5 Best Water Softeners Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

Water softeners are designed to eliminate the common issues that come from using hard water inside your home. They come in several different types with some being easier to install than others. Some water softening systems may require some knowledge of plumbing for the installation process while others can be done by anyone.

It’s important to read the specifications of the water softener to ensure you purchase one that is designed to work for your specific needs. The following is a list of the 10 best water softeners by consumer report.

Top 5 Water Softeners

Bestseller No. 1
Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole House System
220 Reviews
Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole House System
  • Fleck 5600sxt Digital on-demand Metered Water Softener with paddle wheel meter (BR5600SMS-SXTPW),...
  • Black Structural 10x54" PG 2.5T (CH30579-03010203-30), 14"x34" black square brine tank with safety...
- $465.99Bestseller No. 2
Fleck 5600sxt Metered On-demand 48,000 Grain Water Softener with brine tank, bypass and 1' adapters
278 Reviews
Fleck 5600sxt Metered On-demand 48,000 Grain Water Softener with brine tank, bypass and 1" adapters
  • Fleck 5600 SXT Digital On-Demand Metered Water Softener with upgraded paddle wheel meter
  • Free 1 inch Bypass Male Threaded Noryl Plastic
Bestseller No. 3
Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole House System
60 Reviews
Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole House System
  • The Fleck 5600sxt digital metered, on demand valve. The newest 5600 model with fully programmable...
  • Fleck 5600SXT Digital Control Head with bypass valve and 1" threaded plumbing adapter (yoke)
Bestseller No. 4
Pentair WS48-56sxt10 Fleck water softener 48k Black
211 Reviews
Pentair WS48-56sxt10 Fleck water softener 48k Black
  • Fleck 5600Sxt digital metered control head
  • 1.5 cu. Ft. Upgraded 10 percent crosslink resin
Bestseller No. 5
Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener iron filter Fleck 5600SXT digital metered valve 64,000 grain, 64k for whole house
115 Reviews
Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener iron filter Fleck 5600SXT digital metered valve 64,000 grain, 64k for whole house
  • Water softener, iron filter, all in one! high flow for whole house use!
  • 64,000 grain capacity, fine mesh resin designed for high iron removal & long life

Buying Guide for Water Softener

We want you to make the best and informed decision about buying a water softener. This buying guide will take you through the most important questions that you have in your mind before buying a water softener. We have developed this buying guide after days long of research on different softeners available in the market.

Do you really need a water softener?

You might have in your mind that do you really need a water softener. Well, according to the U.S. geological survey, around 85% of the water is hard. Apart from this, indications of hard water are easy to notice over a couple of years. If your skin and hair become rough, plumbing fixtures need to be fixed on a regular basis and scale gets to build upon them. The life of kitchen utensils gets shortened. If you are experiencing any one of them or all of them, then you definitely need a water softener. Do check out our guide about best water filter pitchers to have pure water.

Which type of water softener do you need?

Getting the right type of water softener according to your demand is very important. The answer to this question will give you awareness about the different types of water softeners available in the market. It’s effectiveness based on its characteristics. Generally, the following three types are commonly used.

Salt-Based Water Softeners

As the name indicates, these water softeners use salts for the water softening. The chemical process that takes place inside the water softening plant is too complex to explain here. It is pertinent to highlight here, that in this type of water softening plant, exchange of ions takes place.

Salt-Free Water Softeners

Do not be enticed by the name. They are not very effective when it comes to water softening. They act like water conditioners and just help in reducing the buildup of scale inside your pipes.

Magnetic Water Softeners

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Easy to install, this water softener works by generating a magnetic field around your water pipes and helps in avoiding lime buildup inside your pipes. The installation of a magnetic water softener is easy and does not interfere with your plumbing system. You just have to plug in the device and coil some wires around the water inlets.

Dual Tank Water Softeners

These are heavy duty water softeners and are perfect for households with huge water consumption. This type of water softeners has two tanks and is able to provide you with an ample supply of soft water around the clock. When one tank is regenerating, the other one provides you with soft water. We recommend you selecting this type of water softener plant if you consume water in massive quantities.

How is the water softener installed?

Installing water softeners can be a daunting task. If you do not have some grip over plumbing work and do not know where the water inlet is located, you can hire the services of a professional to install the water softener plant for you. If you are confident enough that you can install it successfully, the following steps can guide you through the installation process.’

  1. Close the main water inlet supply and find out ‘cut the water pipes’ at the point where it enters your house.
  2. Attach the pipe connection with three valves (one to stop water entering from softener plant, second to stop water leaving softener, third is the bypass valve) here.
  3. Make sure that all the connections are tight.
  4. Now connect the media tank to the brine tank with the help of 3/8 plastic tubing, drain line to the drain elbow and discharge pipe with wastewater drain.

These are the general instructions; a more detailed installation method will also be given in the brochure or installation guide of the product. Magnetic water softeners have a different method of installation.

Is softened water safe to drink?

There are some concerns about drinking softened water. We need to make it clear that drinking softened water can be problematic for you in the long run. A combination of water softener and drinking water plants can result in the perfect and healthy drinking water for your household.

How can you consider the capacity of the water softener?

There are different water softeners available in the market with different capacities. The best way to make sure that you never run out of soft water is to buy a water softener that has more capacity for processing water as compared to your average monthly usage. Also, keep a check on the regeneration system and capacity of the softener and it gets along with your usage.

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