Updated 12-13-14. What Water Filter Or Softener To Choose?
Your home, like many has extremely hard water. You decide that it’s time to look for a water softener, but the first thing that you come across is that there are water softeners and water filters. This can be a bit confusing at first if you do not know exactly what you need.
What is a Water Filter?
A water filter is designed to deal with the contaminants that are found in your water. Essentially, the filter will get rid of or reduce the many contaminants that are found in the water of your home. Almost every home should consider having some type of water filter in place.
What is a Water Softener?
Water softeners are designed to help deal with the hardness of the water. There are several types of water softeners available including electrical, catalytic, magnetic, and ion exchange methods. While hard water is not dangerous, it can be a nuisance for your pipes, hot water heaters, and plumbing fixtures.
How to Choose a Water Filter or Softener
After considering the different types of water softeners and water filters that are available, the best option for your household would be a combination of a water softener and a water filter. The reason for this is because the filter will get rid of the contaminants, but will not address the hardness of the water found in your home. The softener will help get rid of the minerals that are found in the water.
Overall, the combination of a filter and a softener would be the perfect choice for your home. For those that are just dealing with hard water, a quality softener can greatly increase the life of your plumbing fixtures, water heater and pipes as it will reduce the amount of mineral build up.
Many people will start out by researching Consumer Reports for water softener reviews, as this information is derived directly from consumers, as opposed to a manufactures recommendation.
Consumers will give a fairly accurate description of their experiences with a product, and Consumer Reports strives to get the most descriptive and accurate information possible about a product.
What Water Softener Does Consumer Reports Recommend?
According to Consumer Reports, the Pelican PSE 1800 Whole House Water Filter and Softener system is the top choice among consumers. This particular model is a standout among consumers because it is a two in one product. It will soften the water and filtrate it as well. It does not require any maintenance and is electric free, as it runs itself. There is a 90 day, 100% money back guarantee, and has a lifetime guarantee on valves and housing.
So What Are The Top Brands? Here Are a List of The Best 8 Brands
1. Culligan – Click For Softener Ratings and Reviews
2. Pelican – Click For Softener Comparisons and Reviews
3. Kinetico – Click For Reviews
4. GE – Click Here For Reviews
5. Fleck – Click Here For Reviews
6. Kenmore – Click Here For Reviews
7. Morton – Click Here For Reviews
8. Whirlpool – Click Here For Reviews
Reviews and Top Picks
Countertop Water Filtration
- Best Faucet-Mount Filter – When searching for a great faucet mount filter, there are many from which to choose. Faucet mount filters are great for every home as they are typically easy to install and easy to use. The purpose of the mount filter is to help get rid of minerals and chemicals that are found in the water supply. The filter will improve the overall safety and taste of your water. Consider the Culligan FM Faucet Mount Filter. It is affordable and does a great job of providing water that smells and tastes better.
- Best Countertop Water Filter – When it comes to finding a countertop water filter there are many great choices out there. Most people will prefer a countertop water filter that is lightweight, durable, and small, so that it does not take up much counter space. When it comes to a great countertop water filter, the Aquasana AQ-4000 is a good choice. It offers a great price, convenience, and ease of use all wrapped up into a compact design. The twin cartridge system is unique and provides the home with great tasting water every time.
- Top Rated Filter Pitcher – If you are looking for a top rated filter pitcher, the Brita 10 Cup Everyday water filter pitcher does not disappoint. Filter pitchers provide users with clean, filtered water by pouring tap water through the filter that is located on the pitcher. The pitcher can then be kept on top of your counter or in your refrigerator. To use, simply add water to the pitcher and wait for it to filter through. You will be left with water that smells and tastes better as it will be free of the many chemicals that are commonly found in water from your tap.
Under Sink Water Filters
- Best Under Sink Water Filter – When it comes to a great under sink water filter, iSpring offers some good choices currently available on the market. These units are good for homes that use well water as the under sink water filter will ensure that all of the sediment, chemicals, and minerals are removed from the water before it is consumed.
- Best Budget Friendly Filter – Most people are on a budget when it comes to installing a water filtration system. One good budget friendly filter that is available is the 3US-PSO1 advanced filtration system from Filtrete. Under sink filtration systems provide users with clean drinking water by removing sediments, minerals, chemicals, and other items that can create a bad taste and odor. These filters are easy to install and can improve the overall taste of drinking water from the tap dramatically. You will save a lot of money when installing this type of filtration system as you will no longer need to purchase bottled water, which can become quite costly.
Whole House Water Treatment
- Best Salt Based Water Softener – A salt based water softener uses salt in order to filter out the magnesium and calcium that can build up in a home’s water system. These two minerals are the most common causes of hard water. The salt based water softener will provide the home with water that is much softer, which can be beneficial for almost every aspect of your life, from washing your dishes and clothes to washing your hair and skin. The Fleck 5600SXT water softener is one great salt based water softener for the price.
- Best Salt-Free Softener and Filtration Combo – When it comes to water softeners, many that are available on the market will use some type of salt. However, there are some salt free softener and filtration combos that can provide your home with high quality drinking water through the filtration system as well as provide you with softer water to use for your laundry, dishes, showers, etc. A great salt free softener and filtration combo is perfect for homes that have less than stellar water. The Aquasana EQ-SS20 SimplySoft salt free softener is a perfect choice for any home. It is reasonably priced and provides quality drinking water as well as washing water for the home.
- Best Water Conditioner – When it comes to choosing a great water conditioner it is important to look for one that is cost effective and will work for your home’s needs. Hard water can become quite an issue if it is not taken care of appropriately. A high quality water conditioner will provide the home with softer, cleaner water, which can increase the lifespan of your pipes, water heater, and other water related appliances in your home. The Clearwave CW-125 Salt Free Electronic Water Conditioner is currently one of the greatest water conditioners on the market for the price.
Here Are Some Popular Questions and Answers:
How To Compare Water Softener Brands
When comparing the different brands of water softeners, it is important to first understand the different types of products. There are four basic types of models, Reverse Osmosis, Salt Based Water Softeners, Salt Free Water Softeners, and Magnetic water softeners. These are all recommended types of water softeners when they are used in the right setting and with the correct application. There are different costs and maintenance comparisons that can be factored in, and once again the best method of comparison is from consumer reviews that can be found from Consumer Reports and other consumer reporting agencies.
What Is The Highest Rated Water Softener For 2014?
According to “Water Softeners Compared,” The Pelican PSE 1800 is the best-rated water softener. Consumers are extremely satisfied with the product as it is reasonably priced, it has a lifetime guarantee for the tank and parts, there is absolutely no maintenance or backwashing required, there is no monthly cost or electricity required to run it, it is easily installed by the homeowner, it works on city or well water, it is easy to use and removes scale in the water.
How Does A Water Softener Get Rid Of Hard Water?
A Salt Based Water Softener – This method uses an ion exchange process, which means that hardness ions are replaced with non-hardness ions. Sodium ions, or salt ions are used as the exchange medium. Sodium ions are supplied from salt that is placed into the system, and then the system must be recharged and back flushed.
Salt Free Water Softener – This process allows for an internal medium structure that has calcium carbonate crystal structures on its surface. This in turn attracts any excess dissolved hardness elements in the water and removes it from the water. This causes the crystals that are attached to the media to become larger. The water movement within the system to be released into the water, which passes through the system of plumbing where the same function is performed as the media in the system itself, which acts as seed crystals and the process starts all over again, and the process perpetuates itself.
Reverse Osmosis – A semi permeable membrane where the flow of the water is reversed through it, bringing water of high salt content to a high purity form of water on the other side of the membrane. The process is driven by pressure. The undesirable molecules containing the high salinity is retained by the membrane, and are then washed away to the drain.
Magnetic Water Softeners- These devices work by causing the various salts that ordinarily cause scale deposits to form, to stay in the water as precipitates in the form of small particles. It also reduces the concentrations of magnesium and calcium ions that soaps react to in the formation of scum. This type of water softener does not create a permanent solution, as the softness of the water only lasts for a limited time.
See Also: Full Explanation Of Hard Water Here
What Is The Best Salt Free Water Softener?
The best saltless water softener is the Pelican PSE 1800. More on saltless water softeners here.
Which Culligan Water Softener Model Is The Best?
According to Consumers Digest, the Culligan High Efficiency water softener was cited as a “Best Buy” in August, of 2012. It was named with this recommendation due to its efficiency and low cost of operation.
Where Do I Find Water Softener Reviews?
The best water softener reviews can be found in “Consumer Reports,” “Consumer Digest,” and here at “Water Softener Pro.”
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