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SoftPro EliteAvailable in two variants for well water and city water, this highly functional water softener provides the best result while minimizing wastage. Both the models feature a brine tank, a fine mesh resin, an LCD screen, and more for a user-friendly experience, right from installation to regular programming. Like most water softeners, this one may seem a tad expensive at first. But since it does not need maintenance and salt refills, the high cost turns into a valuable investment. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of this product!
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- DIY installation process
- Waste reducing process
- Upgraded 10% resin mesh
- Prevents mold and tank condensation
- Initial cost is very high
- Models with higher grain capacity are larger and bulkier
What Could’ve Been Better?
The model we reviewed offers a grain capacity of 24,000. Systems with higher grain capacity are larger in size, thereby, requiring more space.
The upfront cost of the Elite model is also on the higher side. Moreover, if you require the KDF filter, the Catalytic Carbon Filter, or an R/O system, you will have to spend more. Needless to say, having as many protective filters as you can yields the best results, but the overall upfront cost becomes too high.
Why Buy This Product?
1. Efficient Performance And Waste Reduction
Irrespective of the variant you choose, it is equipped with a brine tank, a mineral tank, and a fine mesh resin. The soft water tank contains potassium chloride, which plays a pivotal role in ion replacement.
SoftPro’s Smart Precision+ Brining feature calculates the exact amount of brine needed to deliver high-performance value while conserving up to 30% of salt usage. The waste reduction is not just limited to salt, though. You can adjust its backwash frequency which can help save up to 2,000 gallons of water per year.
Additionally, it employs an automated system flush technology that reduces the growth of bacteria. Certified by NSF/ ANSI standards, quality and performance are always top-notch with immediate regeneration whenever needed.
2. Effortless Operation
The LCD control screen meter is easy to read and operate in both systems. Users can conveniently inspect the level of water, adjust the system settings, and more. Thus, programming this unit will never cause any hassle.
3. 10% Cross-link Resin
This model features an upgraded 10% resin that lasts five times longer than the standard 8% resin. Since resin plays a crucial role in the ionizing process, it needs to be replaced immediately in case of a “foul” (breakdown). Most of the time, a “foul” occurs in water with high iron or chlorine content.
Such cases often call for expensive repairs and refilling of the tank. However, since SoftPro uses 10% cross-link resin, this product is more durable. Furthermore, because the resin is preloaded, you will not have to spend an extra hour over it during installation.
4. Neoprene Jacket Shield
This protective jacket effectively reduces mold infestation and prevents tank condensation. The jacket covers the tank in both city water and well water systems.
5. DIY Installation
With the right set of hardware and some plumbing experience, you should be able to install the system yourself. However, most customers agree that even beginners can get the job done with the adequate instruction manual included in the package.
Since it is compact, preloaded, and has very few additional parts, the installation process is no big deal.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Water Softener
How much capacity do you need… What is the role of a bypass valve… How does regeneration work…
Are these tricky questions making your head spin?
Of course, not everyone has prior plumbing experience and may not know what these jargons mean. Just knowing the best water softeners and conditioners is not enough to pick the ideal one for your home. So, we are here to take you back to the basics and explain all the specs, characteristics, and fancy terms these brands use to describe their products.
Let’s take a look…
1. Types Of Water Softeners
There are four broad categories of water softeners. Here’s a brief description of each…
A. Magnetic and Electronic Water Softeners
Also known as descalers, these units reverse the electromagnetic characteristics of hard minerals. From our list of recommendations, the iSpring ED2000 falls under this category. It promises effective descaling of water to prevent scale build-up and damage in pipes.
B. Ion Exchange Water Softener
These salt-based water softener units are connected to the pipeline and contain resin beads that substitute hard minerals with salts. Pentair WS48-56SXT uses this grain ion replacement process to get rid of calcium, magnesium, and ferrous iron. Most homeowners opt for these types of water softeners.
C. Dual Tank Water Softeners
When regular recharging starts to feel like a hassle, dual tank softeners become a convenient option for uninterrupted soft water supply. The two tanks can be used alternatively while either one is being recharged.
D. Salt-free Water Softener
A more sustainable option, this system uses potassium chloride to soften water without using salt. It works best for moderately hard water and for those who require a low sodium diet. FutureSoft FS1 is a salt-free water softener that is suitable for those who wish to live free from the inconvenience of regular maintenance.
You need to figure out your average water consumption per day to decide the size of the ideal water softener for your family. Multiply the number of family members with the amount of water used per person. Accordingly, choose a system offering the appropriate grain capacity.
An important point to note along with the capacity should be the water pressure at which the system functions. An ideal water softener/ conditioner should be able to maintain the water flow rate without any drop in pressure. This feature is especially useful for households with multiple bathrooms that family members may use simultaneously.
3. Space Required
Speaking of capacity, you need to be careful about the space your water softener will require. Even if you need one with a large capacity, you cannot blindly purchase a bulky unit if the intake pipes are too congested.
Usually, a two-piece system consisting of a brine tank and an iron tank is sufficient yet compact enough to fit in most types of water pipelines. Most dual-tank softeners feature a huge brine tank. So, ensure that you consult the manufacturer for exact measurements before making your decision.
After all, who would want to splurge on an essential item only for it to be too big to fit?
4. Regeneration Cycle
Most systems offer two options when it comes to the regeneration process – metered and timed.
A metered unit triggers the regeneration cycle after a certain amount of water has been consumed. Users can decide that amount or invest in “smart” units that calculate the number automatically. A major advantage of metered systems is that the regeneration process only occurs when required, saving you from unnecessary power and water consumption.
On the other hand, a timed unit regenerates regularly after a set number of days. Since it works on an assumption of the amount of water used, it is not a foolproof method. There would be days when you use more water than usual and run out of soft water. You could also end up using less soft water sometimes, yet the system would continue its regular regeneration.
5. Bypass Valve
A bypass valve prevents water from passing through the softening part of the system. For instance, during maintenance, you can use the bypass valve to turn off the softening process while having water flow through your pipeline. Moreover, if you need to water the lawn or indulge in any activity that does not need soft water, a bypass valve comes in handy.
A bypass valve features two red arrows. Simply turn them to point towards each other to allow water to bypass.
6. Types Of Filter
Most water softeners in the market provide the following two types of filters to choose from.
A. KDF Filter
Made of copper and zinc, KDF filters are a popular pick for removing bacteria, viruses, harmful metallic substances, and impurities. You can use these filters alone or with carbon filters for softer and cleaner water.
B. Multi-level Carbon Filters
As the name suggests, some of these filters contain 10-12 layers, thereby ensuring the purest level of water for your household. Each layer is designed to remove one type of bacteria or hard mineral.
7. Shower Water Softeners
If you don’t require a water softener for the entire household, you can get one for the shower to maintain lustrous hair and healthy skin. A cheaper and more portable option, there are two types of shower filters to choose from.
A. In-line Filters
These filters do not feature a showerhead. If you don’t wish to replace the showerhead, you can insert these filters between the main shower and the water supply.
B. Showerhead Filters
These filters look and work like a regular showerhead, only better! You can install it on the shower or even your faucet. These types of water softeners are the best in eliminating harmful contents from water while retaining the pressure.
Striking the right balance between efficiency, quality, and affordability is key when it comes to buying the best water softener. In the name of being budget-friendly, a product may come with defective parts, low-quality construction, and more. Such a softener would do more harm than good.
Thus, we recommend choosing the best one from our list and ensuring that you go through the customer reviews before buying.
With growing pollution, our water reservoirs are full of impurities that mess up the pH level. Hence, installing a water softener, preferably with a filter, has become a necessity to safeguard the health of our families.
We hope you could find the perfect pick for your household with our list of the best water softeners and a comprehensive buyer’s guide. Ensure that you choose one according to your daily needs, available space for installation, and budget. After all, choosing the best from these top-notch options depends on you!
Before we take our leave, here are some of our favorites. Without a doubt, AFWFilters IRONPRO2 is the best overall. PENTAIR WS48-56SXT is another useful model with an impressive warranty period. If you’re environment-conscious and have a tight budget, iSpring ED2000 is your best bet.
Let us know which one is your favorite water softening system in the comments section below. We’ll be back with more informative guides soon. Till then, stay healthy and hydrated!