Water condition is getting worse everyday, so, why not buy a best water softeners consumer reports with reviews in 2020. Depending on where you live, you may be faced with a high level of lime in the water; what is called hard water. How do you know? It’s very simple. If after a shower you feel tightness on your skin and it has a strong need for hydration, it may be because of the lime scale.
A washing machine that breaks down can be a consequence of the presence of lime. This consists of more or less large white residues. This whitish substance, called tartar, can also be found on the perimeter of a tap or on the glass wall of the shower and requires specific cleaning. What if you invested in a water softener? This device has many advantages that we will reveal to you in this guide.
What is a water softener?
Small lesson in simplified chemistry: how to fight against the limestone which is composed of calcium and magnesium ions? By opposing it opponents to its measure: sodium ions (salt)! A water softener is a device that helps this fight to soften the water content. Although it is not a miracle cure for limescale, the water softener will considerably reduce the presence of limescale in the water. Exit the residues on the skin, which make you itch, the washing machines which must be replaced regularly. But how does it work ?
Its operation is totally different from a kitchen filter jug. A water softener looks like a more or less compact barrel, which contains a tank that is filled with salt and resins in the form of small balls. These will exchange sodium ions for calcium and magnesium ions. This process takes place in 5 phases. The processing time varies depending on the size of the device, the volume of resin contained in the softener and the type of valve the device is equipped with. The TH ( Hydrotimetric Title ) will therefore be changed and softened. The reduction in the level of limescale will make it possible to preserve water-operated devices ( washing machines, filter jug, steam generator, etc.) and all the pipes in your home.
Selection of the best water softeners
We have chosen for you the water softeners reviews consumer reports which stood out from their competitors by their performance. Technical sheet, strengths and weaknesses, we have tried to give you the most accurate portrait to facilitate your choice.
Best Water Softeners Consumer Reports
BWT Aqa Life: The best compact device
If you think that only large houses can be fitted with a water softener, you will be pleasantly surprised! This small French-built BWT device finds its place in the smallest places, without giving up technology. It works continuously to ensure fresh water for the whole family.
So, solo or at the head of a large tribe, you can trust him, because he can track water consumption for up to 12 people ! Gone are the days of showers and baths in hard water that left a film of tartar on the skin and hair! Your sanitary facility will say thank you. This French-made water softener is backed by AQA Perla technology. To put it simply, one column is working, while the other is in the regeneration phase. A winning work-study program for very good efficiency.
The operation of this BWT water softener is very simple and allows to reduce its energy and water consumption. This is made possible by short regeneration cycles . Its tank has a capacity of 25 kilos for 5.4 liters of resin. 98 kilos of salt per year, this is what the German brand promises, for a family of 4 people, or 4 loads per year. Multiblock valve, hoses and cartridge filter are included. This device is guaranteed for 10 years by the brand.
Ultra compact, but suitable for a large family , are already two strong points for this water softener. The fact that he wears a pretty blue dress allows him to find his place in a laundry room, without compromising the decoration.
The negative point of this device is its purchase price. Its design, its performance and the savings it enables explain this. This product should be considered as an investment in the medium term .
Water2Buy AS200: The efficient and compact water softener
100% lime removal, that’s what Water2buy promises with its water softener. Its compact size allows it to fit under a kitchen sink . It eradicates the hardness of the water in your home for a family of up to 4 people. Quiet and economical, it performs well even on so-called very hard water up to 400 PPM. These are 1250 liters of water are filtered per day .
The salt is loaded on top of the device and can be removable, for ease of filling. This water softener accepts salt in the form of tablets, crystals or blocks, without difficulty. The salt, thanks to an intelligent design, is only used during the regeneration phase of the device. It is therefore estimated, according to customer reviews, a consumption of 25 kilos of salt for a period of 3 months . Even in the regeneration phase, the resin does its job to soften the TH of your running water. An additional saving that should not be overlooked. The cleaning cycle is relatively short ( only 30 minutes ) and it starts automatically after having preset the quantity of water required.
Easy to assemble, you can follow a tutorial for easier installation. If you need help, Water2buy provides customer service to answer all of your questions. The bypass valve is delivered with this product, which is guaranteed for 7 years by the brand. Be careful, this softener must be connected to the cold water circuit. Plumbing adapters are included with the Water2Buy AS200 ( standard plumbing approx 13mm ). It is possible to order the additional parts required for installation on the brand’s website or on Amazon ( water overflow drain pipe, etc. ).
We appreciate being able to save salt , unlike other devices and the fact that it is ultra quiet. This allows it to be cleaned overnight, without fear of being awakened. Its price is reasonable.
Some people regret that you have to reprogram the device after every power failure. Even though the device is compact, there must be room for the piping behind and the load above.
What are the advantages of a water softener?
The advantages are many. We can first talk about dermatological problems that will be resolved with the installation of a softener. This is particularly useful for small children whose skin is naturally more fragile than that of adults. They can also have sensitive skin, due to conditions such as atopic dermatitis, for example, or psoriasis. Daily exposure to hard water can worsen the symptoms ( itching, redness, etc. ).
The limestone will gradually surround the resistances of washing machines and dishwashers. Not only will household appliances deteriorate, but you will have a higher consumption of electricity because they struggle to do their job. Not obtaining a good washing result, you will be tempted to add more detergent. The addition of detergent products will generate (in addition to an additional financial expense per month ) in increased pollution of wastewater, possible formation of plugs, etc.
Finally, the pipes are also eaten away by scale and limestone and will require the intervention of a plumber…
It is good to note that cold water can also be the victim of limestone, it does not only attack systems that heat water! But a softener must be connected, to operate only on the circuit producing hot water. Be careful, however, this generality has its exceptions. Take a good look at the softener product sheet to be sure!
How to choose your water softener?
Do you want to equip yourself with a water softener? There are many models on the market and this purchase is not to be taken lightly, but it is difficult to navigate to make the right choice . If you want a little help, we invite you to read the purchase criteria listed below.
Depending on the hardness of the water
The ideal TH for water is between 15 and 25 ° fH . Beyond that, we speak of water loaded with limestone. This rate varies from city to city and it is therefore difficult to predict this negative point when buying a house. Fortunately, a water softener solves the problem . You don’t know how to find out the hardness of the water in your town? Call the water company that runs your town. She will be able to answer you to choose the most suitable water softener for your needs. Otherwise, you can get an estimate by purchasing a TH test strip sold in home improvement stores. You will get an idea of this TH.
Resin capacity and volume
A water softener will be purchased according to the water consumption of the home. We do not consume the same amount of water when we are alone, in a couple or with 4 children. The larger the family, the more water consumed is de facto. This will determine the purchase of your device to make the water softer. A couple will choose a small compact model that will find its place under the kitchen sink, for example. A large family will opt for a large model that they can install in a laundry room or a bathroom. A softener should always be installed near a water source, for obvious connection reasons. The larger the capacity of the softener, the more resin it can contain for longer operation over time.
With salt or without salt?
We no longer know the softener that works with its salt tablets, but it is possible to find water softeners without salt . How does it work then? Magnesium and calcium ions are also destroyed, but through electromagnetic operation on some models. Others will inject carbon dioxide ( CO² ), the gas that everyone knows, into the water.
These last devices present a more ecological side (the resin is a molecule which presents difficulties of recycling), one is not subjected to regularly look at where is the level of salt. Just change the gas cylinder when it runs out. Finally, these devices consume less water than those operating with salt. Indeed, the regeneration phase requires a supply of water that must be taken into account.
Conversely, water softeners without salt will not solve the problems of scale and limescale in an old house, they will have more impact on a new house, without old clogging. But it is quite possible to have a specialist thoroughly cleaned before installing one, during renovation. Be careful, however, they can not be connected to a circuit containing lead . Their installation and maintenance must be done by a licensed professional. Their cost to purchase is higher, since they cost more than 2000 euros, on average. The electromagnetic operation requires little maintenance, is very ecological but it does not eliminate scale or bacteria present in the water. They are not very expensive to buy.