5 Best Water Softener System For 2020

#1 Recommended

4.8/5

Genesis UpFlow

Our No.1 recommended water softener system.

Popular Pick

4.6/5

Fleck 5600SXT

Most trusted, popular water softener system.

Electronic Descaler

4.3/5

Eddy Water Descaler

Innovative method to tackle hard water problems.

Hard water problems lead to people spending thousands of dollars each year on wear off appliances, clogging pipes and tore off clothing.

Water softener has been widely used in most of the household to combat these issues. It is a hot topic and many water treatment companies claim to have the best water softener system in the market

Fortunately, hard water, which contains calcium and magnesium does not pose any health hazard because both minerals are beneficial. It only affects our household belonging.

If you are familiar with these system, there are salt based, salt-free and electronic descaler methods to solve hard water problems.

Let’s take a look at the top-rated water softener in the market in all 3 categories.

DISCLOSURE: We may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

Product Comparison

Genesis Upflow

4.8/5

Best Water Softener System

+ Features: Upflow salt-based technology that saves salt and water.
+ Flow Rate: 14 GPM
+ Cost: $$$$, $150 yearly
+ Warranty: 7 years on controller, lifetime on tanks.

Fleck 5600SXT

4.6/5

Most Popular Water Softener System

+ Features: Trusted system with Fleck valve controller.
+ Flow Rate: 12 GPM
+ Cost: $$$, $225 yearly
+ Warranty: 5 years on controller, 10 years on tanks.

AquaPure AP904

4.4/5

Best Salt-Free Water Softener System​

+ Features: Remove urban water contaminants and break hard water minerals to avoid crystalization.
+ Flow Rate: 20 GPM
+ Cost: $$, $170 yearly
+ Warranty: 1 year.

Iron Pro 2

4.6/5

Best Iron Removal Water Softener System

+ Features: Salt-based with iron filter.
+ Flow Rate: 14 GPM
+ Cost: $$$, $225 yearly
+ Warranty: 5 years on controller, 10 years on tanks.

Eddy Water Descaler

4.3/5

Best Electronic Descaler

+ Features: Electromagnetic wave to break strong bond of hard water minerals. No plumbing required.
+ Flow Rate: N/A
+ Cost: $, No Maintenance.
+ Warranty: Lifetime warranty on repair and breakdown.

The information in the comparison table above is just providing a summary of all best selling water softener.

We will take a closer look at the technical specification and capabilities for 5 of the recommended systems.

Detailed Review

Genesis Upflow

Best Water Softener System

Genesis is one of the recommended brands which are using a different technology as compared to others such as Fleck. Let’s take a look in detail.

Background: There is not much information about the company that produces Genesis water softener.

Key Features: One of the major key difference that Genesis has is the flow of the system. It is using the latest upflow technology as compared to the downflow that is used by Fleck.

This creates a swirling motion up through the resin from the bottom of the tank unlike the traditional downflow technique might compress the resin and creates tunneling and channels.

The highly efficient Genesis will save up to 75 percent of salt and up to 64 percent of water when conducting the regeneration process as compared to Fleck system.

Maintenance: For all salt-based softeners, the resin normally can last about 15 years or more. The only maintenances that are needed salt and water to brine the resin from calcium and magnesium.

The Genesis Upflow will require about 9 lbs of salt and 44 gallons of water for a regeneration process for 48,000 grains model.

The annual spending on maintaining the system is about $150 on salt plus the water usage for over 2000 gallons.

Customer Rating – 4.7 | Our Rating – 4.8

PROS

+ Latest Upflow Technology.
+ Pre-programmed to perform regeneration every 7 days.
+ Effectively remove calcium and magnesium from source water.
+ Affordable maintenance cost
+ 7 years warranty of valve, lifetime warranty on tanks.
+ Design and Manufacture in the US.

CONS

Expensive on initial cost.
 Does not remove iron.
 Low flow rate of 14 gallons per minute.

Aquapure AP904

Best Salt-Free Water Softener System

If you are living in the urban area and have a limited budget for whole house water filtration and softener, the 3M Aquapure is your solution.

Background: Aquapure is a water treatment company that focus on whole house and drinking water filtration. It was eventually acquired by 3M as part of its subsidiary.

Their flagship model is the 3M Aquapure AP900 whole house water filter series.

Key Features: The AP904 has 3 filtration media which is used to filter sediments, chlorine taste, and odor as well as conditioning the hard water minerals.

The method that is used by this system is breaking the strong bonding of the calcium and magnesium. It is a common method that is used by salt-free water softener.

The size is just nice to be installed in an urban city apartment and is having a high flow rate of 20 gallons per minute.

Maintenance: There is not much maintenance needed for this system other than replacing the filter.

As it is a filtration and a hard water removal system, it is suggested to replace the filter every 12 months of 100,000 gallons of water.

It will set you back approximately $170 yearly on the replacement cost.

Customer Rating – 4.1 | Our Rating – 4.4

PROS

+ 2 in 1 water filtration and softener.
+ Small size and fit in urban living.
+ Easy installation and replacement.
+ Affordable initial and maintenance cost.
+ High flow rate of 20 GPM.

CONS

Not suitable for well water source with Iron.
 Required a pre-sediment filter to avoid the system being clogged.
Short 1 year limited warranty on the filter.

IRON Pro 2

Best Iron Removal Water Softener System​

Have you ever experience rusty brown stains when flushing the toilet? You probably have a serious iron contamination in your water.

Key Features: The Iron Pro 2 uses the Fleck 5600 SXT as it’s controller to schedule the regeneration process.

This system is just like our top rated water softener system, that is filled with grains to trap hardness minerals such as calcium and magnesium in our source water.

In addition, it comes with an iron filter which removes excessive irons until a non-detectable level.

It comes with a 5-year warranty on the digital valve and 10 years warranty for the tanks.

The flow rate is about 14 gallons per minute for Iron Pro 2.

Maintenance: The grains and iron filters are expected to last for at least 15 years. Like the Fleck 48,000, all you need is salt and water to rinse and cleanse the grains for the regeneration process.

For every regeneration, it is required to have as much as 15 lbs of salt and up to 89 gallons of water. This translate to 780 lbs of salt yearly and 4628 gallons of water yearly.

With a pack of salt that causes $15 in Walmart, you are expecting to spend about $225 per year on salt.

Customer Rating – 4.5 | Our Rating – 4.6

PROS

+ Fleck controller to pre-programmed regeneration process.
+ Effectively remove calcium, iron and magenesium from source water.
+ Comes with a bypass valve
+ 5 years warranty of valve, 10 years warranty on tanks.
+ Design and Manufacture in the US.

CONS

 Huge usage of salt and water on regeneration process.
 Expensive in initial and maintenance cost.
 Low flow rate of 14 gallons per minute.

Eddy Water Descaler

Best Electronic Descaler

Electronic descaler is a new method of removing hard water problems. You will not miss out the Eddy if you are looking for an electronic descaler product.

Background: Eddy is founded by 2 engineers in London before the year of 2000. They are exploring the possibility of removing hard water in an affordable way without breaking the bank.

Key Feature: Electronic scale inhibitor has been quite common in the recent years due to the affordability and zero maintenance.

It uses electromagnetic waves to alters the crystal particles of calcium and magnesium to make it softer. This breaks the bonding among the molecules of those minerals.

Unlike salt-based softeners, there is no waste water involved in rinsing the system. It is all done electronically.

Eddy is a UK based company which stand behind their product in providing a 12-month money back guaranteed and a lifetime warranty against product breakdown and repair.

Maintenance: Eddy doesn’t require any maintenance. You literally install it and forget about it.

The installation is pretty simple that comes with a DIY instruction which doesn’t require plumbing.

Customer Rating – 3.8 | Our Rating – 4.3

PROS

+ No wastewater and salt needed
+ High tech method of electronically descaler.
+ Lifetime warranty against repair.
+ Maintenance free water softener.
+ Design and Manufacture in the UK.

CONS

Requires electric to operate.
 Not very effective in very hard water.
 No filtration of iron or any other contaminants.

Types Of Water Softeners

Hard water problems have become common in our life. Companies have become more innovative in solving these problems by coming out various solutions other than using grains and sale.

Here are some of the methods which is used as a softener media.

Salt-based Softener

Most of the softener in the market are salt-based. The main ingredient are the grains and resin. It traps all the calcium and magnesium appear in the source water in the grains and only allowed soft water into the home.

Under salt-based softener, downflow is the most common flow methods that were used in the majority of the system. The downflow technology allows hard water is passing through the grain from the top to bottom and soft water was pumped to a passage in the middle into the house.

The potential problems of downflow method. 

  • Compressed grains and resin leads to blockage.
  • Tunneling and channeling will also be created which make the softening process less effective.
  • Downflow will require more salt and water during brining and backwash process.

Upflow technology is the latest method that is used on a salt-based water softener system. There are only a handful of products that are using the flow product.

The hard water is channeled to the bottom of tank and swirling motion up through the grains and resin. The anti-gravity motion will not create tunneling effect and compress the resin.

The benefits of upflow methods are:

  • Prevent tunneling effects and compressed of grains.
  • Use up to 75% less salt and 64% less water for brining and backwash.

Our top rater water softener system, Genesis, is using the upflow methods. Although it is slightly expensive as compared the Flect, you will definitely save more in the long run due to the less usage of salt and water.

Salt-Free Softener

This type of softener is one of a few methods that remove the hardness of the water without removing the calcium and magnesium minerals.

Some of the expected to consider this as a water conditioner instead of softener as it doesn’t remove the hard water minerals.

How does it work? The filtration media is capable of breaking the bonds between the hard minerals which formed the component of hard water.

The minerals are still in the source water but it is not able to crystallize and clogged the pipe.

Unlike the salt-based water softener, the lifespan of the filtration media is normally shorter which required to replace it yearly.

Electronic Water Descaler

The electronic water descaler is a solely electrically based solution to solve hard water problems. There is no plumbing required to perform the descaler.

The electrical wires are coiled over the piping and connected to the electronic controller. This creates an electromagnetic wave which breaks the crystallization of calcium and magnesium as water flows through the pipes.

Similarly to the salt-free systems, it doesn’t remove the impurities but rather just alter the existing structure

6 Signs Shows That You Should Get A Water Softener

While hard water does not post a hazard to our body, it will potentially cost you thousands of dollars on repairing and replacement cost. Some of the common issues that you will face if your hard water is serious in your home.

  1. Skin and hair dryness – Dry, cracked skins and stiff hair are signs of hard water present in the water source. The minerals will create a thin film on the skin or hair which made it brittle.
  2. Clogged Pipes – Clogging of internal piping is common scene as the minerals will crystalize and create blockages to the pipe.
  3. Brittle and Stain Fabric – Clothes are easily torn apart and weren’t clean when it in contact with hard water.
  4. Soap Scum – When in contact with hard water, soap scum is created. The scum will make cleaning, washing and showering liquid less effective and required more detergent.
  5. Worn Off Appliances – Water-based appliances such as dishwasher and coffee machine are susceptible to be affected by hard water as it will clog the water inlet.
  6. Scales Built Up – Scales or thin films are often seen on bathtubs, mirrors, glasses, and fixtures. It is the hard minerals that built up on appliances.

Wrap Up

Many of us might be mistaken water softener with the water filter for whole house. Some of them carries a hybrid functionality but majority of them only solved either hard water or water contaminants. 

Although hard water does no harm to our health, many people invest in water softener to prevent various household problems.

The 5 best water softener systems mentioned above have proven to effectively solve hard water problems. It is advisable to use a salt-based system to remove a very hard water source.

It might cost you hundreds in the beginning, but you can keep your home free from hard water problems which potentially save you in the thousands.

Get the Genesis Upflow today to enjoy soft water in bathing, showing, washing and cleaning. Once you get a water softener, you can consider to get a countertop water filter or under sink filtration system for purifying your drinking water. 

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