproof and therefore you can’t install outside.
Nuvo H2O Complete Water Softening System
When it comes to salt-free water systems, NuvoH2O is one of the popular brands in the market today. Unlike salt using units, salt-free systems save you the hustle of regular regeneration. In addition, you will not be running to your local supply shop every fort night to buy salt.
You should keep in mind this in mind when shopping for a system to reduce water hardness. Salt-free systems are not really softener in a proper sense, and they remove calcium or magnesium from the water like regular softeners. But these systems work by preventing the formation of lime-scale suspension in water by changing the structure of minerals in water.
Units like NuvoH2O are mainly used for water Descaling. What causes a big headache when it comes to hard water is that minerals from deposits which become suspended in water? These scale deposits cause soap not lather properly. How salt-free units works is by preventing the minerals from forming suspensions by changing the structure of these minerals from cubic to circular. This reduces surface tension; thus, avoiding limescale formation.
These descalers use a magnetic field to change the structures of the calcium and magnesium by using a magnetic field which is generated using electricity.
The advantage of this method is water retains its mineral composition because no minerals are removed from water. Because the units don’t use salt, the system does not need to regularly regenerate.
- They are not bulky.
- Easy installation
- You don’t need to use salt and therefore you will not keep on adding salt.
- They generally have a high capacity
- The beneficial minerals remain in water
- Don’t spoil easily
- Lifetime warranty
- Not suitable for water that has very high levels of hardness.
Water Softeners Buying Guide
Water softeners work by having water flowing over resin. The softeners contain several feet s of porous resin. Normally, a resin is covered with negative ions that attract positive ions that are usually in hard water.
Therefore, the +ve calcium and magnesium ions stick on the resin while sodium ions are released into the water.
Once the resin gets saturated with calcium and magnesium ions the unit must be regenerated by rinsing it with concentrated sodium chloride (salt) solution.
Therefore, people who use water softeners much add a bag of salt to the unit to prepare the rinsing solution.
Top Control Valves
A frequent question that comes up when people are looking to buy water softeners is which is the best control valve in the market today? Three of the most popular valves in the market are Fleck, Autotrol, and Clack.
While Fleck and Autotrol have been around for a long time Clack is a relatively new valve that has gained in market share.
From the onset let me state that all these three valves are trusted brands and will work very well. Let me dive in and look at each valve in detail to find out which between Fleck, Clack or Autotrol is the best.
If you have done your research, you have come across some water softeners that use the name fleck, but you should know that fleck is not a water softening unit but a control valves.
These valves are the most popular control valve in the market today. It utilizes a simple technology with only a single piston moving part. Because it uses unique parts the cost replacing parts is more expensive than other systems. Fleck makes electronic valves which are easy to use.
Many people falsely believe that Fleck is a water softener brand, but the correct position is that Fleck is the control valves that are installed on many water softeners brands. The company that makes fleck valves is known as Fleck Control Inc which is formerly known as Fleckenstein, Inc. Fleck Control Inc is a subsidiary of Pentair Plc, incorporated Ireland and deals in “Water Treatment” and “Filtration Technologies.” Fleck Controls Inc builds many control valves with the most popular being Fleck 56000, Fleck 2510, and Fleck 1500.
Autotrol Control valve
Autotrol valves are made in Brookfield USA. An Autotrol valve uses valve disc technology.
Unlike the Fleck valve which has only one moving part, an Autotrol valve has 6 moving parts. These discs are opened and closed by a camshaft.
Autotrol valves are cheaper and the cost of replacing parts is not as higher which is unlike fleck whose parts are more expensive.
Clack Control Valve
Like Fleck control valve, clack uses a single piston technology. According to many experts, Clack valve is a superbly designed valve which is reliable and is easy to use. In addition, it’s not expensive and the replacement parts are not pricey. One thing you should know Clack valves not readily available like the valves because they are not sold over the internet.
Which is the Best resin?
Resin refers to a sticky organic substance that is obtained from plants, and it is insoluble in water. It’s mostly used in the manufacturing of glues. It’s used as a medium where ion exchange takes place inside a water softener.
If you are looking for the very best resin for your device, you should know that basically, the difference between different brands of resin is not that significant. What you should know is that basically there are two types of resins. This is Standard resin and Fine mesh resin.
The standard ion exchange resin is the one that is commonly used to soften water and removes iron up to 4 P.P.M This resin works great when you have water with less than 3-4 P.P.M of dissolved iron. One advantage of this resin is that it last long and it can go for up to 10 to 15 years.
Fine mesh is a resin that is physically smaller and it is tightly packed together. The fine mesh can effectively remove dissolved ion of up to 8 P.P.M. When used in combination with activated carbon fine resin can remove a majority of the most common contaminants such as hydrogen sulfide, and it improves smell and test.
Resin cleaner is a liquid that is used to clean the resin bed. If softener works for a long time without the resin being clean, the efficiency of the system reduces because of the accumulation of calcium and magnesium ions. The resin cleaner is typically soaked overnight, rinsed and regenerated with brine solution Some of the common brands of resin cleaners are ResUp, Super Iron Out and Industrial Cleaner 3105.
How often should salt be added to a Water softener?
Knowing when to add salt can make the difference between having soft water when you need it most and struggling with hard water for a long time at home. The question that follows then is how often to add salt to softeners?
As you will soon find out, generally, experts recommend that, generally, you should add to the brine tank once or twice per month depending on the hardness of water.
How do Water Softeners work?
What to consider when selecting water softeners for iron removal?
A limited amount of iron sticks on the surface resin. To enhance the amount of iron that sticks on the resin. A special fine mesh resin softener contains smaller bead which gives iron more surface to dissolve.
In addition to a fine mesh, resin cleaning the resin with a resin cleaner will ensure almost 100% iron removal.
The capacity of the softeners
Because water softeners work by trading hard mineral in water for the soft mineral in water through ion exchange, the capacity is the amount of water a water softener will purify before it needs to be recharged.
Timer Regenerators- this types of softeners regenerator based on a timer, for example, once every 5 days. Meter Regenerator. These types of softeners keep truck of the amount of water you’ve used. After you’ve reached a certain amount, it will automatically regenerate itself.
Iron Removal Methods
Although iron is a good material for construction, it has very many other uses like iron is found in the blood for transporting blood. Iron has atomic number 26 and weight 55.85. The melting point of iron is 1.536 C. Although iron can be toxic, you cannot intake such a big amount through water such that it becomes toxic. The acceptable level of iron in water is 0.3 milligrams per liter.
There exist several methods of removing iron from water other than using water softeners. The use of filters to remove iron has been used for a very long time. SOme of the filtration materials used include manganese greensand, Birm, MTM, and sand.
Iron filter have the limitation of that oxidation does not take place with speed and the surface area is limited. Water Softener Iron Removal Additive
Kdf media is a mixture of copper and zinc which is an effective absorbent material for many contaminants such as chlorine, bacteria, and algae. KDF-85 is a good filter for iron removal.
Water softeners FAQs
What’s the frequency of adding salt?
How long the device stays without needing more salt to be added depends on the hardness of the water being processed by it? When H2O has a hardness level of above 10 grains, the device will consume a lot more salt compared to when the hardness is lower.
In addition, water with a high level of iron has a propensity to consume more salt than water that is iron free. This is because iron can only be removed through a process of ion exchange which consumes a lot of salt.
How fast salt is used up also depends on the amount of water consumed in the house. Homes with a huge consumption will tend to deplete salt faster.
In addition, Old devices use more salt than new ones. The number of years a unit has been in operation will determine the efficiency of the water-softeners.
Finally, Some types of salt will dissolve quickly. The type of salt being used will determine how much salt is used. On the other hand, you can modify the softeners to consume less salt.
A good solution for reducing the consumption of salt is to buy a model that has a remote monitoring alert. This system will alert you when salt is about to run out, so as to ensure you keep receiving the optimum quality of water continuously.
How much salt should be added?
The level of salt should be around 3 inches above water level in the brine tank. Experts recommend that you strive to have the salt fill up the brine tank up to around the halfway mark of the brine tank.
Therefore, if you have a large tank, the amount of salt the tank takes will higher. The standard size of tanks is normally around 9 inches diameter. Tanks that are above this range will consume more salt.
However, if you have extremely hard water, it might require you to add salt more regularly because more salt will be consumed. However, as we had said earlier, old equipment will deplete salt more quickly.
Common Problems Associated with softeners
The water softener is not using salt
Softeners need to consume salt for them to function. At some point, you might face a situation where the unit seems to be performing, but it is not depleting the salt while at the same time the quality of water is deteriorating.
This is caused by a salt bridge. What happens is salt on top bind together tightly and forms a thick solid such that water is not mixing with salt. This solid crust is what is referred to as a bridge. When a bridge forms ion exchange between salt and water doesn’t take place. It is mostly caused by putting too much salt in the tank and high humidity.
The solution for dealing with a salt bridge it to look for stick such as broom or mob and use the handle to break up the crust into small chunks. Before doing this, you should ensure that you have turned off the incoming water.
Blockage of water softeners
Like other appliances, water softeners face the risk of minerals accumulating and creating a blockage. The same way timescale normally accumulates and block plumbing systems. Softeners can run into the same problems, and thus, preventing water from flowing into the softeners. Blockage can easily fix by following user manuals.
Dysfunctional Resin Beans
Salt using softeners normally have resin beads installed inside. This is used to ensure that the unit is functioning properly by being the source of positive ions that replace negative ions in water. Although this resin is long lasting, they sometimes get depleted and therefore need to replace. One sign that indicates that you need to replace your resin beads is when you start seeing them on the surface of the water. Another indication that you have a damaged resin bed is when the unit regenerates and you don’t notice the improved quality of water.
As you probably know motors can sometimes fail. Although it is not common for motors to spoil, you should be on the lookout in case of sudden failure of the appliances. Motor failure can be caused by improper lubrication, misalignment, wrong installation, and incorrect handling. To prevent motor failure, it is important that you keep you regularly maintain your motor. Ways of maintaining motors include regular cleaning and changing of filters
Because all water softeners make use of sediment filters at the beginning of the filtration process. Water sediments like minerals can accumulate on this filter thus causing water pressure to reduce, or even cause water blockade.. To prevent this from being a challenge from materializing it’s important that you regularly change your sediment filter.
Deciding how often salt should be added to the water softening system depends on how hard the water and rate of consumption of water. Generally, it is recommended that you refill salt once a month or twice a month. Water that is very hard will tend to deplete salt quickly. The amount in the brine tank should be around halfway. Therefore, the larger the tank the more salt will be needed.
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