The contaminants found in tap water are no longer a secret and the fact that the municipality puts little efforts in solving this problem is also known. Hard water is also a common problem found in many households and its effects can be seen in the limescale deposits on dishes, tiles, appliances, and even on the skin of whoever uses the water. This means that each person must take the matter into their own hands and do their best to find the best solution to eliminate the risk of contracting a waterborne disease and to fight the effects of hard water. The biggest hope rises with the development of whole house and softener filters that have the ability to fight all these problems at a time.
- 1 Top 3 Whole House Water Softener Comparison
- 1.1 The Softening Systems Evaluation
- 1.1.1 Pelican Salt Free Softener with UV
- 1.1.2 Aquasana Salt-Free Softener & UV
- 1.1.3 Crystal QuestSoftener
- 1.1.4 ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt
- 1.1.5 Aquios FS-234
- 1.1.6 Tier1 48000 Grain
- 1.2 What You Should Know
- 1.3 Maintenance Tips You Should Follow
- 1.4 Benefits that Make a Difference
- 1.5 What to Look For
- 1.6 Trustworthy Brands of the Moment
- 1.7 How We Rate & Review
- 1.8 Frequently Asked Questions
Top 3 Whole House Water Softener Comparison
|1. Pelican Salt Free Softener with UV||2. Aquasana Salt-Free Softener & UV||3. Crystal QuestSoftener|
|THE BEST||OUR CHOICE|
|Capacity of Filter||1,000,000 gallons/3.78 million liters||1,000,000 gallons/3.78 million liters||750,000 gallons/2.83 million liters|
|Sediment Pre-Filter/Sediment Filter||Sediment Pre-Filter||Sediment Pre-Filter||Sediment Filter|
|Operating Temperature||36-120 °F/2-48°C||40-90 °F/5-32°C||40-100°F/5-38°C|
|Operating Pressure||25-80 PSI||20-100 PSI||20-125 PSI|
|Flow Rate||15 GPM||7 GPM||11 GPM|
The Most Important Contaminant Removal
|Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s)|
|Inhibits Bacterial Growth|
|Keeps Beneficial Minerals|
|Salt Free Water Softener|
|Sediment Pre-Filter/Sediment Filter||6-9 months||2-3 months||N/A|
|Tank||5 years or 1,000,000 Gal.||10 years or 1,000,000 Gal.||5-7 years or 750,000 Gal.|
Warranty & Support
|Warranty||Limited Warranty on Tanks and Parts||10-year Warranty||10-year Warranty on Resin Tank and Brine Tank Assembly; 5-year Warranty on all Computer Monitored Control Valves|
The Softening Systems Evaluation
Pelican Salt Free Softener with UV
Manufactured by what most, including us, consider as being the best company on the filtration systems market, it can remove water contaminants while fighting hard water. It incorporates the latest technologies in water filtration and it maintains a high 15 gallons per minute flow rate regardless of the impurities it collects. It measures 44 inches in length, 46 inches in height, and the tank has a 9-inch diameter. It has been tested according to NSF/ANSI 42 standards, so its efficiency in substances reduction is undeniable. In addition, it can last for around 10 years and enjoys a limited warranty for both filter cartridges and the tanks.
The high efficiency in removal of impurities and contaminants lurking in the drinking water is what makes this Pelican system so sought-after, being the ideal solution in households where municipal water which runs through the pipes is hard, or in households where well water is used as a source. What makes it highly effective is the granular activated carbon media it features, a filter that ensures a 97% approximate contaminant removal efficiency. Among the important impurities that the system helps to get rid of are included chlorine, the all so dreaded chloramines, VOCs, pesticides, herbicides, and industrial solvents. The other filtration media utilized include a 10-inch and a 20-inch pre-filter which remove rust, sediments, silt, and other small-size particles found in the water.
To provide with these excellent results, the system uses an effective filtration that involves the use of a GAC filter and two sediment pre-filters. However, its efficiency is truly maximized not by these media, but by the UV technology it utilizes. With the help of the UV filtration it features, it is able to inhibit the growth of bacteria to complete the water sanitation process. Some of the harmful water content the UV light kills on spot include E. coli and cysts that are resistant to chlorine treatment, like giardia and cryptosporidium.
Mention Worthy Details
- Operating temperature ranges from 36 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Helps reduce scale buildup in a natural and safe manner as it does it without the use of chemicals or salt.
- As it reduces your body’s exposure to synthetic chemicals and chlorine, your skin and hair will look and feel better.
- The purified water it provides helps produce stronger flavors when you are cooking, and it reduces the time you spend in the kitchen as well.
- The powerful UV filtration it employs destroys approximately 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, and germs lurking in the water, including chlorine resistant cysts.
You will be glad to know that major maintenance work is required quite rarely with this system as the main and most expensive component only needs to be replaced once every 5 years, or after it purifies 1000000 gallons of water, depending on which one comes first. However, what you will have to replace quite often are the pre-filters. The 10-inch pre-filter lasts approximately 1 to 3 months depending on water usage, while the 20-inch pre-filter needs tending to once every 2 to 3 months. Luckily, these two components aren’t expensive to replace, so you needn’t worry about the financial aspect of maintenance work.
|High contaminant removal rate of up to 97%||Warranty period inferior to what other products offer|
|Uses quality granular activated carbon filtration|
|Can purify up to 1 million gallons of water|
|Does not require much maintenance work|
|15 gallons per minute filtration rate|
We strongly recommend this filtration system if you are dealing with hard water and want to ensure the protection of your health as well as the well-being of water consuming appliances. The impressive tank it features can remove sediments from up to 1 million gallons of water before it requires to be changes. In addition to removing sediments, it can eliminate other harmful contaminants from drinking water, including chlorine and volatile organic compounds. Also, it uses granular activated carbon filtration in order to ensure perfect results each time it is used.
Aquasana Salt-Free Softener & UV
As the capacity it boasts is of 1 million gallons, you can rely on it for up to 10 years. The 7 gallons per minute flow rate makes it appropriate for large households, whilst the 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit water temperature range ensures you won’t be limited when it comes to any of its operational aspects.
As it relies on kinetic degradation fluxion as its main filtration method, you can confidently rely on it to remove up to 97% of impurities. Some of the most important contaminants that it tends to eliminate include chlorine, industrial solvents, herbicides, and pesticides. Our only issue with it from a performance point of view would be that it cannot tackle chloramines. Yet, if this isn’t an issue for you, it is an aspect you need not take into consideration. To ensure a thorough cleansing of the water you drink and use, it even helps inhibit the growth of bacteria so that it won’t be present in the hydrating liquid.
As the water flows through the system, it is passed through multiple media to ensure high-quality results:
- Softening media: prevents scale build-up.
- Sediment pre-filter: removes rust, silt, and sediment.
- Sub-micron post-filter: removes the rest of the small particles.
- Copper-zinc mineral stone media: eliminates most chemical compounds.
- UV filter: delivers protection from germs and bacteria.
Mention Worthy Details
- Provides a maximum pressure range of 100 PSI.
- Preserves health boosting minerals in the water.
- System is backed with a lengthy 10-year warranty.
Instead of relying on chemicals or harsh salt, it utilizes the SCM salt-free technology. This means that the water flow is used to change hard mineral ions structure into small clusters that aren’t able to bind with each other. This is a natural method that ensures beneficial minerals are not lost during the softening process.
|Capacity of purifying up to 1 million gallons of water||It cannot remove chloramine from drinking water|
|Great flow rate of 7 gallons per minute|
|Uses kinetic degradation fluxion filtration|
|Operating pressure ranges from 20 psi to 100 psi|
|It can preserve beneficial minerals in drinking water|
|Backed by a 10-year warranty|
If you want to enjoy other benefits besides soft water, then this is the filtration system for you. In addition to the standard capability that all of these systems come with, this Aquasana product inhibits bacterial growth and preserves beneficial minerals as well. also, it does not use salt in the water softening process, and it requires maintenance work less often than most similar systems do.
Last but not least, we recommend the Crystal Quest system that is a more affordable choice that tries to meet the standards of the previous two. And it does a very good job as it can be used on both hot and cold water, it withstands high water pressures, and it provides an 11 GPM flow rate. One feature worth mentioning is the combination of granular activated carbon and kinetic degradation fluxion cartridges along with a sediment prefilter, which increases the efficiency of this system.
It is not salt-free, which is a drawback, but it still provides enough protection against hard water. Also, it lacks a UV light to handle bacteria in the water but, yet again, this product is a fair deal for its price. Let’s not forget that it also comes with a 10-year warranty on the tanks and 5 years on the computer-controlled valves, which is another advantage of an affordable item.
|Preserves beneficial minerals in drinking water||Does not remove bacteria and it cannot inhibit their growth either|
|Removes contaminants like chlorine, volatile organic compounds, pesticides, and herbicides|
|Capacity of purifying up to 750000 gallons of water|
|Uses granular activated carbon filtration to deliver great results|
|Contaminant removal rate of up to 99%|
|10-year warranty for the tanks and 5-year warranty for the valves|
When it comes to contaminant removal rate, this is as close to perfection as possible due to its 99 percent rating. Thus, not only does it leave soft water behind, ensuring that your household appliances are protected, but it is highly efficient when it comes to the removal of chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, and numerous other contaminants as well. It is a product that we recommend you install as it boasts a magnificent operation and comes at a rather reasonable price.
ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt
Perfect for households where 2 to 5 people live, this whole-house system ensures that hard water won’t be an issue anymore. Its 48000-grain capacity is what recommends it for this size household. The fleck valves it comes with are backed by a 5-year warranty, while the tanks are accompanied by a 10-year warranty. Thus, it is clear that the manufacturing company trusts this is a long-lasting, qualitative system.
It comes at a rather reasonable price when compared to most entries on the market, and it is easy to install – as long as you follow the instructions closely, there should be no issue. Furthermore, it comes with a hardness test that you can utilize to see how big of a difference its installation actually makes.
|Comes with a hardness test that you can use to see just how severe the issues with water quality are prior to using it|
|The 48000-grain capacity makes it a perfect fit in households where 2 to 5 people reside|
|Mineral and brine tanks are covered by a 10-year warranty|
|Fleck valve is backed by a 5-year warranty|
|Easy to install as long as you follow the instructions provided in the manual|
Easy to install, delivering promising results in terms of water softening, and backed with generous warranties for its most important parts, this ABCwaters was an obvious choice for our top. Best of all, it comes at a reasonable price which definitely recommends it for those who are on a limited budget.
As it uses a food grade polyphosphate addition which is known as Siliphos, this Aquios system ensures water hardness will greatly drop without using salt that would have otherwise altered the liquid’s quality. As time passes and you continue to utilize this system, scale deposits will disappear completely, and all of your appliances that require water in their operation will receive a lifespan increase. The system is designed for use in large residences, and it can even be used in small-sized commercial facilities.
It is rated for 60000 gallons, which means that media replacement is required rarely, thus maintenance costs being minimal with it. In addition to helping soften hard water, it removes impurities that would alter the taste, smell, and quality of the water you drink for hydration purposes. Additionally, the system housing and everything it includes is backed with a 20-year warranty by the manufacturing company.
|Uses Siliphos instead of salt||Cannot remove fluoride, a common water contaminant|
|Maintenance work is required after the system purifies up to 60000 gallons of water|
|Helps reduce scale deposits and prolong the lifespan of household appliances which use water in their operation|
|Recommended for use in large residences|
A great pick for large-sized households where hard water is an issue, the FS-234 is one of our favorite systems. Maintenance work is rarely required, more precisely after it purifies up to 60000 gallons of water, and it uses a salt-free method to keep scale deposits at a minimum and protect your water-using appliances.
Tier1 48000 Grain
For hard water related issues, this is a budget-smart solution to opt for as the resin tank it features that is filled with ion exchange resin ensures soft water to bathe with, and prevents scale built-up in the pipes. To ensure that your money won’t go to waste, it includes a brine safety valve that adds overflow protection. When it comes to efficiency, its quality is undeniable as the system allows you to fully adjust cycles so that you can maximize the results of its operation.
The operating pressure range it allows is from 20 to 125 PSI, while the operating temperature ranges from 40 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It passes the water through a 4-stage filtration process in order to remove a plethora of contaminants, including calcium, manganese, magnesium, and more. During these stages, it uses a 5-micron sediment pre-filter, a carbon block pre-filter, a 1-micron sediment pre-filter, and an ultrafiltration membrane post-filter. In addition, the capacity of the resin tank is 48000 grains, meaning that you are provided with approximately 2 years of flawless service.
|Cation resin media ensures safe softening of hard water||DIY installation might seem a bit difficult for beginners|
|Uses a 4-stage purification process to get rid of as many contaminants as possible|
|LCD display shows useful information regarding system status|
|A chrome color designer faucet is included in the package|
As it softens hard water and prevents scale build-up in your pipes and systems, all without charging a high price upfront, it makes for a smart acquisition. It includes features for overflow protection and it allows you to adjust cycles in order to maximize operational efficiency, these being just some of the system’s highlights.
What You Should Know
- Whole house systems are installed on the main water pipe that supplies your home with water so they manage to solve the water safety issue at every water source, be it a tap or a shower. Although these systems cost more than regular under counter or faucet filters, their extended efficiency makes up for the investment. The cartridges used by it are various and most of the times, you will find units with more than one filter cartridge for increased performance in eliminating as much as 99% of the water impurities.
- Water softeners are systems that handle the hard water issue by removing the minerals responsible for the residues that are left on every item you wash with water. These devices use a type of technology that attracts the minerals in the water in order to make it softer and more beneficial. Although the damage hard water does is not related to your health, it is a matter that should concern you if you want to improve the quality of the water you use.
Maintenance Tips You Should Follow
Water that is considered as being hard contains high levels of magnesium and calcium, and it causes limescale buildup. If you live in an area where abrasive water is an issue, you definitely need to install a water softening system to protect the pipe system and the appliances that use water when they operate. Even if modern systems do not require much in the way of maintenance work, there are still certain tasks that need to be done in order to prolong the life of these systems. To find out what you should do to protect this investment, read the following lines.
- Make sure that you check the salt levels at least once every 3-4 weeks. In the instructions manual that comes with it, you will find out what is the ideal salt level that you must maintain for the system to work at peak levels. When you check the salt levels, add as much salt as needed to reach the level indicated in the manual.
- Sometimes, the salt forms a solid layer in the brine tank, and you have to break it up. If you do not do this, the loose salt won’t mix with the water and the system will underperform. To break up the solid salt layer, you can pour hot water over it and use a long broom handle to penetrate all the way through the layer and disperse it.
- Although cleaning the tank is a maintenance task that must be done rarely, you should not skip on it. Most modern systems require this cleaning task to be performed only once every 5 to 10 years, while older electric models require an annual cleaning. When it is time to clean the tank, you must first empty it. Just shut off the water intake, remove all the water that resides in the tank, and clear out the salt as well. When you are done with this step, you must remove the brine grid and scrub the interior of the tank with soapy water. Afterward, dump out the soapy water and rinse the tank thoroughly. If you consider that it is not clean enough yet, clean the tank with bleach and wash it out carefully. When you are done, simply refill the tank with water and salt, leave them to dissolve for a couple of hours, and use it normally when the time is up.
Benefits that Make a Difference
The Benefits of Whole-House Systems
Having a filter that will remove all the impurities from the water you use for drinking, cooking, and bathing means you will enjoy an overall improved lifestyle condition. You will manage to cover all your clean water needs so that you will only get into contact with clean and fresh water.
- One of the most important reasons why you should opt for a whole house system is the fact that you will eliminate the need for a separate filter on every faucet in your house. The investment will be smaller, the installation work will be easier, and the maintenance, in the long run, will be limited as well. Most of them only require first-level plumbing that you can do yourself and the fact that you will only have to replace one filter cartridge also means less work to be done.
- Not having to deal with contaminated water automatically brings a wide range of health benefits. You will be kept safe from waterborne diseases, thus you will protect the health of your entire family. Given how dirty tap water usually is, clean water for drinking and cooking should become a top priority and the filter is the most reliable item for the job. You can now rest assured knowing that your family will no longer be threatened by the contaminants found in tap water.
- Your food will also taste better if you cook it with purified water because there will be no more impurities to alter its taste and smell. Get ready to enjoy a tastier cup of coffee and to eat food that tastes the way it should. Also, you will be able to wash your fruits and vegetables with clean water, thus eliminating the risk of contracting a bacteria.
- The effects of clean and healthy water will also be visible on the outside as you will no longer have to bathe in water filled with sediment, minerals, and bacteria. You will be protected against allergies, irritations and rashes often seen in people with sensitive skin and your hair will also look shinier and healthier.
The Benefits of Water Softening
Hard water is a common problem found in many homes and it can affect the functioning of your appliances, the durability of your water pipes, and the way you look. The fact that these systems can deal with this problem is what makes these devices so useful and almost essential in any home.
- Since hard water can cause limescale deposits on the main components of your appliances, you can say that getting a water softener is the best thing you can do to extend the lifespan of the appliances that use water. You will manage to protect items like your washing machine, dishwasher, dryer, and coffee maker so you will prevent further repairs caused by limescale damage.
- Hard water also affects your skin and hair because the mineral particles are very harsh and can cause irritations. Washing your clothes in hard water can worsen your sensitive skin problems because minerals stick to the fibers and get in contact with your skin. Using the system will ensure the proper care for your skin and will help you improve your aspect.
- Due to the fact that soap crud will be greatly reduced, you won’t have to do as much housework as you used to, cleaning being made easy with the simple addition of a water softening system.
- It might sound surprising at first, but installing a softener will actually help a lot when it comes to the production of hot water. Water heaters perform at a more efficient rate when they have to heat up softened water due to the fact that it does not have the same chemical structure as hard water. Therefore, you will actually improve energy consumption by making this addition to your home.
- Due to the fact that there will be reduced costs on the energy bills, your appliances will be better protected, and the pipes won’t have limescale deposits on them, thus not needing to be replaced, you will save a lot of money in the long run. This means that the money you invest in a water softener will feel like nothing compared to how much money you save when you look at the big picture.
Nevertheless, finding one product that includes all the benefits of both these devices means you will solve many problems in one shot. A top of the line system will treat your water for contaminants and hardness, guaranteeing that all the water you use at home is perfectly clean and healthy.
What to Look For
When you shop for a system that will purify your water and remove the damaging minerals from it, you must be aware of some aspects that influence its performance. By reading our helpful buying guide, you will increase your chances of finding the most reliable system so your investment will not be questioned.
A high capacity
The filtering capacity of the system and softener indicates how many gallons of water it can purify before needing a tank replacement. There are systems that can last for as much as 10 years or 1,000,000 gallons of water and systems that will last a shorter time and can handle a smaller amount of water. However, keep in mind that every model will require you to replace the cartridges every 6 months or so.
Several types of filter cartridges
If you want to enjoy a high performance in purifying the water, you must choose systems that include at least two types of filters, usually a prefilter and another type of cartridge. The prefilter acts as a bumper for the cartridge because it retains the larger particles that would otherwise damage the fine porosity of the second cartridge that is usually an activated carbon one.
Advanced contaminant removal
It is the combination of various types of cartridges that influences the contaminant removal rate of the system. A good system will handle the unpleasant odor and taste caused by chlorine in water, will remove large residues and deposits like rust and sand, and will also deal with volatile organic compounds, pesticides, and industrial solvents often found in tap water.
Efficient water softener
Besides the water purifying capacities, the device you are looking for should also handle the hard water issue that is caused by the minerals in the water. However, it should not remove the good minerals as well, like calcium and magnesium, but should only interfere with the ones that cause limescale.
In order to extend their performance, some systems are paired with a UV light that completes the water filtration process. Although the filters are already designed to remove bacteria from the water, a UV light feature increases their efficiency and guarantees that the water resulted will be 100% pure and safe for drinking. This device is highly recommended in areas with severe water pollution and in case you want to make sure the water you and your family drink, especially if you have babies. Also, we recommend that you choose a model that comes with the amazing UV light to ensure that the water you drink will be truly clean.
Trustworthy Brands of the Moment
Every area of the market has its favorite brands that manage to stay at the top due to the attention they put into designing high-quality products. In the water filter and softener area, there are a few brands that have gained the trust of their clients in time with the advanced and efficient systems they have been constantly developing. Discover below the top 3 favorite brands customers are very pleased with.
One of the most powerful brands is Pelican and all of their products are designed with performance and convenience in mind. The range of products provided includes water filters, water softeners, well water filters, UV filters, shower filters, and replacement parts and filter cartridges for every product they sell. Pelican really puts a high price on water quality so they only provide system you can count on when handling water safety matters. Among their top products, you will find the combined system with the added efficiency of the UV light that will target every aspect of the water quality in your house. The high price of this product is a match for its quality, durability, and performance.
Another popular brand that has managed to remain one of the favorites of customers is Aquasana, a reputable manufacturer that aims to provide the most reliable and durable water filtration systems. They provide anything from counter systems to whole house systems and water softeners that combine only the latest technologies in order to maintain a high operating standard. Their combo system is an excellent choice that ensures a safe and clean water for a very long time. Although very expensive, it will make up for its money and will offer a high level of satisfaction.
Our third brand option is a more affordable one that provides filters of a high quality for those who want to shorten their investment. Crystal Quest manages to combine affordability and performance into water filters that meet the needs of every family. You can find a wide range of products from this manufacturer and the best part is that you will be able to save some money without sacrificing quality. The system we have chosen is an excellent product that includes a series of features that keep up with technology advancements.
How We Rate & Review
We rated the capacity
When we analyzed the three systems in our comparison, we rated them according to their filtering capacity. The first two models were designed to purify as much as 1,000,000 gallons of water or over 3 million liters, which is the highest capacity available. This not only means extended protection against water contaminants but also less maintenance and fewer costs in the long run.
We analyzed the temperature and pressure range
This aspect is important because you will want it to handle both cold and hot water and you would not want it to be damaged by a high water pressure. The Pelican has proven to be the most versatile as it can handle temperature as high as 120F while the one that withstood the highest pressure was Crystal Quest.
We looked at the flow rate
Often, installing a system tempers with the flow rate of the tap water meaning the water will not flow at the same intensity is used to, therefore, we looked for devices that will not affect this aspect. Our top choice, the Pelican model, provides an incredible flow rate of 15 gallons per minute, being the most impressive from this point of view.
We tested for contaminant removal
Without a doubt, how many contaminants the system can remove is an important detail in deciding its efficiency so we looked only for those that could eliminate a wide range of impurities from the unpleasant chlorine odors to the very dangerous pesticides, industrial solvents, and VOCs. We were very pleased with the performance shown by the Pelican although the last two were not far from matching its efficiency.
We checked the technology
To make sure the systems chosen will meet all the needs of the customer, we chose the most efficient system that was able to reduce the hardness of the water by removing the minerals that caused it. However, we also ensured that it will not eliminate the good minerals in the process.
Although any of the three systems you pick is sure to provide more than excellent results, as you have probably already figured out by yourself following the lecture of this article, we must admit that the 97% contaminant removal rate and the granular activated carbon technology of the Pelican Salt Free Softener with UV makes it a bit better when compared to its competitors. By far, the biggest highlight of the Aquasana Salt-Free Softener & UV is the fact that its tank needs replacement only once per decade. However, this is not to say that its performance is neglectable as it boasts an operating pressure range from 20 to 100 PSI, and it utilizes the KDF filtration method. Our third pick, the Crystal QuestSoftener, boasts numerous noteworthy features and specs, including a high 11 GPM flow rate and a 20 to 125 PSI operating pressure.